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Chernynkaya On December - 21 - 2009

WHAT THE MEDIA IS COVERING

A report from the Columbia Journalism Review notes that very little of the reporting on what to do about the health care system is actually about the health care system. Instead, it’s mostly reporting on the chatter about the health care system:

“The Project for Excellence in Journalism, for example, found that 55 percent of coverage of health care has been about the political battles, 16 percent about the protests, and only 8 percent about substantive issues like how the system works now, what will happen if it remains unchanged, and what proposed changes will mean for ordinary people.”

In other words, the press is spending more time on the fighting, rather than on the substance. It’s filler and fluff — that often misleads and distracts from the actual discussion. There’s a tremendous need for thoughtful discussions about healthcare, and it’s a issue where professional journalists could be a huge help. But it’s a lot easier to just focus on the play-by-play commentary, rather than actually adding value.

WHAT THE MEDIA IS NOT COVERING

From the start, TV networks shut out coverage of single-payer as an option for health reform. Despite overwhelming public support for a greater government role in health insurance, pundits were advising us that even Obama’s modest proposal of making private insurance corporations compete with a public insurance fund probably had to be scrapped.

The media could have put an end to the fear mongering about Obama’s plan being a “Trojan horse” for “socialized” medicine if it had provided the public with accurate information on Medicare-for-all and its benefits. Single payer, after all, is seen by many experts as the most effective way of achieving the goals of healthcare reform: Reducing costs while expanding coverage. I didn’t hear that repeated by the MSM. What I heard instead was barely a mention.

The media could have countered the pundits’ insistence that Obama  must “compromise” with industry-backed politicians by pointing out that the “public option” is already a serious compromise, given that most citizens and physicians actually favor “single-payer” — a more comprehensive and progressive option.  It has been only in the last few weeks that reporters state that most of those polled want some form of government run health insurance. Annals of Internal Medicine found that 59 percent of physicians also support single-payer. We heard barely a peep about those polls.

It is largely the media’s fault that Obama’s plan (the plan where the Public Option represented “a sliver” of reform) came to be seen as the most liberal position in the debate. A recent study by FAIR found that of hundreds of stories about healthcare in major outlets earlier this year, only five stories included the views of advocates of single-payer — none of which appeared on the TV networks.

The corporate media have also failed to report on the problem of health and insurance industries attempting to influence many legislators with a flood of campaign contributions.

One media watchdog searched Nexis on the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek and Time, and on the three nightly network news broadcasts, looking for stories that reported on amounts of health industry money being spent on members of Congress central to health care reform. Of the outlets surveyed, the newspapers were almost the only places that included such information.

And it is a HUGE story. Almost 30 of the key lawmakers who drafted the health care legislation have financial holdings totaling nearly $11 million worth of personal investments in the health care industry. But such reporting, given the volume of health care coverage, was scarce.

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you

hating the people who are being oppressed,

and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
— Malcolm X

For example, we know that Max Baucus has more in campaign contributions from health and insurance industries than any other member of Congress. But news accounts portrayed Baucus’ industry-friendly approach to the healthcare issue—including his dismissal of a single-payer approach and his opposition to a public option—as a reflection of his “more cautious approach,” his “long history of collaborating with Republicans,” or his “pursuit of a centrist compromise”  Uh, sure. Similarly, media generally left unmentioned how much Charles (kill Grandma) Grassley has gotten from health industry campaign contributions.

And in case anyone still thinks those contributions don’t dictate legislation, The Center for Responsive Politics analyzed political contribution records of members of the Senate Finance Committee after its vote on two “public option” amendments to its health care bill. Democrats who voted “no” received an average of nearly half a million dollars more from pharmaceutical and health product lobbyists in the last 20 years than Democrats who voted “yes.”

HOW’M I DOIN’?

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press finds that the public gives news organizations low marks for their coverage of health care.  News about proposed health care legislation was the most closely followed story for weeks.  More than a third (36%) said they followed news about the debate more closely than any other major story, far outpacing mentions of other stories, including the economy. That last tidbit is fascinating to me, since I have heard repeatedly (mostly on MSNBC) that the health care debate is not what most people care about—it’s supposed to be job, jobs, jobs!

