On October 30, Fox & Friends hosted game show host and Generation America spokesperson Chuck Woolery to slam AARP as a partisan organization that has lobbied in support of President Obama's health care reform law. That Fox would host Woolery to slam the AARP as “partisan” simply isn't credible, given that Generation America is itself a conservative advocacy group that lobbied stridently against the Affordable Care Act. Generation America also has a financial stake in attacking AARP, as both groups compete to offer the same services and discounts to senior citizens.
Host Steve Doocy began the interview by questioning AARP's nonpartisan stance and introduced Woolery as a spokesperson for Generation America, the “largest conservative alternative to AARP.”
Woolery slammed AARP for engaging in the fight for health care reform, calling it “disgusting” for the organization to say it is nonpartisan. He claimed that AARP coordinated with Obama administration officials to orchestrate the passage of the bill, and said that health care reform “would not be a law today if it were not for AARP.”
AARP was indeed a prominent supporter of the Affordable Care Act, noting its crucial benefits for members who lacked insurance coverage. According to a June statement following the Supreme Court's decision upholding the law: “AARP supported passage of the Affordable Care Act because the law contains numerous protections that benefit our members, their families and other Americans age 50 and over, for whom the lack of health insurance coverage -- or affordable coverage -- is a serious challenge.”
It is also not unusual for the AARP to be actively involved in legislation. The group routinely spends millions per year on lobbying efforts.
Meanwhile, Doocy failed to note that Generation America is a direct competitor to AARP, offering much of the same benefits to seniors, such as insurance, credit cards, and travel discounts.
On Fox & Friends, Woolery claimed that Generation America wants to “inform seniors more than anything else.” But the group has been a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act, promoting a petition on its website to repeal it. In a December 2010 op-ed in The Washington Times, Generation America founder Michael Young wrote, “Americans reject Obamacare by overwhelming -- and growing -- majorities because it was shoved down our throats with none of the transparency Mr. Obama repeatedly promised, using the kind of partisan politics he assured us would by now be a thing of the past.”
As previously reported by Media Matters, Generation America has also sponsored Glenn Beck, who called the group “your conservative voice in the government” and the answer to the “sham” that is AARP.