Katie Couric gave viewers whiplash over the $100 million nonsense

We gotta say the $100 million 'story' gave us a headache right from the get-go.

To recap: in a largely symbolic move aimed at reducing administrative costs, Obama urged his cabinet members to cut $100 million from their budgets. The GOP immediately pounced, mocking the White House's plan by stressing it would do little or nothing to reduce the federal deficit. (Hint: it wasn't designed to.) The press quickly piled on.

Laying on the attitude quite thick, the WH press corps mocked the WH for trying so save a measly $100 million by pretending that the symbolic effort to reduce administrative costs somehow represented Obama's entire initiative to save money. It didn't, but the press, egged on by the GOP, played dumb.

Watching the CBS Evening News, Andrew Tyndall made a great point about how Katie Couric's broadcast couldn't decide, within the span of just a few minutes and back-to-back Beltway reports, whether $100 million was a laughably small number (i.e. the Obama initiative), or whether it was a scandalously large amount of money.

The Evening News last night dutifully aired the Obama $100 million story, complete with the angle that, compared to the entire federal budget, it was a comically small amount of money to try to save. But then, in the very next report, CBS touted as a big deal news that Rep. Jack Murth (D-PA) supports $31 million worth of earmarks for ten companies that supported him at election time. Suddenly, that minuscule fraction of the total federal budget was breaking news.

Wrote Tyndall:

So come on Couric, where does CBS Evening News stand? Is $100m saved so small that it demands a story? Or is $31m appropriated so large that it demands another?