Better cable news, please

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

For the past several hours, the journalists -- anchors and guests -- on MSNBC have been talking about health care town halls, and protests, and angry people, without ever once, as far as I've noticed, actually discussing a single fact about health care, or proposed reforms.

At one point, anchor Savannah Guthrie said criticism of the staged protests ignores the fact that people have legitimate concerns about health care reforms. What are those concerns? Guthrie didn't say. Why are they legitimate? Guthrie didn't say.

At another, an MSNBC anchor interviewed New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny; the entire conversation was about the White House's preferred messaging about the town halls -- not a word of substance about health care.

Another segment featured two guests: former Democratic Congressman David Bonior, and a Republican strategist -- I think it was Todd Harris. The entire conversation was about town hall meetings, and who is yelling louder, and what can be done to keep people from yelling, and who has yelled at what events in the past -- literally not a word about, you know, health care. (The guests didn't cover themselves in glory, either, playing along with the inside-baseball lets-focus-on-process-rather-than-policy nonsense.)

This is madness. Madness.

There is absolutely no value in spending hour after hour saying "So, people are angry, aren't they?" "Yep, they sure are." "But the protests are being organized by interest groups." "But they have valid concerns! And they're angry!"

Nothing good comes of this. Tell us what the concerns are. Tells us if they are based in fact. Tell us the truth about health care, and about proposed reforms.

Also: This.

UPDATE: Another segment, this with the chyron/theme: "Town Halls Turn Ugly"

And we're five minutes into the segment, and there hasn't yet been a word of discussion of a single fact about health care.

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
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