On CNN's "American Morning" today, senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta warned of proposed cuts to a Federal program. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is under assault by - you guessed it - George W. Bush.
Since WIC was founded over 30 years ago, thoughts on nutrition have changed. See, the problem then was malnutrition, not obesity. So most WIC vouchers are for cereal, breads, crackers, milk products. Checks for force (sic) fresh fruits and vegetables don't exist.
So last August the U.S. Department of Agriculture decided to add produce to the voucher system, to give clients a more balanced diet. They're expected to be available next year. But some say that might not happen, because WIC is on the chopping block, slated for a $145 million cut in President Bush's 2008 budget.
Here's one ally that most people opposed to the airing of Cho's material would surely just as soon do without.
In an MSNBC column, Siva Vaidhyanathan claims that NBC News' decision to air the material was unfair to, that's right, Cho the mass murderer.
In Material from Killer Should Not Have Aired, Vaidhyanathan does note en passant that the airing "ultimately was disrespectful to the victims and their families." But the lion's share of his column is devoted to complaining that NBC was "exploitative of Cho's condition and that of all severely mentally ill people."
We will see sick attempts at humor, bigoted jokes about Korean immigrants and chilling calls to violence. And we will see a proliferation of hateful material that will be an assault on the mentally ill and their families.
When Republican strategist Michelle Laxalt began to describe the clinical reality of partial-birth abortion on MSNBC this morning at about 10:55 AM EDT, MSNBC host Chris Jansing cut her off, saying she didn't want to get into an "emotional debate." Of course not. Better to focus on the antiseptic "right to choose" without letting the gruesome reality of the matter intrude.
In partial birth abortion, the doctor collapses the near-term baby's skull and its brains are then sucked out. Immediately after stopping Laxalt just as she was about to state that, Jansing herself said that the GOP might welcome the debate on the partial birth abortion issue "after Iraq and some of the other things that have gone on at the White House that have sort of sucked the life out of the Republican party."
Not a media bias item, but a reflection of how the media coverage of the VA Tech massacre is evolving . . .
Good Morning America's Chris Cuomo gave VA Tech a rough going-over today regarding its failure to have removed Cho from campus before he murdered 32 people. Cuomo introduced the segment, entitled "Were Warning Signs Missed on Campus," this way:
CHRIS CUOMO: Now students, their parents and friends are left with many questions of whether or not the university did everything it could to prevent all this.
Cuomo then played a video clip of Anne Atkinson, the parent of a VA Tech student, asking: "why did they allow him to stay? I think this could have been prevented."
The April 17 New York Times did not focus on the "tremendous number of potential conflicts" of the AARP's decision to start offering health insurance while continuing to lobby the government.
The obvious conflict is regarding what AARP will lobby for once it begins providing private insurance to individuals.
But the Times didn't try hard to find that conflict. Only four people were quoted in the 700-word article including two AARP executives, liberal Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Judith A. Stein of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
In the post-Walter Reed world, the MSM is on the prowl for stories that fit the template -- troops suffering at the hands of an indifferent military health bureaucracy. Yesterday's episode of the Montel Williams show demonstrates what happens when a soldier doesn't stick to the victimization script.
Have a look at this article from the Grand Junction [Colo.] Sentinel, which reports on the appearance on the Williams show of Kelli Frasier, a resident of Clifton, CO in the Grand Junction area. Frasier, who served 11 months in Iraq, was invited onto the show to discuss her experiences in Iraq and once she returned home. According to the article, "Frasier suffers anxiety attacks and bouts of unexplainable anger and has been diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder." But while Williams was eager to emphasize the problems Frasier has encountered, according to the article:
When she told Williams she was treated well by the Department of Veterans Affairs, he seemed to lose interest and moved quickly to another segment, she said.
CBS News, via its "Public Eye" blog, has responded to the National Center for Public Policy Research's critique (covered here yesterday in Newsbusters) of its 60 Minutes show Sunday.
In a nutshell, The National Center's David Hogberg had complained that a recent "60 Minutes" broadcast relied upon unrepresentative, artifically-high data to determine the price seniors are paying for drugs under Medicare. Second, David said "60 Minutes" falsely claimed the Veterans Administration derives its prices by negotiation with drug companies, not telling viewers the VA uses strict price controls.
Viewers were expected to conclude that VA-like negotiations by Medicare would result in lower drug prices for Medicare recipients. The critical phrase "price controls" never came up.
The National Center for Public Policy Research's health care senior policy analyst, David Hogberg, contacted
the CBS television show "60 Minutes" five times last week -- by telephone, fax and e-mail -- to warn the show's producers that a report by the leftie big-government health care lobby group Families USA, which "60 Minutes" planned to highlight in Sunday's show, rested on faulty data.
The Families USA report made certain claims in support of calls that Medicare be permitted to "negotiate (read: dictate) drug prices to drug companies. An analysis David completed for the National Center in January, and which he made available to "60 Minutes," called the Families USA study "nonsense."
As David explained in a National Center press release today:
Sometimes bias shows up in the most unexpected spots. During a segment about Americans losing out to the Dutch when it comes to average height, NBC's Dawna Friesen cited a Democratic talking point, as one of the reasons. In the 7:30am half hour of this morning's 'Today' show Friesen explored the reasons why Americans are "shrinking" in contrast to the Dutch and other Western Europeans. Along with diet and nutrition Friesen blamed our shorter statures on lack of universal healthcare:
"And there's health care. Everyone in the Netherlands has access to it whereas in the U.S., 47 million people have no health insurance."
The following is the full segment as it aired on the April 2, 'Today' show:
Wednesday's CBS Evening News with Katie Couric featured another "The federal government is our only hope" segment, this time focusing on the "war on cancer." Couric introduced the segment by arguing that cancer therapies were being thwarted because of "funding cuts that could delay or completely derail promising advances in the war of cancer."
The story, by CBS correspondent Wyatt Andrews, featured only one member of Congress, Iowa's Senator Tom Harkin, who echoed Couric and claimed that the "war on cancer" is in jeopardy due to war in Iraq. The "money" quote:
HARKIN: When you're spending $8 billion a month in Iraq, it's very tough to get the money for cancer research.
Eating up calls for more regulation, CBS "Evening News" attacked kid's cereal makers for television advertising in last night's broadcast.
The nanny-staters were at it again, warning on March 28 that children who like sugary cereals are "setting off alarms." Really? Is it any sort of surprise that children prefer sweet cereals to bran flakes? It doesn't surprise me, I still hate bran flakes.
Bill Whitaker's brought on Susan Linn "one of a chorus of critics calling for the government to ban the ads," but Whitaker didn't mention that Linn is the co-founder of the liberal Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Linn declared that "self-regulation has failed."
John McCain was making the rounds on the network and cable news channel morning shows on Wednesday. During his appearance on "American Morning," substitute host John Roberts tried to lay a guilt trip on the Arizona Senator when he brought up the current hot topic of cancer (McCain received treatment for melanoma in 2000). His first question resorted to the old left-wing cliche that throwing more money at a problem will lead to a solution.
ROBERTS: Again this year, in the next budget, President Bush has proposed to cut funding for the National Cancer Institute. I was on their web site this morning and noticed that for all the major cancer groups, spending on research has gone down for the past two years. Your party was in charge during that time. How did you let it happen?
"Low-nitrosamine smokeless tobacco poses 10% or less of the health risks of cigarettes, according to various studies, including a 2004 National Cancer Institute-funded article," the Journal wrote.
The Journal quoted Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society who said, "There's no question that switching to spit tobacco and quitting tobacco altogether are both far less lethal than continuing to smoke."
On Monday, a blogger had to cancel a speaking engagement at a tech conference because she was receiving death threats from people through her e-mail and at other websites.
On Tuesday, a radio personality and blogger at the Huffington Post suggested that White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has cancer because he lies and works for Fox News.
I kid you not.
His name is Charles Karel Bouley, and what follows are excerpts from this abomination intentionally placed after the break for those that would prefer to not read this kind of deplorable vitriol (h/t Allah at Hot Air, emphasis added throughout):
Who says the long sound bite is dead? According to an MRC analysis, "Good Morning America" devoted over 26 minutes of its two hour time slot on Monday to a fawning town hall meeting with Senator Hillary Clinton.
Town hall or pep rally? Hard to tell, judging from the first half-hour of Hillary's appearance on Good Morning America today. Host Robin Roberts lavished praise on Hillary, suggested there's unanimous support for the Dem Iraq policy, and fielded only one audience question -- which came from someone who worked on Hillarycare in 1993 and beseeched Clinton to try it again as president.
GMA today kicked off its series of Town Hall meetings with the presidential candidates. This one, featuring Hillary, was located in Des Moines, Iowa. During the opening schmooze, Hillary, speaking of Iraq, stated: "I'm very proud that all the Democrats are saying the same thing and that's what we should all be working toward, and that's to begin to change this policy and get us on the right track."
ROBERTS: That is something that I think the country completely agrees on, on both sides about that.
Matt Lauer said the right thing. Was it for the wrong reason?
Discussing on this morning's "Today" with Tim Russert the current wrangling between the Bush administration and the Dem congress over a bill to fund the Iraq war and the Dems' attempt to include a "date certain" for troop withdrawal, Matt Lauer said:
"Robert Gates, the Defense Secretary, has said that sometime next month that the funding for troops on the ground will run out. So now we've got a very high stakes game of political chicken. And can you imagine the Democrats getting to a point where they actually stop the funding for troops on the ground? That would be a disaster, wouldn't it?"
"A new drug that proved to be so effective so quickly, the approval process was sped up," lauded CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric on March 13.
Couric and other reporters had reason to praise the newly FDA-approved drug Tykerb. The drug is approved for treatment of a specific kind of breast cancer, called HER-2 positive, and is showing tremendous promise.
Cancer patient Marsha Brekke told ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" that the drug was her last chance. Brekke has been cancer free for more than a year.
But what all three networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, left out of the evening newscasts on March 13 was any mention of the company that developed this breakthrough drug.
CBS anchor Katie Couric contended Monday night that the “self-evident” truths in the Declaration of Independence -- “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” -- are denied by the lack of health insurance for many Americans. Introducing a piece on a doctor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City who treats the poor of Harlem, Couric adopted a very liberal definition of basic rights as she added “good health” and asserted on the CBS Evening News:
“More than 46 million Americans have no health insurance. So when it comes to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and good health, all men are not created equal. A doctor here in New York City learned that lesson early in his career. He's spent the last 40 years trying to level the playing field for the poorest of patients.”
Merrill Goozner at the leftie Center for Science in the Public Interest (as opposed to the Center for Objective Science, presumably) went to the equally-leftie Guardian in Britain to argue in favor of expanding the insolvent U.S. Medicare system to cover uninsured people.
Goozner's column focused on 12-year-old Deamonte Driver of Prince George's County, MD, who died as a result of an untreated tooth infection. The left has been using Driver's death, not terribly convincingly (given the facts of the case), as an argument-by-acecdote in favor of socialized medicine.
Perhaps you spotted the pro-universal health care story on today’s New York Times front page, but what you likely didn’t read speaks volumes about the Times.
The article was an example of selective reporting based on a NY Times/CBS News poll which included loaded questions and only provided liberal answers for respondents to pick from.
One of the most loaded questions asked, “How serious a problem is it for the U.S. that many Americans do not have health insurance – very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?” Not surprisingly, 70 percent of respondents chose “very serious.”
My colleague Paul Detrick regularly monitors public radio and when doing so today he caught this gem from American Public Media's (APM) Marxist Place, er, "Marketplace" program.
A new study finds that high taxes and good healt go together. Researchers say states with higher taxes spend more money on social programs which ultimately leads to healthier kids.
Turns out APM didn't tell listeners about the political donations of the study's liberal author, nor turn to conservative health care experts for criticism or to offer market-oriented solutions to covering more children with health insurance.
Ripping a line straight from a TV infomercial, CBS reporter Kelly Wallace downplayed the true cost of "emergency elder home care" provided by Freddie Mac with one little phrase:
"Just $15 a day."
But wait a minute ... that comes out to $5,475 a year for the employee who needs this benefit for an aging parent. The 'Evening News' segment from February 21 blatantly advocated for companies to provide elder care assistance to employees, scolded those that do not and urged workers to ask for these programs. Read the full Business & Media Institute article here.
Cancer is truly a tragedy in every case, but that was no excuse for ABC "World News Tonight's" shoddy shell game during the February 15 broadcast.
In a segment on reduced federal funding for cancer research, anchor Charles Gibson introduced the story by stating that the National Cancer Institute has seen funding decreases in the past two years and the Bush budget is promoting a third cut.
But by the time reporter Lisa Stark actually did any math she was using the budget cuts from one non-profit organization, but hadn't bothered to explain why. And that wasn't the only thing Stark left out of the segment.
