Flashback to 1995/96: Networks Mourn Victims of Shutdown, Single Out Republicans for Blame

October 5, 2013 - 7:55 PM
Flashback to 1995/96: Networks Mourn Victims of Shutdown, Single Out Republicans for Blame

“After the President vetoed several spending bills, not one story blamed him for the shutdown, but nearly two dozen declared the GOP culpable. Furloughed workers and other ‘victims’ were featured in half the stories.” Sound familiar? That’s from a 1996 Media Research Center study on the battle between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. Yes, the current shutdown showdown is deja vu all over again.

To help illustrate the very familiar media tone and approach, I’ve put three clips togther from the time, starting with Bob Schieffer anchoring the Saturday, December 16 CBS Evening News when he sounded like a disappointed father: “Well, they’ve done it again. Nine days from Christmas, Republicans have forced another partial shutdown of the government because they cannot come to an agreement with the White House on how to balance the budget.”

The scound clip in the video is from another familar voice who is still around, CBS’s Scott Pelley on January 2, 1996 comparing Republicans to terrorist Timothy McVeigh.

Finally, in the third clip, then-ABC reporter Jack Smith took to World News Tonight to relay the plight of two government workers who couldn’t afford....well, watch to find out what those mean Republicans denied them.

>> More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog <<