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Are Reporters Ethically Challenged? August 4, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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Most people above the age of 7 can distinguish a lie from a risky prediction that may not come true. Apparently, Charles Babington of the Associated Press has not yet reached the age of 7, or is ethically challenged. While claiming to “fact check” claims made by both sides in the health care debate, he writes:

Confusing claims and outright distortions have animated the national debate over changes in the health care system. Opponents of proposals by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats falsely claim that government agents will force elderly people to discuss end-of-life wishes. Obama has played down the possibility that a health care overhaul would cause large numbers of people to change doctors and insurers.

Somehow, the Democratic claim that health care reform will not seriously disrupt the medical care of people who are happy with their insurance is morally equivalent to the ridiculous Republican charge that Obama intends to kill old people.

One claim is patently false; the other may or may not be true depending on how millions of people respond to the incentives built in to the details of a reform plan that has not yet been fully formulated.

Which is the false claim? Apparently Babington can’t sort it out. As Steve Benen writes:

When House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) says reform “may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia,” is that true? No, he’s lying. When Rick Santorum says the House reform bill “is very specific that private insurance would be ended,” is that true? No, he’s lying, too. When House Republican Caucus Chairman Mike Pence says refom “will literally cost nearly a trillion dollars in higher taxes,” is that true? No, he’s lying, too. When President Obama hedges on a possible, hypothetical outcome involving how insurers might respond to an improved system, is he lying? Not really, no.

Mainstream media is a dinosaur. Extinction may be right around the corner.


book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

or Visit the Website: www.revivingliberalism.com



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