It's been a bad few days for Investor's Business Daily's editorial board. On Wednesday, the paper tried to bolster its own flawed health care poll by noting that a survey conducted by a medical recruitment company called the Medicus Firm using a dubious methodology confirmed its results. According to IBD, the survey "was published as an insert in the New England Journal of Medicine - one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world"; the paper suggested that NEJM's editors had reviewed the survey to confirm its accuracy. Unfortunately for them, Media Matters contacted NEJM and learned that IBD's speculation was risibly false.
Not content to rest on their laurels, last night the paper published an editorial doubling down on the falsehood bubbling up from Fox News and the right-wing blogosphere that President Obama was incorrect in stating during a Fox News interview that Hawaii suffered an earthquake in 2006. IBD wrote::
"By the time the vote has taken place, not only I will know what's in it, you'll know what's in it, ... " the president assured - sort of. But for the record, he said he's all for giving Louisiana millions of dollars because the state had gone through a "national emergency" - just like Hawaii when an earthquake hit.
We're still checking on that Hawaii reference. But even if there's been no such quake, we doubt the media would make much of the gaffe. This isn't George W. Bush, after all.
What a bank shot! IBD doesn't know if Obama is right or not... but if he's not, the media wouldn't call him on it anyway!
Here's a little help for the folks at IBD (their ability to find facts is somewhat dubious, so they probably need it): Do a Nexis search for "investor's business daily and Hawaii and earthquake." The first result is your editorial. The seventh includes the following news brief:
Earthquakes hit harder in Alaska
Alaska and Calif. were No. 1 and 2 in a survey based on the biggest earthquake each year from 1898-2005. Alaska's average top temblor was magnitude 6.7 vs. 6.02 for Calif. The study by the Nevada Seismological Laboratory is an effort to get the 10 shakiest states to build quake-resistant structures, especially after Hawaii's 6.7 temblor, which caused $50 mil in damage. Nev., Hawaii and Wash. rounded out the top 5 seismically active states.
On the other hand, it's understandable that IBD would not want to rely on their own newspaper for factual information. So they can try this instead: Search Wikipedia for "Hawaii earthquake." The first result is "2006 Hawaii earthquake." Read it.
For somebody who has spent the last several Christmas seasons waging a vigilante war against secularists and their devious plan to strip American culture of Christianity at Christmas (aka the War on Christmas), why hasn't Fox News' O'Reilly been raging against Beck's unsightly smear campaign against "social justice" during this year's holy season of Lent?
Of course, I use the 'War on Easter' phrase in the headline facetiously, since Beck isn't specifically waging war on Easter Sunday. Then again, liberal's haven't been crusading against Christmas, but that hasn't stop Fox News from manufacturing the claim each yuletide season.
That said, you'd think O'Reilly would at least raise his voice to object to Beck's bizarre attack on Christianity and what appears to be his mini-crusade against Catholicism, the religion most closely aligned with the teachings of "social justice." (Beck claims it's a code phrase for Nazism and communism, don'tcha know.)
Yet for more than a week O'Reilly sat on his hands, not bothering to say boo, while Beck's swung wildly, and irresponsibly, urging parishioners to leave their church during the Easter season. What could possibly be more inappropriate and offensive to Fox News' church-going viewers?
Question: Is it because O'Reilly is so cowed by Beck's ratings prowess that he won't raise loud objections?
Finally last night, O'Reilly had Beck on as a guest and gently raised the issue of Beck's crusade against Catholics.
Last night on Comedy Central's Daily Show, Jon Stewart reprised his November parody of Fox News' Glenn Beck.
The New England Journal of Medicine said yesterday that its editors had nothing to do with the decision to publish an unscientific email "survey" in an employment newsletter and on the NEJM's "CareerCenter" website.
The new NEJM statement, which was provided exclusively to Media Matters, directly contradicts speculation in a March 17 Investor's Business Daily editorial and further undermines the poll's credibility.
First, here's the back-story:
In recent days, a number of right-wing media outlets have been falsely claiming that the "prestigious" New England Journal of Medicine conducted, commissioned, and/or published a dubious, three-month old email "survey" purporting to show that large numbers of doctors will attempt to leave medicine if health care reform passes. As evidence, these media cited a write-up of the "survey" that appeared not in the NEJM itself, but rather on NEJM's "CareerCenter" website and in Recruiting Physicians Today -- an employment newsletter produced by "the publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine."
