On the one-year anniversary of the health care law, MSNBC thought it fitting to bring on a boy who championed the bill and give him a platform. Anchor Andrea Mitchell hosted 12-year-old activist Marcelas Owens Wednesday and asked him questions with predictable answers to explain the case for the health care law.
Owens became famous last year for his public appearances to rally support for the health care overhaul. His mother had died of pulmonary hypertension in 2007 after she lost her job due to extended leave of absence. She was unqualified for Medicare or for health insurance. Owens used the tragedy to speak out in favor of universal health care.
Mitchell gave Owens a soft interview in what seemed a plug for the health care bill, given that she asked him to explain what could be done in the face of opposition "who don't understand the need for health care" and believe that "there isn't enough money" for universal health care. Of course, Republicans last year proposed health care reforms of their own but were largely ignored amidst the partisan Democratic push for the bill's passage.
CNN anchor Ali Velshi enthusiastically interviewed self-proclaimed child health care activist Mercelas Owens on Thursday's Newsroom, complimenting him for his "snappy dressing" and labeled him a "handsome, charming, self-assured young man."
Velshi brought on Owens 50 minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour. At the beginning of the segment, a graphic on-screen read, "The Little Boy That Could." The child was featured prominently in the last days before the passage of ObamaCare, fighting for the passage of the legislation. Owens was also present at the bill signing, standing next to the desk as President Obama used the 22 pens to sign his name.
MSNBC's David Shuster on Friday attacked conservatives for "targeting" an 11-year-old child who lost his mother and is now lobbying for government-run health care. The liberal anchor sneered, "Is the right sinking to a new low? We'll let you judge for yourself." He then interviewed the young Marcelas Owens and his grandmother, for the second time in ten days.
In case viewers didn't get the slant of the segment, MSNBC's graphic reiterated, "New Low For Right? Conservative Critics Call Owens' Tale a 'Sob Story.'" As the MRC's Tim Graham noted, this story is being heavily pushed by Media Matters and other left-leaning outlets. Shuster did not talk to any conservative voices. (He only played a brief clip of Rush Limbaugh asserting that Democrats are using Owens for their own purposes.)
Les Blumenthal of the McClatchy News Service wrote up another story on 11-year-old Marcelas Owens advocating for the liberal cause of nationalizing health care. But this time, it was an attack on conservative talk show hosts.
Blumenthal went straight to the boy for more sympathy against Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Michelle Malkin, with no rebuttal from the conservatives. The reporter robotically went right down a Media Matters for America report, quote by quote, Rush, Glenn, and Michelle.
CNN's Jim Acosta omitted the left-wing affiliation of pro-ObamaCare protesters during a report on Wednesday's American Morning, referring to them as only "health care advocates and labor groups." Acosta, like his colleague Nancy Cordes at CBS, also highlighted child protester Marcelas Owens, and labeled him a "brave young man."
Kiran Chetry and John Roberts introduced Acosta's report, and the anchors also failed to mention the political bent of the protest, which was organized by the Health Care for America Now coalition (HCAN's members include the AFL-CIO, NAACP, and Planned Parenthood). Chetry remarked that "thousands though rallied in Washington against what they call 'insurance industry bullying.'" Roberts stated that the demonstration was "one for the books."