Nagourney goes to heroic lengths!

TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2012

Pimps Romney’s message three times: Rachel Maddow floundered and flailed when asked about it on Meet the Press.

Earlier on that program, RNC chairman Reince Priebus had pushed the point very hard. He used some very unusual language.

David Gregory let it go:
PRIEBUS (8/12/12): Well, listen, I think that if you lay out the contrast and you lay out the choice of the American people, do you want to go down the road debt, decline and doubt? And, by the way, taking $700 billion out of Medicare as President Obama did—he stole $700 billion out of Medicare to fund European healthcare. We can go down that route or we can put solutions on the table to big problems and have the debate. I mean what do we want? Do we want—

[...]

David, if we do nothing and if we go down the road that this president wants to go down and these Democrats, Medicare will be changed forever as we know it. It'll be bankrupt by 2024. Medicare is going broke. Every person in America watching this now knows that that's true. This president stole. He didn't cut Medicare. He stole $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare. If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it's Barack Obama. He's the one that's destroying Medicare.
According To Priebus, Obama “stole” $700 billion from Medicare. (He did this to fund “European” health care!)

Obama has “blood on his hands,” Priebus said. Gregory sat there and stared.

Priebus’ language was very unusual—and yes, David Gregory noticed. He mentioned the chairman’s unusual language—but only later, during his pundit roundtable segment. When Priebus was sitting right there with him, Gregory just let it go.

During that roundtable, Maddow was challenged again and again about that $700 billion. As she typically does in such settings, she miserably floundered and failed.

Maddow didn’t know what to say about that $700 billion. Millions of viewers saw no explanation for Obama’s very bad conduct. Obama had “stolen” a large sum of money, they heard.

Obama had “blood on his hands.”

One day later, Candidate Romney was pushing that point on the campaign trial. In this morning’s New York Times, Adam Nagourney reports Romney’s words in the paper’s featured front-page report.

Nagourney’s news report strikes us as remarkable. We don’t think we’ve ever seen a reporter work so hard to keep repeating a candidate’s claim, without making any attempt to provide background information.

This is from the New York Times' featured front-page news report:
NAGOURNEY (8/14/12): Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan signaled that they intended to go on the offensive, challenging the assumption that Republicans were better off playing down the [Medicare] issue. They are gambling that anxiety about deficits, the influence of the Tea Party movement and changing demographics will give them a chance to convince voters that the time has come to confront the rapidly mounting costs of sustaining entitlement programs. Mr. Ryan is scheduled to visit Florida this month.

“Every even-numbered year in Florida, seniors are accustomed to Mediscare tactics; that’s what Democrats do,” said Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to Mr. Romney. “The fact is, we’re going to go on offense here. Because the president has raided the Medicare trust fund to the tune of $716 billion to pay for a massive expansion of government known as Obamacare.”

“There won’t be a single senior citizen in Florida who won’t know that by November,” he said.

Republican candidates have gained experience in campaigns where Democrats have focused on Mr. Ryan’s Medicare proposal—in Congressional races in Nevada and New York—and have developed what they think is an effective way to counter it. That strategy includes assailing Mr. Obama’s health care plan, and noting that it was paid for in part by taking over $700 billion from Medicare.

“The president’s idea, for instance, for Medicare was to cut it by $700 billion,” Mr. Romney said at a rally in St. Augustine. “That’s not the right answer. We want to make sure we preserve and protect Medicare.”
All right, all right! We get it!

Nagourney printed the claim three separate times. In his entire report, he makes no attempt to explain the claim—to provide any context or background information whatever.

No one explains this matter from the Democratic perspective. He might as well have quoted Maddow! Maybe some of her wonderful snarks!

Nagourney’s piece is the featured report at the top of this morning’s front page. We’re not sure when we’ve seen a major news report which pimped a claim quite so hard.

“There won’t be a single senior citizen in Florida who won’t know [about Romney’s claim] by November?” If Nagourney gets his way, this will surely be true.

They won’t have the slightest idea what it means! But God bless! The folks will have heard!

12 comments:

  1. How many Pinnochios do the Republicans get for this one?
    "—he stole $700 billion out of Medicare to fund European healthcare."



    "The Medicare cuts, passed in the Affordable Care Act, come in the form of reimbursement reductions to hospitals, Medicaid prescription drugs and private insurance plans under Medicare Advantage. The Congressional Budget Office projects that they’ll extend the solvency of Medicare by eight years.
    AARP, the seniors’ lobby and chief gatekeeper of Medicare benefits, endorsed the Affordable Care Act despite its cuts, arguing that they wouldn’t affect seniors’ access to care. The law expanded benefits by closing the prescription drug coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole.” The hospital and drug industries also endorsed the legislation, believing that the additional customers via the coverage expansion would more than make up for the cuts."
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/difference-between-paul-ryan-barack-obama-medicare.php

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quaker in a BasementAugust 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      "...the president has raided the Medicare trust fund to the tune of $716 billion..."

      Somehow, spending less money from the trust fund is the same thing as taking money from the trust fund.

      Orwell's family should sue for royalties.

      Delete
  2. The answer Maddow tried (but mostly failed) to give:

    "Yeah, but Paul Ryan wants to do the same cuts."

    Which is a big fail on many counts.

    Its only merit is truth -- the Ryan budget repeal of "Obamacare" retains one thing: these $700B of cuts in payments to insurers.

