Leftist Talk Radio Host: GOP Created Shutdown to Distract from Wonderful Obamacare Rollout

Far left radio host Thom Hartmann has said some really crazy stuff over the years such as that evil right-wing billionaires deliberately provoked the violence in Benghazi, Libya in order to make President Obama look bad. He’s also said that NPR is full of “right-wing bias.”

Hartmann’s latest delusion is particularly hilarious. He is quite convinced that congressional Republicans plotted to shut down the government as a way to distract people from the glorious rollout of the Obamacare health insurance exchanges. You know, the ones that less than 10 people in the entire country appear to have signed up for because of widespread system failures.

Yes, that is exactly what Hartmann appears to believe. He set out his elaborate conspiracy theory in a post for the leftist website Alternet:

First, remember that midnight of September 30 was the moment when Obamacare exchanges across the nation opened for enrollment.

Every news organization in the country had prepared detailed packages and reports on what Obamacare is, how to sign up for it, how he exchanges are going public right now, and all the details.

Obamacare experts were being lined up as guests for September 30 and October 1 on radio and television networks and stations across the country. Local stations planned their local versions of this, talking about their state programs.

Those two days we're going to be a big deal, programming wise. I know. I'm in the industry. We were planning it, too.

These were going to be major programs – in some cases major features – on September 30, and October 1.

This massive news coverage, provided to Obamacare for free, would make up for the millions in advertising to promote Obamacare that Republicans had stripped out of the legislation.

All those programs on radio and television would have given the equivalent of millions of dollars worth of advertising to Obamacare, and caused tens of millions of young people to learn about the program, get excited about the program, and begin signing up right away.

Again, the way to destroy Obamacare is to make sure that young, healthy people don't  sign up for it. Because if they don't, it will die. Just simple economics.

Hartmann is indeed correct that many news outlets were planning to cover the opening of the exchanges, however, contrary to being “advertising to Obamacare,” the coverage has been about how no one can sign up for them. Even MSNBC had a reporter acknowledge this truth.

But forget reality, let’s get back to Hartmann’s fantasy world:

So what could the Koch brothers and other billionaire funders of the Tea Party do to make sure that every television network in America did not do a special feature the night of September 30 about how to sign up for the new Obamacare program? [...]

Under normal circumstances, that kind of story-killing would take a hurricane, or a massive earthquake, or a crazed mass-murderer gunman. But those things are pretty hard to control or predict.

So instead, the billionaires turned to the politicians they own, and told them to pull off such a radical stunt that it would seize the attention, continuously, of all the television networks and newspapers throughout the entire news cycle of September 30 and October 1.

They shut down the government.

It's just that simple.

It really is that simple. The Koch brothers knew that Senate Democrats would continue to refuse to pass an actual budget. They knew that the temporary continuing resolution the federal government had been operating under would expire right around the time the Obamacare exchanges were going to open.

But wait! If you like that conspiracy theory, Hartmann has another he will throw in just to keep the number even. Not only are we not talking about the glorious Obamacare rollout because of the evil Republicans, America is also not talking about the newest report from the global warming industry (aka the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change):

But wait, there's more! This is also the week that the IPCC is rolling out the details of their new major report on climate change.

Again, networks and news organizations were preparing specials, packages, and wall-to-wall coverage of climate change and the IPCC. All of that is now buried in a closet someplace, along with the feature specials on how to find your local Obamacare exchange.

For the oil billionaires like the Koch brothers, people who make money dumping carbon dioxide waste into the atmosphere that we have to pay for, and hold to a political ideology that says the middle class should not have health insurance, this was an absolute twofer.

We've been conned. The media has been conned. And libertarian billionaires who want America to be a "me" society and not a "we" society won.

For good measure, Hartmann decided to end the piece with an obligatory shaking of the fist at the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. FEC decision:

You can thank the Supreme Court for this, by the way. In their Citizens United decision, they gave corporations and billionaires the power to own politicians more than they ever have before, and that's just what they've done.   Welcome to the brave new world of American politics.

Frankly, I’m disappointed he failed to work in Dick Cheney or Halliburton in there somewhere.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013