If there is to be a tidal wave of defenders of President Barack Obama's "it if it hasn't changed" revision to his original guarantee — "If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan" — Ron Fournier (NewsBusters history here), who toiled at the Associated Press for 20 years and joined the National Journal several years ago, will not be among them.
In 2008, Fournier advocated "accountability journalism." When he took over as AP Washington bureau chief, he pushed for what was described as "a more hard-charging, opinion oriented style of writing" as a "new direction AP should take." Both were, in my view, thinly veiled attempts to inject more left-leaning bias into what news consumers to this day still mostly believe are "objective" wire service reports. With that demonstrated pedigree, perhaps it's a surprise that Fournier would be so vocal about Obama's attempt to "reinvent history" (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford zeroed in on the "several flaws" with HealthCare.gov that "could expose your personal information" to hackers, contrary to the Obama administration's claims that "information is protected by stringent security standards", as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney put it at an October 31, 2013 briefing.
Crawford spotlighted a South Carolina resident whose personal information was jeopardized by a faulty software code, and pointed out how easily a consumer's password could be reset with authorization: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
This morning, in an apparent rush to get a jump on the rest of the excuse-making establishment press, Aamer Madhani at USA Today claimed that President Barack Obama's shameless, lame Monday night attempt to explain away his serial guarantee, namely that "If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan, period" — made roughly two dozen times in 2009 and 2010, and repeated on the campaign trail in 2012 — represented a "tweaking of his claim" in which he "added a caveat." So that makes it all okay. (/sarc)
Madhani also acted as if it's only Republicans who have directed "an avalanche of criticism" at Obama. He also swallowed the false line that "only" 5 percent of Americans have been affected, ignoring a similar impact in the small group market and several well-known large-employer terminations of plans which had been offered to part-timers and retirees. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, CBS News has been one of the press outlets totally willing to expose the disaster that is the ObamaCare rollout.
On Monday, Sharyl Attkisson did a fabulous report on the CBS Evening News revealing that “four days before the launch the government took an unusual step: it granted itself a waiver to launch the website with a level of uncertainty deemed as a high security risk” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Well, let's see how well this unspeakably pathetic attempt to explain away the lie of the century (so far) works with the establishment press.
Two separate tweeters — Reid Epstein at Politico and Mark Knoller at CBS News — are reporting that President Obama, at a rally of the Organizing For Action faithful this evening, told his audience that "What we said was you can keep it (your health plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed" (HTs to Hot Air and Twitchy):
Ed Schultz on Monday spent half of his program praising the Kentucky health insurance exchange whilst playing lengthy clips of an interview he did with that state’s Democratic governor.
As Schultz held Steve Beshear and his state up as the gold standard for how ObamaCare can work, the MSNBC host didn’t ask his guest about the high percentage of exchange enrollees that were applying for Medicaid or a recent report from the state’s Department of Insurance predicting that 280,000 Kentuckians would lose their policies as a result of the law.
A frustrated Jay Carney on Monday excoriated ABC's Jon Karl for exposing the fact that signing up for health care via phone or mail is just as difficult as signing up by the website. Karl began by quoting the President suggesting in late October that "you can bypass the website and apply by phone or in person." The journalist highlighted newly acquired memos admitting that "at the end of the day, we're all stuck in the same queue because all those applications have to go through the same website."
In a sneering tone that mocked Karl's cadence, Carney retorted, "Jon, I get it! But the person who calls isn't the one who continues to wait after the paper application is filled? Right?" Karl calmly responded, "Your mocking is entertaining, but the President said you could apply within 25 minutes. That was not true." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Seemingly looking for help from the other journalists, Carney derided, "I think everyone else is looking quizzical because there's a reason to be quizzical here. You call up. You give your information. You get the questions answered and then they take over from there."
If there was anything resembling a sense of propriety in left-wing media, Ed Schultz's radio and MSNBC commentary would be accompanied by a laugh track.
Correction -- it is accompanied by individual laugh tracks in homes, offices and barrooms across the land, as that fraction of his listeners on the rational end of the spectrum howl in response to his inanities. (Audio clips after the jump)
On October 31 theWashington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reported the following: “The Internal Revenue Service shared highly confidential tax information of several Tea Party groups in the IRS scandal with the Federal Election Commission, a clear violation of federal law, according to newly obtained emails. The public watchdog group Judicial Watch told Secrets Thursday that it was former scandal boss Lois Lerner who shared the information on groups including the American Future Fund and the American Issues Project.’”