You can find the entire Business & Media Institute story here.
On Monday’s Today co-host Matt Lauer interviewed 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards about the Iraq War and his healthcare plan. Lauer did asks some tough questions such as challenging Edwards’s call for a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq within the next 18 months. Lauer read the National Intelligence Estimate, which said that would be a disaster, and he asked "so why are you right and why is an intelligence estimate, that’s basically a compilation of the best ideas of 16 intelligence groups in this country, wrong?"
However, Lauer offered some praise for this liberal former Senator. When Edwards painted a grim situation in Iraq, Matt Lauer exclaimed "I applaud your honesty." At the end of the interview Lauer showed his love for Edwards when he stated, "you’re a superstar as well." The entire transcript is below.
CNN anchor Lou Dobbs appeared with the ladies on ABC's The View to deliver some rather liberal opinions. He stumped for a minimum wage increase, railed against the influence big corporations have on politics, and pushed for universal healthcare. Interestingly, Dobbs was not grilled the way Bill O’Reilly was on the same show several months ago. Also of note, the co-hosts did not even touch illegal immigration, the one issue where Lou Dobbs is famously conservative.
Rosie O’Donnell asked the question she has been obsessing on lately.
O’Donnell: "Mr Dobbs, do you think that some Senator for principle, if not for follow through, should call for the impeachment of George Bush?"
Dobbs did not answer the question, perhaps because he does not want to upset his CNN colleague Jack Cafferty. Instead, Dobbs sighed and exclaimed "boy" before listing his complaints about Bush administration failings. ABC went to a hard break before O'Donnell and Joy Behar could get a definitive yes or no out of him.
Video clip of Dobbs failing to reject the idea of impeaching President Bush, ending with ABC's hard ad break (56 seconds): Real (1.7 MB) or Windows Media (1.9 MB), plus MP3 audio (400 KB)
The National Center for Public Policy Research's health policy analyst, David Hogberg, is impressed by Paul Krugman -- by Krugman's mastery of spin, that is.
Here's David's look at the way Krugman is covering some of President Bush's recent statements on health care reform:
I have to admire Paul Krugman's ability to deceive with spin. He is a master at it. This passage from his last column is a quintessential example:
Mr. Bush is also proposing a tax increase ... on workers who, he thinks, have too much health insurance. The tax code, he said, "unwisely encourages workers to choose overly expensive, gold-plated plans. The result is that insurance premiums rise, and many Americans cannot afford the coverage they need."
While interviewing Senator Hillary Clinton Tuesday during MSNBC's State of the Union coverage, Chris Matthews referred to "ideologues on the right" who opposed her health care plan from 1994, saying they had planned to "kill this baby in its bassinette." Matthews wondered if Senator Clinton still felt the "sting of that strategy on the other side." (Transcript follows)
Below is a transcript of Matthews's question to Senator Clinton:
Matthews, to Hillary Clinton at 10:47pm EST.: "Back when you were working so hard on health care, back in the 90s, in the early 90s, and you really thought you could get some kind of compromise at the end, I believe, and the word came from the ideologues on the right, 'Kill this baby in its bassinette. Do not let them get a compromise health care bill that they can get credit for.' Do you still feel the sting of that strategy on the other side?"
In a very poorly written article in the Washington Post, reporter Christopher Lee seems to find it remarkable that a lot of the health insurance groups that opposed Hillary Clinton-Care back in the early 1990s are now on board with a number of the new efforts at health insurance reform (and I use that last term loosely).
Proving that Al Gore isn't interested in any dispassionate investigation or debate about global Warming, Gore perpetrated a last minute disappearing act and skipped an interview with the biggest Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, that was set up months in advance.
Flemming Rose, the Jyllands-Posten culture editor, penned an interesting expose of Gore's ducking out on the Wall Street journal's Opinion Journal site today taking the former VP to task. How many other papers do you think will mention Gore's cowardice?
Bet, few... if not no... others do.
Al Gore is traveling around the world telling us how we must fundamentally change our civilization due to the threat of global warming. Last week he was in Denmark to disseminate this message. But if we are to embark on the costliest political project ever, maybe we should make sure it rests on solid ground. It should be based on the best facts, not just the convenient ones. This was the background for the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, to set up an investigative interview with Mr. Gore. And for this, the paper thought it would be obvious to team up with Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," who has provided one of the clearest counterpoints to Mr. Gore's tune.