The title is borrowed from a post by Salon’s Brian Beutler that addresses what he calls the moral conundrum facing right-wing extremists when the Obamacare website starts working. Buetler, who in a previous post reveals he is not only an Obamacare supporter but a user, appears to be painting himself into a corner by speaking of when, rather than if, the site works.
Since he assumes the Administration will be able to get the exchange website fixed in the very near future, Beutler believes this will create a real problem for conservative opponents of President Obama's signature achievement. Beutler bases his faith in the first premise on “the confluence of two pieces of news last week:”
One of the two sequences involved the Obama administration's announcement that it will delay Obamacare enrollment for 2015 by 30 days until November 15, 2014 and its optimism that the dysfunctional, insecure HealthCare.gov web site will be operational by the end of the month. In this sequence, Pace indicated blind acceptance of unsupported assertions combined with willingness to parrot long-discredited talking points about why the website initially crashed. Fortunately, as we'll see, Wallace did not let her website history rewrite slide (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC to promote his book,Double Down: Game Change 2012, Time magazine's Mark Halperin recounted that the media did not "scrutinize" ObamaCare before its passage or during the 2012 presidential election, although he also placed some blame on Republicans for nominating former Governor Mitt Romney who was known for pushing a health care plan in Massachusetts.
After substitute host Laura Ingraham complained that concerns about ObamaCare "were routinely dismissed" in the media, Halperin responded:
Chris Cuomo isn't the only CNN anchor helping with ObamaCare's PR. On CNN Sunday evening, anchor Martin Savidge teed up comedian George Wallace to stand up for the law and plead with Americans to "give it a chance. Let's get together instead of knocking it."
"I think everybody deserves great health care. And even prisoners get great health care, free health care," Wallace insisted. Savidge had noted that many "almost seem obsessed with" ObamaCare. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After NBC refused to even mention ObamaCare since November 18, Saturday's Today allowed left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews to actually blame Republicans for the program's ongoing failures: "I think the acid test here is participation, not efficiency. It comes down to whether young people who are healthy are willing to join up....There's a big scary thing, though, that if you look at all the criticism from the other side, from the Republican side, that's discouraging people from joining up." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Matthews proclaimed that if the young and healthy "join up in big numbers," then "the President wins." He framed signing up for ObamaCare as a matter of civic duty: "Will people join up and take their responsibility as citizens really to be part of a national health care program? That's a question that's still not answered."
On Thurday, Fox News "analyst" Juan Williams and several other liberal journalists met privately and off the record with President Obama.
On Fox News Sunday, Williams went into what apparently are the administration's internal (and perhaps becoming external) talking points about the policy trainwrecks HealthCare.gov and Obamacare in general have become. They are that the Affordable Care Act's failure to gain the support of even one House or Senate Republican is the party's "original sin," and that the program's rollout is an attempt to fix what it inherited — yet another tacit contention which essentially comes down to, "It's Bush's fault."
Anyone out there who still doesn't believe or won't admit that the establishment press is hopelessly biased in favor of the left, particularly the Obama administration, needs to have the establishment press's virtual failure to cover the Jessica Sanford story rubbed in their faces.
Ms. Sanford is the unfortunate victim of deception by Washington state's Obamacare exchange. When it was thought that she would get a significant Obamacare subsidy and a net monthly premium of $169, President Obama touted her story based on a letter she wrote to him in a Rose Garden speech. Ms. Sanford has since learned that the state exchange seriously erred, and that she will get no subsidy at all. Because she can't afford to pay the monthly premium, which now appears to be in the neighborhood of $600 a month (her original premium was said to be $169, and her original subsidy was reported as $452), she will go without health insurance coverage next year and pay the Affordable Care Act's mandated fine.
After going 72 hours without even mentioning ObamaCare on its air waves, NBC's continued refusal to cover the disastrous policy on Thursday's Nightly News or Friday's Today brought that total up to 96 hours. Amazingly, Friday's Today had the audacity to include two segments about Vice President Joe Biden buying lunch at a Washington D.C. sandwich shop rather provide any ObamaCare updates.
Even ABC's Good Morning America, a morning show generally devoid of all substance, managed to find time for at least a few seconds on the topic: "Speaking of President Obama, more trouble this morning for ObamaCare. The Wall Street Journal says it has obtained documents that show some insurance companies are drastically cutting payments to doctors. Forcing those doctors to reconsider whether they want to participate in the new exchanges, which could hurt choice for consumers."
Looky Loo: A term for someone who looks at something with no intention of buying it.
CNN Money published an article trumpeting the fact that 10,000 per day were "applying" (also "registering") on the California Obamacare website, Covered California. Among the many statistics happily tossed out by the reporter, Tami Luhby, one is notably missing. The most important stat of them all: how many people actually paid for an Obamacare insurance policy. So let us now join Ms Luhby reciting the California Obamacare statistics...except for the most vital one:
Morning Joe sidekick Mika Brzezinski hurled a favorite liberal accusation at Republicans on Thursday’s episode. She started by presenting it merely as a question that she and Joe Scarborough received often during his book tour: “One of the points [Joe] makes [in his book] was illuminated in a question that we get everywhere we went, which is why do Republicans not want Americans to have health care? That’s what they think.”
Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush White House staffer, unfortunately accepted the premise that Republicans don’t want people to have health care. The supposedly conservative guest replied with just the answer Brzezinski wanted: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The cover for the December 2 issue of Time magazine has been released and it’s a brutal shot at the failed ObamaCare rollout. Underneath a picture of a broken pill with the words “Obama Care” imprinted on it, the headline reads: “Broken Promise, What It Means For This Presidency.”
However, back in 2009 Time magazine was singing a different tune when it depicted the President as your friendly family doctor ready to heal a broken healthcare system with the headline: “Paging Dr. Obama.”
Following two split rulings on abortion this week, one at the ballot box and one by the Supreme Court, the folks at MSNBC have engaged in an all-out assault pushing their pro-abortion agenda across their network. On Wednesday November 20 things weren’t much different as NewsNation host Tamron Hall brought on MSNBC darling and “women’s health advocate” Sandra Fluke for a one-sided discussion on abortion in America.
The segment began with host Hall framing the issue as “the Supreme Court ruled it would not intervene to stop Texas’ restrictive abortion law while voters in Albuquerque rejected an abortion ban.”
After censoring any coverage of the continuing ObamaCare disaster since Monday morning, NBC did manage to find time to cover Michelle Obama's fashion choices and the First Couple's first date on Wednesday's Today, with co-host Matt Lauer excitedly telling viewers to stay tuned: "First Lady Michelle Obama opens up about her very first date with the future president as well as her biggest fashion regret." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the segment that followed, news reader Natalie Morales gushed: "We're used to seeing First Lady Michelle Obama looking very stylish and picture perfect, but in a new interview with BET, the First Lady admitted there is one particular look that she now regrets....the First Lady was also asked about her first date with the President and she revealed more about their day-long adventure than she's ever really revealed before."
On Tuesday and Wednesday, CNN ignored a bombshell revelation that "30 to 40" percent of the online federal exchange has not been completed almost two months after its rollout.
CNN prefaced the hearing Tuesday morning by reporting that ObamaCare's "top technology manager" Henry Chao was set to testify before Congress. Although CNN.com reported Chao's words, the network completely missed the story.
Wednesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three morning show to spotlight Henry Chao's stunning revelation to Congress – that a significant portion of the I.T. infrastructure needed to support HealthCare.gov has yet to be built. NBC's Today completely ignored Chao's testimony, while GMA aired a 19-second brief that vaguely summarized the hearing. Meanwhile, the ABC show devoted a 1 minute and 45 second report to a puppy that sleeps with a baby.
