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Common knowledge to those who follow the ins and outs of Obamacare is that there is an industry out there to destroy it at all cost. The traditional media has been the major conduit of the lies and misinformation.

Corporate traditional media continues to mislead and misinform.

It isn’t only the smaller media outlets that are generating the barrage of misinformation. CBS News whose ‘60 Minutes’ has been compromised with Benghazi and NSA misleading stories has been a major culprit. After-all CBS’s Jan Crawford reported a story about a woman losing the insurance she loved and could afford. It turned out had CBS made one telephone call or just checked they could have informed the woman that she could get much better and reliable insurance for a comparable price.

It is a new day in media. Corporate owned major media that sometimes seem to purposely allow themselves to be a conduit to lies and misinformation are being challenged. Bloggers and other independent media that previously had little reach are now fact checking. They are using the power of the internet to inform with fact based information and not hit pieces that is now endemic in the traditional media.

Blogger Maggie Mahar  immediately realizes newspaper story is completely wrong.

Maggie Mahar, a prolific blogger at HealthBeat Blog and author of ‘Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So’ wrote the blog post Anatomy of an Obamacare ‘horror story’ detailing yet another misinforming story. It turns out the story in the Fort Worth Star Telegram was not only biased, it was simply not true. Maher writes.

 For months, health reform’s opponents have been feasting on tales of Obamacare’s innocent victims – Americans who lost their insurance because it doesn’t comply with the ACA’s regulations, and now have to shell out more than they can afford – or go without coverage.

  Trouble is, many of those stories just aren’t true.

  Yesterday I posted about a Fort Worth Star Telegram article that leads with the tale of Whitney Johnson, a 26-year-old new mother who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS). Her insurer just cancelled her policy, and according to Johnson, new insurance would cost her over $1,000 a month.

  That claim stopped me in my tracks. Under the ACA, no 26-year-old could be charged $1,000 monthly – even if she has MS.

  Obamacare prohibits insurers from charging more because a customer suffers from a pre-existing condition. This rule applies to all new policies, whether they are sold inside or outside the exchanges.

  At that point, I knew that something was wrong.

Blogger did investigative reporting the newspaper should have done.

Maggie Mahar did not just read the story, discount it, and go off to something else. She did something about it. She got involved. She checked and found out that a comparable policy with much better and secure coverage would cost Whitney Johnson $7 more than she was currently paying.

Maggie Mahar went further. She called the Fort Worth Star Telegrram. After calls not being returned, she finally got a callback. She was informed that the newspaper received an email stating Whitney Johnson did find insurance at a similar price. The newspaper would not confirm that they would correct the story.  It is evident the newspaper either has an agenda or is scared of revealing the truth for reasons that can be assumed. They came out with a defense of the story as well as a mea culpa for a less than complete story.

Maggie Mahar discovered that Whitney Johnson was a member of the Tea Party. The newspaper did not attempt to do any background checks. She finally reached the reporter of the story. The reporter told her that she had no experience covering healthcare. Moreover her assignment was to find people who were having problems with Obamacare. When she suggested doing a story on people helped by Obamacare she was not given a green light to do so from her editor.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram has over 200,000 readers. They chose to misinform these users maybe negligently, maybe willfully. What is sure is that so far they have chosen to willfully keep them misinformed.

If this isn’t yet another reason to disregard most of corporate and traditional media, what is? The consequences of misinforming the public are grave. It can even be fatal. The public must be informed constantly that the media that use to be the source of unbiased information that could be depended on is no more.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Media are Corporations Ownd and Sponsored by (6+ / 0-)

    corporations, and they have a fundamental Constitutional freedom that not even people have, forbidding quality standards from being imposed on their service.

    If they were selling used cars everyone would know what to expect.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:14:10 AM PST

    •  Freedom of the press (0+ / 0-)

      extends to those that own presses.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:21:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Media isn't bound to report the truth (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JuliathePoet, SphericalXS, HashHoward

      For example, there is the story of two journalists, Akre and Wilson, who were fired for refusing to falsify their investigative journalism report about RBST for a Fox affiliate.

