Anti-abortion activists are upset about proposed health care reform proposals, so of course the Journal newsroom treats it as very, very big news. Because, as I noted earlier this week, when angry (and overwhelmingly white) conservatives get politically angry, it's news.
Liberals? Not so much.
From the Journal:
Abortion Is New Front in Health Battle
See how definitive that is? It's not that a relatively small number of abortion foes want to make the issue the new health battle "front." They've done it. (Voilà!) How do we know? The Journal just announced it as fact. And note in its coverage the Journal, incredibly, includes an image of radical, anti-abortion lunatic Randall Terry as being a main player in this health care push. Inside the Journal newsroom, Terry is, once again, an important policy player.
The Journal lede:
Anti-abortion groups are gearing up for a battle in the fall over health-care legislation, another headache for Democrats who already face concerns about the measure's cost and reach.
Most versions of the Democratic health plan would create subsidies for lower-income people to buy private health insurance. If that insurance includes coverage for abortion, as many existing private plans do, it effectively means federal taxpayers are subsidizing abortion, critics of the legislation argue.
The right-wing spin that "critics" want to emphasize is that the government is, basically, going to be paying for, if not providing, abortions. That it's going to pay poor woman to terminate their babies. (Sort of like it's going to be in the business of selectively killing old people, via "death panels.") Indeed, the reform simply proves, "just how far Democrats are willing to go to force taxpayers to fund abortion," as Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) tells the Journal.
But even by the Journal's own reporting, that premise represents a gigantic stretch. Instead, under the proposed reforms, the government would be in the business of helping poor people get health care. And what kind of care they need would be up to them, and their doctors, to decide.
Not matter, that's the spin "critics" on the far-right are pushing, and so that's the spin the Journal focuses on. And that's the spin the Journal dutifully announces has been elevated to the next "front."
The only thing surprising is that it's not surprising. The unhinged haters cannot restrain themselves. Even now.
Andrew Breitbart, a Washington Times columnist who oversees Breitbart.com and BigHollywood.com, tapped into the anti-Kennedy vein in the hours after the senator's death was announced, posting a series of Twitter messages in which he called Kennedy a "villain," a "duplicitous bastard" and a "prick."
"I'm more than willing to go off decorum to ensure THIS MAN is not beatified," Breitbart wrote. "Sorry, he destroyed lives. And he knew it."
Since becoming editor of the WashTimes, John Solomon has been trying to convince people that the Moonie-owned daily is more than a right-wing spin outlet. He's been trying to convince people that it's a serious newspaper run by serious people. Well, it seems to me Breitbart's outlandish hateful screed, coming just hours after Kennedy died, provides Solomon with a perfect opportunity to prove his point.
It provides Solomon with a chance to do something. (Demand Breitbart apologize; cut ties with the columnist, etc.) Solomon can stand up for the kind of newspaper that Times leaders say they wants to be, instead of allowing people like Breitbart to prop it up as a laughing stock.
I realize the GOP Noise Machine has done its best this year to obliterate any semblance of common sense and decency in terms of its unprecedented outpouring of hate rhetoric. (i.e. The POTUS is a Nazi racist) But it would seem to me that there must be some adults still seated at positions of conservative media power who can plainly see that spitting on the memory of an American icon like Ted Kennedy deserves to be met with a swift, and equally forceful, response.
We'll see if John Solomon really means it when he claims he wants the WashTimes to be a serious newspaper.
Health Care Reform Hysteria: 'Death Book' Scare Tactics Inexcusable
(Washington, D.C.) – "Health care reform is a legitimate topic for discussion and debate," said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), "but it is outrageous for some partisans to politicize the debate by targeting veterans with blatant scare tactics.
"The issue du jour is the so-called Death Book for veterans," Rowan said. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, the person who headed the office of faith-based initiatives for the Bush White House attacked 'Your Life, Your Choices,' a 52-page booklet of end-of-life options to be considered by veterans and their families that has been given out by the VA as per federal law. This booklet, developed in 1997 when Bill Clinton was President, was given to veterans and their families, if requested, under a directive in 2007 from President Bush. It was updated last month, under President Obama.
"This booklet was developed with guidance from clerics," Rowan said, "and it addresses options most of us and our loved ones will have to sort through as we live our final years. To play politics with veterans' end-of-life choices is not only irresponsible politically, but it is cruel. We agree with Congressman Joe Sestak, a retired Navy Admiral, who is outraged at the 'Death Book' charges and has called them 'inexcusable.'
"It is our hope that sane minds reject fear-mongering, and that veterans recognize these scare tactics for what they are," Rowan said.
(h/t Greg Sargent)
Media Matters for America has compiled a list of companies that did run ads on Glenn Beck this evening (August 26) in the order they appeared:
Obama is never really near the gun-toting protesters who join health care mini-mobs, so what's the big deal, asks The Atlantic's Megan McArdle.
In fact, she's so sure the guns pose no threat, McArdle wants to bet people that Obama won't get shot by a health care protester.
Stay classy, Megan.
According to his LinkedIn.com profile, Eric Stanger currently works as:
I wonder how Mr. Hannity, Premiere Radio Networks and ABC Radio/Citadel Broadcasting feel about his Facebook comment concerning Ted Kennedy's passing (emphasis added):
The irony is that the media is already positioning Ted as a champion for the little man against wealth and privilege. This piece of garbage was the poster child for wealth and privilege. Hopefully, this event will mark the end of this repugnant family and all the endless crap, entitlement, personal indulgences and collateral damage (Kopechne, Bessette, Bowman, Moxely, etc.).
"Throughout our history, the press has been an indispensable check on government. The information produced by the press contributes to our policy debates, exposes wrongdoing, and in fundamental ways makes our democracy work. A government that acts in the sunshine is far less likely to behave in unlawful or tyrannical ways. A citizenry informed by a free and robust press is essential to our nation." – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, 10/4/2007
From an August 26 Washington Times editorial:
The Death Book is a nickname given to an advice manual published by the Department of Veterans Affairs that instructs veterans "how to prepare a personalized living will." Officially titled, "Your Life, Your Choices," the book fosters dark thoughts about a difficult life somehow being less of a life.
[T]he Death Book is instructive as a reflection on Obamacare priorities and perspectives and what the administration might view as a "waste." This is important because Mr. Obama and other administration officials regularly talk about a need to cut back on what they term as massive waste in health care.
What government considers a waste, many patients and doctors consider a necessity. Denying this care based on vague notions of efficiency is rationing. Even the New York Times admitted last week that "the concerns [about rationing] are not entirely irrational." Concern about rationing has been particularly acute among the elderly for good reason. The Death Book shows government's perverse interest in the end of life rather than its extension.
From Fox News political analyst and radio host Tammy Bruce's Twitter account: