On Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy debunked the "death panels" smear but completely ignored the role of Fox News hosts and guests in advancing it, saying "these so-called death panels as you have read about on the blogosphere and heard about elsewhere, these have been so incendiary, using that term -- and what they were referring to was this provision in the House bill that ... would provide funding so you could talk to a doctor and others about living wills and also hospice care and stuff like that. But it has been such a third-rail issue." Fox personalities have repeatedly fearmongered and misinformed on "death panels" and end-of-life care provisions in health reform legislation.
Doocy debunked "so-called death panels" "you have read about on the blogosphere and heard about elsewhere"
From the August 14 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
DOOCY: Ali just a minute ago mentioned that the president is going to be in Bozeman today, where things could actually be a little noisier, because they're -- it's going to be on a first-come, first-served basis if you want to show up. But remember earlier in the week when the president was up in New Hampshire, and he mentioned the rumor of, quote, "death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma."
Well, these so-called death panels as you have read about on the blogosphere and heard about elsewhere, these have been so incendiary, using that term -- and what they were referring to was this provision in the House bill that said, OK, at the end of life, we would talk to -- we would provide funding so you could talk to a doctor --
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Right.
DOOCY: -- and others about living wills and also hospice care and stuff like that. But it has been such a third-rail issue.
Fox hosts and guests fearmongered, misinformed on "death panels" and end-of-life care
Kilmeade: "[A]re seniors going to be in front of the death panel? ... [S]eniors in the last lap of their life will be sitting there going to a panel, possibly discussing what the best thing for them is." On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said, "[E]veryone's talking about seniors, and they're talking about the middle class and affordable health care. If the upper class is paying for the next two classes, and are seniors going to be in front of the death panel? And then just as you think, OK, that's ridiculous, then you realize there's provisions in there that seniors in the last lap of their life will be sitting there going to a panel, possibly discussing what the best thing for them is." [Fox & Friends, 8/10/09]
Beck on "death panel" claim: "I believe it to be true." On his radio show, Fox host Glenn Beck stated, "So, why is there no more discussion than there is on Sarah Palin and what she said over the weekend that there would be ... [a] death panel for her son Trig. That's quite a statement. I believe it to be true, but that's quite a statement." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 8/10/09]
Doocy suggested that under health care reform, you'll be asked, "[I]sn't it just time?" During a segment on "rumors" about end-of-life care, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson stated that "if you were looking for a way to cut costs, some people argue -- who don't agree with this health care reform bill -- they argue that, yeah, maybe they will decide to not give elderly people the care that many people believe they deserve to continue their life." Doocy subsequently claimed, "Besides, you look at other countries that have nationalized health care situations, frequently there's a board that sits there and they go, 'OK. You're 85. You know, this $75,000 surgery just doesn't make sense. So rather than you winding up with this new life-saving thing that could extend your life, you know, isn't it just time?' " [Fox & Friends, 7/29/09]
Malkin on Fox & Friends: Health care reform "puts a discount on the lives of elderly people." Discussing AARP's support for health care reform, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin stated, "The AARP just held a tele-town hall supporting Obama on his health care takeover plans, and this is at odds, it seems to me, with the best interests of millions of AARP members, given that that health care plan puts a discount on the lives of elderly people and would result in the redistribution of health away from the elderly and the infirm to other special favored interests and patients." [Fox & Friends, 7/30/09]
Hannity: Bill includes "mandatory advisory counseling sessions with the elderly." On the July 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Fox News contributor Dick Morris stated that senior citizens are "getting that this is creeping euthanasia." Host Sean Hannity replied that "they're going to have mandatory advisory counseling sessions with the elderly about their, quote, 'options.' I mean it's eerie." [Hannity, 7/27/09]
Fox News' Johnson claimed health care reform "a subtle form of euthanasia." Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. said on the July 27 edition of Fox & Friends: "Some people are saying, well, this is a health care reform; other people are saying -- maybe me -- that this is a subtle form of euthanasia. And when you start looking at the proposals, you say, 'God, what's happening?' One of the proposals, Section 1233, talks about advanced care planning consultations. And that's a fancy term where a doctor goes to you every five years once you're 65 -- or more if you're chronically ill -- and explains to you the benefits of so-called palliative care, of not giving active treatment." Johnson later added, "The hospital room becomes the waiting room -- you know, do not go gently into that good night." [Fox & Friends, 7/27/09]