As you may have heard, the White House-backed deficit commission failed to gain a supermajority vote to support a proposal from co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Their suggestions came under sharp criticism from liberal and progressive critics.
Butthe December 3 broadcast of the PBS NewsHour, a short report on that failure was tilted heavily in favor of supporters of the plan. Quoted in the piece were Bowles, Simpson and their ally Sen. Kent Conrad. Former SEIU chief Andy Stern, who voted against the plan, was the only no vote who was heard from.
On December 1, the NewsHour had interviewed Bowles and Simpson as they continued to make their pitch for their plan. (When asked how he would respond to critics who say the deficit panic is mostly hype, and that other problems are more pressing, Simpson said: “I will tell them to kind of sober up, and the fact that the tectonic plate has shifted in America.”).
And the December 3 broadcast included a discussion with conservative David Brooks–who supports the Bowles/Simpson plan–paired with “liberal” Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, who also supports it, praising it for being an”adult” approach to the problem.
If only the debt commission had consideredopening the voting to the media–they wouldhave received near-unanimous support.