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Right-wing Media Continue To Cheer For Government Shutdown

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Headlined to H2 12/17/10

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Right-wing media figures used bills currently under consideration in Congress to continue to cheer for a government shutdown. Conservative media had previously welcomed the possibility of winning a Republican majority in Congress in order to shut down the government, "just like in '95 and '96."

Conservative Media Welcome Government Shutdown

Limbaugh Calls For A Government Shutdown Over Spending Bill. On the December 15 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said:

LIMBAUGH: Ten percent of the spending bill is earmarks. You just -- as I've said -- you just don't write a 2,000 page bill in a week's time. This has been long in development. Talk about strategic thinking. Now if -- here's the -- here's the key, folks. If the Senate does not adopt it by Saturday night -- this is why the getaway day was Friday. [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid [D-NV] dumps this yesterday. If the Senate doesn't adopt this by Saturday night, the government supposedly shuts down due to lack of funding. So people have been asking me in email, how can we stop it? How can we stop it? We call their bluff. We shut it down. We won the election. We shut it down.

Folks, I don't care. But Rush, but Rush, with the media the Democrats won't get blamed for it. I don't care. We won't be held accountable until November of 2012. Don't -- folks, remember what I just said. They know that they're not going to be held accountable for anything until November 2012, and we won't be either. Well, if there is a shutdown, it's going to be short-lived, and the government will get running again. What would you rather do, accept all this? It's blackmail. [Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 12/15/10]

Fox's MacCallum and Bolling Agree That A Government Shutdown Wouldn't Be "The End Of The World." On the December 16 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, host Martha MacCallum suggested it wouldn't be "the end of the world" if "the government stops operating for a little while." Fox Business anchor Eric Bolling added that Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-MN) had said, "So what if it shuts down for a little while? Let it -- let it wait till January 4 and find out if we really need botanical researcher -- ethnobotanicals." From America's Newsroom:

MACCALLUM: And most of these boil down to favors from --

BOLLING: Bingo.

MACCALLUM: -- special interests and people who end up -- guess what -- making campaign donations down the line/

BOLLING: Bingo.

MACCALLUM: So that everybody's trying to keep somebody happy out there. You know, so what if the government stops operating for a little while.

BOLLING: Great.

MACCALLUM: Is that the end of the world?

BOLLING: Bingo. Right idea. In fact, I have Michelle Bachmann on the show tonight, and I think she's in favor of saying, you know what? I'm not gonna sign this stuff. Look -- I spoke to her earlier in the week and she said this is terrible. This is God awful. So what if it shuts down for a little while? Let it -- let it wait till January 4 and find out if we really need botanical researcher -- ethnobotanicals. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 12/16/10]

Gingrich Defends Government Shutdown In Advising GOP To Absolutely Stop Passage Of Spending Bill. Fox News contributor and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich defended a government shutdown on the December 16 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:

JENNA SCOTT (host): So, Speaker Gingrich, you were willing to shut down the government back in 1995. Considering the scenario we're in right now, would you be willing to do it here?

GINGRICH: Well, let's start with the premise you can't have the president or the liberal Democrats blackmailing the Republicans. It's fairly easy to write a clean continuing resolution to keep the government open till the end of February. Every Republican, I think, would be willing to vote for a clean resolution, but I think Republicans should absolutely stop an abomination that has 8,000 earmarks. The whole election centered around politicians with pork taking your money to decide what to do with your money. And the fact is the liberals lost that. In the House they lost it by the largest margin since 1948. So there's no reason for a lame duck congress. 12 of the senators have either retired or been defeated, yet they're still voting. In the House the Democrats have lost control, yet Nancy Pelosi is still in charge.

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Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
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