    That merit is of close to zero political value however.

    First, Romney is the candidate, not Ryan.

    Romney's plan eliminates "Obamacare" in toto. It restores the $700B. His plan is bullsh!t, of course, but it does reverse this cut.

    Second, the Maddow argument implicitly concedes that the cuts were 1) Bad and 2) Bad for seniors.

    This is a concession you don't want to make politically because it plays directly into the hands of the GOP's "WE are the ones who are going to save Medicare from Obamacare."

    And that strategy is basically the Romney campaign's ENTIRE PLAN for winning Florida which is a complete MUST state for Romney. Google Mark Amodei Medicare if you want to find out how this will be played.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If the Democratic communicators don't flood the airwaves with an overwhelming take-down of that lie no later than by Friday of this week -- and do not angrily call it a lie and show exactly how it is a lie -- then they should all be fired and replaced with competent people.

    Maddow's response was admittedly terrible, effectively admitting that the law 'cuts" Medicare. and what could be a weaker response than "Ryan does it, too"? The only saving grace is that Lowry was an outright jerk even as he continued to get his "$700 billion" jabs in. I disagree with the premise that Maddow doesn't make an effort to get things right -- she did have a less-than-well-known fact from a recent online blog post to respond with -- and the excuse may well be that this wasn't an unexpected line of assault by Republicans. They are very good at sneak attacks.

    But that is exactly where Democrats fail again and again and again. Somebody should be planning. Republicans have a massive communications machine, and it is their Rove-inspired strategy to hit back wherever their side is weak with a counter-charge that turns the other side's strength into a weakness. Kerry's a decorated war hero, accuse him of being, in fact, a coward who arranged for his own decoration. Ryan's vulnerable on Medicare because he would turn it into a voucher program? Accuse Obama of destroying Medicare.

    That should have been anticipated, and the Obama "Medicare cut" line has been circulating for awhile fairly much under the radar. Easy, bumper-sticker responses to this specific claim should have been circulated even before Ryan was named.

    Be that as it may, now there must be a strategic response. With a massive response that makes voters aware of how the Republicans are lying about it, however -- he is cutting $700 billion of wasted COSTS in the Medicare, and zero cuts in benefits -- Democrats could turn the whole thing into an attack on Republicans as the liars they are, and into a net positive. Democrats have to learn how to turn the Republicans' huge dollar advantage against them -- with a communication strategy that makes every Republican commercial work against the Republicans themselves by telling voters what to see in that commercial. Until they get that, it will be a struggle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so. I'd like to see the voters have a clear choice between capping costs via limiting benefits and capping them via limiting costs.

      If we can get a discussion that doesn't consist of Priebus sounding like a moron.

      Delete
    2. Here's the bull roar that Bob has been able to spread: That Rachel Maddow somehow owes something to "our side."

      Rachel Maddow is in no way, shape or form a "Democratic communicator." She is Rachel Maddow, host of a one-hour cable babblefest five nights a week that few watch on a network that few watch.

      That she is successful in attracting an audience large enough to keep her on the air is her own doing, and she is beholding to no one and no particular ideology other than her own because if it.

      And if she happens to say things, even nightly, that drive our highly intellectually superior host into fits of daily apoplexy on a blog that does not even have a tiny fraction of the tiny audience that Maddow attracts to her show, well, I doubt it means the end of Western Civilization as we know it.

      Nor will it really amount to beans to a tree to the upcoming election.


      Delete
    3. Stop criticising Rachel Maddow!

      WAHHHHH!!!!!

      Delete
  4. Bob, you repeat Nagourney repeating Republicans' claims! And you fail to explain it, yourself. Why don't you explain what the heck is going on with the $700 billion? You do this over and over - you specify when others make horrible, false claims, but you never state WHAT THE FACTS ARE. The whole point of your column is how the media is full of bullshit. So why don't you counteract the bullshit? TELL US what the truth is. Please. Why would you pass up an opportunity to dispense the facts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hat tip to Gravymeister "The Medicare cuts, passed in the Affordable Care Act, come in the form of reimbursement reductions to hospitals, Medicaid prescription drugs and private insurance plans under Medicare Advantage. The Congressional Budget Office projects that they’ll extend the solvency of Medicare by eight years.
      AARP, the seniors’ lobby and chief gatekeeper of Medicare benefits, endorsed the Affordable Care Act despite its cuts, arguing that they wouldn’t affect seniors’ access to care. The law expanded benefits by closing the prescription drug coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole.” The hospital and drug industries also endorsed the legislation, believing that the additional customers via the coverage expansion would more than make up for the cuts."
      http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/difference-between-paul-ryan-barack-obama-medicare.php The whole point of this column is a critique of the media where & when it is warranted & since it's Bob's blog - he gets to decide that too What do you have against holding so called journalists to a journalistic standard?

      Delete
  5. What? "The Medicare cuts, passed in the Affordable Care Act, come in the form of reimbursement reductions to hospitals, Medicaid prescription drugs and private insurance plans under Medicare Advantage." I have NO EFFING CLUE how that's supposed to clarify things and refute what the Republicans are saying. It just sounds to me like a very hard-to-understand, convoluted way of saying the same thing the Republicans are saying: the Affordable Care Act makes cuts to Medicare. GOD, Democrats are so bad at debating and communicating, it makes me want to fucking scream.

    ReplyDelete

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