May
11
2011

Single-Payer Silenced, Again

I saw a press release yesterday announcing that Rep. Jim McDermott (D.-Wash) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.) were introducing a single-payer healthcare bill in both houses of Congress. Unless there was a drastic change in the corporate media, this news wasn't going to be, well, news.

And it hasn't been so far. There were mentions in independent outlets like Democracy Now!, GritTV and the Nation. But in the corporate media, next to nothing– except for one brief mention on CNN, thanks to Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel:

VANDEN HEUVEL: The progressive caucus, which put out a people's budget which is fair, did not get attention because the media slighted it and marginalized it. That is a mainstream budget.

SPITZER: One second, you'll get your turn.

VANDEN HEUVEL: No, but I do think, when Bernie Sanders and McDermott put forth a Medicare-for-all, that is a majority position.

The single-payer bill and the People's Budget will likely suffer the same media fate–marginalized by the Beltway elites, despite the fact that they represent policies that are broadly popular.

Maybe media would behave differently if someone as serious, wonky and handsome as Paul Ryan was holding the press conference.

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.