Aug
10
2009

WaPo Lays Blame for 'Unhealthy' Healthcare Debate

The Washington Post editorial page weighed in on the troubling scenes from congressional "town hall" healthcare discussions, where angry right-wing protesters have shouted down politicians, threatened violence, compared Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler and so on. As the Post's subhead put it (perhaps too kindly), "Rhetoric and distortion imperil the opportunity to fix the American healthcare system."

Don't worry–the paper names names at the end. The first graph takes aim at "Republican lawmakers and conservative activists have fanned the flames of uninformed opposition." But the next three paragraphs are directed at the White House and Democrats for "vilifying the health-insurance industry," overstating the profit margins of the insurance industry (they're extremely profitable, but not making "record profits," as Obama had claimed), and promising too much to everyone.

In other words, judged by the amount of time spent assigning blame, the Post believes that Democrats and the White House are roughly three times as guilty as their Republican and conservative counterparts. Apparently, at the Post, comparing someone to a Nazi is less offensive than saying health insurers make too much money.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.