So far none of the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) networks have reported the latest IRS scandal finding. In fact, they’ve stopped reporting on the IRS scandal altogether.
On Thursday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, during a discussion of Republican Senator Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, making a birther joke about President Obama, MSNBC political analyst Joy Reid asserted that Republicans prefer minorities who "repudiate" political views supported by minorities. Singling out Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, she griped:
On Sunday, the editorialists at the New York Times claimed that President Barack Obama merely "misspoke" when he dishonestly promised the American people that "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan" to get Obamacare passed.
Sunday evening for Monday's print edition, reporters Reed Abelson and Katie Thomas carried heavy buckets of water on behalf of Obama and his administration. The headline: "Under Health Care Act, Millions Eligible for Free Policies." It took the Times pair 21 paragraphs to inform readers that the "free" plans have annual out-of-pocket cost limits of $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families. They never described how the deductibles or copays work, and never noted that taxpayers are funding the subsidies. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Monday's CBS This Morning revealed how "a trusted Obama health care adviser warned the White House it was losing control of ObamaCare". Major Garrett underlined that "the warnings were dire and specific, and ultimately ignored" by the Obama administration. Instead, they "relied on appointed bureaucrats and senior White House health care advisers" to implement the health care law.
Garrett also pointed out how "the White House became secretive about the law's complexity and regulatory reach" because they were apparently "fearful of constant attacks from congressional Republicans" over the controversial issue. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
After offering sympathetic coverage to the disastrous roll-out of the ObamaCare website, ABC on Monday actually uncovered "new troubles" and alerted viewers to misleading comments by the White House. Near the top of Good Morning America on Monday, co-host George Stephanopoulos trumpeted, "ABC News has obtained copies of internal administration memos revealing for the first time that extensive hurdles to signing up for insurance are not limited to the website."
Reporter Jon Karl quoted from internal memos destroying the idea that signing up for ObamaCare by mail or phone is any easier. Karl quoted from one of the people working on fixing the website: "The paper applications allow people to feel like they're moving forward...At the end of the day, we're all stuck in the same queue." According to the journalist, attempts to sign up with these alternate methods are simply "an effort to buy time." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
How desperate is the White House to counter complaints from Americans losing their health insurance as a result of ObamaCare?
Consider senior White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer who in response to a Wall Street Journalop-ed by a cancer survivor Monday actually tweeted an article from the far-left website ThinkProgress contesting the patient's claim:
Too smart to be President. Is that really Barack Obama's problem? Mika Brzezinski thinks so.
On today's Morning Joe, as Mike Barnicle and John Heilemann kicked around the notion, as others have before, that President Obama doesn't much like politics and the people in it, Brzezinski piped up with a different explanation for his aloofness: he's "too smart for the job," she suggested. View the video after the jump.
I think we have the winner in the "If a Republican or conservative had said it" media bias category this year, if not this decade.
In the book "Double Down" by liberal journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (reviewed by Peter Hamby at the Washington Post on Friday), President Barack Obama, while discussing drone strikes in 2012, reportedly told aides that he's "really good at killing people." This would have been headline news three seconds after Hamby's review, and Hamby would have headlined it himself instead of casually mentioning it in Paragraph 11. A Google News search on an obvious search string ("really good at Killing people" obama; sorted by date) at 6:45 p.m. returns only 11 items, none of which are establishment press outlets. Michael Kelley at Business Insider, which did not show up among the search items returned, had some interesting thoughts on Obama's alleged remark Saturday evening (bolds are mine throughout this post; Update: important links relating to CIA practices which can only be considered barbaric are in the original):
As NewsBusters reported earlier, the New York Times embarrassed itself Sunday with an editorial astonishingly claiming President Obama "misspoke" when he told Americans they could keep their health insurance plans if they liked them.
Fox News host Greta Van Susteren couldn't wait until Monday's On the Record to comment and instead took to her blog to rip the Times as only she can:
On Saturday morning, three Wall Street Journal reporters told readers that as President Obama was promoting Obamacare, there was internal debate between "policy advisers" and "political aides" as to whether the President's obviously unqualified and unconditional "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan" statement, made roughly 20 times between his inauguration and the law's March 2010 passage, "was a promise they could keep."
