AP's Initial Report From Obama's 'You Can Keep It If It Hasn't Changed' Speech Ignored That Statement

The Associated Press's initial coverage of President Obama's attempt to "reinvent history," the term used yesterday by the National Journal's Ron Fournier, is instructive. Monday evening, Obama claimed that his core "you can keep your (health care) plan" guarantee — made dozens of times from 2008 through 2012 — was only relevant "if it (your current plan) hasn’t changed since the law was passed."

Let's look how the AP's Nedra Pickler — or perhaps the White House correspondents' pool reporter, if Team Obama limited press access — wrote things up (HT to NB commenter Alfred Lemire) immediately after Obama's speech (6:34 p.m. report after a speech which began at 5:58 p.m.):


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Faced with arguably the most important domestic news since Barack Obama took office in January 2009, Pickler or the pool reporter consciously chose to ignore it. It's as if Pickler or the assigned reporter didn't want to relay what had just been said until someone else at AP or in the Obama administration could decide how it should be spun.

(Tipster Alfred indicates that "AP had a photographer at the meeting," though I'm not sure how he knows that. If that is indeed the case, the photographer obviously should have communicated Obama's attempted retroactive guarantee revision to Pickler.)

As to the contention that Obama "expressed sympathy" for those whose policies have been cancelled, let's look at the only two Obama statements in the speech which could conceivably have been interpreted that way (bolds are mine):

Now, the other news that people have focused on lately has to do with notices that some Americans have gotten from their insurance companies suggesting that, because of the Affordable Care Act, they may be losing the plan that they bought. Now, while virtually every insurer is offering new, better plans and competing for these folks’ business, I realize that can be scary for people if they just get some notice like that. So we've got to make sure that we're getting them the right information.

... So we should encourage any American who gets one of these letters to shop around in the new marketplace. Now, I recognize that while the website isn't working as fast as it needs to, that makes it tougher and that makes it scarier for folks. We want them immediately to get the information that they need, to understand they’ve got more competition and more options.

I'm not seeing any "sympathy" here. Where's the "my heart goes out to them," or even "they have my sympathies"? Answer: Nowhere in the speech.

What I see in these remarks is a condescending tone, in essence that "these poor, ignorant people who are too dumb to think for themselves need to be convinced that there's nothing to be scared of."

What I also see from Obama is a failure to specifically admit that these policy terminations are occurring because of Obamacare — it's really those eeeeevil insurance companies "suggesting" that's the case.

I'll hopefully get to how the AP has spun Obama's attempt to revoke his previously presented ironclad guarantee later today.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.