Following up on Friday's awful jobs report from the government (only 74,000 seasonally adjusted jobs added, with the unemployment rate dropping to 6.7 percent only because adults continued to leave the workforce), the Asssociated Press's Christopher Rugaber tried to search for excuses.
To its credit, the headline at Rugaber's report didn't blatantly dissemble like the one at Bloomberg, which, in revising the title of an underrated Stevie Wonder song from the 1970s ("Blame It on the Sun"), blamed it on the cold and snow: "Old Man Winter Put a Chill on U.S. Labor Market at End of 2013." But the AP reporter predictably failed to entertain the possibility that Obamacare's virtual chaos, plan cancellations, and impending 2014 premium hikes might have thrown a great deal of sand into the job market's gears, even though a virtual halt in healthcare hiring stuck out like a sore thumb. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Emmy Rossum, the 27-year-old star of Showtime’s Shameless, which has its fourth season debut tonight (Jan 12), on Wednesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live marveled at the “amazing” and “free health care” in Britain.
Recounting her travails during a recent visit to the nation with nationalized healthcare, she told Kimmel that food poisoning sent her to a hospital. “The hospitals are amazing there,” she exclaimed, citing “free health care” and how “they don’t even ask you for your I.D. You give your name, you give your symptoms, they hook you up to a bunch of fluids. They say just leave when you feel like it. You pay nothing!”
Bullying by staffers of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has denied knowledge of their actions when they were taken, is a national news obsession. Bullying by staffers of Colorado Senator Mark Udall — which the Senator has acknowledged and is defending — is barely a blip.
The story, first reported in the Colorado blogosphere at Complete Colorado, is that Udall staffers "worked assiduously to revise press accounts that 249,000 Coloradans received health care cancellation notices" by pressuring the state's Department of Insurance to change the definition of "cancellation." There is no dispute that the cancellations as normal people understand the word occurred (links are in original; bolds are mine):
MSNBC contributor Irin Carmon continued her obsession with abortion on Thursday, penning an article for MSNBC.com titled “Why the GOP Is Still Talking About Abortion.” Carmon mocked Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and RNC chairman Reince Priebus for holding up the protection of innocent life as a core principle of the Republican Party.
Yes, the party which got its start advocating the sanctity of human lives degraded and exploited on the plantation is being scolded for advocating the sanctity of human life in the womb. Wrote Carmon:
Lee set about spinning the results of the latest Quinnipiac Poll, which shows President Obama sitting atop a 41 percent approval rating, up from a low of 38 percent in December, but still a net negative approval rating. Lee used the slight uptick in approval as a springboard to forecast that the president's economically liberal spending agenda could change his and his party's fortunes (emphasis mine):
I kept looking for any sign that Ta-Nehisi Coates, described as "a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues," was kidding in his Monday afternoon column about Melissa Harris-Perry when he called her "The Smartest Nerd in the Room." He wasn't.
When last seen here at NewsBusters, Coates was pretending that the wealth gap between blacks and whites has consistently widened during the past 20 years, when the reality is that almost all of the widening has occurred during the past five years for which data is available. That delusion is nothing compared to his assessment of Harris-Perry, excerpted after the jump (bold is mine):
Los Angeles Times columnists have produced several delusional doozies in the past few days.
One of the more hysterical came from Doyle McManus on Sunday ("The president's hump year; The sixth year is often tough, but Obama could triumph"). While acknowledging that "The public's initial romance with the president has faded" and that "events are in charge now," he backhandedly described Obama's presidency thus far as scandal-free. Really (HT to frequent commenter Gary Hall):
Healthcare.gov may be riddled with security flaws, but MSNBC’s Karen Finney doesn’t want to let that tarnish the liberal dream that is ObamaCare.
On Sunday’s Disrupt with Karen Finney, the host mocked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s recently revealed memo detailing the House GOP’s goals for the beginning of this year. Noting that ObamaCare website security was Cantor’s top priority, the former DNC communications chief sneered: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In June, the Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn filed a report with the following headline: "Kathleen Sebelius: Exchange enrollment goal is 7 million by end of March." She reported in her first two paragraphs that "7 million" is "how many people the Obama administration hopes to enroll in its new health insurance marketplaces by the end of March."
Apparently that clearly expressed target isn't supposed to matter now, and the White House is trying to pretend that it never existed. Of course, the press, including the Politico, has been helping them.
When something important is falling apart — say a relationship or a business idea — it's not always easy to keep up appearances. After all, one still has the occasional private conversation with close friends and confidants where the truth gets acknowledged, even when one doesn't want the rest of the public to know about it.
Meet the Press host David Gregory appears to have forgotten for the briefest moment that he was not in private but in the public eye this morning. As blogger Ann Althouse noted (HT Instapundit; MTP transcript here), Gregory had the following to say at the conclusion of a segment whose purpose was supposedly "to get beyond some of these political arguments over Obamacare here in Washington" by interviewing "two top leaders in the medical field from the hospitals mentioned by the president to give us their insights on the future of Obamacare" (bolds is mine):
In late October, continuing a four-year pattern of making such claims, MIT's Jonathan Gruber, who along with Ezekiel "Zeke the Bleak" Emanuel is considered one of the two "architects" of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, pointed to a study which claimed that "the Affordable Care Act is working even better than expected, producing more coverage for much less money." But, as Wingfield noted in his Friday column, Gruber sang a totally different tune when quoted in the Washington Post on Thursday.
Obamacare's designers appear to have assumed that life is completely static. As far as they're concerned, people who are single don't marry, women don't have children, married couples don't sometimes divorce, individuals and families don't move, and workers don't change jobs. I say that because HealthCare.gov will from all appearances not accommodate any of the aforementioned common life changes. Seriously. (I'm not about to test that assertion myself; the site is still hopelessly not secure, remember?)
A very weak headline at an Associated Press report by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar carried at Yahoo News attempted to limit the damage, perhaps in hopes that smartphone users and others won't click through and see how awful and far more sweeping the problems are (bolds are mine):
Of the three major networks, only NBC ignored a major new study with a dire warning about ObamaCare: The President's health care law will likely make things worse in emergency rooms, not better. CBS investigated the story on Thursday's Evening News and Friday's This Morning. ABC allowed a mere 20 seconds on Good Morning America, but still beat NBC's silence.
On Evening News, Sharyl Attkisson revealed, "Despite hopes that expanding Medicaid would decrease expensive and unnecessary hospital visits because the poor would have access to doctors and preventative care, today's study finds the opposite." Attkisson featured MIT professor and co-author Amy Finkelstein. She explained, "What Medicaid does is it makes not only primary care now free for individuals but also the emergency room. And as I teach my undergraduates, when you lower the price of something people tend to buy more of it." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS stood out as the only Big Three network to devote full coverage to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's Tuesday night stay of the federal government's birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare. As of Thursday morning, CBS This Morning and CBS Evening News devoted three full reports and a news brief to the ruling against the controversial regulation.
By contrast, NBC's morning and evening newscasts have only aired one news brief on Sotomayor's decision, and mentioned it in passing in two other reports on the Affordable Care Act. ABC has yet to report on the development on either Good Morning America or World News.
Apparently, "I will think before I tweet" should be on Irin Carmon's New Year's resolution list. Her failure to do so shortly before the ball dropped in Times Square signaling the beginning of 2014 has caused her considerable embarrassment.
On Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an injunction which "temporarily prevented(the government) from enforcing contraceptive coverage requirements (in Obamacare) against the Denver-based Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged." MSNBC Digital National Reporter Carmon then proceeded to compare the "wise Latina" to the man who betrayed Julius Caesar (HT Twitchy):
On the Monday, December 30, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, Richard Wolffe -- executive editor of MSNBC.com -- mocked "ObamaCare haters," tagging them as the "biggest losers of the year," as he appeared as a panel member to select awards in various news categories for the year 2013.
