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MSM; the self appointed arbiters of correct thinking

When, exactly, did the MSM cease to care about accurate reportage of the facts and instead appoint themselves the gatekeepers of correct thinking?  James Taranto writes in his Best of the Web Today an excellent piece illustrating how the MSM tried (and failed) to spin a story to obfuscate plain spoken truth.

'Death Panels' Revisited

How Sarah Palin helped defeat ObamaCare's deceptive advertising.

By James Taranto

"At a time when there is virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled 'The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,' " Judge Roger Vinson observed Monday in his ruling in Florida v. HHS, which did just that.

It would have been a lot harder had ObamaCare enjoyed wide political support. But it did not and does not. Americans never bought the bill of goods that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and their supporters in the formerly mainstream media tried to sell. A good deal of the credit goes to Sarah Palin, for coining the phrase "death panel" in an August 2009 Facebook post.

Four months later PolitiFact.com, a project of the left-leaning St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, named the phrase "lie of the year":

Her assertion--that the government would set up boards to determine whether seniors and the disabled were worthy of care--spread through newscasts, talk shows, blogs and town hall meetings. Opponents of health care legislation said it revealed the real goals of the Democratic proposals. Advocates for health reform said it showed the depths to which their opponents would sink. Still others scratched their heads and said, "Death panels? Really?"



For, as Taranto continues:

In truth, PolitiFact was more vulnerable to the charge of lying than Palin was, for its highly literal, out-of-context interpretation of her words was at best extremely tendentious. What she wrote was this:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Palin put the term "death panel" in quotes to indicate that she was using it figuratively. She was not lying but doing just the opposite: conveying a fundamental truth about ObamaCare. Proponents were describing it as a sort of fiscal perpetual-motion machine: We're going to give free insurance to tens of millions of people and reduce the deficit! As a matter of simple arithmetic, the only way to do that is by drastically curtailing medical benefits.

Indeed. This plain spoken truth, though pilloried by the LSM, resonated with the public and cemented the real world consequences of a Governmental takeover of health care decision making (for who controls the spending controls the choices) with a majority of the public.

This is a large part, and perhaps the crux, of why the LSM hate Sarah Palin: her plain spoken truths eviscerate the narrative the LSM would have us accept as right thinking.

Hat Tip: Clarice Feldman at PJM's Tatler.
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Comments (12)

"Such a system is downright... (Below threshold)

"Such a system is downright evil"

And coming from the party of Partial birth abortion and picled fetuses, it is easy to see why.

I always enjoy talking with... (Below threshold)

I always enjoy talking with a liberals, especially when they trot out "What would Jesus do?" As if this somehow gives them moral stature (usually to pick my pocket for some cause of theirs).

At which point, I respond, "I'm not sure, but since you appear to be on a first name basis, why have you never asked the same question when talking about your support of abortion?"

When one of them asks me WW... (Below threshold)

When one of them asks me WWJD?, I say He would tell them to go stand in the other line.

Anyone who doesn't have a g... (Below threshold)

Anyone who doesn't have a gazillion dollars knows what "death panels" are. We make those decisions every day whether at the grocery store, the movie theater, or Target. You always have to give up something for something else. Only a Harvard graduate wouldn't understand that concept.

MSM=LSM=MFM= Lying Propagan... (Below threshold)

MSM=LSM=MFM= Lying Propagandist Bastards

When, exactly, ... (Below threshold)
When, exactly, did the MSM cease to care about accurate reportage of the facts and instead appoint themselves the gatekeepers of correct thinking?
Are you implying they ever started?
"What would Jesus do?" is a... (Below threshold)

"What would Jesus do?" is a brilliant question to ask when discussing health care rationing. I've gotten a lot of pleasure asking this question to liberals who peppered myself and other conservatives with "Who would Jesus bomb?" questions during the height of the fighting in Iraq.

Ask a liberal, "Whose claim would Jesus deny?" And they just stare at you or yammer something about fairness.

As far as I am concerned, the absolute biggest lie associated with ObamaCare is the notion that, unlike those eeeeeevil for-profit insurance companies, our compassionate government will never deny medical treatments to anyone. The truth is that Medicare denies more claims than any private insurance company.

Sarah Palin is dead-right (pun intended) on this issue, and thankfully the American people are too smart to fall for the lies peddled by Obama's cadre of smirking eggheads.

When, exactly, did the M... (Below threshold)
jim m:

When, exactly, did the MSM cease to care about accurate reportage of the facts and instead appoint themselves the gatekeepers of correct thinking?

Answer: in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan.

The left had everything they wanted in Jimmy Carter. A president who hated American exceptionalism and who saw superiority in every tin hat dictator he met. The problem was that when he wasn;t running around kissing soviet dictators he was running the economy into the ground and declaring that "Malaise" was here to stay.

Reagan came in and turned the economy around and got people believing in America again. The MSM laughed at him when he called the USSR evil and they called him stupid. They are still trying in vain to tarnish his legacy. They still say that SDI won't work even when the technologies that have come from that effort have already been proven in the field (patriot missile anyone?).

With Reagan the left began in earnest to focus on the narrative regardless of truth.

I'm thinking that lying SOB... (Below threshold)

I'm thinking that lying SOB Walter Cronkite back in the 60's... but that's just me because it really didn't kick into high gear until Ronald Reagan took office and they began to spew BS with every derogatory story they could dredge up.

"When, exactly, did the ... (Below threshold)

"When, exactly, did the MSM cease to care about accurate reportage of the facts and instead appoint themselves the gatekeepers of correct thinking?"

Since even before the days of Murrow. He's merely the first high-profile media liar we uncovered.

When did I get my first real eye-opener to the fact that the media is in the business of sensationalism and lies more by ommission than anything? 1980.

In reality aren't Death Pan... (Below threshold)

In reality aren't Death Panels just another form of Genocide. Those younger, stronger, who can jump higher, will push the older, who can't run as fast, or jump as high, towards the doors of the Crematoriums. Rather crude, but effective. And the MSM will tell them they're going Berry picking. LOL

"When, exactly, did the ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

"When, exactly, did the MSM cease to care about accurate reportage of the facts and instead appoint themselves the gatekeepers of correct thinking?"

At least back to the 30s, when Walter Duranty gushed about how wonderful Soviet Russia was, and intentionally suppressed news of the Red-made famine in Ukraine to collectivize the kulaks - and won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts for the Party.






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