<p><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/09/2009-09-14-Newsweek... vspace="3" width="400" align="right" border="0" height="234" hspace="3" /></p><p>A prudent gerontologist may opt to remove the September 21 edition of Newsweek from his waiting room.</p><p>Newsweek.com today has a cheeky frontpage headline in <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/id/215291/page/1" target="_blank">"The Case for Killing Granny,"</a> with a subheader promising an explanation as to "Why curbing excessive end-of-life care is good for America."</p><p>For good measure the magazine also promises readers to explain <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/id/215340" target="_blank">"Why We Should Insure Illegals"</a> and how <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/id/215259" target="_blank">"Health Reform Could Combat Crime"</a> in related articles linked on the front page. More illegal immigration, fewer criminals and old people. What a deal! </p><p>The "Killing Granny" link takes readers to a September 21 print edition article by Evan Thomas which is more measured in tone than the sensational headline suggests, but one that nonetheless laments how Medicare, presently structured, has a built-in bias towards heavy per-patient spending with too little government bureaucrat oversight (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote>
Ken Shepherd lives in New Carrollton, Md., with his wife, Laura, and children Mercy and Abraham. Ken graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland in 2001 with a Bachelors of Arts in Government & Politics and a citation in Public Leadership.
Ken has worked full-time for the Media Research Center since May 2001 and prior to that was an MRC New Analysis Division intern from October 1998 to May 2001.
In his spare time, Ken enjoys karaoke, tennis, reading, and discussing theology or politics.
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Rucker and Gerhart turned to the husband-wife couple -- he was a Clinton era DNC chairman and she is the current South Carolina state Democratic chairwoman -- to practically tag-team in slamming Wilson. Rucker and Gerhart also acknowledged some Palmetto Democrats' brushes with political infamy before cuing up Don Fowler to quip that he thinks "it is something in the water."
Yet nowhere in their story did Rucker and Gerhart note Don Fowler's gaffe from August 2008, when, on a flight from the Democratic Convention, he made an inappropriate joke involving hurricane victims in New Orleans (video embedded above at right):
<p><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/09/Shuster_David_2009-... vspace="3" width="300" align="right" border="0" height="192" hspace="3" />A half hour after wrapping up his on-air duties for the day, MSNBC's David Shuster took to his Twitter account to insist that he is biased, in favor of the truth:</p><p>Posted around 5:30 p.m.
<p>TVNewser <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/fnc/john_stossel_leaving_abc_for_fox... target="_blank">is reporting </a>that "20/20" co-anchor John Stossel is leaving ABC News to join the Fox Business Network:</p><blockquote><p>TVNewser has learned Stossel will host a weekly, one-hour program for the 2-year-old business channel. He's expected to signed a multi-year deal with Fox which will include regular appearances on Fox News Channel during daytime and primetime. He'll also host four, hour-long specials on Fox News, much like the business/consumer specials he'd hosted for years on ABC. </p><p>Stossel, a libertarian, has been appearing on Fox News for years as a guest on shows including "The O'Reilly Factor," "Hannity & Colmes" and "The Big Story."</p>
<p><img src="/static/2008/02/2008-02-12MSNBCKlein.jpg" vspace="3" width="240" align="right" border="0" height="180" hspace="3" />After plugging his latest column in a September 10 post on the magazine's <a href="http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/09/10/latest-column-34/" target="_blank">Swampland blog</a>, Time's Joe Klein (shown in file photo at right) pegged Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) as "vile" before defending taxpayer-funded health care for illegal immigrants:</p><blockquote><p>On this whole question of whether illegal immigrants will be included in the plan, which caused the vile Congressman from South Carolina to shout "You lie" when the President said they wouldn't be covered. Why shouldn't they be? After all, when an illegal immigrant cuts his hand while chopping cabbage and goes to the emergency room, the rest of us pay for it. Isn't the point to expand the risk pool as much as possible, to lure the insurance companies into concessions and lower prices? </p><p>I know it 's not going to happen. Congress will never vote to subsidize the health care of those who arrived here illegally. But, given the fact that we're already subsidizing them through the back door, it does make sense, doesn't it?</p>
<p>Yesterday <a href="/blogs/ken-shepherd/2009/09/08/pro-voucher-d-c-democrats-lodge-protest-same-day-obama-addresses-ameri" target="_blank">I noted</a> that the Washington Post covered a September 8 anti-Obama, pro-school voucher protest in its <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2009/09/not_getting_arrested_for_dc_... target="_blank">D.C. Wire blog</a>. Demonstrators participating in the protest complained about how the president and congressional Democrats have scuttled the voucher program and in doing so <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/09/08/activists-protest-obama-admin... target="_blank">dashed the hopes of 216 kids</a> who were scheduled to be granted vouchers for private schools this school year.</p><p>Yet the protest, led by former city councilman Kevin Chavous (D) and featuring former mayor and current Councilman Marion Barry (D), received no coverage in the September 9 Washington Post, despite the fact that the paper has supported the voucher program <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/28/AR200804... target="_blank">in previous editorials.</a> </p><p>Of course, the Post did find space for not one but three articles dealing with President Obama's September 8 address to the nation's schoolchildren:</p>
While the mainstream media mock as overblown and unjustified the concerns of many conservatives that President Obama's televised speech to the nation's schoolchildren would be accompanied by liberal politicking, one online news outlet is noting how the president took the chance to push his agenda to a small group of Northern Virginia students prior to the actual speech.
