Let's take a look at just some of the exchanges and fantasize how different the nation's political and electoral climate might be if the liberal press were doing its job as watchdog instead of taking sides.
Obama said, "We're seeing signs of recovery ... in employment numbers improving."
Might Gregory have asked Obama how he can continue to put an unrealistically positive spin on such persistently dismal numbers? If this were a Republican president, do you think Gregory wouldn't have pointed out that the only reason these numbers appear to be slightly improving is that more people have actually given up looking for work altogether?
Obama said, "(Republicans) have had trouble saying 'yes' to a number of repeated offers."
Why didn't Gregory remind Obama that he has been the most intransigent in these negotiations? Why didn't he ask him about the Wall Street Journal report that he told House Speaker John Boehner he would give him nothing in return for the $800 billion in "revenues" Boehner had put on the table? "I get that for free."
Obama said that if no deal were reached, people might say, "We haven't seen the kind of deficit reduction that we could have had had the Republicans been willing to take the deal that I gave them."
Gregory should have said that if Republicans had accepted Obama's deal, there would have been barely any deficit reduction but that if Obama had accepted the Republicans' deal, especially Paul Ryan's plan, we would have seen serious progress on the deficits and debt.
Obama said, "Congress has not been able to get this stuff done -- not because Democrats in Congress don't want to ... cooperate but because ... it's been very hard for Speaker Boehner and Republican leader McConnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest Americans should go up a little bit as part of an overall deficit reduction package."
Why didn't Gregory pointedly ask Obama whether his plan was actually to go over the cliff and blame Republicans for it? What evidence is there that Democrats want to cooperate? How could he claim to be serious about deficit reduction when he is demanding tax increases that would produce little revenue; is resisting reform of the main debt drivers, entitlements; is demanding authority for new "stimulus" spending and to exceed the budget ceiling unilaterally anytime he desires; and has resisted serious spending cuts of any kind?
Obama said, "I cut spending by over $1 trillion in 2011."
Why didn't Gregory laugh out loud?