Tuesday, October 20, 2009

White House vs Fox news

It's been a while. My apologies.

Two stories to comment on today. First, there was announcement today that Congress was attempting to fix the payment gap in Medicare for doctors. For those who don't know, this is an annual problem that Congress has to address. When Congress first established payment schedules for doctors they forgot to adjust these payments for inflation. So every year doctors face a reduction in reimbursement from medicare. What adds to the problem is that fact that if Congress fails to patch the problem from year to year, the payment schedule resorts back to the original payment schedule as determined years ago. So essentially, every year the problem gets bigger and bigger. And instead of actually fixing it once and for all, Congress just patches it year to year.

The problem is so big now that if Congress fails to fix it, then doctors would face as much as a 25% reduction in medicare reimbursement. That's serious. Many doctors would simply stop accepting medicare as a result, thus leaving seniors with fewer health care options. So Congress decides to put in a patch at a cost of $250 billion, which they aren't going to pay for. Yes, this money will just be added to our growing debt. Why? Well, I have a theory.

I have never been a member of the AMA because I think they are a political group who isn't interested in the well-being of our patients. The AMA represents doctors. And the AMA has thrown itself in with the Obama administration, supporting Obamacare. Now, Obama can claim to have the support of America's doctors for his health care reform. The only problem is that America's doctors don't support his reform. The AMA supports it, but if you poll physicians nationwide you'll find they basically reflect the opinion of the general population. My guess is the AMA agreed to get behind Obamacare for a trade-off, and we saw the fruits of that trade-off today. More pay for doctors, more debt on the shoulders of our children.

Now for the next topic. Today Robert Gibbs announced that the White House doesn't consider Fox News a legitimate news organization and it discourages people from getting their news from that network. This announcement was met with little objection from the White House press corps, except for one lone voice, that of ABC news' Jake Tapper. Tapper is a liberal. And he is also a professional journalist in the sense that his own political views rarely interfere with his reporting. He spoke up and pressed Gibbs about the administration's attitude toward Fox News, and I suspect he did so because Tapper recognized something that should disturb any journalist. Anytime the White House declares that a certain news organization should be ignored, it should make any citizen, and certainly any journalist pause.

Gibbs said that Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity were the primary reasons why the administration wants to marginalize Fox. Those shows are commentary, hosted by men who never try to hide their political ideology. Yet, Gibbs feels that's enough to black list the entire network. Meanwhile, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow are always welcome at the White House despite their opinion-based programs. Keep in mind, Fox is really the only major news organization that has bothered to question many of Obama's initiatives, and now the administration wants them ignored, even marginalized. There is something quite disturbing about that. People like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro do these kinds of things. It should never come from an American president. Even the Liberal commentators on Fox are voicing some legitimate objections to this.

George Bush welcomed dissent, and never tried to bully the media into falling in line with his objectives. Obama is bringing something much different to the table, and it really makes me squirm in my seat a bit. I am never comfortable when the White House gets to pick and choose which news organizations are "fit" to be considered legitimate. That's just too close to a state-sanctioned news source for my taste.

The fact is I watch Fox because it's the only network where I'm guaranteed to get the whole story. I get both points of view on the issues and I appreciate that. I hear the opinions of Beck and Hannity, as well as Alan Colmes, Juan Williams, Bob Beckel and Geraldo Rivera. I appreciate the spirited debate and the opportunity to make up my own mind on any given issue. It's hardly a bastion of conservatism, and anyone who says otherwise probably has never even bothered to watch it. Other networks have a tendency to spoon feed their viewers only the things they want them to hear and see. If you don't watch Fox, then you probably have no idea who Van Jones is, or why ACORN is suddenly in a lot of trouble.

Yes, Fox asks some tough questions. Why is Obama delaying the Afghan troop decision? Why isn't the stimulus package working as promised? Why isn't he giving more guidance on the health care debate? These are the things I want my President to be asked. Bush wasn't given any softer treatment. In fact, I would argue that Beck was just as tough on Bush as he is on Obama.

So I think journalists should take a step back. If you dare disagree with the White House, if you dare ask a difficult question, if you dare try to hold Obama accountable, you may be black-listed as well. If they can go after Fox, there is nothing keeping them from going after any other news outlet. We'll see if Jake Tapper is allowed to ask anymore questions at the White House press conference.



Well, it is true that Obama's team

of seasoned military analysts and

advisors have been extremely busy

on multiple fronts lately, they

have finally decided to deploy

40,000 combat-ready soldiers and

marines, plus a few "special

forces teams" to...




to keep a watchful eye on those suspicious people over at FOX NEWS!


reb - Midnight Eastern/Oct 21st

allison said...


