On ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos seemed shocked that John Boehner might lie to him about impeaching Obama, but he is just one example of the mainstream media’s willingness to believe the untrue things that Republicans say.
Video from ABC News:
Here is the exchange between White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer and This Week Host George Stephanopoulos that put the media’s intentional ignorance on full display:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, on this whole specter of impeachment, so much talk about impeachment the last couple of weeks in Washington. As you know, a lot of Republicans say that you personally are the person fueling this. You want to keep this debate going to have Democrats rile up their base.
I want to show Nate Silver FiveThirtyEight did a piece this week where he said Democrats are way more obsessed with impeachment than Republicans. It turns out there were more mentions in Congress by Democrats than Republicans.
MSNBC has talked about impeachment five times more than Fox News. Of course, you’re raising a lot of money on this, as well.
So I wonder how you respond to these findings and the charge that it’s Democrats fueling this talk?
PFEIFFER: Well, I think what we — what I said was that it would be foolish to discount the possibility that this Republican Congress, at some point in time, would consider impeachment.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But the speaker said it’s not going to happen. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee…
STEPHANOPOULOS: — told me it’s not going to happen.
PFEIFFER: Right. And five days before the government shutdown, the speaker said there was no way we’d shut the government — government down over health care. And then we did.
And in the House of Representatives, John Boehner may have the gavel, but Ted Cruz has the power. And so I…
STEPHANOPOULOS: You don’t really think impeachment is possible?
PFEIFFER: I — well, I — when the House takes an unprecedented step to sue the president of the United States, for inde — for — even though he is issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in 100 years, I think it would foolish to discount the possibility.
It seemed like it was impossible for George Stephanopoulos to believe that Speaker Boehner would lie to him. It is as if John Boehner is Santa and little Georgie is sitting on his knee telling him what he wants for Christmas. His naivete would be charming if it weren’t for the fact that as a former member of the Clinton White House, Stephanopoulos knows the game.
Not telling the truth, or telling their version of the truth, is the main go to move of the Republican Party. Speaker Boehner and Republican leaders may not want to impeach Obama, but as we have seen with the government shutdown, the debt ceiling crisis, the farm bill, and on roughly half a dozen other occasions, John Boehner isn’t in charge. It doesn’t really matter what Boehner wants. He gave up trying to lead long ago. Boehner now rolls with the waves of his radical caucus.
One of the biggest hurdles that Democrats face is that the mainstream press continues to place Republican falsehoods on par with the truth. The press willingly accepts and promotes the inaccurate statements of Republicans. They rarely question or hold accountable Republican elected officials for the things that they say.
Dan Pfeiffer was right. Only a fool would take anything that a Republican in Congress says at face value. Unfortunately for the American people, many members of the media are happily willing to play the fool.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association