Stenographers to Power: WashPost Prematurely Proclaimed 'Health Web Site to Meet Deadline'

December 1st, 2013 12:41 PM

Saturday’s Washington Post served up the Kool-Aid with this Obamacare headline on the front page: “Health Web site to meet deadline: Officials set to announce fixes.” The entire story by Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein is unanimously just Obama and his tech-helpers. There are no launch critics anywhere to be found.

“As of Friday night, federal officials and contractors had achieved two goals, according to government officials who spoke on the conditition of anonymity in order to discuss ongoing operations,” the reporters said. But by noon Saturday, they were updating to back away from the giddy optimism:

But it was not immediately apparent, the official said, whether the improvement meant that the site can now meet one of the Obama administration’s internal goals — for 80,000 people per hour to be able to register and 320,000 per hour to be able to log in — and added that the overnight tinkering was, at least for now, causing a slight increase in error messages on the site.

This is yet another transparently political usage for anonymous sources. Why would the Post or any newspaper grant anonymity so Democratic officials can try and spin some syrup on a deadline that may not be met?

Here’s who is quoted on the record by Eilperin and Goldstein in the Saturday paper:

– Obama telling Barbara Walters on ABC that “This is going to be a legacy that I’m extraordinarily proud of.”
– Jeffrey Zients, White House official boasting of all the hundreds of bugs that have been eliminated.
– John Engates, chief technology officer of Rackspace, who was encouraged by the progress.
– Mark Benioff, president of and host of an Obama fundraiser in his home Monday in San Francisco, oozing he’s offering coaches and mentors and “we’re going to help the government get through this.”

You wouldn’t think there was a Republican living anywhere in The Washington Post circulation area, let alone a Democratic official who called this a “train wreck” about to happen.

Pair this with another front-page story on the Walters interview – Scott Wilson playing up the allegedly stunning revelation that the Obamas might stay in Washington after his term is up – and you have a paper whose cup of Obama goo overfloweth.