News editors need to retake Journalism 101 or move to features when stories about the White House dog take precedence over a controversial veto by the President's unconfirmed appointment to Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius vetoed a bill, House Substitute for SB 218, April 23 which would have placed additional restrictions on third trimester abortions and allowed more criminal charges over late-term procedures to occur.
With the exception of "Special Report with Bret Baier" that night and "Fox and Friends" the morning of April 24, the broadcast media avoided covering the controversial decision. But "Today," "The Early Show," and "Good Morning America" all had time to cover Michelle Obama talking about the first family's new dog Bo the morning of April 24.
"Good Morning America" medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson on Friday gave ex-Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle a forum to promote his calls for a government run health care system. Co-host Robin Roberts made it clear in an introduction to the segment that there would be no discussion of the tax problems that forced Daschle to withdraw his nomination. Johnson, however, did offer softballs about what might have been. He cooed, "How hard is it for you to be sitting somewhat on the sidelines, compared to what you would have done?"
The medical doctor also agitated for quick action on a universal health care bill. Johnson extolled, "We hear constantly, if health care isn't done this year, politically, it's going to be impossible...Do you agree?" In a break from past cheerleading for government run health care, the medical expert actually asked a few challenging questions of the former Democratic senator. He asserted, "Most Americans will say they're for health care reform. But they don't want to pay any more for their health care. Or very little more. Can you have health care reform without increasing, overall, the costs for individual Americans?" Johnson also brought up Republican opposition to the legislation.
On October 19, 2007, the ABC News correspondent queried then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "Do you think the Republicans who are against [universal health care] are immoral?" On April 26, 2007, GMA co-host Robin Roberts introduced a Johnson segment on a new congressional health care bill by Ted Kennedy. She enthused, "You’re very happy about this. You say it's bold and politically brilliant."
As the Colorado House of Representative took us further down the road to socialized health care earlier this week, Douglas County School are considering moving to a Health Savings Account plan for their employees. Needless to say, the Denver Post finds this objectionable:
Douglas County School District soon may join a growing number of employers pushing workers to manage their own medical spending with health savings accounts, eliminating copays for drugs and doctor visits.
The transition is frightening for many who see it as a reinvention of health insurance as they've always known it.
No wonder this guy professes love for President Obama: neither one cares how much the government spends . . .
Ed Schultz debuted his MSNBC show this evening by calling for universal health care, saying "I don't care how much it costs." There was one area, however, in which Schultz did show more guts than his new colleague, Keith Olbermann.
Since former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean stepped down as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he has ventured into other opportunities.
One of those opportunities was to be a business pundit for the financial news channel CNBC, even though Dean's background prior to politics was in medicine. But just over a week later, in an e-mail dated April 2 to MoveOn.org mailing list subscribers, Dean wrote he was leaving Washington to hit the campaign trail "to help President Obama win health care for all."
Monday’s CBS Early Show promoted embryonic stem cell research as co-host Julie Chen declared: "And blood shortages at hospitals could become a thing of the past. We're going to tell you how stem cells could hold the key to creating artificial blood." She later teased the story: "Up next, a doctor's dream, an unlimited supply of blood. We're going to tell you how one researcher thinks it can happen soon."
In a later report on the research, correspondent Elizabeth Palmer explained: "Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. In surgery, on cancer wards, and on America's battlefields, blood transfusions save lives...And elsewhere, especially in the developing world, there's a real chance the blood could be contaminated with diseases like AIDS or Hepatitis C. Enter Dr. Marc Turner, a cell biologist from Scotland who's received a multimillion-dollar research grant to make blood in his lab from human stem cells."
A major pharmaceutical company lobbies to require that children be given a vaccine. Parents should be made aware of any problems resulting from the vaccine, right? Not according to a recent Washington Post article.
Rob Stein’s March 26 article about the Gardasil vaccine debate failed to include any references to the several documented cases of health problems and even death that resulted from the vaccinations. His two-page article highlighted the tone of the Gardasil debate, reflecting the impact on young girls’ sex lives and the potential use for a male vaccine. But Stein barely touched on the concerns of critics that the vaccine actually caused health issues for young women.
The Gardasil vaccine is a series of three shots offered to young women to significantly lower their risk of contracting the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer. Stein noted that “Critics worried that vaccinating children would send a subtle signal that their parents assumed they would become sexually active and that it would give youngsters a false sense of security.” True enough, but critics are also worried that this miracle vaccine may come with its own set of problems.
CNN’s Zain Verjee couldn’t seem to find any health care “experts” who agreed with Pope Benedict XVI during a report on Tuesday’s Situation Room about the “political firestorm” the pontiff apparently set off during his first visit to Africa. Verjee not only cited unnamed “experts” who disagreed with the pope’s statement that the distribution of condoms on the continent “increases the problem” of HIV/AIDS instead of helping it, but also found “some priests and nuns working with AIDS victims in Africa question the church’s anti-condom policy.”
Anchor Wolf Blitzer introduced the correspondent’s report, hyping how “Pope Benedict XVI is facing a condom controversy right now. That may be last thing he needs on his first tour of Africa, [which is] struggling to cope with a massive AIDS epidemic.” Verjee continued in this vein: “Pope Benedict XVI set off another political firestorm, even before he landed in Africa, saying condoms could make the HIV/AIDS crisis worse. He told reporters, ‘It’s a tragedy, but you can’t resolve with it the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem.’
Obama is at it again. This time Fox News is reporting that two days after Obama took the widespread media glory for overturning the Federal ban on embryo research, he signed a law banning it again. Except this time there were no celebrations or media fanfare. It's almost as if Barack Obama has this country running full speed through a house of mirrors.
Left-wing talk show host Ed Schultz guest-hosted MSNBC’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday night (could it be a tryout for that fourth spot in the ultraliberal MSNBC evening batting order after Maddow?) In one interview, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter reminded all conservatives of a certain age how eager he is for socialist health care, just as he was for Hillary’s plan the last time around. The first symptom? Deny the reality in front of everyone’s face, that somehow he and the Democrats don’t favor having the government run everything:
ALTER: First of all, nobody‘s talking about a government-run system. As John Podesta just indicated, if you‘re happy with your private health insurance, you‘re going to be able to keep it, no matter what comes out of this Congressional process. We need to stop stigmatizing, the name calling, the socialized medicine, the government-run programs. All that is just BS. This is—
ALTER: This is about a compromise that‘s going to offer a lot more choices. It is going to be expensive. But the question is whether it‘s more expensive to have the status quo. And health care experts on the left and the right believe that to be the case. That‘s why we‘re ready for change.
CNN’s Sanjay Gupta filled in as host on Larry King Live on Wednesday, six days after ending his bid to be Obama's surgeon general. Despite his medical training, he did not see fit to correct former President Bill Clinton after he repeatedly referred to human embryos as not being fertilized.
During his initial question, Gupta referred to Clinton as “someone who studied this,” but after he made his erroneous assertion the first time, Gupta only asked if the former president had “any reservations” to stem cell research that would destroy human embryos. Clinton would go on to make this false characterization five more times in his answer to Gupta’s lone follow-up.
Gupta's interview with the former president was devoted mainly to health care reform. The brain surgeon brought up the issue of embryonic stem cell research after he observed that Clinton’s finger sometimes shook when he pointed it. When Clinton clarified that he had consulted with a doctor, who told him in wasn’t Parkinson’s Disease, Gupta asked the former president about President Obama’s decision to remove the limitations on federal funding for the embryo-killing research: “There was a federal -- an order today providing federal money for embryonic stem cell research. First of all, let me just ask you, as someone who studied this, is this going to always be as divisive an issue as it is now? Is this going to be the abortion of the next generation, or are people going to come around?”
The Treasury Department oversees the Internal Revenue Service. But if the Secretary of the Treasury - or any other political appointee being considered for the Treasury Department - didn't pay his income payroll taxes, it doesn't matter. That's the message from House Banking Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and he blamed the fourth estate for acting like it does matter.
"I think it's a problem, although I will say this - for the media to blame that entirely on the Senate seems to me a little bit self serving," Frank said. "I mean, the media is the problem here, in part. It is the over-focus on part of people in the media to relatively minor infractions that causes this. I guarantee you my colleagues would not on their own be doing this. So I do think we are in a culture now where a lack of perfection exacts too strong a toll, but that's the politicians reacting to the media."
Four days after Sanjay Gupta, in the wake of Tom Daschle's withdrawal as HHS Secretary-designate, decided to turn down the Obama administration's offer to become Surgeon General, CBS went to the CNN medical correspondent for expert analysis on the benefits of Obama's decision to allow federal funding of research on embryonic stem cells. (Monday afternoon following Obama's announcement, CNN refrained from putting Gupta on the air. Wolf Blitzer, however, brought him aboard the 6 PM EDT hour of The Situation Room to expound on what Gupta described as the “enthusiasm” and “lot of promise” offered by the administration's reversal of the Bush policy.)
CBS anchor Katie Couric fretted Obama's decision didn't do enough. Referring to a law which “prohibits the creation of embryos simply for the purpose of using their stem cells,” Couric worried: “If the ban against using tax dollars for this is not lifted, will it hinder progress?” Gupta assured her there are “plenty of embryos” available. Next, Couric cited how “the only FDA-approved clinical trial for using stem cells involved spinal cord injuries” and wondered: “What other conditions or diseases show the most potential to respond to this kind of therapy?”
You come to NewsBusters for the reporting the American Media just won't do, to hold truth to power, and to point out when they look the other way as their ideological leader does things like give an easy button to Russia, or claims that cars were invented by Americans, while getting economic advice from someone who can't actually make money.
And in hindsight, I almost have to admire Bill Clinton for how he was able to stretch a penny of truth into a dollar. Obama, he doesn't even try, and shame on you if you won't swallow his lies because like claiming Americans invented the automobile, it's only for our benefit. In his stem cell announcement Obama said:
"scientists believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us understand, and possibly cure, some of our most devastating diseases and conditions... To spur insulin production and spare a child from a lifetime of needles... But that potential will not reveal itself on its own.Medical miracles do not happen simply by accident."
Correspondent Lisa Stark’s report on ABC’s World News on Sunday almost completely slanted in favor of President Obama’s decision to overturn the ban on federal funding of stem cell research which destroys human embryos. Stark minimized the controversial nature of the research, devoting only one sound bite out of four to a critic of the president’s move.
Anchor Dan Harris introduced Stark’s report by selling the apparent promise of embryonic stem cell research: “President Obama is going to fulfill one of his campaign promises by ending restrictions on federally-funded research using embryonic stem cells. This could lead to better treatments and possibly cures for many diseases. But it will not end a visceral debate.” Despite this mention of the “visceral debate,” the report almost entirely focused on the hype from supporters of the research.
You would think that a proposal for the government to radically extend its involvement in health care would motivate reporters to investigate how it's working out in other countries. You would be wrong.
Mark Levin bought this matter up on his show Thursday. His web site's home page (near the bottom left) points to a post at Liberty-Page.com, where there are compilations of dozens of articles on how socialized medicine is not working out well in Britain, Canada, and elsewhere.
Though it's still early in year, the Liberty-Page site cites no reports from either country during 2009. This leads to the question of how difficult it would be to find more recent examples.
The answer is "very easy," despite the fact that British and Canadian news organizations have traditionally tended to treat their countries' socialized systems as sancrosanct.
Looking at just one country, here are just six relevant results from the past three weeks obtained from a Google News search on "NHS BBC" (not in quotes):
“Demonstrating that not even weekends are safe from Democratic Party-sponsored anti-Rush Limbaugh attacks,” Brian Maloney observed on the Radio Equalizer blog on Saturday, “the talk titan is now under fire for a relatively mundane (and actually quite accurate) reference to the shameless political exploitation of Ted Kennedy's illness.”
