"Local Media Fail: News Stations Omit S&P Analysis On GOP Refusing To Raise Revenues"
When Standard and Poor’s issued its unprecedented downgrade of the nation’s sovereign credit last Friday, the rating agency blasted the GOP’s refusal to raise revenues in a press release accompanying the announcement. As Igor Volsky notes in today’s Progress Report, S&P referred specifically to Republicans when it said: “It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options.” The S&P analysis also stressed that the final debt ceiling deal only reinforced its belief that the Bush tax cuts would not expire at the end of 2012, “because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues.”
However, a quick search of local news broadcasts from over the weekend shows that media outlets across the country have selectively omitted S&P’s reasoning behind the decision. Many local news outlets seemingly adopted the conservative narrative, arguing that the downgrade was only due to spending, rather than a holistic failure on both the spending and revenue sides. ThinkProgress has compiled a few examples below:
Amarillo, TX CBS affiliate: “The U.S. no longer holds the triple A credit we used to. Standard and Poor’s knocked us down to a AA+ citing the buzzer-beating deal to avoid government default did not do enough to cut back on spending.”
News 12 New Jersey: “The problem? Standard and Poor’s says the government is spending too much and has too much debt, so they downgraded us. ”
Boston, MA Fox News affiliate: “Essentially, Standard and Poor’s says that Washington didn’t raise the debt ceiling fast enough or cut spending deep enough.”
Las Vegas, NV NBC affiliate: “Rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time in its history. The rating agency says it cut the nation’s credit rating down to AA+ because the deficit reduction package passed by Congress on Tuesday did not go far enough to stabilize the debt situation. S&P cited rising public debt, policy making, uncertainty, and failure to deal with spending on entitlements as major factors its decision.”