This week's Mainstream Media Scream features MSNBC host Brian Williams as the example of the media cooing over Sen. John McCain and the other GOP senators who killed the party's promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
After the defeat early Friday morning of the final opportunity in the Senate to move toward repealing Obamacare, Williams hailed McCain as a "profile in courage" for voting no, despite the fact the Arizona senator campaigned on a promise to repeal the law.
Later in the day, he touted McCain's "moment of moral courage," and also praised the "courage" of the two other Republican senators who voted no, wondering with some hope: "Is that kind of courage, for people cheering them on, going to be contagious?"
Williams on MSNBC at 2 AM EDT Friday morning, just after the vote:
"We'll leave this hour quoting Sen. Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, saying ‘I ran into John McCain as we walked underground to the Senate for the final vote. Someday, I'll get to tell my grandkids what he said to me.' The words of John McCain, who was indeed a profile in courage tonight, along with two women in the Republican caucus, Senator from Maine, Murkowski — Senator from Alaska, Murkowski — Senator from Maine, Collins."
Then, about 21 hours later, on MSNBC's The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, he offered a dramatic recounting of McCain's vote:
"In the well of the Senate, it came down to one very dramatic moment. Senator John McCain walks in, asks to be recognized, raises that right arm broken three different places in North Vietnam, a quick indicator with a thumbs down. The Democrats briefly react, Senator Schumer waives off any verbal reaction. But with that, it was done. Seven years of talk about repeal and replace done in one hand gesture.
"Our panel remains with us and we'll go to Charlie Sykes. Charlie, much was made of that moment, a moment of moral courage, a man staring down his own mortality yet again, not the first time in his life. But let's also talk about the courage of Murkowski of Alaska and Collins of Maine, because without those two women, there is no moment like that for John McCain. My question to you: Is that kind of courage, for people cheering them on, going to be contagious?"
Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains the pick: "The very definition of outrageous liberal bias. Can you imagine Williams heaping such praise on McCain if his vote was the one which enabled the Senate to repeal Obamacare? Of course not. But betray a promise made to your constituents in order to advance a liberal goal and you earn the media's adoration."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org