We look at what Hiltzik left out: We just looked in on MSNBC. What we saw was sad.
On this deadline day for health care, the warring cable tribes are fighting about the numbers. One tribe is ratcheting the claim of 6 million enrollees up. The other tribe is working hard to whittle the number down.
Our “progressive” cable tribunes would rather die than present the larger picture about our health care. Let’s say sixteen million sign up. Data like these will remain:
Health care spending, per person, 2011:In those other developed nations, everyone is covered; overall health care outcomes are at least as good as ours. And yet, those nations spend half as much per person, or less, than we spend in this country.
United States: $8508
United Kingdom: $3405
That vast per person over-spending represents various forms of corporate and professional looting. For a family of four, go ahead:
Multiply the difference between France and the U.S. by four.
We have never seen those data presented or discussed on The One True Liberal Channel. The children also never tell you about your nation’s actual test scores, which have been rising for decades, despite the zombie ideas you’re constantly handed about our ratty public school teachers and our pathetic kids.
Today, our cable clans are arguing about a little bit more than six million people versus somewhat less than six million. Why do you think those overpaid stooges are like that?
Today, let’s review another question, the question Kevin Drum asked last week. Why have the American people heard so many horror stories about Obamacare? So many bogus horror stories?
For our post from last Wednesday, click here.
Brother Drum asked a fairly good question: Why do we hear so many horror stories which are actually bogus? He linked to this 1500-word piece by Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times.
In our view, Hiltzik’s report partially answers that question. We don’t mean that as a compliment.
As we showed you last week, Hiltzik offered a news report about a woman named Rita Rizzo, who had finally gotten decent insurance for herself and her husband. He compared that good-news story to an Obamacare horror story, a bogus story Hiltzik himself helped debunk last year:
HILTZIK (3/23/14): In December, Rizzo signed up for Obamacare. She now has a policy that covers her and Vincent together, including all his meds and lab work, for $379 a month, with a $2,000 family deductible.Last week, we asked if you saw something missing there. This is what we meant:
"I feel like I died and went to insurance heaven," she says.
But you haven't heard Rizzo's story unless you tuned in to NBC Nightly News on New Year's Day or scanned a piece by Politico about a week later. In the meantime, the airwaves and news columns have been filled to overflowing with horrific tales from consumers blaming Obamacare for huge premium increases, lost access to doctors and technical frustrations—many of these concerns false or the product of misunderstanding or unfamiliarity with the law.
While Rizzo was working her way to thousands of dollars in annual savings, for example, Southern California Realtor Deborah Cavallaro was making the rounds of NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, CBS, Fox and public radio's Marketplace program, talking about how her premium was about to rise some 65% because of the "Unaffordable" Care Act. What her viewers and listeners didn't learn was that she hadn't checked the rates on California's insurance exchange, where (as we determined for her) she would have found a replacement policy for less than she'd been paying.
Quite correctly, Hiltzik named a list of major news orgs which broadcast Cavallaro’s bogus story. But do you see the name of a single journalist anywhere in his report?
Who broadcast the bogus story at NBC News? Do you see that person’s name in Hiltzik’s 1500-word piece? Do you see any sign that Hiltzik called that person and asked him how he got tooken?
Who fed the bogus Obamacare story to that NBC News reporter? Why didn't he check it out before it went on the air??
Sorry, kids! It’s the first law of the guild—you don’t embarrass guild members. You do not name their actual names. You don’t tell the public, in any detail, about the way their favorite stars went out and misinformed them.
Last October, Hiltzik debunked Cavallaro’s report. Ever so briefly, ever so gently, he actually named one major broadcaster, though he did so very much in passing.
No one got named in Hiltzik’s more recent report. It simply isn’t done!
Why did NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander go on the Today Show last year and peddle Cavallaro’s story? Why didn’t he fact-check it first?
We’d like to see that question asked of Alexander, and of the various overpaid stars who broadcast the story elsewhere.
To his credit, Hiltzik corrected the bogus tale; he didn’t name the various stars who catered the public bull roast. For that matter, we thought Drum was fairly soft in his overall approach to this topic, asking a question instead of opining—and his commenters got terminally distracted by the very first troll they met.
Drum's question went unanswered, undiscussed. The commenters burned the bulk of the thread calling each other names.
Why does the public get served so many false tales? We’d like to see the Alexanders asked that obvious question.
That said, the naming of names simply isn’t done, unless the name is O’Reilly! To all appearances, our corporate stars on liberal cable aren’t planning to break this Hard Pundit Law. Nor will they mention the health care looting which will continue even if sixteen million sign up.
Rising test scores? Who cares about that? Our cable stars aren’t going to go there. People! Good jobs at good pay!