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April 21, 2011

Reporters Duped By Republicans (Again)

-- by Dave Johnson

So how often do you see stories about reporters being duped by Republicans? It has become "dog bites man" -- something so common you don't bother anymore to report it...

"Earth Is oval-shaped." Reporters are duped into writing "he said, she said" stories where they report that sine one side says one thing, the other side says another, the answer must be somewhere in the middle.

"Both sides do it." Reporters are forced by corporatist editors to put "the other side does it too" into stories about Republican extremism. All Republican leadership says something really extreme but some guy on an obscure blog said Bush was like Hitler so both sides are the same.

"Controversy." 99% of scientists say global warming is a threat. An oil company-funded hack says it isn't. Reporters write that there is controversy over the issue, that it isn't "settled."

And today, reporters say the Republican plan doesn't end Medicare because they still name it Medicare even though it is privatized and defunded. See: PolitiFact Insists Republicans Don't Want To End Medicare (VIDEO) | TPMDC

If Democrats proposed to turn Medicare into a system that only provided free veterinary services to seniors, would Republicans be lying to say Dems wanted to "end Medicare," without including the caveat "as we know it"?

Of course not. But that's more or less the charge PolitiFact is leveling at Democrats over a new DCCC ad (below) which flatly charges Republicans with proposing to "end Medicare." The House GOP budget, which passed with all but two GOP votes over unanimous Democratic opposition, would over time replace the single-payer, government-run Medicare program with a different system that subsidizes private insurance plans for beneficiaries. Those subsidies would work like vouchers -- they would increase in value year-on-year at a much slower pace than the rate of the rise of health care costs, thus leaving seniors exposed to increasing costs as time goes on.

Posted by Dave Johnson at April 21, 2011 11:05 AM


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