In an Oct. 8 NewsBusters post, John Stephenson asserted that the media weren't telling the truth about Graeme Frost, the 12-year-old who delivered a Democratic radio address promotting the SCHIP children's health program, which President Bush recently vetoed. Stephenson claimed the media "swallowed the story whole" about the Frost family -- that the Baltimore family is raising four children on an income of $45,000 a year and relies on SCHIP -- and that news stories "were missing greatly in one major thing, facts."
As evidence, Stephenson cited a Free Republic poster who claimed:
First, Mr. Halsey Frost, Graeme’s father, owns his own woodworking design studio, Frostworks, so his claim that he can’t get health insurance through work is shockingly deceptive. He chooses not to get health care for his family. Second, Graeme and his sister Gemma attend the very exclusive Park School, which has a tuition of $20,000 a year, per child. Third, they live in a 3,000+ square foot home in a neighborhood with smaller homes that are selling for at least $400,000.
But the Freeper turns out to be fact-challeged as well. Think Progress reports:
1) Graeme has a scholarship to a private school. The school costs $15K a year, but the family only pays $500 a year.
2) His sister Gemma attends another private school to help her with the brain injuries that occurred due to her accident. The school costs $23,000 a year, but the state pays the entire cost.
3) They bought their “lavish house” sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.
4) Last year, the Frosts made $45,000 combined. Over the past few years they have made no more than $50,000 combined.
5) The state of Maryland has found them eligible to participate in the CHIP program.
Will Stephenson correct his post and tell the truth about the Frost family? We'll be watching...