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NYT Article Exemplifies What’s Wrong with the Media

September 3rd, 2009

This NYT article lead-in is horribly written:

Conservatives See Need for Serious Health Debate

Published: September 2, 2009

WASHINGTON — The roiling debate over health care this summer has included a host of accusations from opponents of the plan that have been so specious that many in the mainstream news media have flatly labeled them false.

First of all, the headline: “Conservatives See Need for Serious Health Debate”? Are you freaking kidding me? That’s the last thing that most conservatives “see” or want. It’s what high-level conservatives claim, which would be a more honest way of expressing it, but it’s is most decidedly not even close to what they actually want. More to the point, the article is not actually talking about conservatives in general, but instead a small minority of health care experts on the right–which shows up the headline as starkly misleading.

The next problem: the first paragraph, shown above. It seems reasonable until you catch on to the fact that it is a subtle understatement as to how reluctant the media is to speak the truth about conservative dishonesty. It plainly implies that the media will not report that Republicans are lying unless the lies are so egregious that they cannot help but call them for what they are. And even then, stark lies are, at worst, sometimes timidly referred to as “false,” as if they are too fearful of pointing out any of the blazingly obvious intent to deceive.

While the article in general leads into a serious discussion on health care reform, the thesis that conservatives are somehow the responsible party when it comes to talking about health care is so outrageously misrepresented that it isn’t even funny. Sure, I don’t doubt for a moment that there are some prominent conservative health care experts who would prefer to have an honest debate. But that’s not what the article’s introduction suggests, nor does it obviate the fact that you have to go pretty damn far down the conservative line before you get to these relative voices of reason.

  1. Leszek Cyfer
    September 4th, 2009 at 02:54 | #1

    “see need”, “need to be seen” :)

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