Wednesday, September 02, 2009

reporting politics, not policy

CBS released a poll showing that huge majorities of Americans don't understand the reforms Democrats are pushing on health care. Newspapers and TV networks have been giving us nonstop footage of the parade of crazy going on in town halls across the country. I've even seen some reports on Obama's/Democrats' inability to galvanize support being based on people's lack of understanding of what they're proposing.

So... eh... why don't you tell us? I've seen several online videos that explain the proposals clearly and concisely, often in cartoon form. Why can't the Nancy Snydermans of the various networks do something like that? Why are they all just waiting for an instructive voice to drown out the din on nonsense?

After all, apparently health care literacy is so low, even other journalists need a couple of basic lessons. It would be nice, for instance, for someone to tell Maria Bartiromo that Medicare isn't available to people under 65 (then again, judging from her Celebrity Jeopardy! performance, she might be a lost cause. Yes, CNBC hired this woman to tell you about financial news every day). Or tell other journalists that the public option does not establish a single payer system.

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