Saturday, August 29, 2009

U.S.Media Favors Angry Town Hall Mobs

UPDATE: 12:33 PM & 4:16 PM Aug. 29, 2009

"We ration health care the way we ration other goods: We make it too expensive for everyone to afford."
Quote by Ezra Klein at The Washington Post

"...things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty,understanding and feeling are concomitants of failure in our system. And those threats we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self interest are the traits of success."
-Cannery Row, John Steinbeck

'If we believe men have any personal rights at all, then they must have an absolute moral right to such a measure of good health as society can provide.'
Robert (Bobby) Kennedy 1968

American citizens lining up at a free health care clinic- if the U.S. health care system is so great why are people lining up for this service- according to American Conservatives, Republicans and The Religious Right these people don't really matter. If an American cannot afford even basic health care that is their problem and their fault. They should have made more money or been born into a wealthier family or just simply prayed more.

If they were "Real Americans" & "Real Christians" then God would have made sure that they prospered.

Yet conservatives accuse Obama of creating a system which would ration health care but the current system already rations health care.

As for Social Darwinism it seems the conservatives, Republicans & the Religious Right believe that those who cannot afford basic health care should be just allowed to die as they represent "the less fit "specimens of Americans.

Radical Religious Right Leader Ralph Reed's Faith & Freedom Coalition & Christian Alliance & Sean Hannity of Fox News

Over 1,200 grassroots activists packed into a ballroom at the Gwinnett Place Marriott this past Saturday to hear from nationally syndicated radio personality and Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity, Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed, six gubernatorial candidates, members of Congress, and other national headliners, including Lt. Colonel Oliver North and Jon Voight.

Let's begin with a funny bit by Jon Stewart as he debunks claims by the Anti-Health Care Reform wingnuts who just make shit up which they then drum into the heads of the suspicious angry anti-Obama basewho according to statistical analysis are the main consumers of Fox News Propaganda.

Jon Stewart Takes On Healthcare Disinformation Queen Betsy McCaughey [Rachel Maddow Edit]

Anyway the madness continues as the Republicans & their angry mobs and phony grass roots organizations created by lobbyists for Health Insurance Industry, Big Pharma etc.while being pumped-up by Fox News shout & scream at Town Halls creating hysteria & inciting violence all fueled by misinformation, lies and Propaganda of the anti-Obama crusaders. Facts, reason, civilized debates are all ruled out in favor of conspiracy theories & hysteria.

And yet Sean Hannity on Fox News presents himself as some sort of impartial observer & commentator who is sharing his objective views on what is going on in America. But in fact Sean Hannity has aligned himself with the likes of Ralph Reed and the Radical Religious Right & the Conservative Movement in America. Hannity is also considering running for the US presidency in 2012.Hannity has acted shamelessly as a propagandist for the Bush/Cheney regime & continues to do so while attacking & smearing Obama at every turn.

So here's a funny spoof on the anti-health care reform from Mother Jones.

Spoof on the Hysteria raised by the Health Care Insurance Industries & Republicans & The Religious Right & Fox News.

Meanwhile an ad is posted showing over 450,000 doctors in the U.S. are in favor of a major overhaul of the health care system in America.But why listen to these doctors when the conservative movements Spin Machine tells Americans that only a few doctors in America want to radically change the system.

Health Care Reform: 450,000 Doctors Can't Be Wrong

The U.S. has a catastrophically fragmented health care system that provides incentives for sick care instead of prevention. The system is in dire need of reform -- reform to save lives, to save families and to save money for both patients and the American health care system.

Stand with more than 450,000 doctors who support health care reform. Call Congress: (202) 224-3121.
Take more action by visiting

We Ration. We Ration. We Ration. We Ration. by Ezra Klein at Washington Post Aug, 28, 2009

"Look at Canada," says Charles Krauthammer. "Look at Britain. They got hooked; now they ration. So will we."

So do we. This is not an arguable proposition. It is not a difference of opinion, or a conversation about semantics. We ration. We ration without discussion, remorse or concern. We ration health care the way we ration other goods: We make it too expensive for everyone to afford.

I've used these numbers before, but let's repeat them. A 2001 survey by the policy journal Health Affairs found that 38 percent of Britons and 27 percent of Canadians reported waiting four months or more for elective surgery. Among Americans, that number was only 5 percent. This, Americans will tell you, is the true measure of our system's performance. We have our problems. But at least we don't sit in some European purgatory languishing without our treatments. That's rationing.

