Sorry New York Times, Democrats Weren’t ‘Blocking’ Pandemic Relief Bill - PRESS RUN
Typing up Republican talking points with astonishing speed this week, the New York Times led the media charge insisting that Democrats were “blocking” a crucial $1.8 trillion pandemic relief bill. The paper stressed that Democrats “risked a political backlash,” suggesting the party’s actions were extreme and controversial, as Democratic and Republican leaders parried while trying to pass the important bill.
It was a classic example of how the Beltway press too often embraces and eagerly absorbs Republican rhetoric, especially when Republicans hit the Phony Outrage button, as they so often do in hopes of generating sympathetic press coverage. Fortunately, not all news outlets fell for that trick the way the Times did, and many news organizations covered the relief bill in a much more fair and balanced way.
Make no mistake, the idea that Democrats “blocked” much-needed aid was the Republican talking point. (See here, here, here, and here.) The barrage of messages was nonstop, as Republican officials and their friends in the partisan GOP press hammered their unifying theme — heartless Democrats are blocking relief!
But that’s not how legislation works, and certainly not during a time of crisis. Voting ‘No’ on what every Democratic U.S. Senator considered to be a bad bill isn’t “blocking” anything, it’s voting against a bad bill.