Sunday, December 5, 2010

John Sexton: Media Continues to Lie About Palin’s 'Death Panels' Comment

"The press ignores the clear history and Palin’s statements about what she meant"
At Big Journalism, John Sexton cites the recent AP story which reports how Obama’s own deficit commission concluded that Obamacare isn’t going to come in under the cost curve unless some serious top down cost cutting is done. Sexton then states his point:
In regard to “death panels” the AP makes the same mistake made by every other commentator on this issue. It’s time to set the record straight. Yes, it’s true there were no “death panel” provisions in the Affordable Care Act, but it’s also true Palin’s statements were never, ever aimed at a specific provision in the bill. They were always intended as statements about the dangers of turning health care over to government bureaucrats. Let’s lay out the facts in detail and try to put down this pernicious media created myth.

Sarah Palin’s “death panels” comment appeared on Facebook on Friday August 7th, 2009. The post makes no mention of any specific element of the bill. Instead it directs readers to [a] clip of Michele Bachmann on the the house floor...


Bachmann is referencing [an] article by Betsy McCaughey which brought to light remarks made by Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel. Palin mentions Dr. Emmanuel’s remarks in the midst of her Facebook post, but both her opening and concluding paragraph makes it clear that her “death panels” statement is ultimately her worry about what could happen after a government takeover of heath care...


There were many prominent voices on the right who understood that Palin was expressing a fear about nationalized health care in general and not a criticism of a specific proposal. But the liberal media continued to miss the point.


Palin and many other conservatives made clear at the time that “death panels” was not a criticism of a specific provision in the bill. From the moment she wrote it, “death panels” was a catch all phrase designed to highlight the real danger of putting government in charge of deciding what can be spent on health care. It was the left from the Post to the President which (accidentally or not) conflated this with claims about specific provisions in the bill. Their motive in doing so, i.e. being able to call Palin a liar, is understandable. They are, after all, partisans who wanted to see the bill pass. But one wonders why supposedly independent news organizations like the AP continue to echo this demonstrably false claim right up to today.

No need to wonder why AP and other lamestream media outlets have been distorting everything Gov. Palin writes, says and does for over two years. Just plug that and the journo's "slobbering love affair" with Barack Obama into the equation, and it reduces down to 2+2=4.

- JP

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