In it, but not of it. TPM DC
The Fox News splash on Tuesday afternoon typified the coverage on the right:
Other conservative outlets like the Daily Caller and the Washington Times peddled the same line.
More mainstream publications largely didn't misconstrue the numbers, but a conventional wisdom quickly developed about how good the news was for Republicans and how bad it was for Democrats -- in line with how the GOP was spinning the news. Even the New York Times, the paper of record, fell into that narrative.
The paper wrote that the report is "providing Republican opponents of the law a powerful political weapon leading up to this year’s midterm elections."
The Washington Post's Fix imagined a Republican ad attacking vulnerable Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan (NC) over the report. He did note that "the CBO report is more complicated than my faux ad." But it didn't really matter.
"Republicans have made quite clear that they will do everything they can to make the 2014 election a referendum on Obamacare and, more broadly, President Obama. And this CBO report gives them a major arrow in that quiver," he wrote.
Others took to Twitter to perpetuate that new conventional wisdom:
New report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is an election year killer for Affordable Care Act/Obamacare
— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) February 4, 2014
CBO essentially reaffirms GOP talking points on health care. Says it will cost jobs, feel as if it raises taxes and contributes to deficit
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 4, 2014
Devastating #CBO report: Obamacare will cost 2 million full-time jobs over next three years. http://t.co/M4Djwwf6cx #CBO
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) February 4, 2014
Tho much reporting & GOP response to new CBO report on ACA is inaccurate/false, problem for Dems: If you're explainin', you're losin'
— Jackie Calmes (@calmesnyt) February 4, 2014
Politico delivered an apt summary of the day:
There’s a lot more fine print about what those numbers really mean, and whether the jobs were “lost.” But what matters politically is how they’ll look in attack ads. And in this election year, “2 million lost jobs” is a Republican ad maker’s dream.