At the top of Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith declared: "President Obama meets with GOP leaders as he tries to tackle the growing employment problem. Will it be a monologue or a dialogue?" White House correspondent Bill Plante later reported: "The President is also reaching out to Republicans today, speaking to the GOP House retreat. But it could be a tough crowd."
In Plante's report, only brief a clip of Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner was played, making Republicans seem unwilling to negotiate: "We're not going to vote for things that we believe will hurt our country." Plante concluded: "And the Republicans have already signaled that the President's new temporary tax cut for small businesses is not where they're going to find that common ground. So it may be a tough crowd indeed." The brief Early Show segment made no mention of legitimate Republican criticism of President Obama's own stubborn partisanship.
In contrast, on ABC's Good Morning America, while correspondent Jon Karl referred to the House GOP as a "skeptical" and "hostile" audience, he also took the time to highlight Republican efforts to reach out to the administration: "Most Republicans in Congress doubt the President really wants to hear their ideas....Longtime Republican Frank Wolf says he's written the White House several ideas on Homeland Security." Karl asked Wolf about the letter: "So, you present these ideas to the White House and what happens?" Wolf replied: "Nothing. It's like writing a letter to somebody and nobody ever answers."
Karl later noted: "As for Congressman Wolf and those letters, we asked the White House about that. And we're told he will get responses in the coming days."
Though NBC's Today made little mention of the upcoming meeting between President Obama and the GOP, co-host Matt Lauer did ask Meet the Press host David Gregory about it: "What's gonna be colder, the weather here in New York or the temperature in that room in Baltimore?" Gregory voiced Republican criticisms: "You know, a lot of Republicans were not that impressed with the President's speech. They felt that it was partisan, that it was really sharp-edged, and there were a lot of sharp edges in that speech, but the President will show up....he's gonna have some tax cut ideas that Republicans will actually like. We'll see where it goes from there, though."
-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.