(Spelling it out for you – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
On CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday, John Dickerson had this exchange U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO):
Dickerson: …And there’s a New York Times piece in which you’re quoted as saying, “Donors are furious we haven’t kept our promise.” The picture that emerges from all of this is a rush for political reasons to support this and not substantive reasons. What are your thoughts about that?
Gardner replied with: “Well, this has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with donors. It has everything to do with the people of this country who are suffering each and every day under a health care bill that is failing to meet their needs, that’s bankrupting them.”
Gardner told Dickerson that “the people who are opponents of the bill want this to be about politics and not policy.”
If you’re a reporter, how could you possibly report Gardner’s answer to Dickerson’s question without noting that Gardner essentially contradicted what the New York Times quoted Gardner as saying?
Yet, multiple outlets made no mention of the New York Times account.
For example The Hill’s Rebecca Savransky reported yesterday:
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said Sunday the GOP push to get an ObamaCare repeal bill passed has nothing to do with politics.
“This has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with donors.” Gardner said on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” when asked about whether there was a rush to pass the ObamaCare repeal bill for political and not substantive reasons.
“It has everything to do with the people of this country who are suffering each and every day under a health-care bill that is failing to meet their needs, that’s bankrupting them.”
Locally, Denver Post reporter Jesse Paul at least noted that Gardner “brushed off a question about whether Republicans are just trying” to make good on their promise to repeal Obamacare. But he, too, failed to note that Gardner’s answer, that this has “nothing to do with politics, it has nothing to do with donors,” contradicted reporting by the New York Times.
I could see a journalist being reluctant to report the New York Times’ account, because it came from an anonymous source, even if the story was from the New York Times.
But Gardner did not dispute the NYT article, when asked directly about it by Dickerson.
And a reporter could always ask Gardner directly if the Times story is accurate–instead of simply omitting the Times’ information and letting Gardner contradict it directly. In fact, that’s still worth doing.
For the record, here’s exactly what the Times reported Friday:
As more than 40 subdued Republican senators lunched on Chick-fil-A at a closed-door session last week, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado painted a dire picture for his colleagues. Campaign fund-raising was drying up, he said, because of widespread disappointment among donors over the inability of the Republican Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act or do much of anything else.
Mr. Gardner is in charge of his party’s midterm re-election push, and he warned that donors of all stripes were refusing to contribute another penny until the struggling majority produced some concrete results.
“Donors are furious,” one person knowledgeable about the private meeting quoted Mr. Gardner as saying. “We haven’t kept our promise.”