Just as former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey backtracked on her false claim that the House health care reform bill would "absolutely require" end-of-life counseling, other conservative media figures are hedging their support for former Gov. Sarah Palin's false claim that the health care bill would create government "death panels" to decide who lives and dies. These conservatives are allowing that there won't be actual "death panels," but also claiming that the bill itself will inevitably lead to the government making end-of-life medical decisions, or as a Fox News chyron put it: "De Facto Death Panels."
From the August 18 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
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ABC's John Stossel will reportedly moderate three "town hall-style" "health care meetings" organized by the Wisconsin chapter of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity and intended to increase "pressure" on the state's Democratic members of Congress on health care reform. Stossel has recently reported on health care issues on ABC's 20/20, which he co-anchors; that report included criticisms of the purported health care reform goals of President Obama and Democratic members of Congress.
"We need a public plan to keep the private plans honest."
But then why stop there? Eating is even more important than health care, so shouldn't we have government-run supermarkets "to keep the private ones honest"? After all, supermarkets clearly put profits ahead of feeding people. And we can't run around naked, so we should have government-run clothing stores to keep the private ones honest.
Supermarkets make money by selling people food. Clothing stores make money by selling people clothes. If they don't give people food/clothing, they don't get money.
Insurance companies, on the other hand, make money by selling people insurance -- and they make even more money by selling insurance, and then denying claims.
Surely even John Stossel can see the difference.
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During a one-hour report on ABC's 20/20 on "America's health-care system," co-host John Stossel interviewed five advocates of free-market approaches to health care but only one advocate of increased government-mandated health coverage. The five free-market advocates were interviewed on air for a total of 6 minutes, 24 seconds, while the lone advocate of a public health system, filmmaker Michael Moore, was interviewed on air for a total of 1:40.
Good Morning America aired a preview of John Stossel's "Whose Body is it Anyway? Sick in America," which contained an interview with one expert, David Gratzer, whom Stossel identified only as an author and "Canadian doctor." Stossel failed to note that Gratzer is a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute or that the World Health Organization ranks Canada and Great Britain -- whose nationalized health systems he criticized for their long waits -- ahead of the United States in its ranking of world health systems. At the end of Stossel's report, Diane Sawyer told him: "It is so hard to get perspective on this. Thank heaven you're doing it."
John Stossel attacked the methodology of a Department of Education study demonstrating nearly identical levels of academic achievement among public and private elementary school students, claiming that "[t]he researchers tortured the data" by using regression analysis -- a universally used statistical tool that even Stossel admitted is "valid."
On MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann reported that The Gazette newspaper of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has dropped the column of right-wing pundit Ann Coulter because of complaints from conservatives, and that Louisiana's Shreveport Times is considering a similar move. Olbermann also named Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera and ABC host John Stossel among the recipients of that day's "Worst Person in the World" awards.
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On Fox News' Your World, ABC anchor John Stossel advocated the legal sale of organs, citing the fact that "hot dogs don't spoil when we get to them" as evidence that "the market figures out ways to make these things work."
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Promoting his new book on Fox News' Dayside, John Stossel claimed that global warming is "[p]robably not" a "big problem" and attacked Al Gore's movie on the issue, An Inconvenient Truth, saying, "Many scientists do not agree," that global warming is a "big problem," "despite what you hear in the Al Gore movie."
On MSNBC's Scarborough Country, ABC's John Stossel attacked former Vice President Al Gore and delivered a stream of false and misleading claims on global warming. Noting that Gore "implies the argument" about global warming "is over," Stossel repeatedly attempted to downplay, obscure, or deny the threat posed by human-induced global climate change, as depicted in Gore's documentary film An Inconvenient Truth. In fact, the vast majority of climate scientists agree that global warming is occurring and that human activity is contributing to the problem.