An extraordinary piece of political bastardry in the US:

The bill is officially known as the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 and is named after a first responder who died from a respiratory disease attributed to his rescue efforts on the morning of the Sept. 11 terror attack. The bill easily passed the House in September with a rare bout of bipartisan support. The bill’s backers expected passage in the Senate, as well.

But yesterday, every Republican senator voted against the bill. The action was part of the GOP’s obstructionist strategy of not allowing any senate action to proceed until the chamber votes on a bill that will continue to Bush era tax cuts, including those for the very wealthy.

How on Earth do they think they’ll get away with that?

The fact that the 9/-11-related legislation was defeated was news. Period. The fact that it was defeated as part of the larger Republican strategy to tie the Senate in knots made yesterday’s vote even more newsworthy.

But not at ABC, CBS or NBC. Last night, all three evening newscasts failed to report on the fact that Republicans had voted down a previously bipartisan bill designed to provide medical coverage for Sept. 11 emergency workers. At the major networks, that development was not considered newsworthy.

As Steve Benen writes at The Washington Monthly:

I suppose one could argue that major media outlets might have given this more coverage if Democrats were more effective at raising a fuss. Perhaps. But news organizations should be able to recognize important developments on their own, whether partisans tell them what’s newsworthy or not.

Regardless, there’s a larger truth here — Republicans know the Noise Machine lets votes like these slip under the radar, and without scrutiny, the GOP, already lacking in shame, feels comfortable taking steps that should be scandalous, but aren’t.

Please tell me you can’t imagine that sort of thing happening here. If one party suddenly started playing the dirtiest politics imaginable (on behalf of the interests of the super rich, no less), our media wouldn’t simply portray it as politics as usual and give them a pass, would it?

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