MRC Embraces Bogus Claim About Health Bill Topic: Media Research Center
The truth doesn't matter to the Media Research Center.
A July 16 NewsBusters post by the reliably clueless Tom Blumer uncritically repeats a claim in an Investor's Business Daily editorial that the Senate health care reform bill contains "a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal," proclaiming that "you have to go to the editorial pages of publications like the Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily to get your news when leftists are in control of the government."
Blumer's MRC bosses pounced on the IBD editorial as well, issuing a July 16 press release referencing "the bombshell easily discovered by Investor’s Business Daily and confirmed by the House Ways and Means Committee: a provision in the bill that severely limits private health insurance choice" and quting MRC chief Brent Bozell demanding that "the media understand – and at the very least, read – the health care bill before any further reporting" (underline in original).
But the IBD claim is not true.
As Media Matters details, the health care bill does not make private medical insurance "illegal" ;the provision to which the editorial referred establishes the conditions under which existing private plans would be exempted from the requirement that they participate in the Health Insurance Exchange. Individual health insurance plans that do not meet the "grandfather" conditions would still be available for purchase, but only through the Exchange and subject to those regulations.
So it appears that Bozell failed to read, let alone understand, the bill he demands members of the media read and understand. And Blumer looks even sillier than usual through his further slobbering over IBD's purported factual integrity:
This post proves the point, as if it even needs to be proven, that you have to go to the editorial pages of publications like the Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily to get your news when leftists are in control of the government.
The fact that little old IBD (no offense, guys, but I know your resources are relatively thin) had to find and investigate all of this on its own should be a cause for shame in every major newsroom in America. More than likely, it is not.
Yes, the House bill writers really tried to obfuscate their handiwork. It's very easy to breeze over "does not" without realizing that it really means "cannot." But IBD caught it, and hundreds of other supposed "real journalists" did not.
Somebody at the AP, AFP, Reuters, other wires, the New York Times, the Washington Post, all major newspapers, the alphabet news channels (including Fox in this case), and so many other self-important establishment media outlets needs to explain to the public they supposedly serve why they didn't detect and investigate what IBD found.
They can't. Consumers of meaningful news, be advised. If you're not reading IBD's and WSJ's editorials, there's a high chance you're not truly informed. If you rely on the rest of the establishment media, there's a high chance you're misinformed.
There's a high chance that Blumer is misinformed because he's reading IBD editorials.
But it's not as if the truth matters to either Blumer or Bozell.
Zombie Lie Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill writes of Jamie Gorelick in his July 16 WorldNetDaily column: "As deputy attorney general under President Clinton, she penned the infamous 'wall' memo that prevented intelligence agencies from sharing information in the run-up to September 11."
As we've repeatedlydetailed, Gorelick did not create the "wall" between intelligence agencies -- it was created in the late 1970s and affirmed by the Bush Justice Department shortly before 9/11.
Remember when WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian suggested that WND, unlike other news organizations, didn't rewrite "press releases and call it news"? He's just been proven wrong again.
A July 15 WND article by Chelsea Schilling speculating that Ted Kennedy's upcoming autobiography would notmention Chappaquiddick is little more than a rewrite of a press release from Judicial Watch, right down to the quote that "Many believe Kennedy escaped justice, which is why the tragedy at Chappaquiddick has been called the most brilliant cover-up ever achieved in a nation where investigative procedures are well developed." Schilling makes no apparent effort to find out who these "many" are and if they exist outside of Judicial Watch's offices.
If Kupelian doesn't think rewritten press releases are good journalism, why does he keep ordering his reporters to do so?
CNS Wants Health Insurers to Punish People For Having Sex Topic: CNSNews.com
A July 15 CNSNews.com article by Terry Jeffrey complains that under the Senate health reform bill, "the legal use of tobacco products is the only vice for which insurance companies will be able to charge their customers higher premiums." He adds:
In other words, a person could have been admitted to hospitals three times for heroin overdoses, or been pregnant five times out of wedlock, or been treated for venereal diseases at least once per year for the past five years, but none of these factors could be used to charge that person a higher insurance premium.