As he suggested that the reduction in glitches at Healthcare.Gov solves ObamaCare's problems, Wolffe compared opponents to people still "fighting the Second World War on a lost island."
After host O'Donnell asked who was the "biggest loser of the year," Wolffe began his gloating:
Drudge's headline linking to a Politico item by Carrie Budoff Brown and John Allen about the Obama administration's plans to aggressively identify and promote Obamacare successes in 2014 ("White House Plans to Step up Obamacare Propaganda in 2014") is far better than the tired one Politico itself used ("White House looks to spread good Obamacare news").
What Team Obama plans to pursue will be propaganda, because as it identifies and "spread(s) good news," it's going to have to ignore a far larger volume of bad news. An NBC investigative report (video at link; HT Political Outcast) two days ago about the situation at a Michigan car dealership makes that point about as well as it can be made (bolds are mine):
CBS must have decided that their 2014 New Year’s resolution was to be a little nicer to President Obama. Acting more as a White House stenographer than an actual journalist, CBS News’s Jan Crawford went to bat for the Obama Administration on December 30th, doing her best to spin a positive light on the disastrous ObamaCare rollout.
In a piece that was better suited for MSNBC, fill-in anchor Maurice DuBois hyped the White House line that, “enrollment for healthcare insurance under ObamaCare are picking up.” In total, the CBS report was no more than a White House press release that could have come directly from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s mouth.
One thing the establishment press will not be celebrating this evening as we head into 2014 is the fact that they have been unable to convince the American people that the economy has been and will continue to be on the rebound.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released on Friday, which "oddly enough" (no, not really) is not being touted at ORC's related press release web page, shows that 68 percent of Americans believe the economy is in poor shape. Over half expect the economy to be in that condition a year from now. This came as somewhat of a surprise to Lucy McCalmont at the Politico and Gregory Wallace at CNNMoney.com.
In a December 27 blog post, New York Times columnist and incurable Keynesian economist Paul Krugman capitalized on the problems United Parcel Service and to a lesser extent Fedex had in delivering Christmas packages on time: "Can’t the private sector do anything right?"
While I recognize that there's sarcasm in his question, Krugman then went on to try to make HealthCare.gov's problems appear analogous: "[M]any pundits were quick to declare healthcare.gov’s problems evidence of the fundamental, irretrievable incompetence of government, and as an omen of Obamacare’s inevitable collapse. ... (But) none of these people are making similar claims about UPS or Amazon." Since the Nobel Economics laureate appears to be too dense to understand the differences between the two situations, Robert P. Murphy, "the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism," explained many of them in a Sunday post at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada's web site (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Let no one say that NBC/MSNBC are reluctant to criticize ObamaCare. A leading NBC light boldly did so today . . . from the left, of course.
Appearing on Morning Joe, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC's chief medical editor, declared that there should be "a single-payer system" of health care. That is the left's preferred solution, but brings with it a host of problems, as the Heritage Foundation has detailed. For good measure, Snyderman said that she "made" her young-adult children sign up for Obamacare as their "patriotic duty." View the video after the jump.
Remember when George W. Bush was intensely criticized in 2004 for using a couple of seconds of footage from the World Trade Center attacks in a campaign commercial? He was "exploiting" 9/11. Let's talk about an example of really crass exploitation which the press has largely ignored.
As reported by Politico's Joseph Delreal, recently elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter Chiara recently opened up "about her struggles with depression and substance abuse and for her decision to seek treatment." White House National Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske, "in a statement issued by the White House," praised "her and the entire de Blasio family for addressing this important public health issue." Fair enough. But he went one step further, as seen after the jump:
Back in 2010, this award was “won” by then-MSNBC star Keith Olbermann, who on January 5 of that year lambasted conservatives for daring to oppose Obama's big government solution: “What would you do, sir, if terrorists were killing 45,000 people every year in this country? Well, the current health care system, the insurance companies, and those who support them are doing just that....Remind me again, who are the terrorists?”
This year, as ObamaCare began to unravel, the media cheerleaders were still out in force. (Winners and videos after the jump.)