President Obama's health care summit at the White House played into receptive television news hands Thursday night as NBC displayed “Fixing Health Care” on screen before reporter Chuck Todd appropriated the coach who inspired “win one for the Gipper” by touting how “the President's drive to pass health care got a Knute Rockne-like boost with a surprise appearance” by Senator Ted Kennedy, while ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson, who on Sunday had decried as a “national shame” America's lack of universal health care, effused: “I was blown away by President Obama's grasp of the subject, how he connected the dots, how he answered the questions without any script.”
CBS's Chip Reid corroborated Obama's point about soaring costs by citing a business where “in 2005, it cost $75,000 to cover about 25 employees. In 2008, it cost $148,000,” as if more government involvement to expand the number of people covered will lower costs. Reid also hailed Obama's fresh approach: “Instead of doing battle with insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals, and doctors, this time all those groups are in the room, most agreeing that now is the time for shared sacrifice.”
Back during confirmation hearings in 2001 for former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson Dan Rather reminded Evening News viewers of Thompson's "hardline anti-abortion stand."
Eight years later, there's a whitewash of President Barack Obama's HHS' nominee abortion record.
As a Democratic governor in red-state Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius has vetoed several bills that would modestly restrict abortion. She supports late-term abortion. She's socialized and taken money from well-known abortion extremists, and she has been unofficially ostracized from the Catholic Church for her stance. But you'd have to go out of your way to learn much about that from the news reports that followed the Feb. 28 announcement that Obama planned to nominate her as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This is a position that controls a $700 billion budget and, according to the New York Times, "would have considerable influence over government policy on abortion."
“Ultimately,” President Barack Obama will get his way on “universal” health coverage, because of “just one fact” ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson declared “I want to let everybody hear,” and that is the “national shame” of how “we spend more than twice as much, per person, on health care in his country as the average of all other industrialized countries, yet we're the only one that doesn't have universal coverage.”
Answering a question from World News anchor David Muir on Sunday night about the likelihood health care reform will pass, Johnson predicted:
I think there's going to be an intense, partisan debate. But ultimately, David, there is just one fact I want to let everybody hear: We spend more than twice as much, per person, on health care in his country as the average of all other industrialized countries, yet we're the only one that doesn't have universal coverage. That's a national shame and I think ultimately that's what's going to unite Democrats and Republicans.
One of the issues Obama was taking action on was health care, according to Chip Reid's "Evening News" report.
Chip Reid told viewers: "Hoping to take advantage of any momentum from last night's speech to Congress, the president, today, forged ahead with a flurry of activity on his economic plan. On health care, the White House said the president's budget, to be released Thursday, will include $634 billion to expand health coverage. To be paid for by taxing the wealthy and trimming payments to insurance companies, hospitals and doctors."
Later in the segment, Reid misled viewers as to the number of uninsured. He said the White House was calling that enormous package "a big first step in getting health insurance to America's 48 million uninsured."
The problem is, "America's 48 million uninsured" is an overstatement. The Census Bureau puts the figure at 45.6 million, but that statistic includes non-citizens and people who choose not to have insurance because of age or income.
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Richard Roth reported on a new cancer study that found that obesity can increase the likelihood of getting cancer: "Aside from avoiding smoking, the report says that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the most important thing you can do for cancer prevention. That means diet, physical activity, and weight management...The report recommends laws and policy changes by government, industry, and schools, from adding bicycle lanes to public roads, to banning junk food from vending machines."
Following Roth’s report, co-host Julie Chen spoke with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and asked: "In light of this report, how big of a role do you think government should play in making sure Americans lead a healthier lifestyle?" Emanuel suggested: "...do you tax high fructose corn syrup in drinks that we know add calories and promote cancer?...we know that by better policies, we can encourage people to eat less and increase their exercise, which will have an effect, not just on cancer, but also heart disease and diabetes and other health-related activities."
Chen pressed Emanuel to be more definitive about the need for taxes on certain foods: "You say 'maybe do we tax them?' I mean, should we tax these manufacturers that are putting all these things in their products that make it taste good, but it's not good for us?" Emanuel replied: "There are other ways to do it besides taxing. But that is certainly one option that should be considered. In New York, they banned transfatty acids."