Jeffrey fails to note that having sex -- and even being pregnant five times out of wedlock, or catching venereal diseases "at least once per year for the past five years" -- is just as legal as tobacco.
What would Jeffrey's motivation for making this comparison be other than to claim that people should be punished for having the kind of sex he doesn't approve of?
CNSNews.com has been increasingly distorting a proposed tax surcharge for high-income earners to pay for health care reform.
A July 11 article by editor Terry Jeffery screamed in its headline, "House Democrats Will Seek Massive $540 Billion Tax Increase." Jeffrey did note (though not until the fourth paragraph) that the figure in question is over 10 years; he later quoted the AP and the Washington Post on the income breakdown of the surcharge but failed to clarify that the tax would follow the marginal formula of the current tax system. As the New York Times described it:
The surtax, starting in 2011, would be calculated through a series of building blocks, beginning with a 1 percent tax on income exceeding $350,000 for couples and $280,000 for individuals. So a couple earning $500,000 would pay 1 percent of $150,000, or a tax of $1,500.
LaterCNS articles, however, has substituted explanations for scaremongering by focusing on the number:
A July 15 article by Adam Brickley and Fadia Galindo carries the headline, "Democrats' $540-Billion Tax Hike Will Force People Into Government-Run Health Care, Congressman Says." Brickley and Galindo reference "The Democrats’ proposed $540-billion tax hike to help pay for President Obama’s health care reform plan" but do not explain that the figure is over 10 years; they note the income breakdown but, like Jeffrey, fail to clarify that it's marginal.
Another July 15 article by Matt Cover -- which also references "Democrats' Planned $540-Billion Tax Hike" in its headline -- does the same thing. He then distorted reality by claiming that as of 2006, "nearly 68 percent of small business profits ($470 billion) were reported by people making over $200,000 a year, meaning that the majority of small business profits would be subject to the Democrats’ tax increases." That's false -- since the tax is marginal, only the amount over $280,000 (for an individual, $350,000 for a couple, under the proposed plan, as reported by Cover) would face the surcharge; income under that would not.
Speaking of Overly Sensitive ... Topic: NewsBusters
In a July 15 NewsBusters post, headlined "AP, Politico Overly Sensitive to Perceived Racial Slight of Sotomayor?" Ken Sheppard defended Republican Sen. Tom Coburn's statement that Sonia Sotomayor would have some "'splainin'" to do -- a reference to a catchphrase uttered by Desi Arnaz in "I Love Lucy" -- in a hypothetical attack on him. Shepherd made sure to point out that "it's clear the Oklahoma Republican did NOT ... evince a cheesy Desi Arnaz impression when cracking the joke."
While Shepherd was suggesting others were overreacting to Coburn's remark, another NewsBusters writer was having a major fit of overreacting.
A July 15 post by Catherine Maggio is headlined "Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Image and Legacy Desecrated in Service to Politics." How so? Somebody changedthe background image on his Twitter page to a image of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Sotomayor's face Photoshopped in. No, really, that's it.
Examiner's Health Care Report Biased, Misleading Topic: Washington Examiner
A four-page July 9 Washington Examiner "special report" on health care is devoted solely to attacking President Obama's plans for health care reform. Following the Examiner's dictate eliminating non-conservative opinion from the paper, no supporter of Obama's plans is permitted to respond to any of the claims made. Most people would call that a violation of journalistic ethics.
Not only did the Examiner farm out its criticism to its fellow right-wingers -- at least twoarticles are nothing more than talking points copied from the Heritage Foundation -- the "special report" repeats misleading claims and hides details about critics.
The misleading begins with Mark Tapscott's introductory editorial carrying the headline, "Do we want doctors, nurses to be government employees?" Tapscott offers no evidence that that would in fact happen under Obama's reform proposals. Tapscott also asserts that Obama plans on "nationalizing health care" and cites "fear that a government-run system in the U.S. will ration health care, just as has happened in Canada, Britain, France and other countries with such systems."In fact, Obama has specifically rejected a health care system like Canada's or Britain's.
