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article imageOp-Ed: Right Wing Strategy Successful in Disrupting Health Care Debate

By Carol Forsloff     Aug 15, 2009 in Politics
Some pundits maintain the long-term, right wing strategy to disrupt health care reform may be paying off. From Clinton administration’s attempts to reform health care, to the present Obama attempt, the yelling and false accusations seem to be working.
A new poll described in Salon.com suggests that the town hall protests are having the desired effect. 34% of the independents say they are now more sympathetic to the protestor’s views. But why has all this happened?
Conservative bloggers are already bragging about poll results. One of them was quoted by Salon as saying: "Either indies have suddenly developed a taste for Nazi mobs of political terrorists or the Democrats’ message war on ObamaCare opponents is a rather epic fail,"
Another article by an opinion writer of the “Citizen Journalist” variety on Digital Journal, maintains this: “ As to the SEIU union, which also stands to profit greatly from ObamaCare, their busloading-in of Purpleshirt thugs who have engaged in Brownshirt-like attacks on noisy yet non-violent ObamaCare protesters nationwide is not engendering any greater support for ObamaCare. In fact, public opinion polls have shown a great deal of sympathy for the protesters, by a 2-to1 margin among key Independent voters. Not good.” This quote reaffirms how bloggers are highlighting how certain polls show a disfavor of Obama’s health care reform program.
Some writers who have examined the information and misinformation, as well as poll results, have been particularly concerned that the pushback by liberals has not been sufficient to educate the American public and that in fact liberals may not have been dramatic enough to get enough attention on the evening news. Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight bemoans the media’s lack of responsibility in skewing or not reporting correct information so the public can make informed decisions. He maintains, “ Ultimately, the message that Democrats need to be getting across is not that the protesters are protesting in the wrong way or for the wrong reasons, but that they're protesting, in some substantial measure, about the wrong things: that what they seem to think is contained in the health care package doesn't necessarily match the reality.”
What some like Silver seem to ponder are stories like the one reported by CBS news in June 2009. What CBS reported were poll results showing 72 percent of Americans were in favor of a government-sponsored health care plan to compete with private insurance. The poll was conducted by CBS News/New York Times, which some may consider to have a liberal bias. The Huffington Post went on to discuss how even the Republicans were in favor of a public option at the time.
The present poll showing independents to be moving away from their previous stance in favor of a public insurance option shows the problems in the health care debate that might be the focus of the media, as Silver maintains, to accept responsibility for educating the public and not reinforce the negatives by epithets and material that is often not well informed.
But then, as most journalists know, the negative can get more attention from the public than hard, cold facts, as investigative reporting like Consortium News declares. This happens because so many people are competing for dollars in news reporting. Consortium News headlined “An insidious power of a propagandistic newspaper – especially one with great influence – is how it can “frame” an issue so the assumptions behind a story guide the readers to a preordained conclusion under the guise of presenting a fair journalistic account. “ The problem of making proper decisions continues to be the lack of correct information from the lack of time devoted to it, according to folks like Silver who are concerned about the responsibility the media truly has to serve the public well as Consortium News is concerned about the bias of media owners.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Health care debate, Media bias, Right wing politics
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