"Prior to his nationally broadcast speech to students on Tuesday, President Barack Obama made a pitch for health care reform in a discussion with 40 freshmen at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.," reports Penny Starr of CNSNews.com, a sister organization* to NewsBusters.org.:
Although the president avoided controversial topics in his speech, he did promote health care reform in a face-to-face discussion at Wakefield High School. Asked by a student how he stays motivated to do his job, Obama replied that his staff gives him 10 letters every day from “ordinary folks.”
“Some of the stories are really depressing,” Obama told the 40 freshman, who were chosen to meet with the president during freshman orientation, according to school officials.
“You hear about people who are sick but don't have health care, and suddenly they get a bill for $100,000, and there's no way they can pay for it, and they're about to lose their house. And you’re just reminded that the country is full of really good people who sometimes are going through a hard time,” Obama said.
<p><a href="http://twitter.com/davidshuster"><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/09/2009-09-08-Shuster_... align="right" /></a><span class="status-body"><span class="entry-content">"This is two* weeks old... but, it's the most recent polling on public option. <a href="http://bit.ly/KCu9x" original-href="http://bit.ly/KCu9x" class="tweet-url web" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://bit.ly/KCu9x" </a><span class="tweet-url web"> MSNBC's David Shuster </span></span></span><span class="status-body"><span class="entry-content"><span class="tweet-url web">posted to his Twitter page today around 5:45 p.m.</span></span></span></p><p><span class="status-body"><span class="entry-content"><span class="tweet-url web">But pulling the thread from Shuster's tweet unravels through two liberal blogs and ends at none other than MoveOn.org (h/t MRC's Stu James).<br /></span></span></span></p><p><span class="status-body"><span class="entry-content"><span class="tweet-url web">The link in question takes readers to the liberal ThinkProgress blog, which in turn links to a <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/2009/08/20/public-plan-77-percent/" target="_blank">Sam Stein item at the Huffington Post</a>, which in turn links to a <a href="http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=5ba17aa2-f1b9-4445-a6b... target="_blank">SurveyUSA poll</a> taken on August 19 and published on August 20.</span></span></span></p><p>Over in the sidebar for the survey, we learn that the sponsor was none other than "MoveOn.org Political Action" (see screencap below): </p><p> </p><p>
<p>Today as President Barack Obama was preparing to deliver a speech to America's students, some school voucher-supporting Democrats in the District of Columbia were gearing up to protest the president's decision to scuttle the city's federal voucher program by blocking the doors to the federal Department of Education building in Washington. </p><p>Nikita Stewart of the Washington Post's D.C. Wire blog covered <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2009/09/ex-council_member_to_lead_pr... target="_blank">the planned protest</a> in a post this morning and fellow Postie Nick Anderson reported on the protest -- joined by D.C. councilman Marion Barry (D) and led by former D.C. councilman Kevin Chavous (D) -- after the fact <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2009/09/not_getting_arrested_for_dc_... target="_blank">shortly after noon</a>. </p><p>Local ABC affiliate WJLA <a href="http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0909/657267.html" target="_blank">also has a story</a> on its Web site. </p><p>MSNBC's <a href="http://blog.heritage.org/2009/07/23/msnbc%E2%80%99s-chris-matthews-save-... target="_blank">Chris Matthews</a> has told his viewers that he disagrees with Obama's decision and supports renewing the congressionally-funded D.C. voucher program. It should be interesting to see if Matthews covers the protest today on his "Hardball" program.</p><p>I wouldn't hold my breath for any coverage elsewhere on MSNBC or on the broadcast networks tonight, however. </p>
