Nets Hype Biden Student Loan Bailout, Omit Pelosi’s Criticism

On Wednesday evening, the three nightly broadcast networks gushed over President Joe Biden’s bailout for millions of Americans who willingly took out student loans. A slap in the face to all who paid off their loans or who never went to college. While this point of view was brushed off by the three networks, the constitutionality of Biden forgiving student loans was completely ignored. Including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s admission that Biden doesn’t have the authority to forgive student loans. 

On ABC’s World News Tonight, anchor David Muir gushed how Biden kept his “campaign promise” to “cancel thousands in federal student loan debt for some 43 million Americans.” Continuing to promote the plan, Muir announced that up to “$10,000 in federal student loans for those making $125,000 or less and canceling up to 20,000 in student loans for those who received Pell grants.” 

White House correspondent Cecilia Vega noted that there are “8 million people who could become automatically eligible because the Department of Education already has their income information.” To her credit, Vega admitted that Biden’s student loan bailout “could cost taxpayers some $500 billion over the next decade.” 

On CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell hyped her party’s student loan bailout scheme: 

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President Biden offers relief for millions of Americans burdened with federal student loans. The President pledged to wipe away thousands of dollars of college debt and his administration is also proposing big changes to the repayment programs. The highly anticipated plan forgives up to $20,000 for individual borrowers following through on a campaign promise he made in 2020.

Meanwhile, NBC Nightly News’s Lester Holt noted the plan could make inflation even worse: “the plan is expected to cost taxpayers about $300 billion. A lot of economists are talking about maybe this will fuel inflation.” 

In response, correspondent Tom Costello remarked how “because millions of Americans will have a big chunk of college loans forgiven, they could go on a spending spree, helping to drive prices even higher.” 

All three networks pretended Nancy Pelosi never admitted Biden didn’t have the constitutional authority to issue a student loan bailout. However, on Fox News’s Special Report, White House correspondent Peter Doocy who has a long memory reminded viewers of this fact: 

PETER DOOCY: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi writes President Biden’s bold action is a strong step in Democrats’ fight to expand access to higher education. But just last year, she didn’t think this was legal. 

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. 

While Costello reported how Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton stated that Biden “doesn’t have the power just to unilaterally on his own to eliminate entire categories of debt,” airing a clip of Pelosi saying the same thing would be a more powerful message against Biden’s scheme. Of course, the networks know this so they pretended it never happened. 

This bias by omission by the three networks was made possible by Allstate on ABC, Fresh Pet on CBS, and DirecTV on NBC. Their information is linked. 

To read the relevant transcript click “expand”:

ABC’s World News Tonight
August 24, 2022
6:35:59 p.m. Eastern 

DAVID MUIR: President Biden keeping a campaign promise late today declaring that he will cancel thousands in federal student loan debt for some 43 million Americans. Up to $10,000 in federal student loans for those making $125,000 or less and canceling up to 20,000 in student loans for those who received Pell grants. 

The President saying it will give working and middle-class families some much-needed, quote, breathing room. Tonight here, the support for the plan, but also heavy criteria similar from some Democrats and many Republicans. But already from some of the millions of students and families saddled with college debt, relief that some help is now on the way. Here’s our chief White House correspondent Cecilia Vega tonight. 

[…]

CECILIA VEGA: Good news right now David for some 8 million people who could become automatically eligible because the Department of Education already has their income information. Others, they might have to wait a minute for the administration to create this new form. They’ll then submit that and see if they qualify. But it’s important to say here, this income cap, that applies to the years 2020 and 2021, and anyone who took out a loan Davis after June 30 of this year, they’re not eligible for this relief. 

MUIR: In the meantime Cecilia to the other questions on the hill already tonight about how much this is going to cost and how it will be paid for?

VEGA: This is a huge question, and we just got a new estimate from a nonpartisan budget group. They say this could cost taxpayers some $500 billion over the next decade, David.

CBS Evening News 
August 24, 2022
6:31:47 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Tonight, President Biden offers relief for millions of Americans burdened with federal student loans. The President pledged to wipe away thousands of dollars of college debt and his administration is also proposing big changes to the repayment programs. The highly anticipated plan forgives up to $20,000 for individual borrowers following through on a campaign promise he made in 2020. 

The average U.S. Household with student debt owes nearly $59,000. That’s more than 45 million borrowers owe more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. Republicans are calling it a handout, leader Mitch McConnell describing it as student loan socialism. 

NBC Nightly News
August 24, 2022
7:03:45 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: President Biden taking a long-promised step to forgive $10,000 of student loan debt for as many as 43 million Americans. But as Tom Costello reports, the plan is coming under fire from both sides of the aisle. 

[…]

TOM COSTELLO: President Biden says the government will forgive federal student loan debt of up to $10,000 for those earning less than $125,000 a year. Pell grant recipients will get $20,000 in loan forgiveness. Meanwhile, the pandemic loan payment pause will be extended through December. 

[…]

COSTELLO: President Biden has been under pressure from within his own party to forgive as much as $50,000 in student debt. But lower and middle-income Americans struggling the most to afford higher Ed.

[…]

COSTELLO: But Americans are divided over whether the government should forgive any student loan debt. 30 percent of all adults say no. Some tweeting they’d paid off their student loans and should now be reimbursed. Republicans argue loan forgiveness benefits wealthier Americans who go to college while ignoring those who don’t. 

SENATOR TOM COTTON: The President doesn’t have the power just to unilaterally on his own to eliminate entire categories of debt. 

[…]

HOLT: Tom, the plan is expected to cost taxpayers about $300 billion. A lot of economists are talking about maybe this will fuel inflation. What’s the word there? 

COSTELLO: Yeah, right. Because millions of Americans will have a big chunk of college loans forgiven. They could go on a spending spree, helping to drive prices even higher. But if Americans instead pay down their debt or save, it could help shore up their own finances.

FNC’s Special Report
August 24, 2022
6:02:13 p.m. Eastern

PETER DOOCY: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi writes President Biden’s bold action is a strong step in Democrats’ fight to expand access to higher education. But just last year, she didn’t think this was legal. 

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not.

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