The media is the favorite whipping boy for Republicans who refer to it by terms such as the “liberal media” and the “lame stream” media. The father of Senator Ted Cruz went a step farther Friday. He said the media reminds him of the “ministry of misinformation” in communist countries like Cuba.
Rafael Cruz told Glenn Beck "Did you know, Glenn, we have a ministry of misinformation in this country. It’s called the liberal media, and they just tell us what they want us to hear. They are rewriting history.” Cruz accused the media of having "an evil agenda."
The media’s agenda may not be evil, but it is not liberal. When it comes to reporting on Obamacare, the media finds it easier to repeat Republican talking points than do real investigative reporting. It is easier to not challenge false statements in interviews.
Friday, networks reported that Samsung overtook Apple in cell phone sales. CNN and others reported that Apple did not supply Verizon with enough Apple phones because Apple rolled out the new phone in China and the U.S. at the same time and the demand outpaced supply. Business reporters predicted when Apple production catches up to demand, it will regain first place.
If reporters asked Samsung how to report this, perhaps this is how the story of the Apple roll-out glitch would go: “Apple’s new phone roll-out is a disaster. Consumers are rejecting the new phone and buying Samsung. Verizon customers who want an Apple phone can’t get them. Apple is not ready for prime time. It ought to scrap the new phone all together and shut down the company.”
That spin would be totally absurd. That is why the media did not report it that way. Why do they report the computer glitch on the Obamacare rollout that way?
Admittedly, the roll out of the exchanges on the national website has been a disaster. The White House doesn’t dispute that. Perhaps the contract for the website should not have been outsourced to a Canadian company in the first place.
That website only services the 37 states where Republican Governors refused to enact the exchanges even though Obamacare is the law of the land. The exchanges run by states like Kentucky are not having those problems. That is underreported by the media. Glitch notwithstanding, 476,000 Americans successfully applied for insurance on the exchanges in two weeks.
It is as absurd to say that because the website has glitches that the entire Affordable Care Act should be scrapped. This is like a parent saying that because their baby has a bad cold, it should be euthanized. It is as ridiculous as saying that the American media is Obama’s “ministry of information.”
The website needs to be fixed. USA Today says the Canadian firm used ten-year-old technology that will eventually need to be overhauled. It is too late now to start over and the Canadian firm is slowly fixing the site. After that, the government needs to address a long term strategy to replace it and perhaps get a refund from the Canadian firm.
Despite the computer glitch the exchanges have brought free-market competition to the health insurance market and as a result, policies are more affordable. It is not socialized medicine, not government run health care, there are no death squads. The business mandate does not go into effect until 2015, so it is a lie when politicians say millions are losing their jobs or working part time because of Obamacare. The media never corrects any politicians who say these untruthful things.
The Affordable Care Act increased funding for Medicaid providing insurance for millions who can not afford it. It is far cheaper for taxpayers to provide insurance to the poor than absorb the huge costs of treating illness in the Emergency Room. The law provides for preventative medicine rather than the more costly alternative of treating patients when the disease is advanced.
Obamacare reformed a crooked insurance industry that took premiums from policy holders but denied them any coverage under their policy by tricks like pre-existing conditions, annual and life-time caps, and by dropping them when they got sick without refunding all the premiums they collected.
If we really had a Ministry of Information, we would not keep hearing that Obamacare is socialized medicine and killing jobs—or Grandma. We need journalists that are not spin doctors.