Getting Filibusters Backwards


During the July 17 edition of ABC’s Good Morning America, co-anchor Diane Sawyer falsely claimed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “vows to filibuster, talking all night to close out all topics besides a vote on Iraqi troop withdrawals.” […]

Additionally, on the July 16 edition of Fox News’ Special Report with Brit Hume, Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes asserted that Reid is “filibustering his own bill.”

Josh Marshall has been documenting just how irresponsible the media has been in neglecting to report on GOP filibusters, leading to widespread confusion as to why Congress isn’t passing legislation. Now, once the media finally brings itself to start introducing the word to the public, major news outlets get it backwards.

I can almost understand Barnes screwing this up, but Diane Sawyer has been a professional political correspondent in DC since 1978. Before that, she worked in two Republican White Houses. She must know what a filibuster is, and she must realize that the Senate Democratic leadership hopes to defeat a filibuster, not engage in one.

Part of the point behind tonight’s efforts in the Senate is to bring greater awareness to Republicans’ tactics and GOP obstructionism, particularly on Iraq policy. It looks like there are some reporters who stand to learn a few things.


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