From The Fox Nation, assessed on March 15:
From The Fox Nation, accessed on March 15:
Fox Nation directs readers to CatholicVoteAction.org's petition to demand members of Congress "Stand With Stupak and demand that healthcare reform maintain the status quo: No federal funding for abortion. Call these pro-life Democrats. Tell them Stupak is standing up for the little guy."
Today, in a post titled "Media Reality Check: A Year of Spin for Liberal ObamaCare," Newsbusters' Rich Noyes details what he calls liberals' "huge advantage" throughout the health care reform process thanks to journalists purportedly "stack[ing] the deck in favor of a big government takeover of health care." Predictably, it's a train wreck.
Here's his lead-off of "the worst spin":
On March 1, 2009, previewing Obama's first White House meeting on health care, ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson championed the liberal side. "We spend more than twice as much, per person, on health care in this country as the average of all other industrialized countries, yet we're the only one that doesn't have universal coverage. That's a national shame," Johnson announced on World News.
You may notice something missing -- namely, any explanation whatsoever for how this is inaccurate or "spin." Both points Johnson makes are accurate: Americans do spend twice as much per person on health care compared to other industrialized countries and we are the only industrialized country without universal coverage. I guess Noyes disagrees that this is a "shame?" Uh, OK. What would have been a less liberal bias-y way to frame these facts? "We spend more than twice as much, per person, on health care in this country as the average of all other industrialized countries, yet we're the only one that doesn't have universal coverage. That's a source of great national pride."
Noyes also takes issue with this comment from Keith Olbermann:
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann was the most extreme, equating ObamaCare foes to suicide bombers: "When Hamas does it or Hezbollah does it, it is called terrorism. Why should Republican lawmakers and the AstroTurf groups organizing on behalf of the health care industry be viewed any differently -- especially now that far too many Tea Party protesters are comparing President Obama and health care reform to Hitler and the Holocaust?"
I'm not going to defend Olbermann's comment, but if Noyes wants to list comparisons of political opponents to suicide bombers in his roundup of "worst spin," he should be sure to include Rush Limbaugh (at least three times,) Erick Erickson, Fox News' Gretchen Carlson, The Washington Times, Breitbart's Big Journalism, and Investors Business Daily.
Noyes challenges Chris Cuomo and Matt Lauer for asking if Republican opposition to health care reform was politically-motivated:
As opposition to ObamaCare began to take hold, journalists led a counterattack. On the July 22 Good Morning America, ABC's Chris Cuomo indignantly asked California Govenor [sic] Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Do you believe that the Republicans are playing politics here, at the risk of people's health care?...Is this getting to be a little bit of a reckless situation?" On NBC's Today, Matt Lauer accused Senator Jim DeMint: "Are you rallying conservatives to the cause of health care reform? Or are you rallying conservatives to the cause of breaking a President?"
Gee, I wonder where Lauer could have gotten that idea? The interview in question was less than a week after DeMint told the group Conservatives for Patients Rights, "If we're able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."
Clearly, Noyes is including this example to suggest the media have unfairly portrayed conservatives' surely principled opposition to reform as politically motivated. However, since the exchange in question, conservatives have constantly moved the goal posts for reform, criticized Democrats for using procedures they previously employed, and attacked President Obama's embrace of GOP health care ideas as a "gimmick."
I'll spare you the tedium of going through all of Noyes' examples, because it isn't the main point I want to make. More importantly, what Noyes includes in his "worst spin" isn't nearly as important as what he leaves out. Noyes turns a blind eye to the year-long campaign of blatant lies, distortions, and misinformation emanating from conservative opponents of health care reform -- lies that were often forwarded by the "liberal" media.
I'm aware Newsbusters doesn't search for conservative misinformation in the same way Media Matters doesn't focus on correcting liberal misinformation, but, for comparison's sake, below are some examples that don't exactly fit in with Noyes' view that reform efforts were given a "huge advantage" thanks to the "liberal" media.
Last August, media outlets repeatedly forwarded the insane suggestion (started by Betsy McCaughey and popularized by Sarah Palin via her Facebook policy paper,) that voluntary end-of-life counseling included in the reform bill amounted to "death panels" that would "pull the plug on grandma." Think about that for a second. Now look back to Noyes listing in his examples of "worst spin" Time's Mark Halperin saying it is "immoral" that America is the only industrialized democracy not to insure every person.