An article by Joseph R. Antos asserted that -- under the heading of "$1 trillion," what Antos claims "Democrats have decided" health care reform should cost over the next decade -- "according to the CBO ... Sen. Ted Kennedy’s reform proposal would cover only an additional 16 million people. That works out to $62,500 for each newly insured person." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office analysis to which Antos is referring was an incomplete assessment that did not analyze the cost of a public option, considered a key to Democrats' reform plans. Antos made no reference, however, to a more complete July 2 CBO assessment of the current version of Kennedy's bill -- even though it was released a week before this column was published -- found that the bill, including the public option, would cost $611 billion over 10 years and cover 97 percent of Americans.
Further, an article by Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute described the group only as "a nonprofit research organization focusing on patient-centered solutions to health reform." In fact, Galen is funded by the pharmaceutical and medical industries -- information relevant to readers.
Molotov Again Endorses Military Overthrow of Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Molotov Mitchell reprises a theme from his July 4 tea party tirade in his July 15 WorldNetDaily video, endorsing a military overthrow of President Obama just like they did in Honduras.
Mitchell declared Obama to be part of a "new axis of evil" along with Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, claiming that he's "working with" them to restore ousted Honduran President Zelaya, whom Mitchell called an "ousted criminal." Mitchell repeats his previous parallel of Obama and Zelaya:
So, a Marxist president tampers with the constitution, the military kicks him out. And now you know why Obama's so concerned. If could happen there, it could happen, well, anywhere.
Of course, Obama has not "tampered" with the Constitution. But don't expect Mitchell to be bothered by such facts.
Cliff Kincaid's Conspiracy du Jour Topic: Accuracy in Media
The Boston Globe won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for covering the Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up of priests who sexually abused children. There is a Pulitzer Prize waiting for the reporter who can figure out why the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, considered by Catholics the personal representative of Jesus Christ, has emerged as an advocate of one of the most corrupt and non-Christian organizations on the face of the earth-the United Nations.
-- Cliff Kincaid, July 14 Accuracy in Media column
New Article: Kessler's Wedge Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler took liberties with a Jewish leader's views on Obama, and got called on it -- so Kessler had to hunt for another Jewish leader to advance his anti-Obama agenda. Read more >>
NewsBusters Still Defending Bush's Firing of Attorneys Topic: NewsBusters
In a July 14 NewsBusters post reporting that the "left-wing blog Talking Points Memo" has received funding from investors to hire additional reporters, Clay Waters notes that TPM "won the media's George Polk Award for legal reporting for his work on the Bush administration firing eight U.S. attorneys under what TPM and other liberals claimed were politically motivated circumstances -- a perfectly legal effort that was nonetheless considered scandalous by mainstream media."
That ignores the controversy over why the attorneys were fired: reportedly for prosecuting too many Republicans and not enough Democrats and to make room for GOP political operatives.
Any chance Waters or his MRC buddies will ever admit that President Clinton's firing of the Travel Office staffers was "a perfectly legal effort that was nonetheless considered scandalous by right-wing media"?
Why Won't MRC Mention McCorvey's Link to Randall Terry? Topic: Media Research Center
When last we saw MRC Culture & Media Institute writer Sarah Knoploh, she was suggesting that George Tiller deserved to be targeted for murder. Now in a July 14 CMI article, Knoploh is complaining that the TV networks failed to mention that one of the anti-abortion protesters who disrupted Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing on July 13 was Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" in the original Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion who is now an anti-abortion activist. "McCorvey’s outburst should have received more attention from the networks," Knoploh insisted.
Knoploh goes on to fawn over McCorvey as someone "passionately working to overturn the ruling" and is "concerned about the lack of clarity on Sotomayor’s positions" on abortion -- though Knoploh doesn't explain how making a spectacle of herself at a congressional hearing is a suitable way to express concern about Sotomayor's "lack of clarity" on abortion.
Speaking of lack of clarity, Knoploh is mum about one aspect of McCorvey's disruption, as well as that of three others who disrupted the hearing with anti-abortion statements. As the Washington Post reported in an article to which Knoploh linked:
All appeared to be players in the shock street-theater troupe of Randall Terry, who founded Operation Rescue 20 years ago and yesterday brought his provocative props to his latest venue. Outside the Hart Building, Terry and his band brandished posters of aborted fetuses and children's coffins holding dolls covered in stage blood. A demonstrator dressed in a judge's robes carried the sickle of the Grim Reaper.
