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Veteran Newsman Demands Media Become Even More Hostile to GOP Policies

House Speaker John Boehner took the outrageous step - to liberals, anyway - of insisting that any increase in the federal debt limit be accompanied by spending cuts and budget reforms. Within hours of Boehner's Monday night speech, Carl Bernstein on the Tuesday edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe was exhorting his fellow journalists to push the line that Boehner's approach would be "a disaster."

"The press has got to start reporting on the economy and the debate in a different way," Bernstein, a veteran of the Washington Post, ABC News and Time magazine insisted. Correspondents, he urged, need to be Boehner's adversaries in their "news reports" by saying: "What's he talking about? What are the realities of this? What are the taxes? What happens with the debt ceiling? What will happen to our allies if we, including those who are buying debt, if we go ahead and do what John Boehner says?"

Bernstein thundered: "We go ahead and do what John Boehner says, you are really going to see the economy tank. You're going to see a disaster!"

What set Bernstein off was a series of three quick snippets from the Speaker's Monday night speech in New York, which were played as a package at the beginning of the 6am ET hour of Morning Joe:

JOHN BOEHNER: It's true that allowing America to default would be irresponsible. But it would be more irresponsible to raise the debt limit without simultaneously taking dramatic steps to reduce spending and to reform the budget process. [EDIT] Let me be as clear as I can be: Without significant spending cuts and changes in the way we spend the American people's money, there will be no increase in the debt limit. [EDIT] We're not talking about billions here; we should be talking about cuts in trillions.


About ten minutes later, Bernstein railed against Boehner's mild proposal:

CARL BERNSTEIN: The press has got to start reporting on the economy and the debate in a different way. We can't be captive to John Boehner making statements like that without going in on a news report and saying "what's he talking about? What are the realities of this? What are the taxes? What happens with the debt ceiling? What will happen to our allies if we, including those who are buying debt, if we go ahead and do what John Boehner says? We go ahead and do what John Boehner says, you are really going to see the economy tank. You're going to see a disaster!"

- Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.