Barely News: Congresswoman Lummis's 'Most Moving Moment' at Gruber Hearing

December 13th, 2014 11:00 AM defines "glib" as "readily fluent, often thoughtlessly, superficially, or insincerely so."

Jonathan Gruber's apology at his Tuesday congressional hearing included that word. The word, especially the "superficial" element of its definition, applies to how the establishment press covered the hearing. With only rare exceptions, it excluded any mention of what has accurately been called "the most moving moment of the Gruber hearing": Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis's emotional recounting of how her husband died while the status of his coverage under Obamacare was in dispute.

Lummis's name only shows up at the Associated Press's national site in roll call votes. Searches at the New York Times and Politico indicate that there is no relevant story with her last name at either site.

A Google News search on ["Cynthia Lummis" husband"] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets, sorted by date, with duplicates) returned 25 items. All but about a half-dozen are from center-right outlets and blogs and Wyoming TV stations.

Two of those exceptions, one at its home site and a copy at Yahoo News, contain Warren Richey's hearing writeup at the Christian Science Monitor, including the following four relevant paragraphs (bolds are mine throughout this post):

Late in the four-hour hearing, Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R) of Wyoming asked Gruber whether he really believed the statements he made in various speeches and meetings with his fellow economists. “Were all of your prior statements a lie, or were they just glib?” she asked.

Representative Lummis told Gruber that she and her husband had twice tried to sign up for Obamacare, but were twice told they had not successfully negotiated the process. In the meantime, Lummis’s husband was scheduled to take a battery of tests for chest pain.

In the resulting confusion, she said, her husband failed to take a key test. In late October, he had a heart attack and died.

Even with all the glitches and other problems, the health-care law carries “real consequences for real people,” Lummis told the economist.

As will be seen shortly, Richey left the money quote from Lummis out of his story.

Another exception to the establishment media blackout is a Washington Post "The Fix" blog item by Nia-Malika Henderson. Its title gives away the fact that the press's virtually complete failure to note Lummis's story — which would include, from all appearances, the Post's failure to include it in the paper's print edition — is a combination of negligence and deliberate omission:

This was the most moving moment of the Gruber hearing

Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who said that the stupidity of the American public played a major role in the passage of the Affordable Care Act, came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to be verbally flogged by members of Congress. Amid the predictable litany of "stupid" references, Wyoming Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) provided a poignant moment. Here's what she said:

"On October 24, the week before election, my husband went to sleep and never woke up. He had a massive heart attack in his sleep at age 65. A perfectly, by all accounts, healthy man. Come to find out, in a conversation with his physician after he died, he chose not to have one of the tests, the last tests, his doctor told him to have. This happened to coincide with the time that we were told that we were not covered by Obamacare. I'm not telling you that my husband died because of Obamacare. He died because he had a massive heart attack in his sleep."

Her statement about her husband in the Gruber hearing wasn't so much a question as much as it was a raw accusation about the Affordable Care Act, a statement she ended by asking for some compassion. "I want to suggest that regardless of what happened to me personally, that there have been so many glitches in the passage and implementation of Obamacare that have real-life consequences on peoples' lives," she said, almost choking up. "The so-called glibness that has been referenced today has direct consequences for real American people. So get over your damn glibness."

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner tried to offer Lummis some sympathy, but was cut off by outgoing chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)

As seen at the end of the video which follows, Issa did not "cut off" Tavenner. Instead, she wasn't allowed to speak out of order, because Congresswoman Lummis had not asked her a question.

Now to the video, including the sound bite no one in the establishment press besides the Post's Nia-Malika Henderson will dare use, but which they would have been falling all over themselves to broadcast repeatedly if a Democratic congressperson had been berating a Republican or conservative administration in similar circumstances (full transcript of Lummis's segment here; video begins about a minute into the transcript; Lummis's story begins at 0:45 of the video):

Money quote, including the sound bite:

… the so-called (instances of) ‘glibness’ that have been referenced today have direct consequences for real American people. So get over your damn glibness.”

Cross-posted at