At Politico Magazine, writer and physician James Hamblin tried to answer the question "Who is Dr. Ben Carson?" After describing how he became a "darling of the right-wing media" after calling out President Obama at a prayer breakfast, Hamblin tried to explain how he speaks in "over the top" language about America in decline.
But Hamblin really let loose when he insisted that despite Dr. Carson's surgical talent, his opposition to Obamacare is based on "sentiment," not a "rational pespective. His talent "does not imply an elevated or even rational perspective on health-care policy."
If there's a prize for most words spent in Obamacare avoidance, NBC News's Martha C. White is definitely in the running.
White managed to burn through almost 40 paragraphs and nearly 1,600 words in a report carried at CNBC on the all-time record number of workers employed by temporary help services. But she somehow managed to completely avoid mentioning Obamacare, which used to be known as the Affordable Care Act until President Obama and his Health and Human Services regulators made 40 changes to the law originally passed by Congress, some of which directly contradict the original law's language. The closest she came was noting that using temps "lets companies avoid the cost of providing benefits like health insurance" — which has always been the case, except that health insurance is and will continue to be a lot more expensive, giving companies even more incentive to avoid adding to their own payrolls. Excerpts follow the jump.
Apart from gutting America's military, our standing in the world, our fiscal stability, the economy, the office of the presidency, conventional energy sources, the free market and religious liberty, Obama has little to boast about other than Obamacare, so let him go for it.
Yes, let him gloat, because the more he bloviates in defense of the indefensible — the more he spins the unspinnable — the more damage he'll do to the cause he's trying to promote: the election of Democratic congressmen in November.
Some liberals refuse to believe any bad news about ObamaCare, and MSNBC contributor Angela Rye is clearly one of those people. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Rye got into a heated argument with Republican strategist Joe Watkins about the nature of Watkins’ own health insurance coverage, which he says is worse under ObamaCare than prior to the law going into effect. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
It all started after Watkins commented that some people have to “pay more money a month for less coverage” under ObamaCare. When Rye got her turn to speak, she ripped into Watkins:
On the Sunday, April 20, Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, as host Harris-Perry chastised Democrats for not bragging about ObamaCare for the year's midterm elections, she at one point mocked Americans angry about having their health insurance plans cancelled, which she referred to as "crappy plans," as she lamented that Democrats are not boasting about ObamaCare or declaring, "Yeah, you can't keep your crappy plans. Just deal with that!" [See video below.]
On the Saturday, April 19, Disrupt, as MSNBC's Karen Finney hosted a discussion of ObamaCare noting that President Obama has started encouraging Democrats to brag about the program, guest Dana Milbank of the Washington Post blamed Republican governors for hurting Democratic Senators in red states as he charged that in some states "ObamaCare isn't going very well because of those Republican governors."
A bit later, Zerlina Maxwell of The Grio asserted that 10,000 people a year will die because of Republican governors who have refused to expand Medicare.
After Finney played a clip of President Obama boasting about ObamaCare, Milbank responded:
David Nather at the Politico apparently wanted to make sure that those who don't follow the news closely see a triumphant headline ("Obama Spikes the Football") and a congratulatory opening paragraph at their computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Sure, the Politico reporter gradually threw in all kinds of qualifications after that, but his mission is largely accomplished: Cause those who don't click through to believe that Obamacare is functioning as intended, and — especially in the headline — communicate the message that the debate about the statist health regime's existence is really over. He can say that he did his job while at the same time keeping most people away from the more complicated reality. In that sense, Nather is right there with reporters at ABC and CBS who claim without verifiable evidence, as Rich Noyes at NewsBusters noted earlier this afternoon, that the program has achieved "a major milestone." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Both ABC and CBS carved out a few seconds on their Thursday evening and Friday morning newscasts to boost President Obama’s claims of success for his ObamaCare program. Filling in for Diane Sawyer, ABC World News anchor David Muir cheered the “major milestone” of an alleged eight million enrollees, while CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley said the enrollment figures were a “recent success” for the health care law.
Gone was the skepticism that some reporters, like ABC’s Jon Karl, showed at the end of March when ObamaCare was nearing seven million sign-ups, as he threw cold water on the official White House stat: “How many of those have signed up were previously uninsured....We don’t know how many people signed up here were simply – had their previous plans cancelled. Also, we don’t know how many have actually paid their premiums.”
The morning of April 15 had an indication that it would contain an historic moment. Sarah Kliff, formerly of the Washington Post Wonkblog and now with General Electric Vox, appeared to be finally breaking through her liberal coccoon. Yes, she tweeted some actual Obamacare criticism of the administration over the suspicious changes in the way the Census Bureau measures the uninsured. Alas, it was not to be. With startling speed, Kliff got her "mind right" with a correctional tweet in less than an hour after a Ministry of Truth talk with an administration offical.