Major Garrett reported that Chao "told Congress Tuesday the team making emergency repairs still has another major task to accomplish: building 30 percent to 40 percent of the web systems needed to make payments to insurance companies." Garrett also featured two soundbites from the testimony of a panel of cyber-security experts, who warned that the ObamaCare website remains vulnerable to hackers: [audio available here; video below the jump]
By most pundits’ reckoning, Obamacare is in serious trouble. Another poll is out today, this one from CBS News, and the findings provide no relief for the administration or its defenders. Just the opposite.
Obama’s poll ratings are down and so are the numbers for his sole major legislative achievement, his healthcare law:
Can anyone imagine a top Bush 43 adviser, say Karl Rove, telling a reporter that his boss couldn't attend an important American historical anniversary event because "he's too busy trying to save the Republican Party"?
Dan Pfeiffer is "Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications." Today, in response to a tough but fair question tweeted by Ron Fournier at the National Journal, Pfeiffer said that President Barack Obama wasn't attending the ceremonies surrounding the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address because "there's this whole website thing that someone suggested might destroy the Dem Party." The exchange would surely generate a great deal of press coverage if it involved a conservative or Republican presidential adviser, but the only story other than at Fournier's National Journal was at the Hill, a popular burial ground for such stories. The Fournier-Pfeiffer exchange, with some external razzing, follows the jump (HT Twitchy):
When conservatives appear on MSM shows, they regularly get raked over the coals. Frustratingly, the conservative guests rarely call their interviewers out for their obvious lefty bias.
So it was refreshing to see Republican Congressman Chaffetz of Utah refuse to let Luke Russert's liberal slant slide. In the guise of a question, Russert, subbing for Andrea Mitchell on her MSNBC show today, confronted Chaffetz with a contentious bit of editorializing against the "Ted Cruz, Mike Lee rabbit hole." Chaffetz called Russert on it: "That was a loaded question there, Luke!" View the video after the jump.
Despite a running time of four hours, NBC's Today show on Tuesday skipped a blistering poll for Barack Obama and the latest news about the disastrous rollout of the President's health care law. Yet, the morning show managed five minutes for discussing the new TV special from singer John Rich and three minutes on table etiquette for Thanksgiving. Not exactly pressing topics. In contrast, both ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning covered the current wave of bad news.
An ABC News/Washington Post survey found Obama's approval rating at just 42 percent, what Jon Karl referred to as "the lowest job approval we have ever seen" for his presidency. GMA's George Stephanopoulos conceded that these are "brutal numbers." Karl even relayed this result: "We asked voters if they can have a mulligan on the 2012 presidential election, who they would vote for? A plurality now say they would vote for Romney over Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The journalists also focused on what the administration knew in advance of the impending ObamaCare collapse.
Now that even the most partisan Democrats have been forced to admit that the Healthcare.gov website has been a disaster, media lefties are scrambling to answer the question of how it happened—while simultaneously trying to draw as few implications about the leadership of President Obama.
As she so often does, CNN analyst Gloria Borger has provided a preview into what the conventional left-media analysis is going to become: Obama just doesn’t like bad news. And somehow this has something to do with not just George W. Bush but also Ronald Reagan.
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose unsurprisingly conducted a hostile interview of Scott Walker on Monday's CBS This Morning. The two anchors, who have a long record of hammering Republican/conservative guests, badgered the Wisconsin governor on ObamaCare, the 2016 presidential race, and over the immigration issue.
O'Donnell, in particular, went after Walker, asking, "You have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul...Congressman Paul Ryan?" She later rephrased this same question, and hinted at her liberal slant on the immigration issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
A scandalized Chris Matthews on Friday railed against Dick Cheney for having the audacity to call out Barack Obama's "lie" on Americans being able to keep their health insurance. Naturally, the Hardball anchor insinuated that the reason behind this was racism. An angry Matthews fumed, "Dick Cheney comes right out and calls [Obama] a liar. When a right-wing back-bencher did that four years ago, he was called out for rebuke even by his own party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The host continued, "Well, now what was condemned as historic bad behavior comes snarling out of Dick Cheney's mouth and nobody says to shut up." Matthews hinted, "Is this, calling the President a liar, the new language of American politics. Or is it a language specially treated for the country's first African-American president?"