On Wednesday afternoon, Media Matters reported that the conservative claims were false; that the poll was in fact conducted by a medical recruitment company called the Medicus Firm; that Medicus had actually written the report conservatives were citing; that the NEJM did not publish the "survey"; and that the "survey" -- according to an NEJM spokesperson -- had "nothing to do with the New England Journal of Medicine's original research."
Now, here are the new developments:
Apparently undeterred by the above facts, the right-wing Investor's Business Daily editorial board declared that because of NEJM's "prestigious" nature, the Medicus poll confirmed the results of IBD's own highly suspect doctor survey from last summer. In an editorial published Wednesday evening, IBD insisted that what it falsely described as the "new" Medicus poll must surely have been vetted by NEJM's editors. IBD wrote:
Why bring all this back up? For no other reason than to note that a new poll completely vindicates our findings of last summer.
This poll, conducted by the Medicus Firm, a physician search and consulting outfit, found that 29.2% of the nearly 1,200 doctors it queried said they would quit or retire early if a health overhaul were passed into law. That number jumped to 45.7% - nearly identical to our own - if a public option were included.
This poll, by the way, was published as an insert in the New England Journal of Medicine - one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world.
While the poll doesn't necessarily reflect the views of the journal, would the editors allow a poll in their peer-reviewed medical publication if they thought it were false? Not likely.
In the end, it's clear: A health care overhaul, as it's now being pushed, could lead to a precipitous drop in the number of doctors.
Media Matters contacted NEJM yesterday to ask about IBD's speculation that the NEJM editors must have reviewed the poll. Unsurprisingly, the speculation is untrue.
According to NEJM spokesperson Jennifer Zeis, "NEJM editors had nothing to do with the decision of placing [the Medicus survey] on the CareerCenter. The survey did not go through NEJM's peer-review process. The CareerCenter has nothing to do with NEJM's editorial process."
Zeis also confirmed that the NEJM editors did not approve the inclusion of the "survey" in the employment newsletter, Recruiting Physicians Today. Zeis added that "the NEJM editors have nothing to do with 'Recruiting Physicians Today.' "
Zeis also stated that the Medicus "survey" "was not published in the pages of the New England Journal of Medicine."
This Sunday's illegal-alien march in Washington will make it even harder to move amnesty - there's going to be a lot of anger, like at the gay-marriage protests that featured signs that could have come from a tea party. Hopefully, there will be lots of Che Guevara posters and "This Is Our Land" demands, along with the American flags that organizers no doubt bought in bulk at Costco to hand out.
Krikorian also labeled the rally an "illegal-alien-palooza" in a March 18 post:
It's not clear why the Post even agreed to publish the piece, other than it seemed salient in anticipation of Sunday's illegal-alien-palooza on the Mall. Until labor agrees to support an indentured labor program for "temporary" workers, business isn't going to back any bill and nothing's going to move. Wake me when something happens.
And it's exactly what reporters ought to be doing, yet so few have: spotlight the extreme efforts by right-wing commentators to poison the debate about health care reform.
Because let's face it, it's news when leading political commentators gang up on an 11-year-old boy after he comes forward to tell his sad tale of watching his mother die without health care. It's news when a political movement decides the best way to 'debate' health care reform is to mock and belittle the people who have suffered the most.
Also, to McClatchy's credit, the article simply lays out the facts and let readers decide for themselves the merits of millionaire commentators like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh setting their sights on a poor 11-year-old boy whose mother died of a serious illness.
Conservative talk show hosts and columnists are taking issue with an 11-year-old Seattle boy's account of his mother's death as a "sob story" exploited by the White House and congressional Democrats like a "kiddie shield" to defend their health care legislation.
Marcelas Owens, whose mother got sick, lost her job, lost her health insurance and died, said Thursday he's taking the swipes from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin in stride.
"My mother always taught me they can have their own opinion but that doesn't mean they are right," Owens said in an interview.
Owens' grandmother, Gina, who watched her daughter die, isn't quite so generous. "These are adults, and he is an 11-year-old boy who lost his mother," Gina Owens said. "They should be ashamed."
From the March 19 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
From Noonan's March 18 Wall Street Journal column:
Now for the Slaughter
On the road to Demon Pass, our leader encounters a Baier.