      They ultimately lost to Fox because an Appeals Court decided that news organizations are not legally obligated to tell the truth.

      And so it goes.

      Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now 400ppm. That is "Climate Cluster Chaos". (hat tip to JeffW for CCC)

      by Zinman on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 08:24:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  MSM: where editorial frames trump meaning /nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, whittx, bnasley

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:23:38 AM PST

    •  Makes you wonder why (4+ / 0-)

      we take them seriously at all. Even when they do get it right, they get it wrong far more often and far more dangerously, egregiously, or outright obviously. When they do get it right lately, it also seems, IMO, to be "throwing readership a bone" to keep them tuned in or turning pages, more than it does actually desiring to inform.

      The example in this diary is a perfect example. Egberto, please, this is what you do best. Keep doing it! We can't stress, both with our own words and the actions such as Ms. Mahar's, regarding the Star Telegram. American corporate information services are far more adept at sophistry, bullshit, and lies protecting the 1% and the government they now own. And they're even better at ginning up wall-to-wall coverage to the point of absurdity. They got that shit down to a science.  When you see that from now on, run, don't walk, to your nearest search engine and start digging. Chances are excellent that you'll find other news that is just as important, if not more so, than whatever happens to be being flogged to death on a given day..

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:52:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the frames have become a spam-like commodity /nt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie, Rogneid, bnasley

        Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

        by annieli on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:54:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I saw a visual on Thursday that made me (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli, Rogneid, bnasley

          laugh out loud.

          It was a paste-up of six NY/NJ-MetroNYC front pages. All dated Thursday AM, which of course all actually printed BEFORE 8Am--all with the most unflattering Chris Christie pictures available, and all with screeching FOX-like headlines. To see that visual (I'll try and find it to post, in a hurry at present), to see it staring you in the face, when the story was allegedly "still developing"--and then observing the unbelievable overkill by every news network on cable (as if it were, say, right up there with The Boston Marathon attack or a space shuttle blowing up or the like) repetitively throughout the entire day, really demonstrated the obvious.

          It was absurd. I'd laugh, except it's not funny.  I just tire of the idea that I must have a really short memory and insufficient cognitive ability to pick up nuance. It's insulting to the intelligence. And that's the least bad thing I can say about it.

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 12:10:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Better take it seriously. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        This is where a lot of voters get the "information" that informs their voting.

  •  We need a word for wilful ignorance (4+ / 0-)

    For that is what the Fort Worth organ has indulged.

  •  Heck, even on this site there (5+ / 0-)

    are some users (mostly new ones) who have little to say other than that the ACA sucks, Obama sucks, blah, blah, blah. Anyone who thinks that all of these BS claims in both the media and the blogosphere are grass roots-generated is naïve. This is an organized, converted effort: Find anecdotal problems with the ACA and publicize them, and make up phony anecdotal problems and publicize them as well. All I can say is, if these stories are the worst things the Obama haters can come up with, the ACA must be working pretty well already.

    •  Well, they're new, aren't they? (0+ / 0-)

      Perhaps you haven't given them much of a chance.

      Loving the ACA and Obama aren't prerequisites for joining DailyKos.

      It seems you're saying the only new users who should be considered "valid" and acting in good faith, exempt from suspicion, are those with whom you agree. One might get that impression from your comment, at least.

      Not everyone is as impressed with the ACA and Obama's performance as you are, and it is, indeed, possible to not fawn over a Democratic politician and still participate in good faith, and without being part of some covert conspiracy out to destroy ObamaCare.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:19:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obamacare, despite people who (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ord avg guy

        oppose it like you, is already helping millions of people. Millions of people who desperately needed insurance (or expanded Medicaid). Despite some early bugs in the system, the law is working and will outlast all of you people. This law is clearly the most progressive thing to come out of our government in generations. Generations. So I don't buy that you oppose the law purely from a progressive perspective. You want Obamacare to fail and Obama to fail. And we're supposed to take seriously your petty criticisms of the ACA?

        •  Not in generations, surely! (0+ / 0-)

          Why, just a few years ago, GWB managed to get the Medicare Part D plan through congress.  That's the one that makes prescription drugs accessible to senior citizens living on social security.  One of the drugs I need to stay alive costs over $1200 a month.  Without the Prescription drug plan enacted by Bush's congress and signed into law by no less than Junior Bush himself, I wouldn't be able to get that drug.  It costs, at retail, more than I get each month on Social Security.  Enron did away with my pension funds, so don't give me a bad time about not saving for my retirement.  But let's give credit where credit is due.  The drug plan was the most progressive thing to come out of our government since Medicare itself.  And yes, the ACA is the most progressive thing to come out of our government since Plan D.

          •  that is not true (0+ / 0-)

            That bill was terrible, creating the 'donut hole', highly beneficial to insurance companies, costing tax payers a fortunre, and even AARP was up in arms against it. It seems your post is a good example of a 'news' story.

          •  Medicare Part D (0+ / 0-)

            Would have been better, had they NOT decided to ban Medicare from negotiating lower prices through quantity purchases. (you know, that free market thing) So, while it helped you, (sorta) it could have been far better, had they not set up a slush fund program for their Big Pharma friends which simply required allowing you a little benefit in the process. This is why American pharmacueticals are cheaper in Canada, the price fixing for big pharma.

      •  0pen forum (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hardwroc, JuliathePoet

        I'm sure that most on this site are not opposed to justified criticism of the ACA. After all,a large number would have preferred single payer,but what do you think the chances of that passing congress would have been. Point is,despite the unfortunate participation of for profit corporate interests,this is probably the best you can expect at this time. Aiding or supporting conservative efforts to kill it might seem like a smart valid approach,but that's the quickest way back to the former status quo. At that point,your further from you ultimate goal than we are now.

        •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The GOP announced they would NOT negotiate single payer, period, and it was a nonstarter, even before they sat down to start the first conversations about the ACA. We got, the best the GOP would allow, and they even tried to prevent this much. As you said, given the GOP's wishes, we'd be right back seeing annual increases in costs, denials of coverage, and cancellation of policies when you get sick.

  •  So a tea bagger lied (3+ / 0-)

    then went out and took advantage of the very same socialism that she was crying 'FREEDUMMMZZZZ' about to the press.

    Yup typical tea bagging ahole.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:24:00 AM PST

    •  Worse, by far (5+ / 0-)

      is the Ft. Worth Star Telegram response to Ms. Mahar. She's caught them flat-out dead to rights on two really obvious things:

      1) They appear unwilling to make a correction to obvious bullshit after a reader pointed it out (and I imagine, btw, that Mahar was far from the only one who did).

      2) Putting a reporter on the "story" who knows little about the subject. While there is an argument to be made about that being a good thing (because OBJECTIVITY!!), we all know that's not the primary motivation here. I submit to you that it's easy to apply "editorial license" and propagandize something if the original writer doesn't understand what's being slyly re-written--assuming they even go back and check after publication.

      This is the kind of stuff that should be made to go viral about our full of shit "media". It'll be tough, but I'm about to kick off my own effort.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 12:01:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Love that comment (3+ / 0-)

    The reporter had to " find " people with problems. That right, if PPACA is so bad, why do journalists have to " find " a problem

    I like the none apology from the Star-Telegram, attacking Maggie.

    It skips the fact that Whitney Johnston lied, period.

  •  Star Telegram followed up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, OHdog, Hayate Yagami
    I enjoy when I get to write about great things the Star-Telegram does, but unfortunately this isn’t going to be one of those times.
    In effect, she suggested we slanted the story to make sure it put the president’s healthcare plan in a bad light.
    That’s not true. We stand behind the details we presented in the story, although I agree there are things we should have done to bring the story up to our standards.
    Knowing the background of the person quoted can give readers important clues about someone’s motives, but you didn’t learn that from reading our story, because we neglected to investigate the background of the people we quoted. That’s something you learn to do in Journalism 101. I remember my old professor saying “If your mother says she loves you … check it out.”
    Although Mahar styles herself as an unbiased reporter, it’s clear from reading her posts at that she’s got a pro-Obamacare point-of-view, which is fine.
    Although I believe she overemphasized some aspects to make it appear that we were part of a conspiracy to paint the Affordable Care Act in a negative light, her main point hit the mark — we did not do our job completely and therefore let our readers down.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 01:57:46 PM PST