As we've detailed, since Tiller's murder, the MRC and the rest of the ConWeb have been trying to ignore Terry, particularly after he essentially condoned the killing of Tiller. This means that McCorvey is far beyond the merely "concerned" and "passionate" activist Knoploh portrays; she's in thrall to an extremist who condones murder.
We can see why Knoploh wouldn't mention that fact -- it destroys her narrative of McCorvey.
UPDATE: Knoploh's article is posted at NewsBusters as well.
Warner Todd Huston has long been one of NewsBusters' more aggressively clueless writers, and he demonstrates his aggressive cluelessness once again in a July 14 post bashing Sonia Sotomayor.
Attacking a CNN commentary by Jeffrey Toobin calling Sotomayor "a liberal in the cautious and careful mode" of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Huston retorted with a barrage of unsupported and undefined assertions:
Since when is Ginsburg a “cautious and careful liberal”? She was, after all, once the chief litigator for women’s rights for the extremely leftist group the ACLU. The reason she was picked by President Bill Clinton to take a seat on the Court is because she was an activist liberal. Not “cautious” in the least.
Yet, here is Toobin remaking Ginsburg’s story into that of a stolid, “cautious” liberal so that he can give cover to Sotomayor’s activism on behalf of minority set asides. The truth of the matter is, however, there is nothing “cautious” about either Sotomayor’s or Ginsburg’s liberalism. They are both of the extreme variety compared to the average, conservative Democrat’s.
Huston offers no evidence that either Sotomayor or Ginsburg are "extreme," let alone his definiton of "extreme" vis-a-vis his definition of an "average, conservative Democrat."
Huston then takes on the "wise Latina" comment:
Her supporters have said that this quote has been taken out of context and that read in context with the rest of the speech, this single sentence culled from the whole is easily misconstrued. But that is simply not the case. The New York Times helpfully published the entire speech and there is no way, when all is said and done, not to understand that Sotomayor is asserting in a straight forward manner that minorities -- "Latinas" in particular -- are better judges than white men. She further asserts that white men are less likely to have such experiences that will make them a good judge unless they are fortuitous enough to have reached "moments of enlightenment" that will put them on par with minorities.
Put plainly, she is saying "Latinas" make better judges simply by virtue of being Latinas. That is as perfect an example of racist sentiment as can be imagined.
One must admire the chutzpah of Huston acknowledging complaints that Sotomayor's statement was taken out of context -- then going ahead and taking it out of context anyway. The context, of course, is that Sotomayor was referring specifically to "race and sex discrimination cases" -- which Huston mentions nowhere in his screed and conveniently omits from the speech excerpt he included in his post.
Huston then made a big deal about how "five out the six cases that Sotomayor decided in lower courts that appeared before the Supremes were reversed by that court" -- even though he lists seven cases. Huston didn't mention that the Supreme Court typically reverses a large majority of the appeals court cases it considers, nor did he mention that prior to his elevation to the high court, at least four rulings Samuel Alito made as an appellate judge were overturned by the Supreme Court.
If Sotomayor's reversal rate disqualifes her, Alito'sreversal rate should have disqualifed him, right?
Huston can't be bothered by such trivia. He's too busy smearing Sotomayor as "A racist with low grades and a sense of entitlement that has been reversed or scolded in five out of the six cases of hers that have appeared before past Supreme Court sessions."
Yes, it seems Huston really does graduating summa cum laude from Princeton is evidence of "low grades."
Meanwhile ... Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters' Jamison Foser catches NewsBusters' Kyle Drennen, in a July 13 post, complaining that Harry Smith dared to challenge a Republican senator's talking points on Sonia Sotomayor -- namely, Sen. Jeff Sessions' assertion that Sotomayor is a "typical liberal activist judge." Drennen also fails to acknowledge that Session's conceded Smith's point that Sotomayor's "record is better than her speeches."