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August 12, 2009


Seriously, what is UP with this? Is it something being taught in Journalism schools now? Are reporters afraid of being accused of libel, or partisanship? When did the press become so afraid to call a fact a fact?

I would request that Brendan fill out the other half of the health rerform reporting scorecard, namely how news organizations handle deceptive claims by proponents.

P.S. Raleighite, my guess is that the press hasn't read and digested the various bills. It would a stupendous feat to do so. Thus, the media cannot say what the facts are based on their own knowledge. All they can do is quote the opinions of others.

David, fair enough. However, I'd think, if a reporter called a few members of Congress (ones who had read, or maybe even helped draft the legislation) and asked, "Does this bill mandate XYZ?" they could get a pretty straight-forward answer. Seems like a reasonable thing to expect a reporter to do.

True, Raleighite, but then all the reporter could honestly do is to quote the bill's proponents, not claim to have reached an independent judgment. And quoting both sides is what Brendan complains about.

What is needed in this dogfight is to have independent health care experts such as Scholars in Health Policy point out, for example, that President Obama's claims about health care reform bending down the cost curve and about how anyone who's happy with his current insurance can keep it are either fanciful or just plain deceptive. They could also relate Sarah Palin's comments not to the tempest in a teapot over end-of-life counseling paid by Medicare but to the arguments of Obama advisor Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel on how best to allocate the scarce resource of medical care based on the theory of complete lives. That'd be nice.

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