John Washburn said...


You posted a video put together by Media Matters. Do you know ANYTHING about that organization?

My guess is that 5 minute video is the only Fox News you've ever watched, and so you basically have no clue how Media Matters has manipulated your opinion. Sad.

They made a 5 minute out-of-context video of commentators rendering opinions that may be considered by some as anti-Obama. This video was compiled from 9 months of 24/7 news. And yet you feel this is evidence that Fox is a network of political operatives? Scary.

Anyone with video software and time could make a similar montage portraying any network to appear anti or pro-whatever. That's called propaganda, and you post it to argue against the points I made in my post.

My hope is that you would be more of a free-thinker than that.

I prefer Fox because it is the only network that provides spirited debate, fair and balanced coverage of the issues, and all political points of view. If you're not interested in things like that, then I suggest you continue having your opinions spoon-fed to you by Media Matters.

Instead of agreeing with Obama's attempt at soft-censorship, perhaps you should ask why any President would want to silence a news organization, and question the motives behind such action. Don't let your fondness of the man blind you to an assault on the Constitution.

The White House should NEVER be allowed to define what constitutes legitimate news, or a legitimate news organization.

allison said...

If a compilation was put together from commentators of any other network, there would be opinions (and none that are that strong and misguided) from MAYBE 2 or 3 individuals per network. In that clip there were probably 10 different people spouting off about socialism and racism and who knows what else. That was my only point in sharing it. I have watched a fair amount of Fox News, especially when major events are going on to compare what perspective is being taken. There is nothing fair and balanced about OPINION being reported 100% of the time.

Why is this any different than anyone who speaks out against Bush being deemed unpatriotic? Because I remember those days well.

John Washburn said...

"OPINION being reported 100% of the time"

Allison this is just categorically false. Obviously you haven't watched the network or you couldn't make such a ridiculous statement. Even the two opinion shows (Hannity and Beck) aren't 100% opinion.

That video was predominantly taken from those two shows (probably about 4:30 of the 5 minutes was from the Hannity or Beck show). There wasn't a single example of a news anchor rendering an opinion. So Media Matters wants to say that because of the Beck and Hannity opinion shows, Fox is just political operatives and you eat it up as truth. Again I ask, do you know anything about Media Matters? Maybe you should research that organization before accepting anything they put out as legitimate.

What's even more odd is that until recently I've never heard anyone charge that Fox was 100% opinion. In the past it was "Fox is too conservative, blah blah blah". But then Obama's thugs go out and start saying it's 100% opinion and suddenly THAT's the new beef with Fox. What is that?

It's like you guys are all on the same email list. "Okay, here's the plan, Fox isn't legitimate because it's just opinion. Ready. Break." And then the drones go out and parrot the talking point du jour, despite there being zero truth to it.

"Why is this any different than anyone who speaks out against Bush being deemed unpatriotic?"

Allison, the difference is HUGE! Some people may have called you unpatriotic for opposing Bush, but that never came from the WHITE HOUSE. Obama's two top advisors and his press secretary are on record encouraging people to ostracize the only news network that provides any sort of dissent against his agenda. That is unequival abuse of power. The President has no right to tell people which news channel they should or shouldn't watch. That's what happens in Cuba and Venezuela, not here!

Auntyem said...


I've never heard Obama say "Don't watch Fox News". He just mentions what Hannity and Beck and Limbaugh say. He finds it funny, I think. What else can he do but laugh? In my opinion, those three are just vile commentators, "sick puppies" like Olbermann and Maddow are called by Bush 41. So just who is sensitive to commentators?

Also, when Bush 43 was talking to Putin about our freedom of the press, Putin said, "why then did you get rid of Dan Rather?" Many people around the world thought the same, that Bush was a hypocrite. Pressure from the administration was brought against Rather's network to fire him. The network is an independent free press, they didn't have to fire him; they don't fire Beck and Hannity and Limbaugh for not getting their facts straight.

I watch Fox News, but it seems to me the commentators except O'Reilly are really over the top maliciously partisan, (especially without Colmes) so much so that they are boring--same thing every day and unfortunately, some fearful people take their word as gospel. The only good real newsman they have is Shepard Smith.

Port Orchard, WA

John Washburn said...

Olbermann and Maddow have been invited to White House press events.

And I would like one example of Beck or Hannity not getting their facts right. Most of their shows are opinion, some news. I have yet to see them report something as news that wasn't factual.

Rather reported a slanderous lie as fact. Big difference. That is grounds for termination. There is no evidence that Bush had anything to do with that. Rather embarrased his network and suffered the consequences. Putin is just a moron.