NBC: 'Widely Agreed' Shutdown Was 'Big Loss' and 'Self-Inflicted Wound' to GOP

Continuing to hammer home the Democratic talking point that the Republican Party is to blame for the government shutdown, on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams gloated:
"Politically, it's widely agreed to have been a big loss and self-inflicted wound mostly for the Republican Party." [Listen to the audio]

In a later report, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell asserted: "For many Republicans, they're now at that acceptance phase after a bruising defeat. Many, are admitting mistakes, assessing some responsibility." She then noted how "one of the most visible and divisive figures in this whole episode," Texas Senator Ted Cruz, "started the day trying to create some goodwill" by greeting visitors to the U.S. Capitol.

O'Donnell announced: "The shutdown leaves new political baggage for the Republican Party to carry." That declaration was followed by Republican Oklahoma Senator Tom Cole observing: "I think a lot of folks that thought this might be a productive strategy have learned that it's really not."

She also touted: "Today the most senior Republican senator, Utah's Orrin Hatch, blamed powerful outside groups and think tanks for stoking internal party battles..." A clip followed of Hatch appearing on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown: "[Groups] who think they can control the Republican Party. And some of which have been good think tanks in the past but now are losing their reputation because of some of this radicalness..."

NBC spent the previous 24 hours bringing on Republican moderates like Senator John McCain and strategist Nicolle Wallace simply to bash conservatives over the shutdown.

On Thursday, after making sure the GOP had been thoroughly scolded, Williams took time to promote President Obama's demagoguery "about the mess we all witnessed unravel for the past two weeks." In the sound bite that followed, Obama declared:

Nothing has done more damage to America's credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we've seen these past several weeks. It's encouraged our enemies, it's emboldened our competitors, and it's depressed our friends who look to us for steady leadership. All of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio, and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do.

Williams didn't bother to mention criticism of the President's lack of leadership throughout the stalemate.

Here are portions of the October 17 coverage:

7:01PM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: The government shutdown ended today. Having ended with a whimper in the dark of night, with members of Congress leaving town to head home and face their constituents. The deal funds the government until January 15th. It raises the debt limit until February 7th.

And the 16-day government shutdown caused grave damage, beyond the erosion of remaining faith in elected officials, beyond the damage to U.S. prestige, it hurt a lot of Americans, some of whom cannot ever recover what they lost.

Politically, it's widely agreed to have been a big loss and self-inflicted wound mostly for the Republican Party.

(...)

7:04PM ET

KELLY O'DONNELL: For many Republicans, they're now at that acceptance phase after a bruising defeat. Many, are admitting mistakes, assessing some responsibility. And one of the most visible and divisive figures in this whole episode started the day trying to create some goodwill.

Today, Senator Ted Cruz, who led the Tea Party's failed strategy during the shutdown...

SEN. TED CRUZ [R-TX]: Thank you for being here.

O'DONNELL: ...greeted visitors and veterans outside the reopened Capitol.

Lawmakers headed out of town after the late-night vote and House Speaker John Boehner turned up on Twitter, his photo snapped at an airport gate today. The shutdown leaves new political baggage for the Republican Party to carry.

SEN. TOM COLE [R-OK]: I think a lot of folks that thought this might be a productive strategy have learned that it's really not.

O'DONNELL: The conservative conflict is over the flawed strategy of making the budget fight about ObamaCare. Today the most senior Republican senator, Utah's Orrin Hatch, blamed powerful outside groups and think tanks for stoking internal party battles, appearing on The Daily Rundown.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH [R-UT]: Who think they can control the Republican Party. And some of which have been good think tanks in the past but now are losing their reputation because of some of this radicalness that they-

CHUCK TODD: Who are you – are you referring to Heritage?

HATCH: Well, yeah. Of course I am.

(...)

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.