This will end badly.

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

To follow up on Eric's point about the media's failure to clearly state that Joe Wilson's claim last night that Barack Obama was lying was itself a lie (and my own post about MSNBC's obsessive coverage of Wilson) take a look at this New York Times article.

The entire article is about Wilson's outburst. Nearly 700 words devoted to Wilson's two-word claim that Obama was lying. But the article never gets around to telling readers who was right. The only hint it offered that maybe Wilson wasn't correct was this paragraph:

Other Democrats said they did not want to dwell on the outburst or allow it to overshadow what they saw as an effective address by the president. But they also said it bolstered their contention that some Republicans were not interested in constructive dialogue, and they noted that Democratic plans specifically barred coverage for illegal immigrants.

If you weren't reading closely, you may well miss that last bit. But even if you noticed it; even if you understood it to be a direct rebuttal to Wilson's comments -- not made clear in the article -- what are you left with? Wilson says Obama is lying; Democrats say Obama isn't lying. Who's right? The New York Times article doesn't say.

Again: The entire article was about Wilson's comment. And the Times couldn't shoe-horn in an assessment of its truthfulness.

Here's a prediction: in a week or two, some poll is going to show widespread belief that the Democratic health care plans cover illegal immigrants. And Howard Kurtz is going to write a column in which he expresses amazement that people believe this despite the thorough debunking that claim received from major media outlets. MSNBC will devote a segment -- or seven -- to the same topic.

UPDATE: Andrea Mitchell just led her MSNBC show with a lengthy segment on Wilson's comments. Not mentioned: The fact that Wilson was wrong.

UPDATE 2: Twenty-eight minutes into Mitchell's show, during what was at least the third segment that touched on Wilson's claim, Mitchell finally got around to more or less acknowledging that Obama was right.

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
MSNBC, The New York Times
Howard Kurtz
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