But as health care reform continues to dominate public attention and media coverage, most Americans are critical of the way news organizations are explaining key elements of the debate.

“Can we break the machine

that is imposing right-wing radicalism

on the United States?

The scariest part

is that the media is part of that machine.”
— Paul Krugman

More than seven-in-ten said the media has done either a poor (40%) or only fair (32%) job explaining details of the various proposals. Just 21% offer a positive rating of this coverage. A similar percentage say news organizations have done either a poor (37%) or only fair (33%) job explaining the effect the “proposals would have on people like yourself.”  These bad poll numbers are good news—at least the public realizes what they are missing.

DISTORTING THE VOICE OF THE MAJORITY

Last summer, nothing came close to matching the intensity of coverage of the health care issue. Coverage of the proposed health care legislation was overwhelmingly focused on politics and protests. Those two storylines accounted for about three-quarters of the overall coverage of the subject.

At a town hall meeting in Montana, the President Obama accused TV news of focusing on town hall meetings when “tempers flare” because television “loves a ruckus.” No kidding!

“The biases the media has are much bigger

than conservative or liberal. They’re about getting ratings,

about making money, about doing stories that are easy to cover.”
— Al Franken

And because of that slant in the coverage, health care reform almost got derailed because of those raucous August town-hall meetings in which Democratic members of Congress were besieged by shouters opposed to change.

But what if our media-created impression of the meetings is wrong? What if the highly publicized screamers represented only a fraction of public opinion? There is an overwhelming case that the electronic media went out of their way to cover the noise and ignored the calmer “boring” encounters at Town Halls, even though the anger reflects a fringe right-wing view, not the view of most Americans.

It’s also clear that the anger that got so much attention largely reflects a fringe right-wing view opposed to all sorts of government programs most Americans support. But little of the civility that characterized so many Town Halls was ever seen on television.

Describing the outburst of anger at Specter’s town hall meeting, e.g., a story said it was “a scene being played out at gatherings across the country, as Americans who are worried and angry about President Barack Obama’s proposals vent while cameras roll.” And it became a media–fulfilling prophesy.

LIBERALS ARE WHINERS, RIGHT-WINGERS ARE A MOVEMENT

A recent article by Eric Boelert in Media Matters pointed out a really amazing analysis of the press. He reminded us that back during the Bush years, there was really no worse crime, at least to the Beltway press, than being “angry.” Serious people simply didn’t conduct themselves that way in American politics. They didn’t let their runaway partisan emotions get the best of them. For elite journalists during the Bush administration, liberal hatred of Bush was the reason that liberals should not be taken seriously– Because they were fueled by hatred. Serious people did not have hatred– they weren’t driven by out-of-control passion.

Now, please compare that media thinking from the Bush era to the Tea Baggers and the ugly free-for-alls they unleashed last summer. The press dismissed Bush’s liberal critics because they were too emotional, too full of “hatred,” and not paying attention to the facts. Sort of like the anti-Obama mini-mob members who hang politicians in effigy, turn town hall forums into fact-free screaming events, arrive with loaded guns, wave swastika posters, and yell out “Heil Hitler”?

Last summer, as unhinged racist rage flowed in the streets, and as the Nazi/Hitler rhetoric grew, anger was suddenly perfectly acceptable. Anger became “authentic.” Instead of being turned off by the displays of passion the way they had been when liberal protesters took to the streets prior to the Iraq war, the media touted the Right –wing mobettes  as a “phenomenon” (USA Today) staffed by a “citizen army (Bloomberg News).

“The right-wing media is trying to marginalize the peace movement.”
— Janean Garafalo


How come liberal anti-war protesters were shunned by the press, but the mini-mobs were showered with incessant coverage? It’s because when angry — and overwhelmingly white — conservatives protest, they come attached with a direct line to the American psyche. I guess Liberal protesters don’t tell us anything about the mood of America, but angry right-wingers do, huh?

“An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda is less inclined to put up a fight, ask questions and be skeptical. And just as a democracy can die of too many lies, that kind of orthodoxy can kill us, too.”
— Bill Moyers

Thank you, Bill Moyers, for all you have done to educate us and explain to us while the rest of the media is an epic fail.

Categories: News & Politics

Written by Chernynkaya

I am an artist and have lived in Los Angeles all of my life, except for a brief hippie period when I lived in SF. I am currently (semi-unwillingly) retired, but have had several careers.

75 Responses so far.

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  1. bitohistory says:

    I have been watching C-Span of and on all day. Damn! I missed this!
    Tempers get a little more heated and some truth is exposed. Baucus calls the R’s out! A little late, but good to see!

    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/12/22/baucus-angry-at-gop/


    • javaz says:

      Good morning, b’ito and everyone.

      Good for Baucus, shaming the Republicans, but I wonder if the Repukes are capable of shame.

      Found this bit of good news --

      “”The GOP messed up big-time: This healthcare bill is a “staggering achievement” by the Democrats

  2. Kalima says:

    I have a friend in NC, his mood swings go with your news every day. He is unemployed, sick and uninsured, I ask him every day to please turn off his tv. Please!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      I too have found it necessary to take a breather every now and again. I have all but banned my husband from watching, as he yells at the TV, and he is the most centered, easy-going person I know.

      And that’s why I at PPOV too-- why make myself toxic by reading the incendiary crap on that other site?

      • SueInCa says:

        Great piece Cher and it is all true. That has been so frustrating for alot of us, the lack of serious journalism. IMHO PBS got the closest to honesty with their series on healthcare but some people think, PBS, public broadcasting not the glitz and glamour of the MSM. I watch more of Democracy Now, BBC and PBS than any of the MSM. Like your husband, I am pretty easy going, but I yell at them all the time.

  3. abby4ever says:

    The thing about the press is that it’s made up of human beings, and something you can never take out of human beings, is the agenda. We all have them; some are good, some are bad, some are somewhere in between.

    Beyond that, it is virtually impossible for even the most well-meaning, principled news outlet to stay independent of the gov’t…any gov’t… for very long. Why? Because the press is about getting the big story first, getting the big interview, and in doing both getting ahead and staying ahead of the competition. It’s a matter of survival.

    Over here in the UK, the BBC is supposed to be independent of the gov’t. It is funded by us, but the gov’t still has a large say in the distribution of those funds. You will often see the BBC fighting very shy of criticizing the gov’t to any meaningful degree, precisely because of things I’ve mentioned above. Be too critical and the big story (about the gov’t minister) will be given to you not first, but last. Be too critical and the big interview, of the important cabinet minister, or the prime minister himself, will not be given to you at all. Both will be given to the competition (provided they aren’t too critical either). And if you are a new news outlet, trying your damndest to rise above the status quo and provide something objective and substantive, you can, though you are principled to the core, be marginalized if not destroyed…in a short period of time.

    Here I am not defending the press that Chernynkaya has so astutely called out for their concentration on the fights about health care rather than the substantive issues about health care itself. I simply state a sad fact.

    • nellie says:

      It’s really good to see you here, abby!

      You make a good point about access. But there’s another side to that scenario. If the reporters do their jobs, and dig, dig, dig, they’ll dig up something important and controversial, and people in the government will want to have the opportunity to comment on it. Look at the way President Obama comes out on 60 minutes to answer the criticisms over health care reform. Leaders will want the exposure.

      Real journalism is a powerful force. Unfortunately, journalists here has given up that balance of power by becoming little better than tabloid gossip columnists. Not all, but far too many.

      • abby4ever says:

        Hey Nellie! What a long time it’s been. I am happy you are here.

        Perhaps it is different over there. Over here the different news outlets are virtually intimidated by the gov’t. They (the news outlets) put on a good show and often pretend to be super-critical and highly aggressive…rather the way gov’t ministers around the world have been pretending to be both with the banks and their greedy bailout demands, when it’s mostly for public consumption. But at the end of the day, they usually fold. For survival…and to stay abreast of the competition.

        • Kalima says:

          I would have to disagree abby, at least there is an inquiry about “war crimes” more than can be said for your country at the moment.

        • nellie says:

          It goes on here, too. I just wonder what would happen if media stopped kowtowing to everyone’s interests but ours. If they really used their power. I don’t know that we’ve ever really seen them try that.

          It has been a long time -- all the way back to the good old days of HP, around 2006! It’s good to talk with you again.

  4. Questinia says:

    Perhaps someone better versed in this issue can answer me this: I see TV campaign-like ads against Obama’s plan. Wily ones like “Write Sen. Lieberman, we can’t afford to have our taxes raised for this health care plan”.

    Why doesn ‘t the Obama administration treat this issue like a campaign? Why don’t they issue counters and informative ads outlining the benefits of his plan.

    The media is a whore, after all, it gives to anyone who pays.

    I’d say the reason no one knows about the President’s health care plan is not because of the media, but falls squarely upon his shoulders. Where is his nonpareil campaign strategy?

    • nellie says:

      Those ads are paid for by private companies. And they’re really there to influence the news content, rather than to motivate the audience. “Take this point of view, and we’ll run $$$$ in ads.” Or “Take that point of view, and we’ll pull $$$$ in ads from your station.”

      The president can’t spend taxpayer dollars on tv ads. He’s done what he can do. He held town hall meetings all summer, to the point where the media started to complain that he was getting to much air time. He has to walk a fine line. And as things are proceeding more or less as well as they can, he doesn’t want to spend the extra capital.

      • Questinia says:

        Thanks for such a quick response nellie!
        Why can’t he use his phenomenal campaign donation tactics to get people who are pro public option to donate? Also, is it absolutely out of the question that tax payer dollars go to advancing educating the public on this issue? Seems to me, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

        • nellie says:

          That would all go through the Organizing for America group — and as far as they’re concerned, I agree they could be doing more. It would be interesting to find out why they aren’t more conspicuous on this.

          The insurance companies have been spending $1.4 million PER DAY on anti health reform activities. I wonder how much OFA is spending. Good question, Q.

          • Questinia says:

            Can’t an ad hoc organization take over? Someting totally dedicated to tackling this issue. It seems like O for A group is not doing it’s job. Wouldn’t we all feel like we’re really doing something by donating, instead of passively sitting on the sidelines while dreckmeisters like Lieberman have their way?

            Maybe we can start one! OH, Adliiib…. :)

            • Questinia says:

              The people need to demonstrate they can out spend an insurance company. We need to fight fire with fire! I’d gladly donate seven dollars a week. Heck, make it ten!

  5. KQuark says:

    Death of the 4th estate brought to you by Faux News

    “>

  6. Scheherazade says:

    I want to reiterate this again. I feel very strongly about this book. I’ve thought seriously about writing an article about it. Everyone should read this.

    So, again…

    The book I recommend the most over any other is by David Brock: The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy. Get this book! It is a must read for everyone! If you can’t find it I have the unabridged audio version of it. I’d be happy to let anyone listen to it. Even if you heed nothing else I say, heed my words about this book.

  7. KQuark says:

    Oh no today’s NYTs says the healthcare bill is well worth passing worts and all. I guess that won’t make the Huffy main.

    A Bill Well Worth Passing

    • Scheherazade says:

      What’s funny is they’re famous for their main linking to articles in the New York Times!

      They aren’t famous for original journalistic works. However, they have been lately regarding banking articles since that gives them a chance to control the tone of the article.

      • KQuark says:

        Only when the NYT articles are doom and gloom about the banks or economy like you noticed. The WSJ is their favorite place to quote from now.

  8. KQuark says:

    Another part of the media narrative on the right and left has never been reconciled as well. Sure there were mistakes the Obama administration made at first with TARP. But again reality is somewhat different from the outrage group think. 80%+ of the TARP money will be returned. Even though Geithner was vilified his plan to recapitalize the banks with private funding is outpacing anything the government spent by 7-1 and like I said most of the 1 is coming back. Worse of all the Obama administration added much more transparency and accountability to the moneys they spent which amounts to the tens of billions of dollars not the hundreds of billions Bush just gave away.

    http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/mickey_edwards/2009/12/obama_and_the_republicans.php

    Conservative columnist Mickey Edwards wrote a good piece showing where the Obama administration was far more conservative, in a good way than Bush was on the bailouts.

    “Fast forward to the Obama administration. Same problem. Same general solution -- send federal cash to prevent “too big to fail” institutions from crashing. Yes, “too big to fail” is a ridiculous concept that has nothing to do with, and is antithetical to, the free enterprise system that liberals love to bash, but given the general rush to put a lid on the rapidly boiling crisis, the Obama rescue team was far more in line with conservative values than the Bush administration. Yes, Obama said, we’ll shore up the banks and the financial paper-swappers, we’ll try to help the auto companies, etc., but we’ll watch what they’re doing, they’ll have to pay it all back, and if the taxpayers are going to foot the bill, they’ll be part-owners, and like other stockholders, they’ll exercise their rights to keep things on track. The Bush Administration’s first response was to turn the taxpayers into suckers; Obama said, in effect, “we’re not giving away taxpayers’ money; they’ll make a loan in exchange for an ownership interest.” Of the two approaches, which was the more conservative position? Obama’s, clearly.”

    We obviously still have a problem with foreclosures, tight credit and derivative trading that need to be addressed, though much of the problem with foreclosures belongs squarely with something like 60% of the people that requested relief yet failed to supply the paperwork required or live up to their agreement.

    BTW this whole the government should not only assist banks in lowering interest rates but also pay part of the principle amount. Now in this case call me an unrepentant capitalist but do people really expect the government to buy part of their house without even a loan attached?

    Maybe because I gave up credit cards 10 years ago and bought a townhouse the size I needed and not the size the realtor wanted me to buy, it just seems like simply common sense that people are responsible for the principle they borrowed. Obviously if fraud was involved that’s a different case.

  9. nellie says:

    I usually don’t post about HP here, but I think this is worth noting in light of Cher’s article. Here is one of the main articles on HP this morning. This is a very long, very negative piece. Heavily moderated so that argument is blocked. The disguise is coming off:

    Leadership, Obama Style, and the Looming Losses in 2010: Pretty Speeches, Compromised Values, and the Quest for the Lowest Common Denominator

    I am wondering how many HP readers who have been lured into opposing the president will be further drawn to right wing thinking by this article? A deliberate conversion of the readership is in progress.

    • KQuark says:

      I’ve given up on Huffy a while ago but they are definitely moving to the right and I say this not because that’s the angle which they attack, I say that because 90% of their attacks have become personal. That’s what fucking Republicans do is question motives, values and character rather than supporting policy.

      Like I said 90% of the blame for losing the PO is on Republicans and conservative Dems. All these recriminations and should have tried harder is a bunch of bullshite. The worse thing the president did was not be more forthright and tell people the PO was dead a long time ago. But having made the same mistake I just did not want to give up even an outside shot.

      What gets me angry now is what is not being reported. Administering a non-profit plan the OPM is much closer to what Obama promised and while it’s not as competitive as the PO isn’t the goal to take corporate profits out of healthcare insurance. I had a similar what they call self pay plan through an employer once and it was the best coverage I ever had because the healthcare insurance company only payed a fee to transfer money from the employee self pay pool to the providers. I only had a 10% copay, no deductible and very low cost prescription program. The best part was even though this was through the time I had chemo and radiation treatments we only had one problem with them paying one claim that was eventually paid. In fact it was too good and bills were paid too quickly which is one reason I think Prudential got out of the healthcare insurance business.

    • Scheherazade says:

      I’ve written Huffy off as being Drudge light. One could possibly say it’s worse since it’s trying to turn both the left and the right against the current administration.

      These are some websites I posted about yesterday. I really feel like they are much better sources of information than Huffy could ever be.

      Daily KOS
      Media Matters for America
      Mother Jones
      Salon.com
      Talking Points Memo
      The Nation
      The New Republic
      Think Progress

      They are sometimes critical of the president, but they are almost always fair about it. If nothing else they certainly don’t seem to have this vendetta against Obama that Arianna does.

      Also, nellie you mentioned these too.

      The Brookings Institution
      Center for American Progress

      Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
      Center for Economic and Policy Research
      The Century Foundation
      Citizens for Tax Justice
      Economic Analysis and Research Network
      The Economic Policy Institute
      Good Jobs First
      MassINC
      New America Foundation
      New Politics Institute (NDN)
      Progressive States Network
      Project on Regional and Industrial Economics
      The Tax Foundation
      Urban Institute
      Urban Land Institute

      Those are some excellent places to visit.

      So, stay away from the venom Arianna is is injecting into the zeitgeist as much as possible. Her whole purpose is to bring you down and turn you against President Obama. He’s not perfect, but he’s not another GWB by any means!

      • abby4ever says:

        Yes, Drudge Light is the perfect name for hp nowadays. When I did a post at hp yesterday about Ari turning on Obama and going on all the big talk shows playing the analyst (and tossing her hair like Miss Piggy) another poster at hp, it might have been Monica, said something to the effect that she couldn’t wait to see the bowing and scraping if things suddenly turn back for Obama, turn brighter. I don’t quote her verbitim but just give what I believe to be the jist of what she said.

        And I so agree! Right now I think Ari is hedging her bets. For some reason, she seems to think that Obama is washed up and either the Repubs are in for a good 2010 showing or else some Dem will rise like a star to outshine Obama.

        The parade of negative articles over there lately, ones either dark with innuendos or else blatant attacks, is alarming. The bread is thick with butter on one side now, but if things change, the bread will flip…and so will the butter.

        LOL !!!

        • KQuark says:

          Even the narrative Obama is failing is a joke. What is he not getting point by point with his agenda?

          The economy is still struggling but that was set in motion years ago but based on his priorities Obama has gotten at least what he needed passed every time so far.

        • Scheherazade says:

          I’m starting to think she is Miss Piggy! She’s got the same lack of patience, the same self-aggrandizing arrogance, and the same overly inflated sense of self-importance.

          • abby4ever says:

            That’s it then. Ari is officially dubbed Miss Piggy.

            Miss Piggy of Huffington Manor.

            • KQuark says:

              Now you reminded me of two great Britcoms. “Of Manner Born” or something like that and “Keeping up Appearances”.

              When politics becomes mostly personal that is in the realm of Rovian tactics.

      • KQuark says:

        Great list but I would love to be able to understand how to say your moniker. 😉

      • nellie says:

        Thanks, Scher. I do have a long list of progressive sites that I rely on. But this morning I’m afraid I’m beyond turning the other cheek. I’ve had it. Up to here. With the damage HP is doing. So I have a plan — and I’m going to post it this morning. I hope you’ll find it worthwhile.

        • KQuark says:

          Huffy can only do as much damage as the power that people who associate with them give them.

          There’s a civil war with Democrats going on which is fine with me because I take the pragmatists and steady progress side. Left leaning purists can have the reactionary and recriminating side. You would think people would learn on the left that not compromising and adhering to group think orthodoxy is what got Repubs where they are today. NOWHERE!

        • Scheherazade says:

          Also, I sent you an email that might also help you in expressing yourself about this matter. 😉

          In fact it might not be a bad idea to start an online petition. I realize that she who must not be named won’t pay any attention, but at least it would be a chance to make known that these feelings are not held among a few isolated individuals alone.

        • Scheherazade says:

          Okay. :) I look forward to reading what you write.

          • nellie says:

            Thanks. I probably shouldn’t have brought it up here, because Cher’s article deserves commentary that is not distracted. I’ll watch that in the future.

            Impulse control has never been my strong suit. 😡

  10. Scheherazade says:

    10 out of 10 article Cher. :)

  11. KQuark says:

    Brilliant piece Cher. I think people are downplaying the negative effect the MSM has had on this debate. I think as soon as they labeled the PO some liberal government run healthcare scheme instead of what mainstream Americans wanted it embolden the right against healthcare reform and the moneyed lobbyists to shape the bill too much.

    That being said, I really don’t think Senators like Lieberman or Nelson would have voted for cloture on the PO. But all the voices against the PO got major play every time they discussed healthcare. Just the fact that the MSM became the mouthpiece against the PO cannot be ignored. Worse Republicans who were never interested in healthcare reform were given equal time even though they had no solutions to a known problem.

    Like I said last week I think the media is the group that has not changed as they promised to after they had been promoting the Bush Iraq War narratives to start an illegal war. The double standards like the fact that the healthcare bill needs to be fiscally responsible when the Bush tax cuts, wars and privatization of Medicare was never even considered to be paid for by cuts or increasing revenue.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      “Just the fact that the MSM became the mouthpiece against the PO cannot be ignored. Worse Republicans who were never interested in healthcare reform were given equal time even though they had no solutions to a known problem.”

      I can’t tell you how infuriated that made me! Not one TV report discussed the PO in depth, nor reported early on how popular it was-- all we heard was from the Right. This is a scandal, KQ. Now that the PO seems dead, NOW we hear how popular it is.

  12. javaz says:

    Thanks for another great article, Cher.

    I’ve been trying to ignore health care reform coverage because it’s frustrating and depressing.
    The only news my husband and I watch is the local weather report and PBS Nightly Business News.
    (I get all the news I need from the weather report -- Paul Simon)

    That said, it is difficult to ignore some of the coverage about HCR, and just yesterday morning, caught a blurb before I could get to the remote where Republicans were being interviewed and not one Democrat was represented.

    I think it was Nellie that said on another post that she’s stopped watching the media and prefers to read the news, and I agree with that.
    But finding the actual news even on the Internet is a challenge.

    40% chance for rain later today and that is good news!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Last week, I stopped watching KO and Rachel-- just too infuriating, and I actually worried about my husband’s digestion, as here those shows are on at dinner time. I noticed I am less angry and demoralized by a lot!

      • nellie says:

        I can take Rachel because she is a fatalist, and she’s consistent about it. She predicted Hillary would win the primary, and then she predicted McCain would win the election. She always fears the worst scenario — and so she obsesses on it, even predicts it!

        But her heart is in the right place. When she criticizes the president, it’s for a well-researched reason. And she criticizes a policy, not the person. For me, that’s a very important distinction.

        Randi Rhodes said something interesting the other day. Who do we think will get more accomplished for progressives? A democratic president with a 63% approval rating, or a democratic president with a 49% approval rating? Something to think about.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          You’re right, and I appreciate Rachel because I LEARN from her-- and her criticism is constructive. She is the first to tell us how she always sees things half empty. But these past two weeks I noticed there was too much emphasis on the Reptilian craziness and I found my stomach in knots. I’ll watch her regularly again after the new year, and sporadically until then. Just a mental health break. :~)

    • Scheherazade says:

      Keep this link handy when watching the news about HCR http://mediamatters.org/topic/health_care/

      😉

  13. Scheherazade says:

    BRAVO CHER! Wonderful article, my friend. :) You really drove the point home perfectly!

    This article needs to be shown to everyone we can think to show it to. Email it; print it; show it to your friends and family when visiting at their home for the Holiday Season. People need to see this article!

    Cher, I also like that you brought up Media Matters for America. Media Matters has done so much to help stop the spread of right wing lies. Despite the credit and attention it receives (both good and bad) I still think it’s not mentioned nearly enough.

    The book I recommend the most over any other is by David Brock: The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy. Get this book! It is a must read for everyone! If you can’t find it I have the unabridged audio version of it. I’d be happy to let anyone listen to it. Even if you heed nothing else I say, heed my words about this book.

    From Mother Jones:

    The Republican Noise Machine
    David Brock, the reformed conservative noise-maker, on how the Right has sabotaged journalism, democracy, and truth.


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