For a few minutes Thursday, a number of establishment media outlets reported the truth by accurately noting that Senate Democrats had blocked a Republican proposal to offer further assistance to small businesses during the coronavirus shutdown.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to pass a White House-backed $250 billion relief package aimed at helping small businesses Thursday by unanimous consent — as most lawmakers are currently not in Washington.
Republicans sought to increase funding for the Paycheck Protection Program from $350 billion to $600 billion.
Democrats, seeking to add an additional $250 billion for pet projects and double the amount Republicans were seeking, made sure nothing got done.
Similarly to how they held up progress on the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Democrats were seeking to take advantage of the urgency in helping small businesses stay afloat during the nationwide shutdown by trying to attach unrelated additional spending to the bill.
When they didn’t receive their special provisions, Democrats blocked the legislation from moving forward.
Astonishingly, establishment media outlets reported the facts and relayed to their readers which party had played politics with the livelihoods of struggling Americans.
Sadly, that all changed when, one by one, four news outlets updated their headlines to portray the failure in helping American workers as a bipartisan one — thus absolving the Democrats of being held accountable for their obstructionism.
CNN covered the congressional news and published a story headlined “Democrats block GOP-led funding boost for small business aid program” at 10:36 a.m. Thursday.
By 11:15 am, the headline on the story was adjusted to read, “Senate at stalemate over more COVID-19 aid after Republicans and Democrats block competing proposals.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz shared images of the two CNN headlines on Twitter and called out the network for its quick change in tone. “Gee, it’s almost as if CNN has a partisan agenda,” Cruz wrote.
Gee, it’s almost as if CNN has a partisan agenda…. https://t.co/1KBbvEu3u3— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 9, 2020
In a separate post, the Republican joked that CNN head Jeff Zucker likely called his web team and ordered them to change the headline as it was too harsh on Democrats.
Zucker, likely calling CNN headline writers, “Dammit, I told you, NOTHING critical about Dems ever. It doesn’t matter how partisan Dems’ demand are—blame everything on Trump, no matter what. That’s our mission!” https://t.co/1KBbvEu3u3— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 9, 2020
Sadly, for a country in need of the truth, CNN wasn’t the only outlet that quickly reverted to reporting fake news after initially reporting the facts.
Bloomberg, NBC News and Politico all quickly followed CNN’s lead by updating their headlines regarding the Senate story in ways that portrayed Democrats in a better light.
The Trump campaign’s Twitter account saved images of the original headlines from each outlet and then compared them with the updated headlines.
Bloomberg originally headlined its story “Democrats Block McConnell Push to Boost Small Business Aid.”
That headline was changed to “GOP, Democrats in Standoff Over Boosting Same-Business Aid.”
NBC News’ original headline read “Senate Democrats block GOP bid for $250 billion in small business funds amid impasse over coronavirus aid.”
The headline for the same NBC News report now says “Senate hits impasse over $250 billion in coronavirus small-business funds.”
That headline was changed to read “Senate fails to approve new coronavirus relief after partisan stalemate” but was changed again and now reads “Senate brawl derails fast push for new coronavirus relief.”
As their credibility circles the drain, the establishment media certainly aren’t doing themselves any favors with stunts such as this.
After putting out fair and balanced reports, they all quickly felt the need to make revisions in order to paint Democrats as not being at fault for harming American businesses looking for relief.
For all of their blatant lies and sensational headlines meant to paint Republicans as the bad guys, CNN and the others couldn’t surrender to the truth for a single day.