One of these things is not like the other.
One of the main complaints about political coverage that both sides can agree on is the media's obsessive focus on horse race and process instead of focusing on policy details. This has been just as true for the health care debate, with embarrassing results.
In a display of cynical, self-serving dishonesty that deserves to be put in a time capsule if only for its audacity, conservative media figures have attempted to redefine a word in order to attack Democrats for their supposed "hypocrisy." I'm getting tired of typing this, but just for old time's sake: Reconciliation is not the nuclear option. And conservatives weren't so upset about the use of reconciliation when they used it repeatedly.
Reform and deficits
Tapping into populist rage over government spending, conservatives have engaged in a concerted effort to portray this reform bill as massive government spending that will increase deficits. Or, as John McCain stated with no pushback from Fox News' Major Garrett: "2.5 trillion in debt on future generations." In fact, as we've noted repeatedly, the CBO has estimated that the reform bill will reduce the deficit over the next decade and beyond.
And just for safe keeping, here are some other examples of the media stacking the deck for "Obamacare": Inventing the "Death Book for Veterans," repeatedly mocking the uninsured, repeatedly misinforming about reform "raising premiums," repeatedly misinforming about federal funding for abortion, adopting the term "ObamaCare," asking if Obama's health care plan is "scarier than cancer," falsely claiming benefits don't kick in for several years, adopting the GOP's "ram it through" characterization of the health care vote, directing viewers to contact Congress to oppose reform, and telling people they are going to jail if they don't purchase insurance.
And that's just a partial list -- we've got a couple hundred other examples, if you care to sort through the archives.
But hey, that liberal Tim Johnson thinks it is a "shame" that our country pays more money for less coverage than other industrial nations. Bias!
If this is what a "huge advantage" for liberal reform efforts looks like, I'd hate to see a disadvantage.
At least 80 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Here are his March 15 sponsors, in the order they appeared (scroll down for Beck's March 12 sponsors):
Here are his March 12 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
From Fox News' Twitter account:
As Mediaite.com's Colby Hall notes today:
CNBC is no longer just "first in business worldwide," as their tag line states, it is also the place to see on-air dust-ups between correspondent's and anchors. Back in December we noted an on-air kerfuffle between host Steve Liesman and reporter Rick Santelli in which Santellit told his host "You don't say anything I find interesting." This morning viewers of the financial news channel bore witness to another tiff between the squabbling CNBCers.
Transcript of their exchange (via TV Newser):
Liesman: Rick, you've lost enough people enough money by now.
Santelli: Why don't we put that to a referendum? Let's put it on our website right now. Who lost you more money, Steve Liesman or Rick Santelli. Put your money where your mouth is.
Liesman: Rick you argued interest rates would be higher, you argued for the crash of the dollar, Rick. Rick, you had everything wrong, Rick. There wasn't a single thing you had right.
Santelli: Jobs, jobs, jobs. I talked about the credit crisis.
Liesman: You were wrong... you said the credit crisis was nothing. I'll pull the tapes.
Santelli: Okay. You pull the tapes Steve Liesman.
Liesman: You were wrong about everything.
From a March 14 Newsmax column by Richard Grenell, who "served as the spokesman for the last four ambassadors to the United Nations -- John Negroponte, John Danforth, John Bolton, and Zalmay Khalilzad":
If President Barack Obama gets his trillion dollar healthcare bill passed this week by the Democrats in Congress, parents will be required to pay for their unmarried kids' healthcare coverage until the age of 26.
And Generation Y will be enticed to continue slacking, without a job, well past college graduation. While ski bums everywhere are cheering the news that the federal government will be forcing parents to pay for their health insurance through age 26, parents are questioning why the federal government is enticing a whole generation to stay unemployed.
America has always been a place where hard work is rewarded regardless of one's age, family status or educational background. If you have an idea you are committed to and make sacrifices to further the idea, you can be wildly successful in our capitalistic system.
In America, you can launch a multi-billion dollar computer company from your garage, you can grow up homeless and make it to Harvard and you can create a worldwide social networking movement while still in college.
But you can also be a slacker if you have the means to slack. Spending a year skiing, hanging out on the beach and surfing or traveling the world are options for the few lucky ones who have parents wealthy enough to pay for such endeavors.
