Friday, September 17, 2010

Obamacare's Death Panels: Politico Can't Handle the Truth

Politico hack reporter David Catanese penned a pretty slick attack piece on newly-anointed Republican Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell in today's online edition. The story looks pretty straightforward on its face. That's only because the digs and lies are so effectively concealed, however. First, let's look at Catanese's early, one-sided eye-poke:
O'Donnell, who defeated Castle by a 6-point margin despite sustained attacks on her misstatements and financial troubles – past and present — repeatedly chided "the ruling class" and championed "a rowdy revolution of reason."
Italics mine. We're not going to quibble with the fact that O'Donnell has had her share of issues in life and on the campaign stump. Problem is twofold: A. She's a neophyte candidate, vying, until her primary victory this Tuesday past, to represent a party that's always held up to far greater scrutiny by the lamestream media than the Democrats; and B. Her opponent had a number of issues, too, mainly dealing with integrity and truthfulness when it came to representing his votes in Congress. The latter are not mentioned here, however. Only O'Donnell's issues.

The more subtle implication here, too, is that the Republican primary voters must be really stupid if they didn't notice or care how flawed their preferred candidate is and was.

Catanese's own breezy but very flawed observation constitutes the typical reportorial "sin of omission." By detailing one candidate's shortcomings while allowing those of the opponent(s) to go unmentioned, the implication is clear that the "flawed" candidate (O'Donnell) is demonstrably inferior to the once favored candidate (the defeated RINO, Mike Castle). But there is no proof of this in Catanese's piece. And no mention of Castle. Since the reporter is an assumed "authority," we have to accept what he writes as the literal truth.

This slick maneuver is a standard implement in the leftist-journalist toolkit. The usual result of such sly sins of omission: a smear that deposits no DNA, a stealth attack that leaves a negative impression of the candidate/victim while permitting the faux-reporter an escape hatch of plausible deniability. ("That's not what I wrote! That's your imagination!") Cute. But easy to catch, and they do it all the time. Except that people like me are onto this now.

The other sleight-of-hand Catanese pulls is the casual lie that's reported as fact. And here it is, a bit lower in the article:
...the former television commentator [O'Donnell] lamented Washington bureaucrats who have "weaseled" their way into personal decisions that should be left up to individuals, using a line of attack first delivered by Sarah Palin.
"They even want unelected panels of bureaucrats to decide who gets what life-saving medical care and who is just too old, or it's too expensive to be worth saving," she said, a nod to the fictional "death panels" that Palin first used to attack the health care bill.
Ahem. "Fictional 'death panels'"? (My bolding.) The word "fictional" here is an editorialization, something I thought they taught was a no-no in Journalism 101. (Apparently, the rule is suspended when the editorialization is aimed at a Conservative.) By not qualifying his use of the term "fictional" as his personal opinion, Catanese is essentially opining that O'Donnell's statement is full of merde, i.e., "everybody knows" (everyone in the ruling class, that is) that Obamacare couldn't possibly support "death panels." Problem is, Catanese is also lying but wording his opinion in such a way that it appears to be an accepted fact.

But if this is the case, Dave (which it is), how to you deal with the confirmation of said death panels by one of your fellow travelers, faux "economist" and Marxist apologist Paul Krugman? According to Wesley J. Smith in First Things, Krugman, freely acknowledges that government panels will be rationing certain kinds of healthcare, including life and death medications and procedures for older Americans:
...In answering a flip, but it turns out quite good, question about “death panels,” Paul Krugman claims accurately that the cost/benefit board established over private medicine by Obamacare will be able to impose “more or less binding judgments” refusing care, and moreover, that these refusals will save “a lot of money” in the context of treating the elderly (and others, such as people with disabilities and terminal illnesses).  He says that the panel will prevent treatment that isn’t “medically” useful. But private insurance companies already do that. So do Medicare and Medicaid.

No, the money won’t be taken out of the hide of patients who want physiologically useless treatment, it will come at the lethal cost to patients whose treatment will be refused because it could work, based on the invidious judgment that the patient’s life is not worth the money to support.  In short, Krugman has admitted that contrary to the many mendacious denials by Obamacare supporters, the new regime will impose rationing–just as in the UK with NICE, which is why I bring it up all the time.

This is akin to imposing a duty to die because when we reach a certain point in life, we will not be able to obtain treatment we want that could keep us going. Indeed, for me, this centralized federal control over what will and will not be provided in medicine–and to whom–is the biggest reason (among so many) why Obamacare is wrong.  Repeal. Reform. Replace.  First target–putative death panels.
There you have it, straight from the sainted Nobel Prize winner's mouth. Death panels DO exist in Obamacare as currently constituted. Now, you can call them something else, of course, thus claiming, via a tenuous stretch, that since they're generally not called "death panels" by the left-wing cognoscenti, they are, therefore, not death panels. My way or the highway. I get to craft the terms. You don't.

This kind of verbal hocus-pocus is used all the time by pro-abortion fans, for example, who prefer to be recognized as "pro-choice" even though they are indeed "pro-abortion" first and foremost. Another fine example: Bill Clinton, early in his first term, brilliantly re-crafted governmental spending terminology by referring to tax increases and tax expenditures as "investments." Hey, you can oppose a tax, but who could possibly oppose a governmental "investment" in our future? After all, we're capitalists and that's just good business, right? But you know the old adage, "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck..." (BTW, the last 3-4 years have shown us what kind of return we're going to get on our current government Recovery Summer "investments." But we digress.)

It looks like Obamacare's death panels aren't "fictional" after all. Imagine that.

Catanese's outright lie--a crass editorialization if there ever was one--is a sneaky, snarky way to slime both Palin (by now, an accepted ritual) and O'Donnell. It also leads an uncritical or casual reader to simply accept Catenese's bald-faced lie as fact, which it is not. Catanese and his editors apparently prefer that you overlook this little fib and accept their own "fiction" as fact.

If anyone wonders at this late stage of Campaign 2010 why the Tea Partiers and countless others, including wavering Democrats, are completely fed up with the elite professors, journalists, and "politicos" who inhabit the current ruling class, they have only to parse tricky, negative advertorials like Catanese's sly attack on O'Donnell that masquerades as a legitimate news story.

But this is not 2008. It's 2010. People are simply sick of being lied to, 24/7, by clowns who think their slick yet oddly amateurish fictions will always go unnoticed and unmasked.

Earth to Politico: those days are so over.

1 comment:

CanPharm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.