With a headline at a Washington Post story by Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin reading "Obama administration quietly extends health-care enrollment deadline by a day," you would think that the administration issued some kind of press release without comment — or at least, as was the case with its announcement waiving the individual mandate for those who had individual policies cancelled, communicated the change to sympathetic senators or congresspersons.
Nope. The Post's detailed coverage tells us that those involved merely made "a software change that government officials and IT contractors inserted into the computer system over the weekend for the online insurance marketplace." Readers will see who was actually told about the change after the jump (bolds are mine):
MSN.com had this very neutral headline on the tragic story of the girl whose tonsillectomy went wrong: “Brain-dead teen facing move.” The family of Jahi McMath is trying to arrange a new facility for her because the Oakland hospital is clearly stating she’s “deceased” and wants to take her off life support. This is when the media decide to be neutral and boring.
“A judge this week ruled Children's Hospital Oakland could remove McMath from the ventilator keeping her body functioning,” reported NBCNews.com. She can have the ventilator removed Monday at 5 pm. The hospital is lecturing the family to accept she’s just a dead body breathing.
Their stated excuse is, "These could never happen here, so why should U.S. news consumers care?" Their real excuse is, "We don't want anyone thinking that Obamacare could lead to this, even though there are already plenty of signs that it will."
Two weeks ago, the UK Daily Mail reported on three just-released "damming reports" on Great Britain's government-run National Health Service. A separate December 20 UK Telegraph dispatch reports that the NHS is "on the brink of crisis" because it has been "treated as a 'national religion' while millions of patients receive a 'wholly unsatisfactory' service from GPs and hospitals." A scroll through supposedly U.S.-based news results from December 11-26 in a search on "national health service" (in quotes" at Google News returns precious little actual coverage here; the few exceptions are at conservative-leaning outlets like Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog. Excerpts from both UK items just noted follow the jump.
Major establishment press outlets ignored Friday's news that "Teresa Fryer, the chief information security officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ... explicitly recommended denial of the website’s Authority to Operate (ATO), but was overruled by her superiors." Fryer also "refused to put her name on a letter recommending a temporary ATO be granted for six months" In other words, HealthCare.gov should not have launched.
Brian Fung at the Washington Post's "The Switch" blog didn't consider the idea that HC.gov shouldn't even have gone live the most important story element. While failing to disclose Fryer's no-go recommendation and refusal to go along, he and his post's headline instead obsessed over whether Republican Congressman and House Oversight Committee chair Darrell Issa might "release files" that "could aid hackers." It wouldn't be a surprise to learn that hackers already have them, or at least have figured out how to work with or around them. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
On Monday's All In show on MSNBC, during a discussion of what stories were over-covered or under-covered by the media in 2013, CBS contributor Nancy Giles griped that the HealthCare.Gov glitches were over-covered, and seemed to suggest that hackers may have been to blame for ObamaCare's rollout problems. Giles began:
The Declaration of Independence? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Meh. That's so, like, 18th century. No, Ed Schultz has come out with a new declaration of what he calls the Four Pillars of American Life: health care, jobs, education and equality.
Schultz promulgated his manifesto on the year-in-review episode of his MSNBC show today. View the video after the jump.
Not to worry, people. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D got through "technical glitches, political hostility and gloom-and-doom denouncements." So will Obamacare.
That's the Christmas love letter delivered to the left by Tom Raum of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, late this morning. Raum "somehow" failed to note that the size and scope of Obamacare's screw-ups, errors, and from all appearances deliberate omissions (e.g., no system for paying subsidies to insurers after a 42-month head start) dwarf that seen in any previous major rollout. Though other programs had their share of broken promises (e.g., Walter Williams ran down Social Security's original lies in a November column), no program has been handicapped by anything near the equivalent of the President's false guarantee ("if you like your insurance plan-doctor-medical provider, you can keep your insurance plan-doctor-medical provider"). Of course, Raum didn't mention that bitter reality. Excerpts from Raum's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):