But should the U.S. government encourage college kids to become slackers? Does Generation Y need any more encouragement to feel entitled? And should society guarantee a 5-year hiatus from responsibility after college graduation for millions of college kids?
While it is true that many college graduates today will be self-motivated to find a career, make their own money and contribute to society, Generation Y has been the most entitled generation in history. Should the American taxpayer tempt these kids further into believing that the American dream is easy to fulfill?
Obama's healthcare bill is being celebrated on the slopes of Colorado and the surf shacks of California but is a dangerous precedent for future generations.
One could understand extending another entitlement program through age 26 in countries where the average workweek is 30 hours per week and vacation time is guaranteed at 8-10 weeks per year. But is this new proposal anti-American? We aren't supposed to reward people who don't work hard and make sacrifices to get ahead. And we aren't supposed to guarantee anything in America but a fair shot. America is a place where you prove your commitment to your family and your community through hard work and sacrifice. It is this ethic that we call American values.
UPDATE: Gibbs responds on Twitter:
From Kyle Olson's March 15 Big Government post:
by Kyle Olson
I thought it was odd that Robert Gibbs was wearing a purple bracelet (and a purple tie) during his appearance on "Fox News Sunday" and CBS' "Face The Nation." SEIU president Andy Stern, the top visitor to the White House, wore a similar, if not the same, purple bracelet at one point, too. And in virtually every photo of Stern, he's wearing SEIU's purple color.
The bracelet is kind of a signal to tell Stern that the administration has it under control and ObamaCare will be delivered. Just a few more Democrats need to be shown the Chicago way.
Am I making too much out of nothing? Maybe. Who knows.
And this reminded me of another time a signal was being sent by the White House some time back.
Was Gibbs sending a signal to Stern, ala Clinton and Lewinsky? Doubtful. But anything is possible in the lead-up to the intra-Democratic Party showdown to deliver health care reform for Andy Stern and SEIU.
From the Drudge Report accessed March 15, 2010:
From the AP article linked to by Drudge:
Ahead of visit, Obama reconsiders Indonesia military
The United States is looking to break a taboo and train an elite Indonesian force linked to past abuses, as President Barack Obama courts the world's largest Muslim-majority nation with a visit.
With its moderate form of Islam and democratization since the 1990s, Indonesia is increasingly seen in Washington as an ideal partner. Obama spent part of his childhood in Jakarta, giving him a propitious personal connection.
Ahead of Obama's trip next week, top officers from Kopassus -- a military unit that focuses on counter-insurgency and intelligence -- visited Washington to discuss a resumption of training, people with knowledge of the talks said.
The United States cut off support for Kopassus under the so-called Leahy Amendment in 1997, which prohibited training to foreign military units involved in human rights abuses.
On Friday, I posted an item about the comment section attached to a Politico news article about how Sen. Harry Reid's wife and daughter had been seriously injured in a car accident. I highlighted the posted comments at Politico because I thought they were so disturbed and so depraved in the unhinged way they mocked Reid's injured family and openly wished he's been among the mangled wreckage. To me, the indefensible comments offered a window into the increasingly dark and hateful soul of today's conservative movement, which tends to view its political opponents as non-human.
Writing up the item I tried to go out of my way not to cast blame. While I did note the GOP Noise Machine long ago crank up the hate rhetoric way past 11, I didn't suggest there was a direct connection between the incessant filth that often passes for discourse within the right-wing media, and the blood-lust comments posted at Politico.
Big mistake on my part.
Because the same day I highlighted the unconscionable comments posted about Reid's wife and daughter, what did online right-wing nut Dan Riehl post?
"isn't It Time to Euthanize Reid's Wife"?
Then what did a RedState contributor write?
Comments on euthanizing Sen. Harry Reid's wife "deserved to be said"
And then what did Riehl write in response to Media Matters?
"I'd have taken a coat hanger" to Media Matters
For the record, I do think there is an inescapable connection between the violent hate posts that we see online, like the ones made at Politico in connection to the sad Reid story, and the bile that passes for content on right-wing blogs, AM talk radio and portion of Fox News. If any right-wingers disagree, let them come forward and denounce Riehl and RedState for those deranged comments about Reid's wife.
If conservatives won't do that, then they have no argument to make.