Sunday, August 16, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 08-16-09

Tucker Carlson absurdly claims it's "absurd" to think insurance industry involved in protests
On Fox News' Hannity, contributor Tucker Carlson called the idea that "town hall meetings are somehow being infiltrated by industry, opponents to the plan, and their shills, basically, working on behalf of trade groups" a "conspiracy theory" and "absurd," and agreed with host Sean Hannity that the protests are "organic." However, both Carlson and Hannity ignored evidence that insurance companies and other conservative groups are sending people to town halls to "rebut" the White House and Democratic leaders. Read More

Wallace revives rationing bogeyman
On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace repeatedly advanced the conservative talking point that Democrats' health care reform proposals would create a system of rationing care, omitting the fact that rationing already happens under the current system. Indeed, Wallace did not acknowledge that rationing already occurs, even after his guest, American Medical Association president J. James Rohack, said, "[T]here's a myth that rationing doesn't occur right now. ... That's why this bill's important. It gets rid of some of the rationing that's occurring right now." Read More

After previously debunking "death panels," NY Times portrays them as he said/she said
Reporting on the claim that a provision in the House health care bill that requires Medicare to cover voluntary end-of-life counseling sessions would "set up 'death panels' to determine care for patients who are close to dying," The New York Times portrayed the issue as a he said/she said debate, noting that health care reform supporters "deny" this charge and call the claim "a myth." But the Times did not note, as its own reporters and columnists have previously, that such claims are indeed a myth and that under the provision, end-of-life counseling would in fact be voluntary. Read More

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