Fox News' Malignant Distortion Of Michelle Obama

Fox News is twisting comments Michelle Obama made to claim she said that voting for Republicans could cause people to “die from cancer.” In fact,  the first lady was simply pointing out that repealing health care reform would increase the number of people without health insurance.

At a campaign event in Los Angeles on Monday, Michelle Obama discussed the presidential election and noted calls from the right to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The first lady pointed out that the reform bill was in part an effort to expand health care access, including a hypothetical “woman dying of cancer whose insurance company wouldn't cover her care.”

Here's Fox & Friends' sinister interpretation of Michelle Obama's comments:

CARLSON: Let's talk a little bit about Michelle Obama, the first lady, out on the campaign trail, and she was talking about this cancer ad, the controversial one, or was she?  Do you believe that she was insinuating back to that ad when she said that if you elect Mitt Romney, women will die from cancer?

MICHELLE MALKIN (Fox News contributor): Well, it's an interesting parallel -- it's an interesting echo of the ad's theme, of course, which is that somehow, if Republicans are elected to the White House, that all of these people are going to die, die, die.

Text aired during the segment read:

Later, on America's Newsroom, Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock said, “We've got President Obama's supporters and even Michelle Obama saying that if you vote for the Republicans, people will get cancer.”

Fox did not make clear when Michelle Obama supposedly said this, but Carlson's commentary echoes a Washington Examiner post from August 13 highlighting comments Obama made at a campaign event that day. And in those comments, the first lady did not say that “if you vote for the Republicans, people will get cancer.” The full context of her remarks shows that she was pointing out that prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which conservatives have said they want to repeal, more people lacked health insurance:

But this election is also a choice about the health of our families.  Now, the fact is that over the past century -- all right, 100 years -- there have been so many Presidents who have tried and failed to meet the challenge of health care reform.  But fortunately your President was determined.  Fortunately he was driven by the stories of people he'd met.  We all know these stories -- the grandparents who couldn't afford their medications; the families going broke because a child got sick; the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company wouldn't cover her care.  And let me tell you something, that's what kept Barack going day after day.  That's why he fought so hard for this historic reform. 

And today, because of that reform, things are different for so many Americans.  Our parents and grandparents are paying hundreds less for their prescription drugs.  Our kids can stay on our insurance until they're 26 years old.  You know what that means for our young people?  That when they graduate from college, and they're out there looking for a job, trying to get themselves settled, they don't have to go without health care.  Because of this reform, insurance companies have to cover basic preventative things like contraception, cancer screenings, prenatal care, with no extra cost.  Because of this reform, insurance companies can't discriminate you because you have an illness that they call a preexisting condition.  And if you get really sick, a real serious illness -- something like breast cancer -- and you need expensive treatment, you really need your insurance to work for you, no longer can your insurance company tell you, sorry, you've hit your lifetime limit and we're not paying a penny more.  Today, because of health care reform, that is now illegal.  (Applause.)

But make no mistake about it, this November we're going to get to decide:  Do we want these reforms to be repealed?  Because there are those who do.  Or do we want the people we love to have the care they need?  That's the choice we face.