Budget negotiations tend to be mundane affairs, ignored by most Americans. But last week, as Republicans and Democrats inched towards a government shutdown, the media went into a frenzy. CNN‘s Howard Kurtz compared the journalistic spectacle to the coverage of the fourth quarter of a basketball game. The Nation’s Ari Berman joined Kurtz last night to talk about the media’s reaction to the budget negotiations and what was lost in the debate.

“There was all this news about no news” Berman says. “It was all about who was up, who was down, who would win politically and who would get blamed for a shutdown, as opposed to what the effects of these cuts would actually be.”

Last week, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released a 2012 budget resolution intended to redistribute income upward. Berman calls the plan “cruel” and “gimmicky,” and suggest that the media work towards fact-checking his proposals rather than playing into the political circus. For more on the fallout from the budget debate, read Berman’s latest blog post, "Why President Obama Is Losing the Budget Fight."

—Sara Jerving