Thursday's decision followed the most revealing and important broadcast interview of Barack Obama ever. It revealed his primary weakness in speaking of health care, which is a tendency to dodge, obfuscate and mislead. He grows testy when challenged. It revealed what the president doesn't want revealed, which is that he doesn't want to reveal much about his plan. This furtiveness is not helpful in a time of high public anxiety. At any rate, the interview was what such interviews rarely are, a public service. That it occurred at a high-stakes time, with so much on the line, only made it more electric.
I'm speaking of the interview Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Special Report With Bret Baier." Fox is owned by News Corp., which also owns this newspaper, so one should probably take pains to demonstrate that one is attempting to speak with disinterest and impartiality, in pursuit of which let me note that Glenn Beck has long appeared to be insane.
That having been said, the Baier interview was something, and right from the beginning. Mr. Baier's first question was whether the president supports the so-called Slaughter rule, alternatively known as "deem and pass," which would avoid a straight up-or-down House vote on the Senate bill. (Tunku Varadarajan in the Daily Beast cleverly notes that it sounds like "demon pass," which it does. Maybe that's the juncture we're at.) Mr. Obama, in his response, made the usual case for ObamaCare. Mr. Baier pressed him. The president said, "The vote that's taken in the House will be a vote for health-care reform." We shouldn't, he added, concern ourselves with "the procedural issues."
From a March 19 column by The Washington Times' Jeffrey T. Kuhner headlined: "Impeach the president?"
The Slaughter Solution is a poisoned chalice. By drinking from it, the Democrats would not only commit political suicide. They would guarantee that any bill signed by Mr. Obama is illegitimate, illegal and blatantly unconstitutional. It would be worse than a strategic blunder; it would be a crime - a moral crime against the American people and a direct abrogation of the Constitution and our very democracy.
It would open Mr. Obama, as well as key congressional leaders such as Mrs. Pelosi, to impeachment. The Slaughter Solution would replace the rule of law with arbitrary one-party rule. It violates the entire basis of our constitutional government - meeting the threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanors." If it's enacted, Republicans should campaign for the November elections not only on repealing Obamacare, but on removing Mr. Obama and his gang of leftist thugs from office.
It is time Americans drew a line in the sand. Mr. Obama crosses it at his peril.
As we've been documenting of late, Fox News has been on a tear with its anti-reform activism now that the health care reform legislation inches closer to a possible vote in Congress this week. And the one person who has received much of Fox News' ire of late is, of course, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been a favorite target of the right since she ascended to the speakership and whose resignation they continually demand.
Well, today, discussing the "political fallout" from health care on Hannity, The Daily Caller's S.E. Cupp gleefully jumped in to heap additional scorn on Pelosi when Sean Hannity brought up Obama's and Congress' approval ratings; Cupp falsely suggested that Pelosi has a 3 percent approval rating. Cupp announced that a new poll had "Pelosi at 3 -- 3! -- 3!" Hannity interjected: "Percent?" Cupp, laughing, replied: "Yeah -- 3," adding, "Terrible." Then she laughed some more.
This 3 percent approval number for Pelosi, however, doesn't in fact exist. From the poll:
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Nancy Pelosi is doing as speaker of the House?
Approve Disapprove (DK)
16-17 Mar 10 31% 57 13
Democrats 56% 28 16
Republicans 9% 83 8
Independents 25% 65 10
Then you get to question 9 of the poll and you start to see the -- how shall I say? -- asinine reasoning by which the 3 percent number became Pelosi's approval number. First, the poll question:
9. Which one of following people do you have the most respect for -- President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, or Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts? (ROTATE)
President Speaker Chief Justice
Obama Pelosi Roberts (All) (None) (Don't know)
16-17 Mar 10 46% 3 37 2 9 3
Democrats 76% 4 12 3 4 2
Republicans 14% 2 67 1 12 4
Independents 48% 2 35 1 11 3
See, only 3 percent of people in this poll had the "most respect for" Pelosi, not approved of the job she is doing as speaker. Either I'm dumb or my powers of comprehension have been impaired by March Madness mania and now both respect and approval mean the same thing.
Bill O'Reilly, who is ... um, very fond of attacking Pelosi, also couldn't help himself tonight, saying on his show: "One poll said -- you know what Nancy Pelosi's approval rating is? Three percent." But, unlike Cupp, O'Reilly caught himself, quickly putting his hand up and adding, "It's not a straight approval rating question -- it's who do you trust? And they listed Obama, and somebody else, and then Pelosi at 3 percent."
Final thought: Guess who conducted the poll? Two points if you picked Fox News.