It's quite amazing to watch. But more than a week after every sane person agreed Sarah Palin's claim about "death panels" killing off old people under Obama's proposed health care reform, was pure sci-fi trash, some news orgs still won't call it what it is: a lie.
From ABC's Kristina Wong [emphasis added]:
The House bill, H.R. 3200, also includes controversial "end of life care" consultations, which would reimburse doctors for discussing end-of-life arrangements with patients, but which some critics have characterized as "death panels."
That's it. No explanation that "some critics," such as Palin, manufactured the scare claim out of whole cloth.
UPDATED: In a separate online article, an ABC News headline announces:
White House Confronts False Claims About Health Care Reform
Hmm. What kind of "false claims?"
With the continued chatter regarding former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's discerning claims on her Facebook page that Obama's health care reform proposals would promote "death panels" for end-of-life counseling, the fallout this week has proved the health care debate has gotten out of control.
I wonder if news outlets such as ABC, which periodically fail to debunk "death panels," bear any responsibility for the fact the "health care debate has gotten out of control."
From the August 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
From the Fox Nation, accessed on August 17:
From the August 16 Politico article titled, "President Obama blasts insurers, again" (emphasis added):
Obama, facing declining poll numbers and a week when congressman have been shouted down by constituents at raucous health care meetings, used the radio and internet address to explain and tout his plan and to take on his critics, insisting that opposition to reform amounts to embracing "a health care system that works better for the insurance industry than it does for the American people."
He said that the talk of "death panels" was one of the "scarier-sounding and more ridiculous rumors out there" -- the provision in drafts of the bill calls for end of life counseling and has been taken out of the Senate version of the health care bill.
Saturday's dispatch from Obama's health care town hall forum held in Montana yesterday was telling in terms of how the press continues to prop up angry health care opponents as being inherently newsworthy, while bascially dismissing those who support reform.
Here's the key passage fom the Times article:
...participants otherwise seemed overwhelmingly supportive of the president.
Obama held a forum on health care, and in this case, the crowd was "overwhelmingly supportive." So how many supporters did the Times article quote? Zero. In the article, the Times was only intersted in detailing what a small number of town hall critics had to say. Those were the only voices the Times reporter thought were important to the coverage.
On his program today, Glenn Beck told the life story of scientist Stephen Hawking (a recent recepient of the Presidential Medal Of Freedom) from an interesting perspective. In Beck's version of history, Hawking dealt with his illness (ALS) without any handouts, pulling himself up via his own bootstraps and apparently without the sort of health care system Beck claimed was a form of goose-stepping.
The British physisist spoke out after Republican politicians lambasted the NHS as "evil" in their effort to stop President Barack Obama's reforms of US health care which will widen availability of treatment but at a cost to higher earners who will pay higher insurance premiums.
"I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS," he said. "I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived."
Recent attacks on the integrity of the NHS were protested via a campaign by British users of Twitter.
One almost has to admire Matthew Vadum, senior editor at the right-wing Capital Research Center, for the sheer audacity of admitting that he doesn't have the facts to support his smear of President Obama, yet going ahead with the smear anyway.
In an Aug. 13 Newsmax article suggesting that an advertiser boycott campaign of Glenn Beck's Fox News show spearheaded by the group Color for Change, co-founded by current Obama administration official Van Jones, is "being orchestrated with some high level help from the Obama White House," reporter David A. Patten quotes Vadum as saying, "I don't have proof that the White House asked Color of Change to help it fight back against Glenn Beck ... But I wouldn't be surprised to learn it had. Van Jones has the president's ear. It's a few hundred feet from his office at the Council on Environmental Quality to the Oval Office."
That's it. The relative proximity of Jones' and Obama's offices -- a mere football field length away from each other! -- plus Vadum's baseless speculation are all the evidence Patten offers of this purported scheme.
It's hard to tell who's more foolish here -- Vadum for making such a boldly empty claim or Patten for building an article around it.
Apparently panicked over ColorOfChange.org's increasingly successful efforts to hold Glenn Beck and Fox News accountable for Beck's race-baiting, right-wing websites have gone into full attack mode. At Redstate, for example, Erick Erickson defends Beck's assertion that President Obama is a "racist," claiming that "it's not a stretch to say it." Erickson goes on to call for a boycott of companies that have pulled out of Beck's show and who, according to Erickson, are "kowtowing to Barack Obama's worshippers, brownshirts, goons, and thugs." He writes:
We need to strike back and boycott these groups for ditching Beck. If they are going to fold so easily in the face of Obama brownshirts, we must push back. If not, who'll be next?
Here's the list of the groups that have boycotted Glenn Beck. Let them know you disagree. Let them know you will boycott them for kowtowing to Barack Obama's worshippers, brownshirts, goons, and thugs.
Fisk Johnson Chairman & CEO
Senior Global Public Affairs Manager
Phone: (262) 260-2114
Glenn Renwick, President & CEO- (440)461-5000
Linda Harris, Advertising & Sponsorships
Chairman, President & CEO, Insurance Operations
Chris Tasher, GEICO Media Relations
From an August 14 post by Washington Post Co. blogger Greg Sargent:
If you're a top prospective GOP Senate candidate who's introducing herself to voters in preparation for a nationally watched Senate race, it's probably not great form to spend any time hangin' with the anchor-woman who described Obama and Michelle's fist bump as a "terrorist fist jab."
That, at any rate, is what national Dems are charging, now that Kelly Ayotte, the national GOP's top choice for Senate in New Hampshire, is set to speak at a local event being keynoted by E.D. Hill, the former Fox anchor who sparked a big controversy when she offered up the aformentioned "terrorist fist jab" line.
Ayotte is set to attend the Nashua Area Republican City Committee's annual "Steakout" fundraiser on September 12th with keynote speaker Hill, according to the local party's calendar.
Sayeth DSCC spokesperson Eric Schultz: "With Kelly Ayotte surrounding herself with Washington insiders, lobbyists, and now this - it raises a lot of questions about what she stands for and what she's all about." Ayotte's campaign didn't immediately return a request for comment.
In 2003, Hill told USA Today that she's a "primary-voting Democrat." Hill later said on Bill O'Reilly's now-departed radio show in October 2008 that she had a "transformation" and changed her affiliation to Republican.
From the Fox Nation, accessed on August 14: