After previously falsely claiming that Democrats did not include GOP ideas in the health care bill, Fox News and right-wing blogs are now attacking President Obama's plan to consider four GOP ideas as part of a new health care proposal as a “gimmick.” They have also seized on a Republican congressman's claim that “Snooki” from MTV's reality show Jersey Shore has “more substance” than Obama's offer to consider the GOP proposals.
Fox News asks: Is plan to put four GOP ideas in bill a “gimmick?”
Fox Nation: “Gimmick? Obama says he likes 4 GOP Health Care ideas.” The Fox Nation linked to a TalkingPointsMemo.com article about Obama incorporating four GOP ideas into his health care proposal under the headline, “Gimmick? Obama says he likes 4 GOP Health Care ideas.” The TPM article outlined the four proposals of which Obama expressed interest and said nothing about it being a “gimmick.”
Fox & Friends: “True bipartisanship or a political trick and a trap?” On the March 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy teased a segment about Obama's plan with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) by asking whether it was “true bipartisanship or a political trick and a trap.” During the segment, Roskam said, “I think the president is sort of parsing,” but that he didn't “answer ... the overwhelming criticism of this massive takeover of health care.”
Van Susteren: “Bipartisan or gimmick?” On the March 2 edition of her Fox News show On the Record, Greta Van Susteren hosted Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to discuss whether Obama incorporating the ideas was “bipartisan or gimmick.” Ryan said Obama is “using sort of Republican labels but not Republican substance” and “add[ing] a few decent ideas on top of a horrible structure.”
Fox News, blogs seize on GOP representative's “Snooki” comparison
Rep. Broun: “Snooki, from the Jersey Shore, has more substance than President Obama's offer.” In a March 2 press release, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) stated of Obama's plan: “I don't know if we should be insulted or humored at the President's feeble attempts to incorporate Republican ideas into his latest health care proposal. Snooki, from the Jersey Shore, has more substance than President Obama's offer.”
Fox & Friends: Snooki comparison a “Republican's reality check.” Throughout the March 3 show, co-host Gretchen Carlson repeatedly reported on Broun's statement while discussing Obama's plan. During one report, an on-screen graphic called Broun's statement a “Republican's reality check.” From Fox & Friends:
Van Susteren: Snooki has “more substance” than Obama plan? “Ouch.” Also on her March 2 show, Van Susteren reported that “Georgia Republican Congressman Paul Broun is not impressed” with Obama being open to Republican ideas and read his statement that “Snookie from the Jersey Shore has more substance than President Obama's offer.” After reading his statement, Van Susteren said, “Ouch.”
HotAir.com: Snooki comparison is “shameless genius.” On HotAir.com, blogger Allahpundit wrote, “Kudos to Broun for his shameless genius in choosing a metaphor that guaranteed every hack in the Beltway corridor (starting with yours truly) would be writing about his boilerplate press release tonight. Coming soon: Biden ruins the GOP's attempt to obstruct reconciliation by summarily ruling their amendments out of order and then taunts McCain with, 'That's one shot, kid!' "
Fox uses food metaphors to attack Obama's plan to consider Republican ideas
Ingraham: “If you have a vat of poison, and you put in a few blueberries and a few raisins ... it might taste a little bit better, but it's still poison.” On the March 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham said of Obama incorporating GOP ideas into the health care bill: “If you have a vat of poison, and you put in a few blueberries and a few raisins, you know, it might taste a little bit better, but it's still poison.”
Carlson on Roskam's “leftovers” with “a few Republican bread crumbs” analogy: “I didn't know you were so talented in the kitchen.” During the March 3 segment with Roskam, Fox & Friends aired a video in which Roskam said Obama's plan is like “leftovers that they've popped into the microwave, pulled out, given some sprinkles of salt and pepper, tossed a few Republican bread crumbs across the top, and now put it in front of the American public and said, 'Ooh, isn't this good? Don't you like this this time?' ” Carlson said it was an “interesting cooking analogy” and that she “didn't know you [Roskam] were so talented in the kitchen.” Roskam replied that Obama incorporating GOP ideas is “gestures, but that's all that they are.” Carlson also later summed up Roskam's criticism of the bill by saying he would rather have it passed “piecemeal, to use another cooking analogy.”
Attacks are the latest in right-wing media's ever-shifting criticism of health care debate
Conservative media's criticism of Obama considering GOP ideas is at odds with past, false criticism that health care bills contained no GOP proposals. The conservative media's suggestion that Obama's consideration of four GOP proposals is a “gimmick” is at odds with their previous false complaint that Democrats did not include any Republican ideas in the bill.
Conservative media constantly shifts its criticism of the health care debate. In addition to now decrying attempts at bipartisanship, the conservative media has also flip-flopped on their criticism about the length of health care proposals, changed the definition of “death panels” in order to revive the falsehood, and shifted their attacks on the public option. For example, numerous conservative commentators on Fox News -- including Peter Johnson Jr., Andrew Napolitano, and Andrea Tantaros -- warned that the health care summit was a “trap” or a “setup” for the GOP. Previously, Van Susteren, Ingraham, and Fox News commentator Monica Crowley had all complained that the GOP had been “locked out” and “excluded from the discussion.”