Let us now go back to that bright moment on April 15 when our Miss Kliff appeared to be awakening from her long liberal stupor:
It's time once again for NewsBusted. Click the play button in the embed below the page break to watch NewsBusted's Jodi Miller skewer Hillary Clinton, ObamaCare, and CBS News. To get be sure NewsBusted in your inbox by going here. To subscribe at YouTube, click here.
At Thursday’s press conference there were no questions about the latest IRS scandal developments or Benghazi but today’s presser did give Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere a chance to tee one up for the President.
Given the opportunity to ask a tough question about all of ObamaCare’s problems Dovere instead prompted the President to go on a tirade against Republicans. Politico’s senior White House reporter wondered if it was “time for Democrats to start campaigning loudly and positively on the benefits of ObamaCare?” and then pushed the President: “Will you lead that charge?” [video after the jump]
On Wednesday, MSNBC's Al Sharpton scoffed at the latest allegations that the White House is trying to cook the books on ObamaCare numbers by changing the census questions.
"I mean, who else is in this latest conspiracy, the Easter Bunny?" he quipped, in an interview with former Democratic Ohio governor Ted Strickland. He said those disputing the current ObamaCare enrollment figures were like "birthers" and "truthers." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Dictionary.com offers two definitions for scapegoat: "1. A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place; 2. Chiefly biblical. A goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. Lev. 16:8,10,26."
Both definitions seem to fit last week's announcement of the "resignation" of Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, who presided over the disastrous rollout of the government's website, healthcare.gov, which was supposed to provide easy access for people who wished to sign up for Obamacare.
In a Tuesday story which appears to have been handed to it on a silver platter, and which the rest of the establishment press seems uninterested in spreading (given that searches at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Associated Press and at Politico returned nothing relevant), the New York Times has reported that the Census Bureau "is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall."
It took Times reporter Robert Pear 15 paragraphs to tell readers that measurement and reporting under the new survey design will be so supposedly difficult that "the agency was not planning to release coverage data from early this year in its next report." That statement indicates that the government will not disclose anything about how the rollout of Obamacare really affected the number of uninsured Americans — even under the new methodology — before this fall's elections. Everyone together now, say "How convenient."
In the first of a series of tweets sent out Tuesday morning, NBC senior political editor Mark Murray complained: "Why ObamaCare's (un)popularity is probably going to continue: ACA opponents have sole control over the airwaves." In a follow-up tweet, Murray cited the Campaign Media Analysis Group: "Per CMAG's Elizabeth Wilner, number of anti-Obamacare commericials since March 31: 32 Number of pro-Obamacare commercials: 0"
In a third tweet minutes later, Murray explained: "Political scientists believe TV ads have an impact on public opinion when one side has unilateral control over the airwaves." What the NBC journalist failed to acknowledge was the massive pro-ObamaCare push his network and others have engaged in over recent months.
In the battle for balanced news, score one each for Univision and Telemundo. Unlike the CBS, NBC and ABC evening news, both Noticiero Univision and Noticiero Telemundo on Friday night included soundbites from conservative leaders on the resignation of President Obama’s HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.
On Univision, correspondent Lourdes Meluzá ran a clip of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who noted that Sebelius has been the principle face of “the disaster that has been, is and will continue to be ObamaCare.” Even more noteworthy, Univision’s report also featured Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin, who called ObamaCare the former Secretary’s “legacy of shame” and said Sebelius “could go down in history as one of the most incompetent Cabinet secretaries in the history of the Republic."
Andrea Mitchell needs to turn in her journalism card...now!
She completely blew the opportunity to ask outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius a question that would have shed light on whether she voluntarily resigned or, as many have speculated, she was fired by the White House. Despite interviewing Sebelius for over five minutes on Meet The Press (video after the jump), Mitchell absurdly neglected to point out a big discrepancy in Sebelius' accounts of her departure.
Imagine a Yankees-Red Sox game during which the Yankees broadcasters acknowledged mistakes by their team and good plays by the Sox, while the Boston announcers ranted relentlessly that the Yankees stank and were lucky not to finish 0-162.
According to Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, something similar happens routinely in political media. Drum believes that both in general and regarding Obamacare specifically, liberal pundits are far more likely than their conservative counterparts to discuss their side's failures and give the other side credit where it's due.
On Friday, Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas contended that conservatives would benefit if they stopped opposing the Affordable Care Act, since their efforts actually increase the chance that one day, America will have what they would abhor: a single-payer system. He added that "luckily," righties won't take his advice and will keep trying to destabilize the ACA.
Moulitsas asserted the impending victory of single-payer as scheduled for arrival in Vermont in 2017: "This is the future of America, and Vermont is leading the way."
While HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius was getting a polite shove out the door, PBS NewsHour analyst Mark Shields offered a note of disclosure: “Well, first of all, let me just admit up front, Kathleen Sebelius has been a personal friend. For 46 years, I have known her.” He even oddly said she “stepped up manfully, to use a bad adverb” in taking the blame for Obamacare.
But Shields and his usual echo-chamber David Brooks disagreed. Brooks said she wasn’t a “dynamo” at HHS, which caused Shields to start touting her. Anchor Judy Woodruff had gently asked, like a good feminist, “What’s her legacy?”
MSNBC personalities frequently turn to race to explain away society’s ills, and on Thursday’s All In, host Chris Hayes cried racism on the topic of state Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare. Hayes started by admitting what many people have probably guessed about him and many of his fellow MSNBC hosts – that he sees American politics through a racial lens. He proclaimed:
“The racial prism I use to analyze American politics has grown sharper and I think in some ways more pessimistic in the Obama era. I will cop to that, unquestionably. Like, I do think, see things more thoroughly through the prism of race.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Friday's New Day, the Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson said outgoing HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be "coach of the year" if she were a basketball coach.
"I do think if she were a basketball coach, right, she would probably be coach of the year, right? Because she was able to turn this thing around, had good news yesterday that 7.5 million people, you know, signed up for this thing," Henderson stated on CNN. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Appearing on Thursday's O'Reilly Factor, former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson claimed that CBS "had barely begun to scratch the surface" of the "Fast and Furious" scandal before the network moved on from the story. She noted that the network showed similar reluctance for its coverage of Benghazi and the ObamaCare rollout.
Before her resignation last month, Attkisson covered Obama administration controversies like "Fast and Furious" and Benghazi and her reporting helped the CBS Evening News win the Edward R. Murrow award in 2012. Yet she told O'Reilly that higher-ups at the network moved on from the "Fast and Furious"scandal "due to lack of interest, well before we found answers to a lot of questions." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Tuesday's Daily Show went to bat for the Hispanic media, as liberal comedian Jon Stewart attacked Brent Bozell and the newly-launched MRC Latino for its accusation of a liberal bias on Univision and Telemundo.
Stewart called out "Brent Bozell of the conservative Media Research bull (bleep), I mean Center" and mocked his claim that the Spanish networks helped sign people up for ObamaCare. "Bastardos! How dare a cable network use its reach to help the audience comply with the law." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
"Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz just signed a $1.5-million deal to write a book. Hold on… This just in: Even though the Cruz book has yet to be written, the New York Times just gave it a bad review."
ObamaCare, John McCain and the Chicago Cubs also got a ribbing in the latest edition of NewsBusted, NewsBusters' original Web comedy short, which you can watch in the embed below the page break. To sign up to get NewsBusted fresh to your inbox, click here. To subscribe to the NewsBusted channel at YouTube, visit youtube.com/NewsBusted.
On his Monday show, MSNBC's Ed Schultz ripped the "mainstream media" for – wait for it – not being fair enough to ObamaCare. Of course, the only examples of "media bias" that Schultz displayed were from conservative guests and pundits.
Apparently, the press has discounted all the positives of ObamaCare. "If you had been in a time capsule for the last five years and just happened to wake up yesterday morning, you would have thought that health care in America had failed," Schultz insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett recently granted an interview to a celebrity-gossip website called Popsugar and revealed why she had come to Hollywood. “I'm meeting with writers of various TV shows and movies to try to get it into the scripts.” The “it” is Obamacare.
Conservatives are no match for liberals in this arena. The White House people know the immense cultural power the Left has in the popular culture. Liberals rightly credit TV and movies and pop songs for America’s growing support for gay “marriage.” So why not use that power for Obamacare?
On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported that NBC, ABC, and CBS turned down a White House request for primetime coverage of a presidential address on Tuesday to spike the football on ObamaCare reaching the seven million enrollment mark. Instead, the President was forced to settle for an afternoon pep rally in the Rose Garden which only ABC and NBC covered live.
These were the same networks that fretted over Republicans not agreeing to let Obama give a primetime campaign speech to Congress at the same time as a Republican presidential primary debate in 2011.
On Thursday evening’s news casts, the networks ignored a claim by major insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield that as many as 20 percent of their new enrollees did not pay the first month’s premium for ObamaCare. If that was the case for all insurers, the White House’s brag of 7 million enrollees would be cut down to 6 million or lower.
National Journal had the story, calling Blue Cross Blue Shield “one of the biggest players in ObamaCare’s exchanges. They reported that according to a spokesperson for the company, “roughly 80 to 85 percent of people who selected a Blues plan through the exchanges went on to pay their first month’s premium.”
On Thursday's Hardball, host Chris Matthews and guest Joan Walsh disparaged conservatives who disputed the administration's ObamaCare enrollment numbers "birthers" and "truthers."
"What can you say about these guys besides they are health care enrollment truthers right now," Matthews insisted. "It's a new firm of birtherism. It's a new way to say it's not legitimate, he [Obama] doesn't belong there," said Walsh. [Video below the break. Audio here.]