<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd8z8zaGeu&c1=0x2F338A&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd8z8zaGeu&c1=0x2F338A&... allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>Discussing the concern of some parents' about their children being a captive audience to President Obama's planned speech next Tuesday, MSNBC's David Shuster today scoffed at conservative activist Michael Leahy by asking if Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign was "indoctrination" (<a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/09/2009-09-04-MSNBC-Sh... target="_blank">audio available here</a>):<blockquote><p>MICHAEL LEAHY: This is from the lesson plan, the old, the original lesson plan. They want--</p><p>DAVID SHUSTER, interrupting: Which has since been changed, but go ahead.</p><p>LEAHY: --teachers to extend learning by having students write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. Now, David, that is indoctrination. We don't want that.</p><p>SHUSTER: Okay, so was it indoctrination when Nancy Reagan? Okay, fair point. Well, was it indoctrination then when Nancy Reagan encouraged students to write down what they could do to help say no to drugs?</p>
<p><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/09/2009-09-03-CBSNews-... vspace="3" width="239" align="right" border="0" height="250" hspace="3" />"<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/03/health/main5284954.shtml" target="_blank">U.K. Docs Worry Patients Dying Prematurely</a>," reads a headline featured this afternoon in CBSNews.com's Top News menu. The link brings readers to a CBS/AP story with the same headline. </p><p>But when one reads through the article, it becomes clear the matter at hand may have some bearing over a controversial issue in America's current health care reform debate (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote><p>A group of British doctors who treat the terminally ill said they were worried that some are dying prematurely <b>because of guidelines on dealing with patients in their final hours. </b><br /> </p><p><a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6127514/Sentenced-to-death-... class="link">In a letter to The Daily Telegraph newspaper Thursday</a>, six palliative care specialists said the "tick-box approach to the management of death" <b>could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. </b><br />
<p>A country boy can survive the Obama administration. Just ask Hank Williams, Jr.</p><p>The country music artist -- best known to millions of Americans regardless of their musical taste for his "Are You Ready For Some Football?" theme to Monday Night Football -- was profiled yesterday by <a href="http://sundaygazettemail.com/Entertainment/200909021040?page=1&build... target="_blank">Bill Lynch of the Charleston [W.V.] Gazette</a> (h/t my NB colleague Tim Graham).</p><p>Lynch spent a considerable portion of his profile focused on Williams's politics, including his upcoming gig at a Labor Day TEA Party:</p><blockquote>
<p>"Rationing is already here," done by insurance companies, so why not "start rationing useless interventions right out of medical practice?" asks Newsweek's Sharon Begley in a September 2 "Web exclusive" entitled "<a href="http://www.newsweek.com/id/214770/page/1" target="_blank">Health-Care Rationing: Bring It On</a>."</p><p>Begley made clear that her complaint is with how patients under the current health care structure can easily order up expensive tests (MRIs, CAT scans, etc.) that she argues are often times wasteful or unnecessarily adminstered (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote><p>[L]et's figure out what treatments and diagnostic tests make a difference to people's health and longevity, and which are insanely overused to no good end. <b>The latter is what we need to ration, restricting their use to the patients and conditions where they can make a difference or abandoning them altogether.</b> </p></blockquote><p>Begley continued with criticism that practically hinted that a government middleman would be better able to "ration" health care efficiently (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote>
<p>"Geez, when will this guy go away?!" That's the tenor of the lede to Washington Post staffer Tim Craig's story "<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/31/AR200908... target="_blank">Pastor Redoubles Efforts vs. Same-Sex Marriage</a>" (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote><p>Bishop Harry Jackson is <b>refusing to relent in his campaign to stop same-sex marriage</b> in the District, despite the drubbing he took before the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics this summer. </p></blockquote><p>What Jackson is trying to do is put the <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2009/09/ballot_initiative_requested_... target="_blank">following initiative</a> before voters:</p><blockquote><p>Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in the District of Columbia. </p></blockquote><p>Earlier this year the D.C. Council passed a bill to recognize gay marriages performed in states where they are valid. Craig noted before closing with an admonition for Jackson from a liberal activist:</p><blockquote>
