Mar
01
2010

Death Panels–Again?

In a February 28 pieceheadlined, "Obama Ready to Move Forward on Healthcare Reform," the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut closed on a rather odd note:

Republicans have expressed growing confidence heading into the midterm elections, with healthcare as a potential campaign tool. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele took the argument a step further, saying after the Thursday summit that it had been "a death panel for Obama-care."

"If that wasn't enough, when you come out of this thing and you're looking at the reconciliation fight that may loom ahead of us, it certainly will have represented a death panel for the Democrats this fall," Steele said on CNN.

Death panels became part of the debate last summer, after prominent Republicans, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, claimed the government would set them up to decide who could live or die.

Is theassumptionhere that everyone knows that there were never any death panels in any healthcare bill?When the leader of a major partyis still making references to them,itdeserves some sort of corrective from a journalist. The Post reminds readers where the lie came from–but not that it's a lie.

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.