  •  Ever seen a conservative media act fairly? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  insurance with MS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myboo, OHdog, DSPS owl

    Actually, as an MS patient, I suspect that she did NOT have coverage for the MS. The treatment for MS now is generally one of several extremely expensive (like $20K a year) prescription drugs.  I had insurance before I was diagnosed, and that insurance didn't drop me, but wouldn't cover the RX. Then later I lost the insurance (the company quit in my state), and I was now self-employed and had to look for insurance in the open market. No one would insure me-- in fact, no one would even talk to me. A broker would call to sell me insurance, and I'd say, "I  have MS," and they'd immediately thank me and hang up.

    So yes, she might have had insurance, but it wouldn't have been covering MS drugs. They cost about the median personal income, so no one covers them.

  •  Here's the problem ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "The consequences of misinforming the public are grave."

    But (so far, at least) these consequences have not fallen upon the misinformers - they fall upon the public!

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 02:15:09 PM PST

  •  7$ per...? (0+ / 0-)

    The post states, "much better and secure coverage would cost Whitney Johnson $7 more than she was currently paying."  Just wondering, is this seven greenbacks per year, month, bi-weekly pay period, week or something more frequent?

    •  Makes No Difference (0+ / 0-)

      Really, why be so picky?

      It makes no difference whether it is an additional $7 a week, pay period, month, or year so long as it is not per day.

      In these cases, it truly is the principle.

      Isn't it odd that in most cases like this one with Whitney, the people who are so hard-hit by the ACA costs - and then found to have been 'mistaken' - are also found to be members of the GOP or TP?

      Lest we forget one of the first cases, a couple in Lancaster County, PA, who claimed their costs went up an order of magnitude.  They were found to have been wrong, and then the husband, it was learned, was a GOP county official.

      Sometimes, you need a sensa uma!

      by HashHoward on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:00:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Incomplete article otherwise (0+ / 0-)

        Picky?  No, I just like to understand how substantial the underlying point happens to be and the article should have made this crystal clear.  If it's $7 a year, then the point is well made.  If it's $7 per week, then we're in $364 territory for a whole year, and the point is slightly weaker.  We jump over $2500 for a year at the $7 per day rate.  This probably isn't the case, but the article paints a fuzzy picture as-is.  

        The principle of the ACA is based at least in part on simple math, wouldn't you agree?  Basic arithmetic has been the basis for debunking bogus GOP claims, as you point out correctly with the case of the Lancaster County couple.  We should apply the same standards of accuracy to ourselves.

  •  Obamacare (0+ / 0-)

    We have a newspaper in Northwest Illinois that leans very heavily Republican,when they report anything on healthcare,obamacare it usually is in the negative ,no matter what.rarely if ever is there any compliments on healthcare or for that matter something good to say about Democrats This daily paper is very biased.

  •  Is the pot calling the kettle black ? (0+ / 0-)

    Article was fine until about the last 2.5 paragraphs.

    While you wax on about how the FWST misled their subscribers and readers, you too failed to do your research and report that on Monday Jan 6 the FWST posted on page one of their paper an admission and apology of their failings on this report by executive editor Jim Witt.

    Perhaps you should read his apology and then get to work penning your own ! While we all make mistakes obviously FWST is a stand up organisation that admits when they could have done better.


  •  Dr Jill Vecchio.... Doctor Liar (0+ / 0-)

    Speaking of Obamacare lies, I've been reporting this doctor everywhere I can think of.  Jill Vecchio, Colorado Radiologist, has MANY videos out (see youtube), touting lie after Obamacare lie.  Check her out at snopes, and  Report her at

    She is employed at Rocky Mountain Radiology.  

  •  $7 MORE? THANKS OBAMA (0+ / 0-)

    Proof positive that Obamacare has failed.

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