Happy talk, keep talking happy talk,
Talk about things you'd like to do,
You gotta have a dream, if you don't have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true? ---"Happy Talk" from "South Pacific."
Carrie Budoff Brown was bubbling over with joy about a supposed Obamacare "surge" in her Politico article. Yes, supposedly massive new Obamacare numbers were suddenly showing up in the past few days. But what did they really mean? Fortunately for those praying for Obamacare success, Brown did not burst that joy bubble until well into the article with crucial caveats to the "surge" numbers. First let us look at the Happy Talk Brown presents at the beginning of the article before we delve into the buried inconvenient truths:
Can you imagine The Washington Post publishing a guide to how to survive your relatives’ negative questions about the war in Iraq? On Monday, Sarah Kliff of the Post’s Wonkblog posted “A guide to surviving Obamacare debates at Thanksgiving.” That’s assuming you’re getting armed to defend Obamacare just like a good Postie.
“This Thanksgiving, it's a pretty safe bet that debates over Obamacare will be just about as central as turkey,” Kliff wrote. “As Wonkblog readers hit the road and head home, we didn't want to leave you totally unprepared.” Don't let the Ted Cruz-heads ruin your meal:
If you are a health policy reporter for the Washington Post and take upon yourself the role of cheerleader for Obamacare, the task can be quite challenging. Therefore one must admire the effort that Sarah Kliff displays into putting a positive spin on this bit of pathetically sad news:
The District of Columbia's insurance marketplace has enrolled exactly five people in health plans, according to documents released by the Senate Finance Committee on Friday.
As Obamacare’s launch is described even by the Obamacare architects as a “debacle,” Washington Post health policy reporter Sarah Kliff penned a Sunday article titled “5 Myths About the Affordable Care Act."
You could stop dead at Alleged Myth Number One. “Americans will be forced to buy health insurance.” Kliff claimed “The health-care law's individual mandate, despite its name, isn't meant to force Americans into health plans.” What? If you have to pay a staggering fine, it’s not a force issue?
Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post has been forced to perform yet another ObamaCare Oops!
When last we encountered the Polyanna ObamaCare cheerleader Kliff she was claiming that young people were among the more enthusiastic ObamaCare shoppers based on evidence that ranged from nil to none. This empty claim came on the heels of her previous ObamaCare Oops when Kliff, after hailing one Chad Henderson of Georgia for supposedly enrolling in ObamaCare, was forced to backtrack the very next day after Peter Suderman of Reason performed some real journalism and discovered that Chad's "success" story was false. You would think Ms Kliff would have learned from her tragically funny experience but noooooo. She has now made an error of such proportions that basically involves thousands of Chad Hendersons. Here is Kliff last Thursday happily announcing that "ObamaCare just cut Oregon's uninsured rate by 10 percent":
(UPDATE: See Chad's response to Washington Post's Sarah Kliff at the end of this post.) If what Reason's Peter Suderman is reporting is correct — and he certainly appears to have done the kind of digging you would expect conscientious journalists to do — the establishment press's lionization of Chad Henderson the Fantabulous Obamacare Enrollee is about to fall apart.
Suderman spoke at length with Chad Henderson's father, Bill Henderson, and uncovered a litany of contradictions, inconsistencies, and what should have been red flags to journalists who apparently decided that the story was too good to check (links are in original; bolds are mine):
For the second day in a row, The Washington Post showed it was bored by the IRS scandal by putting the hearings story inside the paper.
Instead, the top of Wednesday's post seized on the favorite liberal scandal du jour: "Military chiefs lament sex assaults but reject Senate bill." Their Post Express tabloid screamed this front-page headline: "CAN THE MILITARY CURE ITS 'CANCER'?"
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is under fire for soliciting donations from health care companies to underwrite ObamaCare PR efforts to increase enrollment but you wouldn't know that if you only got your news from ABC and NBC or skipped Sunday's edition of CBS's Face the Nation.
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have effectively buried the scandal that was first broken by the Washington Post on May 10.
The trial of notorious Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell -- as close to a demonic presence as anything this country will ever see -- was almost a month old when the network blackout finally ended. CNN broke its silence, as did CBS. National newspapers sent reporters to the trial for the first time.
They started covering it only because of a national outrage that they would so deliberately withhold this horror story from the public -- for political reasons.
The media's censoring of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial is appalling. But why, exactly, are reporters failing to cover the Philadelphia abortionist's trial? Mollie Hemingway of the Patheos blog Get Religion thought she'd ask Washington Post staff writer Sarah Kliff, who responded via Twitter that she isn’t writing about it because she “cover[s] policy for the Washington Post, not local crime."
That, of course, is a patently ludicrous excuse. In an April 12 blog post, Hemingway aptly noted that local crimes are often used to give context to a larger issue in public policy. The Trayvon Martin shooting sparked a debate about Stand Your Ground Laws. The murder of Matthew Shepard launched a debate around hate crimes, and awareness of bigotry against gays. And as for the most recent case of a local crime story gone national, a day after the Newtown shooting, Kliff penned a piece asking, “What would ‘meaningful action’ on gun control look like?” The bottom line is that the Gosnell trial illustrates just how poorly regulated many inner-city abortion clinics are and how that lack of regulation can allow horror stories like Gosnell to happen.
In a careless attempt to get a rise out of their readers, mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and Esquire Magazine erroneously reported that the Navy SEAL credited with the assassination of Osama bin Laden had been unceremoniously stripped of health insurance following his retirement last September.
The story immediately went viral, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff from the Post and their massive followings on Twitter. Former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Phil Bronstein originally posted an 'exhaustively researched' article about it on Esquire's site. Upon its publication and online distribution however, some readers noticed just how rife with inaccuracies the story was. Former public affairs officer of the Department of Veteran Affairs Brandon Friedman was among them. (H/T - Twitchy)
The abortion industry’s public relations machinery has always intrigued me. At any given time I can tell which agenda items anti-life groups have directed their PR firms to push by news articles, op eds, and tweets I read. If you pay attention you see there are always particular topics the other side is swarming around.
Right now, for instance, their focus is on making the morning after pill available over-the-counter for kids, and on forcing employers, with an emphasis on Catholic institutions (which actually may be a ploy to divert our attention from the bigger prize), to offer free contraceptives in their insurance programs.
In her April 26 piece, the Newsweek staff writer cranks up the melodrama volume knob to 11, lamenting that Democrats are not the reliable vehicle for the pro-abortion lobby that they were 30 years ago (emphasis mine):
"A strong Democratic majority in Congress does not mean a strong abortion-rights majority," Newsweek's Sarah Kliff lamented in a March 31 "Web exclusive," the subhead for which asks "[W]hy is there an anti-abortion-rights majority in the House?"
"That fact became painfully clear during the health-care-reform debate, when intraparty fissures over abortion threatened to derail the Democrats' legislation, arguably more so than any other issue," the Newsweek staffer continued, going on to paint the Democratic Party as more tolerant on dissent than Republicans when it comes to the stance of its politicians on abortion-related issues.
In fact, Kliff griped, it's the Democrats' fielding of pro-life candidates in conservative congressioanl districts that gums up its ability to "govern," she concluded, pointing to how pro-life concerns over federal subsidies for abortion impacted the ObamaCare legislative debate. Notice in the first line below how Kliff cribbed from pro-choice activists' language about abortion rights (emphasis mine):
Democrats clearly support a woman's right to choose in their party platform. But when it comes to candidates in swing states and more-conservative districts, the party often supports people who oppose abortion rights. It's a strategy that has helped Democrats take over Congress and amass a commanding majority in the last two elections. But the health-care debate shows the challenges it presents for them when trying to govern.
If anyone was looking for a self-righteous extreme feminist, they found one in Angie Jackson. This is a woman who was so proud she was aborting her baby that she announced she would "tweet" her chemical-cocktail abortion live, as it happened, on Twitter. The liberal media found this made-for-TV slaughter fascinating, and not at all a controversy worthy of discussing with two sides.
Newsweek’s Sarah Kliff proclaimed: "One hundred thousand people have watched Angie Jackson's abortion. Late last month, Jackson posted a video of herself to YouTube, recorded after she took RU-486, a medication used to end pregnancies." Kliff asked only "why shame remains" about the act of killing one’s baby. Jackson was honored for her courage in "demystifying" and "destigmatizing" the procedure: "We need 10,000 more of her," proclaimed Peg Johnston, chair of something called the Abortion Care Network. This desire for 10,000 more unashamed abortions is what "pro-choice" is all about.
Overall, this was just another classic tale from the "news" magazine that lamented 20 years ago that "Sadly, many home [abortion] remedies could damage a fetus instead of kill it." What about the pro-life side?
Voters in state after state have said no to gay marriage. So what's the lesson Newsweek's Sarah Kliff draws?
Well, maybe it's time for the gay marriage lobby to go over the heads of the people and push Congress to act.
Reacting to yesterday's 38-24 vote by the Democratic-majority New York State Senate to kill a gay marriage bill, Kliff suggested in a December 2 The Gaggle blog post:
Rather than pursuing piecemeal, state-level initiatives, which do not have a great track record, perhaps the movement, en masse, ought to focus on pressuring Congress and President Obama to take more decisive action.
I'm not the first to make this suggestion. The issue came to a head in October, when gay-rights activists organized—and argued over—their first large march in Washington since 2000.
Of course, as a journalist, it should not be Kliff's place to pen the game plan for a movement's political agenda. Hers should be to call the game, not the plays, yet the Newsweek writer continued by describing her shift in sideline strategy (emphasis mine):
An Oct. 28 Newsweek article made another attempt to discredit sex ed that teaches teens to wait for sexual activity until marriage. The abstinence movement already faces dire straights since President Obama cut its federal funding from the 2010 budget. Newsweek must be hoping to bury it.
Despite a September vote by the Senate Finance Committee that could restore the funding, Newsweek reporter Sarah Kilff maintained that the federal government has wasted money on abstinence education because the programs are ineffective.
Kliff noted that $1.5 billion of the funding for abstinence education programs came from the federal government and reported, "As funding grew, so did a body of research showing that abstinence didn't change the sexual behaviors of students; pregnancy and STD rates did not go down, the age of initial activity did not go up."
But Kliff ignored the fact that the federal government spent $12 on comprehensive sex education programs for every $1 it spent on abstinence programs.
A shoddy and slanted profile of late-term abortionist Dr. LeRoy Carhart by Sarah Kliff in Newsweek magazine contains misrepresentation of the practice of late-term abortion. It also omits a serious episode in the career of Dr. Carhart that resulted in the tragic death of a 19-year-old woman.
In writing about the grisly practice of late-term abortion, Kliff falsely claims, "Past viability, no doctor will terminate a pregnancy without a compelling reason." This has been proven completely false in recent testimony by Dr. Paul McHugh, one of the leading psychiatrists in the country, who examined the medical records of patients seen by deceased late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller.
Last year, the Harvard-educated McHugh relayed that some women stated that their reasons for wanting a late-term abortion included "not being able to go to a rock concert." According to Dr. McHugh, Dr. Tiller performed late-term abortions for "mostly social reasons."
Newsweek’s Sarah Kliff, in a January 27, 2009 web-exclusive article entitled “Pro-Lifers In Obamaland,” failed to mention how several organizations and individuals she labeled as “pro-life” have friendly relations with pro-abortion Democrats. She also tried to portray the pro-life movement as being “split” between “those who are preparing for the fight of their lives and those who see an opportunity to redefine what it means to be pro-life,” with the latter being the organizations sympathetic to the Democrats. Kliff wrote sympathetically of these groups, which are actually trying to muddy the waters of pro-life activism
Kliff began by introducing Sister Sharon Dillon, a “50-year-old former director of the Franciscan Federation” who has been “a pro-life activist since high school.” Sister Dillon “doesn't agree with Roe v. Wade,” but she’s also “frustrated with the kind of single-minded activism she sees around her.” What does Sister Dillon see as being “single-minded”? Apparently, it’s “young girls chanting, ‘hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go!’” So Kliff started with the premise that wanting to overturn this Supreme Court ruling is “single-minded.”
In an October 16 Web exclusive today, Newsweek's Sarah Kliff looked at the "chorus of disapproval" that met Sen. John McCain's use of air quotes when dismissing the "health of the mother" exception that swallows the rule in some late-term abortion bans. Of course Kliff hit her readers with complaints from such unbiased, neutral observers as Chris Matthews and NARAL Pro-Choice America, which endorsed Sen. Obama in May. She concluded by citing a pro-choice Biden backer insisting that pro-lifers would be turned off too.
Kliff then went on to dive into what the health exception is in federal case law and conceded that:
McCain is correct when he suggests that the law does not specify which conditions or complications should be included in the legal definition of what constitutes a threat to the mother's health. That decision is left up to the doctor.
A new study shows women and minorities are more satisfied in general with their jobs than white men in the military and that military women are generally much more positive about their career and career prospects than their civilian counterparts, according to a new study.
Newsweek's Sarah Kliff has the story in a Web exclusive (emphasis mine):