James Fallows explains how the media enables liars

James Fallows- congratulating the NY Times for actually having the stones to point out that the “death panel” claims are, in fact, lies- succinctly sums up why shameless fabricators like Marc Morano, Bjorn Lomborg, and Ian Plimer are so effective in distorting the public discourse:

In general, even on the most extreme, out-of-the-realm-of-fact political claims, every powerful instinct in the news media shies from calling something “false” in favor of adjectives like “controversial” or “disputed,” or sometimes “partisan.” …[T]he “objective” instincts of the news media can tie it in knots when one side to a political argument is perfectly willing to say obviously false things. It’s hard for mainstream publications to say outright that something is false or a lie.


One response to “James Fallows explains how the media enables liars

  1. It’s good, but someone with statistics on the medical industry needs to publish the numbers.

    Most health care money gets spent in the last year.
    Most bankruptcies are due to health care costs.
    Family money has to be spent down before Medicare kicks in.
    The big money is billing Medicare for treatment during the last months of life.
    People can’t make directives refusing intensive hospital care after they’re too old or ill.

    Remember how “inheritance taxes” (which affect only a few rich people) got reframed as “death taxes” (hey, everybody dies, it must mean …)?

    Worked again, didn’t it?

    The program would have paid for the time doctors spend counseling people — early enough to make a difference — about their freedom to choose and go on record how they want to die if and when it’s clear they’re going to die soon — the choice between home hospice care and do-everything hospitalization.

    I am absolutely sure the industry beancounters have numbers on
    — how many elderly people hear about it early enough they can make a considered decision
    — how many more would hear about it
    — how many more would choose hospice
    — how much less money would be paid by families if advice were being given
    — how many families would spend down to where Medicare can be tapped by the big pipe
    — how much Medicare money would be lost to the industry


    It’s the bottom line.

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