8.11.2009

Sarah Palin, "Death Panels" & The Dangerous Media Who Support Such Nonsense

It's a very easy time line to follow....

Sarah Palin makes an absurd statement (that has now been removed from her FaceBook page) that is not only a lie, but a dangerous one - about what health care reform will mean with regards to reducing costs:
"And who will suffer the most when they ration care?" Palin asks. "The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."
Conservative media then runs with it:

Beck says of Palin's "death panel" claims: "I believe it to be true":
The Glenn Beck Program:


Gingrich fearmongers over euthanasia, Stephanopoulos rebuts: "Those phrases appear nowhere in the bill":

From the August 9 edition of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

Fox News personalities advance Palin's "death panel" claim:

Michelle Malkin: "What death panels? Oh, yeah, those death panels.":

Conservative columnist and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin wrote on her website: "Sarah Palin's warning about the effects of Obamacare on the elderly and infirm have been met with derision and ridicule. William Jacobson has a good round-up. Meanwhile, the effects of socialized medicine in Britain -- engineered by government-run cost-cutting panels on which Obamacare would be modeled -- continue to wreak havoc on the elderly and infirm." Malkin concluded, "Death panels? What death panels? Oh, yeah, those death panels." [8/9/09]
Brian Kilmeade adopts Palin's "death panel" terminology to advance end-of-life care myth.:
On Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said, "[E]veryone's talking about seniors, and they're talking about the middle class and affordable health care. If the upper class is paying for the next two classes, and are seniors going to be in front of the death panel? And then just as you think, OK, that's ridiculous, then you realize there's provisions in there that seniors in the last lap of their life will be sitting there going to a panel possibly discussing what the best thing for them is." [Fox & Friends, 8/10/09]
From DKTV:
Club for Growth spreads “deather” conspiracy theory
Politico’s Jonathan Martin explains that claims from groups like Club for Growth that health care reform will spur "waves of euthanasia" are "not true":

Rep. Blackburn pushes false myth that health reform will ‘diminish’ Medicare benefits (from ThinkProgress):
Republicans have been trying to defeat health reform by scaring seniors that their Medicare benefits will be cut if the bill passes. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) have made the false argument in recent weeks. Today, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) repeated the myth in a phone interview with Memphis’ ABC affiliate. She offered a host of vacuous, Frank Luntz-approved talking points before making this statement:


Until, finally, some responsible media people, including some conservatives, debunk it as " crazy" (and Palin):

Jake Tapper:

That's a curious reading of page 425 of the House Democrats' bill, which refers to “advance care planning consultation,” defined as a senior and a medical practitioner discussing “advance care planning, if…the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years.”

This includes an “explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to,” an “explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses,” and an “explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.”

It directs the medical provider to give the patients “a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning,” and an explanation “of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title,” as well as “an explanation of orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar orders.”

Factcheck.org disputes this interpretation, saying “accepted definition of end-of-life planning means thinking ahead about the care you would like to receive at the end of your life -- which may include the choice to reject extraordinary measures of life support, or the choice to embrace them….the bill would not make these sessions mandatory.”

Likewise, Politfact suggests that this interpretation was "Pants-on-Fire" untrue.

David Brooks (via Media Matters):
On NBC's Meet the Press, host David Gregory said to conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks, "There is the rhetoric; there's also the question of what's true and what's false in what people are arguing about this notion of a death panel." Brooks responded, "Again, that's crazy. If the -- the crazies are attacking the plan because it'll cut off granny, and that -- that's simply not true. That simply is not going to happen." [Meet the Press, 8/9/09]
MSNBC's Geist: Palin, Gingrich engaged in "crazy conversation" on death panels:

From the August 10 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:


ABC's Snow fact checks end-of-life care "misinformation," notes it started with McCaughey:
From the August 10th edition of ABC's World News:

Even Quitter Sarah Palin has now reversed course:
After "Death Panel" Claim, Palin Now Calls For Civility

After making an extraordinary, unsupported and incendiary claim that President Obama's health care plan will result in a "death panel" that is fundamentally "evil," Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is now calling for civility in the debate on health care reform.

In a Facebook posting on Friday, Palin lashed out a scenario "in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care."

Now, in her latest Facebook entry, Palin seems to be wanting to change the subject. She writes:

There are many disturbing details in the current bill that Washington is trying to rush through Congress, but we must stick to a discussion of the issues and not get sidetracked by tactics that can be accused of leading to intimidation or harassment. Such tactics diminish our nation's civil discourse which we need now more than ever because the fine print in this outrageous health care proposal must be understood clearly and not get lost in conscientious voters' passion to want to make elected officials hear what we are saying. Let's not give the proponents of nationalized health care any reason to criticize us.
read more....
Of course, that has nothing to do with wanting civil discourse and everything to do with saving her ass from having the most asinine things she has ever said or done since coming onto the national stage come back to bite her if she ever plans on running for anything ever again.

Olbermann Special Comment: Town Halls And Puppeteers

Keith Olbermann had a powerful Special Comment on Tonight's Countdown about the insidious lies, propaganda and fear-mongering by right-wing nutters -- like Sarah Palin, Newt Ginrich, John Cornyn, Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck & Rush Limbaugh -- on behalf of their corporate, health insurance & Pharmaceutical industry masters.

Let's look at the first segment, which sets up the Special Comment nicely, Palin Hypes "Death Panels" Then Urges Civility? (where he is joined again by fabulous Lawrence O'Donnell):

Here's the Special Comment, "Death Panel" Palin Dangerously Irresponsible:
Rachel Maddow: "Republicans Disavow Wingnut Statements":

And now, the hammer is really coming down....

Conservative Sen. Johnny Isakson: Palin’s ‘Death Panel’ Talk Is ‘Nuts’ (from ThinkProgress):

Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein spoke with Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), a member of the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Isakson “co-sponsored 2007’s Medicare End-of-Life Planning Act and proposed an amendment similar to the House bill’s Section 1233 during the Senate HELP Committee’s mark-up of its health care bill.” He told Klein that the “death panel” talk is “nuts”:

KLEIN: How did this become a question of euthanasia?

ISAKSON: I have no idea. I understand — and you have to check this out — I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin’s web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You’re putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don’t know how that got so mixed up. [...]

It empowers you to be able to make decisions at a difficult time rather than having the government making them for you.

read more...
Also from ThinkProgress:
In a town hall event today in Lebanon County, PA, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) dismissed a questioner’s concern about this provision as a “vicious, malicious, untrue rumor.” Nobody is going to be “written off just because they have cancer,” he said.


read more...
Truth be told, the damage has been done and we are going to be on the defense from this point forward (not that we weren't already). There are those who knowing the truth, will still spread the lie as a tactic to kill health care reform and there will be networks that have no probrem allowing them to do so:

Yet, CNN can air THIS crap?

It is utterly amazing that CNN has no oporblem airing this lying piece of shit of an anti-health care ad (Via TPM):

But, they have issues with airing a truthful ad calling out an Insurance company executive from American's United for Change:


“CNN refusal to air an ad by American’s United for Change attacking the health Insurance Industry’s opposition to health insurance reform is outrageous. As a news organization CNN has reported how the health care industry, including CIGNA, is fighting key platforms of President Obama’s health insurance reform program. CNN should stop censoring television ads that criticize health insurers for obstructing real health care reform.”
Sign the petition HERE.

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