When Republicans in the Legislature tied extending jobless benefits for the unemployed with an outrageous Continuing Resolution, they knew Governor Perdue would be forced to Veto the bill. They also knew their little trick would be confusing for many, and maybe even some media folks. But we're now in week 5, and when I saw this comment over at The Pulse, I came to the realization that confusion is still the rule, and not the exception:
I think it is despicable what Governor Purdue has done, or NOT done for choice of better words.
Unfortunately, this ill-informed opinion is not isolated, it's very common. Repeatedly, reporters have pitched this story as a "standoff", "tug-of-war", "battle of wills", etc. That's when they haven't outright accused the Governor of being responsible for the plight of the long-term unemployed.
Case in point: Here's an extract from the write-up for a WRAL news piece, posted today:
In April, Republican leaders in the General Assembly passed a bill to keep federal funds flowing to those who have been unemployed for up to 99 weeks.
Gov. Bev Perdue, however, vetoed the measure because it contained the stipulation that if the state budget is not in place by June 30, Republicans would go forward with slashing her proposed budget by 13 percent.
While this might be technically correct, it leaves out an extremely important piece of information: The Governor's proposed Budget already contained some serious cuts, just shy of 7% from the previous year's spending. Meaning, that little "stipulation" would result in cuts of nearly 20%. Also missing from this piece.
But you know what? This isn't just a write-up of the (televised) news piece, it's a rewrite. Pay attention:
Did you catch that? The reporter didn't mention Perdue's budget proposal; he described the CR as including "...language that would make Governor Perdue cut the State Budget by 13%...". Inaccurate, misleading, and fixing it in the rewrite doesn't do a damned thing for all the viewers who watched the original.
Also glaringly absent from this report is the Discharge Petition Senate Democrats put forward two weeks ago that would release the stand-alone bill from Committee and get these folks paid. WRAL's own Laura Leslie blogged about that two weeks ago, and it's one of the few nods mainstream media has given to the effort.
Let me say this one more time: Those unemployed aren't "caught in the middle", their plight can (and should) be laid right at the feet of Republican Legislators. And the longer the MSM misreports this, the more responsibility they (the media) will take onto its own shoulders for the continued suffering of those unemployed.
Why do I say that, you may ask? Because if the Republicans are exposed as the true culprits in this, they will be forced to relent and sign the Petition, or suffer the political consequences of their actions.
Get it right.