Monday's CBS This Morning is the sole Big Three newscast so far to cover the firing of William P. White, a day after the now former D.C. official criticized President Obama's plan to let insurers temporarily restore canceled health insurance policies for a year. Nancy Cordes revealed how "D.C.'s insurance commissioner was abruptly fired by the city's Democratic mayor...after he warned that reinstating canceled plans 'undercuts the purpose' of the new health care exchanges." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Cordes's mention of Mayor Vincent Gray sacking the commissioner came a day after the Washington Post buried their story on the firing on page C7 of its Metro section on Sunday.
After playing a clip of Saturday Night Live mocking President Obama's "embattled second term" on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie sympathetically observed: "I guess if you're at the White House you laugh so you don't cry." She then turned to Obama's former press secretary Robert Gibbs and wondered: "What do you think the President's state of mind is right now? I mean, have you ever seen him like this, saying – acknowledging, 'I have a credibility problem'?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gibbs responded by trying to insulate the President from any responsibility for the disastrous ObamaCare rollout: "I think he is obviously tremendously frustrated that no one told him the extent of this problem. I think that you, as the commander-in-chief and as the President of the United States, have to trust all of those around you to implement and I think there's no doubt a deficit of trust that's lead to that deficit of credibility."
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, former PBS and CBS reporter Terence Smith said President Obama "has a point" when complaining of media malpractice in covering ObamaCare.
"I think, in fact, in this case, the President has a point, however, that headlines like that, 'Disaster,' you're labeling ObamaCare before it has a chance," insisted Smith, who once defended the legacy of Jimmy Carter while ripping Reagan's management of government. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Appearing as a guest on Friday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry asserted that Republican opposition to ObamaCare was "creating a faulty levee system in our health care" as she tried to argue that the ObamaCare disaster should not be referred to as President Obama's political equivalent of Hurricane Katrina. Host Al Sharpton posed:
On Monday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander lifted talking points directly from an Organizing for Action email while reporting on the political fallout from ObamaCare: "With his signature law under fire, the President faces a daunting to-do list to resuscitate ObamaCare. Number one, fix the website....Number two, clear up confusion....Number three, keep Democratic allies on board....And finally, regain Americans' trust." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the OFA email, President Obama told his supporters: "I have just over three years left as president – and there's a lot left on my to-do list. That's why I want to talk with you....I want to cut through the noise and talk with you directly about where we're headed in the fight for change."
The hosts of the increasingly superficial Good Morning America on Monday hyped the latest episode of Dancing With the Stars, the newest Justin Bieber movie and previewed Vince Vaughan's film, a combined ten minutes of air time. Yet, the journalists at GMA allowed no time for the news that the insurer United Health is dropping thousands of doctors from its plan as a result of ObamaCare.
The Wall Street Journal on Saturday first reported, "UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation's largest provider of privately managed Medicare Advantage plans, has dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks." NBC's Today and CBS This Morning similarly ignored the story. Stuart Varney highlighted the loss of doctors on Fox Business. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Just when I complimented my friends at The Salt Lake Tribune for being authentic for owning the cause of anything other than Mormon and Republican in Utah, they have to go and act like their journalistic editorial standards trump their politics – which is, of course, nonsense.
When the Media Research Center in Washington, D.C., cited dozens of reports and editorials issued by the Tribune painting Utah Senator Mike Lee negatively throughout the drama over the shutdown of the federal government, the Tribune balked.
Well, that settles it. Sunday on ABC's "This Week" (video here) New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand admitted that "We all knew" that Obamacare's core guarantee — "If you like your plan-doctor-provider, you can keep your plan-doctor-provider" — was false. That's "we" as in "all of us Democrats."
There's no wiggle room in what Gillibrand said, as will be demonstrated after the jump. Also note how guest host Martha Raddatz, with her use of "we," admitted to viewers that she's on the same team with Washington's Democrats two and possibly three different times (HT Truth Revolt via Ed Driscoll).