<p>Aging doctors who perform abortions are lamenting the dearth of newly-minted doctors willing to perform them, Washington Post's Sandra G. Boodman informs readers of the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/28/AR200908... target="_blank">September 1 paper</a>. </p><p>"The goal... is to make 'abortion' not a dirty word," Boodman quotes med student Megan Evans at the close of her 40-paragraph Health section front-pager. Evans, the president-elect of George Washington University Medical School's Medical Students for Choice, is held out by Boodman as one who hopes "to be in the vanguard of the next generation of doctors providing abortions." </p><p>Yet Boodman's article devoted little ink to pro-life medical students or doctors, giving them just two paragraphs, and only then to have abortion clinic operator Susan Hill* dismiss out-of-hand their arguments:</p><blockquote>
<p>It's a cute theory and maybe it deserves brief (pardon the pun) coverage in some other section of the paper, but the front page of the Monday Washington Post?</p><p>Readers of the August 31 edition were greeted by a 17-paragraph below-the-fold front page story by business writer <a href="http://ylanqmui.com/" target="_blank">Ylan Q. Mui</a> about "<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/30/AR200908... target="_blank">What Underwear Says About the Economy</a>."</p><p>Mui explains: </p><blockquote>
<p><a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/08/mattizcoop.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/08/mattizcoop.jpg" width="191" align="right" height="219" /></a>"It feels a bit like 9/11 on Martha's Vineyard. End-of-summer weather is achingly beautiful but the mood is melancholy because of Teddy." [click image at right to see larger image of screen capture]</p><p>Thus wrote Matt Cooper, editor of Conde Nast Portfolio <a href="http://twitter.com/mattizcoop" target="_blank">on his Twitter page</a> a few hours ago. The former Time magazine White House correspondent, who also writes for Huffington Post, walked back his statement a bit later after some criticism from other Twitter users:</p><blockquote><p>Didn't mean to equate Teddy's death with the murders of 9/11. Only meant small similarity: beautiful weather, tragic feel. HT @<a href="http://twitter.com/thetonylee">thetonylee</a> </p></blockquote><p>Cooper followed that with two other tweets to JP Freire of the Washington Examiner and Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher magazine, respectively:</p><blockquote>
<p>"Edward Kennedy, perhaps more than any United States senator in the past half century, cared about the poor and dispossessed. Though he was relentlessly mocked by the right as a tax-and-spend liberal, he kept the faith." </p><p>Thus wrote <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/id/213699" target="_blank">Newsweek's Evan Thomas</a> of the late Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy today in an obituary that acknowledged and in places excused the late senator's sins even as it remembered him as a saint of secular liberalism.:</p><blockquote><p>Kennedy became known on Capitol Hill for his antics. In a Washington Monthly essay titled "Kennedy's Woman Problem, Women's Kennedy Problem," author Suzannah Lessard accused Kennedy of "a severe case of arrested development, a kind of narcissistic intemperance, a huge babyish ego that must be constantly fed." More like it, a huge sadness that needed to be blotted out by sex and alcohol. </p></blockquote><p>Thomas did acknowledge Kennedy's actions in the Chappaquiddick incident and how his delay in alerting police may have cost Mary Jo Kopechne her life, but then ridiculously added:</p><blockquote>
<p>Reflecting on "<a href="http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1918774-1,00.html" target="_blank">How Ted Kennedy Found Himself</a>," Time's Joe Klein today let readers in on an encounter with the Massachusetts senator in the 1970s when he was stoned and Kennedy drunk. </p><p>The occasion, Klein receiving an <a href="http://www.rfkmemorial.org/legacyinaction/1974/" target="_blank">"honorable mention" journalism award</a> from the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial foundation in 1974.</p><p>Klein explained how their conversation at the reception centered around an earlier incident in which Sen. Kennedy had been pelted with tomatoes by angry constituents: </p><blockquote>