The self-aggrandizing denizens of Hollywood constantly scold Americans over a lack of national healthcare. It is the biggest failure of American society ever that there is no cradle to the grave program for free health care, they constantly tell us. And now, in keeping with these nearly universal Hollywood "principles," to prove how Hollywood is far more moral than we lowly citizens of flyover country, and to show that they are better than the great unwashed in the backwaters of America... Hollywood is closing its nearly 90-year-old Motion Picture Fund hospital and accompanying long-term living facilities for aging actors.
Yep, dumping it. Walking away from the facilities for free healthcare for actors. Fuggedaboutit.
Earlier today in Indiana you said something striking. You said that this nation could end up in a crisis, without action, that we would be unable to reverse. Can you talk about what you know or what you’re hearing that would lead you to say that our recession might be permanent when others in our history have not? And do you think that you risk losing some credibility or even talking down the economy by using dire language like that?
(Obama actually said "may be unable to reverse," not "would be." But I digress.)
Obama's rambling answer, and the rest of the briefing, should have reminded Loven of what she surely considered a withering critique of Bush three years ago (HT to an e-mailer; bolds are mine). After all, she wrote it:
The ABC News medical unit wants to warn you about a stunning new risk to your health: fast food. Amazingly, it "ups your stroke risk" ABC tells us. Of course, we all know that eating too much fast food is bad for us, right? Well ABC has even more startling news. It isn't necessarily only eating the stuff that'll kill you. You see, ABC wants us to believe that just living near fast food places will kill you, too.
Now stop laughing. I think ABC is serious with this stuff.
ABC unleashed this "news" piece on February 19 with a headline that screams "Living Near Fast Food Ups Stroke Risk" and based it on yet another one of those groundbreaking "studies" that are always touted as "science." This piece is filled with dire warnings and shocking conclusions... unless you actually read it, that is. Then you find it is really built on conjecture, maybes and assumptions instead of hard proof. So much for science.
A health policy expert who Keith Olbermann eviscerated during Thursday's "Countdown" (video embedded below the fold) has officially challenged the disgraceful MSNBC personality to a debate concerning provisions in the soon to be enacted stimulus plan.
If Keith Olbermann of MSNBCcould defend the health provisions slipped into the stimulus bill on their merits, he wouldn't be resorting to personal attacks on me. Olbermann calls me a shill funded by the drug industry (2-12-2009). That's not true...If Keith Olbermann has the courage, I invite him to debate me on his program...Mr. Olbermann, do you have the backbone (and the facts) to debate me?
Our story began last Monday when McCaughey published the following at Bloomberg:
Newsweek's Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas are tired of all this talk of socialism. We need to stop talking about yesterday's news, they say, and embrace the great new fact that America is already a socialist country. They chortle that
America is just like France. Meacham and Thomas chide Sean Hannity for using socialism as a dirty word because it "seems strangely beside the point." The pair is enthusiastic about our new American socialist society!
We are a European country and we like it, claim the Newsweek duo. Unfortunately, they seem to misunderstand so very much about what they speak.
As noted Friday evening (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Jake Tapper at ABC's Political Punch blog revealed that former South Dakota senator Tom Daschle, Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, had failed to pay over $100,000 in federal income taxes for 2005, 2006, and 2007, because he did not originally report the "the services of (a free) car and driver" provided to him by his employer, private equity firm InterMedia Advisers.
At 11:24 last night, Tapper posted a separate update (HT to NB commenter "slickwillie2001") indicating that Daschle's tax problems involve larger amounts, go well beyond the matter of a "mere" car and driver, and are not completely resolved (bolds are mine):
Former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle (picture at right is part of a Getty Images pic at a related New York Times story) has just upped the ante in Washington's tax-avoiding/evading game of "Can you top this?"
Whereas recently confirmed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner "only" $40,000 in back taxes and interest, principally relating to unpaid Social Security and Medicare taxes (with a dash of retirement-plan penalty and illegally deducted overnight summer camp expenses included in the mix), the man who Rush Limbaugh used to call "Puff" Daschle during his Senate days has upped to ante to six figures.