"Policy advisers" didn't like it, but "political aides" prevailed, concluding that Obama's promise should remain dishonestly unconditional because "salability" and "simplification" were more "practical" and important than the truth. One particularly weak paragraph in the Journal report ends up reading like Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" riff (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Even when it occasionally does credible work, Politifact, the website which pretends to be the ultimate arbiter of the truth or falsehood of claims made by politicians and public figures, continues to beclown itself. On Monday, Matt Hadro at NewsBusters noted the absurdity of Politifact's unchanged "Half True" assessment of President Obama's June 2012 claim — a claim made with minor variations more than 20 times over a four-year period — that "If you're one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance."
Two days after Matt's post, Politifact rated a Valerie Jarrett tweet — "FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans" — as "False," but made no revision to its "Half True" rating of Obama's core claim.
MISSPEAK 1: to speak (as a word) incorrectly 2: to express oneself imperfectly or incorrectly [e.g., claims now that he misspoke himself]
In an editorial of today, the New York Times couldn't bring itself to say the simple truth: that President Obama lied when he repeatedly assured Americans that, under Obamacare, if they liked their healthcare insurance policies they would be able to keep them. The most the Times was able to admit was that [emphasis added throughout] "Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that." Misspoke. Yes, of course. As you see from the Merriam Webster definition above, the word does not imply any intent to deceive. Indeed, as in the example Merriam Webster offers, to misspeak implies a lack of intent. The editorial gets worse, as you'll see after the jump.
It really is hysterical listening to liberal Hollywoodans talk about politics.
Take for example actor/director Rob Reiner - made famous by his role as Meathead in the legendary sitcom All in the Family - claiming on HBO's Real Time Friday ("Overtime" web segment) that Barack Obama politically "is right around where Reagan was" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Bill Maher's HBO show Friday night, Democratic National Committe Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz insisted that President Obama's promise to the American people made over 20 times during a span of over two years, namely "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan," was not a lie.
Maher, appeared to warm to the idea that it was a lie, but at crunch time decided that it was something, like Bush 41's "no new taxes" pledge, that "did not hold up to the realities of governing," representing "a moral complexity I'm okay with 'cause I'm not twelve." Far-far lefty Rob Reiner also felt it necessary to criticize Republicans "who are refusing to make this better." Maher, though he didn't seem to like it, finally concluded that Obama, who in his mind previously had an "almost sterling reputation for honesty," now faces the reality that "to a certain extent that ship (of his credibility) has sailed." Video and a partial transcript are after the jump (HTs to The Blaze and Mediaite, which in my view falsely portrayed Maher's degree of disagreement; bolds are mine):
The Memphis Daily Newsreported Friday that Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in Memphis to discuss ObamaCare when out of the crowd came Tennessee state senator Brian Kelsey (R) to hand her a copy of "Web Sites for Dummies."
Of all the lame attempts to explain away President Obama's oft-repeated Obamacare lie that "if you like your plan, you can keep it," Melissa Harris-Perry might have come up with the most hilarious: President Obama figured people wouldn't like it!
Yes, that's what MHP actually asserted on her MSNBC show this morning, claiming the Obama administration figured people wouldn't like their plans, and would clamor for the ones offered under Obamacare. Of course the argument still leaves Obama as having lied. Even if if a majority of people with private plans didn't like them, that would still leave millions being forced out of plans they did like. So Obama would still have lied, albeit on a smaller scale. View the video after the jump.
The blog Inside Cable News reports that the MSNBC late-morning show "Jansing & Co." routinely has a "Flashback Friday" feature, but it really stepped Into the Obama Tank on November 1...since it gave the Leg Thrill Network its first chance to flash back to Obama's election five years ago.
On the Jansing show Twitter account, there was this gooey tweet:"The absolute best Flashback Friday EVER! Coming up". Is the Jansing staff blogger still in high school, dotting all their I's with hearts? It linked to fond video memories of Jesse Jackson crying in Hyde Park at the wonderful news that a black man was elected president. Our cable-news blogger couldn't believe MSNBC would wreck Jansing's more-objective-than-usual-MSNBC mojo:
On Wednesday's PoliticsNation, as MSNBC's Karen Finney joined host Al Sharpton in slamming Republicans who liken President Obama to a "dictator," Finney charged that President Bush "lied us into a war" that has resulted in U.S. troops still being in Afghanistan "12 years later," apparently without noticing that President Obama is the commander-in-chief who currently is in charge of whether troops remain in Afghanistan. Finney: