An Aug. 25 NewsReal post by David Forsmark touts Jim Towey's misleading claims about a Veterans Health Administration booklet advising veterans on end-of-life care. Forsmark uncritically repeats Towey's description of the booklet as an attempt to "steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living."
In fact, the booklet emphasizes that "your wishes will direct future health care decisions" and presents preserving one's life "using any means possible" as an option to consider.
Forsmark also includes a transcript of Towey's appearance in which he and host Chris Wallace discuss the appearance in the VA booklet of the statement "If I'm a vegetable, pull the plug" without noting that Towey and Wallace failed to explain the full context in which the phrase appears.
Forsmark goes on to criticize VA spokesperson Tammy Duckworth for pointing out that Towey is selling his own end-of-life-choices book, thus "cast[ing] doubt on Towey’s motives and to confuse the issue about who is responsible for the work sheet being available currently."
In fact, given that Towey has attempted to get the VA to buy his booklet, Towey's motives are a legitimate issue, on top of the fact that he's misrepresenting the VA's booklet. Further, Forsmark downplays the fact that the VA booklet was available and promoted throughout President Bush's presidency.