Last night on CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry slammed “liberals” for criticizing preliminary figures from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) purporting to show that “it will take years before an infrastructure spending program proposed” by President Barack Obama “will boost the economy.” Henry said Democrats were being hypocrites, “attacking the CBO” for releasing figures “not…completely favorable” to Obama:
HENRY: What’s most interesting, when you take a step back, is for the last eight years, I’ve been covering — at least for part of it — the Bush White House. The CBO was always held up by Democrats as a gold standard of nonpartisan analysis. Now that the CBO has analyzed an Obama initiative and has not come out completely favorable, it’s interesting to see liberals now attacking the CBO and essentially saying that you can’t trust them.
In fact, liberals are “essentially saying you can’t trust” the media.
As ThinkProgress has reported, TV media over the last week repeatedly and misleadingly hyped the CBO figures — without noting that the so-called report analyzed only a tiny portion of the recovery plan. In fact, the first full CBO analysis came out yesterday and found that about 65 percent of the spending and tax cuts would flow into the economy by 2010, and would produce a “noticeable impact on economic growth and employment.”
– Well that was another question raised in this Congressional Budget Office study. It was suggesting that a lot of the spending proposals in the original plan would not really take effect for a couple of years, so it wouldn’t clearly help create jobs in the first two years of the president’s administration. [CNN, 1/23/09]
— Despite those comments, Republicans are still expressing some concerns and skepticism, pointing to a Congressional Budget Office study earlier this week that showed that some of the money in this stimulus plan may not really stimulate the economy. [CNN, 1/23/09]
— The latest iteration of that has projects like that. And it’s getting Republicans wondering whether is it really going to get the economy going. Is it really going to create jobs? And, in fact, the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday put out a report that was pretty scathing about the economic recovery plan. [CNN, 1/23/09]
Henry refused to admit any error in his reporting last night, and after slamming Media Matters for being “so silly it’s beyond belief,” Dobbs effusively thanked Henry: “As usual, your reporting was outstanding.”