Jim Quinn | Media Matters for America

Jim Quinn

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  • Conservative Media's Worst Predictions For Obamacare That Never Came To Pass

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER

    Conservative media figures issued apocalyptic warnings and predictions about the consequences of passing health care reform. Yet in the five years since President Obama signed the bill into law, the number of uninsured Americans has dropped by the largest amount in four decades, insurers can no longer deny coverage for preexisting conditions, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Obamacare subsidies will cost $209 billion less than projected

    On the anniversary of health care reform's passage, Media Matters looked back at right-wing media's most dire predictions.

    "The End Of America As You Know It."  

    In November 2009, Glenn Beck declared that the possible passage of health care reform "will be a nail in the coffin of America" and would cause the public to "all wallow in misery." Obamacare would be "the end of prosperity in America forever ... the end of America as you know it." 

    Beck later predicted health care granted Obama "the pieces the president needs to control every aspect of your life," including control over whether and when people can have children.

    "All Of Us Will Be Slaves." 

    Rush Limbaugh argued in 2009 that Obamacare was "aimed at robbing you of your humanity and forcing you to bow down to the state." He predicted, "All of us will be slaves" because "the road to serfdom ... is paved in Obamacare."

    The next year, Limbaugh forecast that health care reform would lead to "250 million uninsured." 

    "It's Going To Be A Bloodbath." 

    Radio host Jim Quinn argued in January 2010 that the passage of Obamacare would bring "an insurrection. You're going to see an uprising." According to Quinn, "Your taxes are going to go through the roof. It's going to be a bloodbath."

    Reform Will Topple The Stock Market.

    CNBC's Jim Cramer predicted in March 2010 that Obamacare would topple the stock market, arguing it was the "single biggest impediment to the stock market going higher." (Notably, the DOW and Nasdaq neared all-time highs in March 2015.)

    No Care For Granny Because "She's Too Old."

    Cal Thomas claimed on Fox News in 2010 that while they may not "pull the plug on Granny" due to Obamacare, "they will deny her care because she's costing too much and she's too old." 

  • Cass Sunstein Received Death Threats After Fox News Smear Campaign Led By Glenn Beck

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    Beck, SunsteinFormer Obama administration official Cass Sunstein writes that he received death threats and hate mail at his unlisted home address after Fox News launched a smear campaign against him. After Sunstein's nomination and confirmation in 2009, then-Fox host Glenn Beck attacked him and his work for years, invoking mass murderers, totalitarianism and conspiracy theories in conjunction with his name.

    Sunstein served as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the first Obama administration from September 2009 to August 2012.

    As Mother Jones notes, Sunstein writes in his upcoming book, Simpler: The Future of Government, that Beck "developed what appeared to be a kind of an obsession with me." Sunstein compares Beck's attacks to the "Two Minutes Hate" from the classic novel 1984, where citizens were forced to watch films depicting enemies of the totalitarian party.

    Sunstein also notes that he "began to receive a lot of hate mail, including death threats, at my unlisted home address. One of them stated, 'If I were you I would resign immediately. A well-paid individual, who is armed, knows where you live.'"

  • "Final Nail In The Coffin Of This Country": Another Year Of Wild Attacks On The Health Care Law

    ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

    After waging an epic misinformation campaign during the debate over the Affordable Care Act and throughout the year following its signing, right-wing media have continued attacking the health care law, claiming that it is the "final nail in the coffin of this country" and that it "makes everyone a slave." As the two-year anniversary of the health care law approaches, Media Matters looks back at the right-wing media's latest attacks on health care reform.

  • "All Of Us Will Be Slaves" And Other Health Care Predictions That Haven't Come True

    ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

    In the year leading up to and following the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the right-wing media engaged in a campaign to spread fear about what could happen if health care reform passed. One year after the health care reform was signed into law, Media Matters looks back at the most egregious attempts by the right-wing media to scare the American public into opposing the legislation.

  • Behind Obama Muslim myth stands the right wing


    Two recently released polls show that an increasing number of Americans believe the falsehood that President Obama is a Muslim. According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of people who believe this false claim cite the media as the source of that information -- and, indeed, the right-wing media have incessantly promoted this lie.

  • Beck and his acolytes imagine common pests to be diabolical omens

    Blog ››› ››› KATE CONWAY

    Glenn Beck has been having a field day trying to connect incidents in which President Obama encountered common insects and rodents in an attempt to build the absurd suggestion of a meaningful pattern.

    On his June 23 Fox News show, Beck went on about a swarm of bees that inexplicably gathered at the White House one day in May, a fly that landed on the president's face and a rodent that approached a podium at which Obama was speaking. He concluded that "the president's ability to attract rodents and insects is kind of creepy":

    BECK: This president has a problem with flies landing on him. Then we had the bees that were swarming the White House. And then, I don't know if you saw this -- do we have the rodents? Here's the president giving a speech and the little rat running -- watch this. OK. I don't know if he's Doctor Doolittle or what exactly. Do you remember this from the live interview? I've never seen that before. Hello. Yes. OK. Now flies landing on his mouth as he's speaking yesterday. I'm not sure what to make of it. Might be that there's a lot of BS and flies are -- but the president's ability to attract rodents and insects is kind of creepy.

    In recent days, Beck has repeatedly said that "the bees know" something. On his radio program today, Beck and his crew stated, "The bees know. They do. They clearly -- the flies even know. Notice how they land on the president?" Beck said that flies "just spookily crawl around his face without him even really noticing it." And Beck has even started selling t-shirts that say "the bees know" -- vaguely suggesting that these isolated incidents constitute evil omens.

    Beck reportedly said he was "completely joking," but is that what his audience will take away?

    On their June 25 radio program, Pittsburgh hosts Rose Tennent and Jim Quinn read a listener's email that speculated Obama may be "evil," or an "enemy of the USA," citing evidence from Beck's June 23 Fox News show. Tennent then asked: "Isn't there something ... weird about that? Like all the insects and the rodents come out for this man, or something. Like they're attracted to him. You know like those devil movies ... Like they're attracted to the devil or something." Quinn then referred to a scene in The Passion of the Christ in which, he said, an "androgynous devil figure was walking through the Garden of Gethsemane and the worm was coming out of his nose."

    Although I do admire Obama's ninja-like reflexes when it comes to swatting flies, I'm not about to conclude that Obama is actually a ninja. It's equally absurd to believe that few random encounters with insects and rodents -- in a city with its share of pests, no less -- reveal a pattern of insects and rodents being "attracted to the devil."

  • Right-wing media hammer teachers, teachers unions

    ››› ››› SEAN EASTER

    Media conservatives have a history of criticizing of teachers, teachers unions, and public schools. Among their attacks are bizarre assertions that many teachers harbor Napoleon complexes or "peculiar attractions" to children, and claims that teachers unions are "communist" or the "single most dangerous entity ... in this country."