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Friday, April 30, 2010
Newsmax Embraces Questionable, Anonymous Attack on Health Reform
Topic: Newsmax

An April 29 Newsmax article by John Rossomando treats as fact a dubious report that the Obama administration blocked the release of a report claiming that health care reform may increase health costs until after the reform package was voted on by Congress.

The report, citing anonymous sources at the Department of Health and Human Services, came from the right-wing American Spectator's Washington Prowler blog. But Rossomando failed to note questions about the veracity of the anonymous claim.

First, Richard Foster, the head of HHS' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which prepared the report, was already on record as saying that CMS would be unable to issue an updated analysis before the final House vote on the bill. Foster has since called the Spectator's report "completely inaccurate" -- which Rossomando curiously fails to tell his readers.

Second, the Prowler has a long history of hiding behind anonymous sources to forward dubious or entirely false claims.

Third, the Spectator has responded to criticism of its report by changing its story; it's now claiming that "The report never stated that it was submitted for approval" even though the original report stated exactly that.

Rossomando failed in his journalistic duty to fully inform his readers about the sketchy nature of the Spectator report. But then, Newsmax appears to have a high tolerance for that sort of thing.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:07 PM EDT

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