There is, however, a flip side to that. The very same survey also looked at cost problems among residents of different countries: 24 percent of Americans reported that they did not get medical care because of cost. Twenty-six percent said they didn't fill a prescription. And 22 percent said they didn't get a test or treatment. In Britain and Canada, only about 6 percent of respondents reported that costs had limited their access to care.

The numbers are almost mirror images of each other. Twenty-seven percent of Canadians wait more than four months for treatment, versus only four percent of Americans. Twenty-four percent of Americans can't afford medical care at all, versus only 6 percent of Canadians. And the American numbers are understated because if you can't afford your first appointment, you never learn you couldn't afford the medicine or test that the doctor would have prescribed.

As Eric Boehlert at Media Matters points out one of the interesting things about this story of health care reform and the angry conservative mobs at Town Halls is that the media treats them as representing a grassroots uprising against Obama which is based in reality and on the facts. They are treated as if every wild accusation or conspiracy theory they can come up with should be taken seriously. They are depicted as representing the "Real Americans" who are genuinely angry over what the Obama administration is doing to the country.

Yet he argues when the anti-war protesters filled the streets in Washington & in other cities in America to protest against the Iraq War before and after it began the media tended to characterize them in negative terms or to just ignore them. The American media referred to these protesters in disparging & derogatory terms calling them misguided crazies who were acting UnAmerican & to view their activities as being traitorous in a time of war.

When someone like John Dean expressed his outrage about the war and that the whole thing was a lie based upon propaganda and spin of the Bush Regime he was called a person with an anger problem and was possibly mentally unstable . Because how dare a liberal Democrat dare to attack the president & vice-president of the United States.

Now we know that all the things liberals and democrats and those few lone voices in the media said about the Bush administration were true. Bush et al wanted to go to war against Saddam & they were willing to fabricate evidence to build their case. Once they got into Iraq they made one major mistake after another creating a situation in which the war destroyed most of the country and with a draconian ill-conceived occupation which just made matters worse. And they were wrong from the get-go millions of Iraqis did not greet the US troops with flowers but rather suspicion which it appears was quite justified as hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed and thousands captured abused and tortured . These missteps and War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity fueled a popular insurgency throughout Iraq. The Insurgency was really just a popular resistance movement against the foreign occupiers of their country.

Why Do Angry, Right-Wing Mobs Get Media Respect? By Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America. Posted August 25, 2009.

Meanwhile, the media has always lashed out at liberal protesters.

As early as June 2003, The New York Times was fretting over whether Dean's "angry message" would be his downfall. "All the Rage," read a Newsweek headline on a Dean profile.

And in two features in the summer of 2003, The Washington Post described Dean as "abrasive," "flinty," "cranky," "arrogant," "disrespectful," "fiery," "red-faced," a "hothead," "testy," "short-fused," "angry," "worked up," and "fired up." And trust me, none of those adjectives was used in a complimentary way. In fact, the Post took pains to distinguish Dean's anger from that of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whom the paper termed "brilliantly cranky."

Bad luck for Dean, because back during the Bush years, there was really no worse crime, at least in the eyes of the Beltway press, than being "angry." (Especially being an angry Democrat.) It was practically a deal breaker. Serious people simply didn't conduct themselves that way in American politics. They didn't let their runaway partisan emotions get the best of them.

But oh my, how times have changed! Suddenly this summer, as right-wing mini-mobs turn health care forums into free-for-alls, as unhinged political rage flows in the streets, and as the Nazi and Hitler rhetoric flies, anger is in. Suddenly anger is good. It's authentic. It's newsworthy. Reading and watching the mini-mob news coverage, the media message seems clear: Angry speaks to the masses.

Instead of being turned off by the displays of passion the way they had been when liberal protesters took to the streets prior to the Iraq war, media elites have been touting the mini-mob trend as a "phenomenon" (USA Today) staffed by a "citizen army" (Bloomberg News).

...Bottom line: Liberal protesters don't tell us anything about the mood of America. But angry right-wingers do, according to the press.

That glaring double standard is part of a long-running Beltway press trend in which media elites lash out at angry liberals, regardless of whether they're right or wrong. The trend was highlighted again just last week when news broke that former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge admitted that very senior players in the Bush White House urged him to raise the nation's terror alert system for purely political reasons. Writing at The Atlantic, Marc Ambinder defended journalists who scorned liberal Bush critics years ago when they made that exact same claim about the nation's terror warning system. Journalists were right to dismiss the allegation, wrote Ambinder, "because these folks based their assumption on gut hatred for President Bush, and not on any evaluation of the raw intelligence."

Salon's Glenn Greenwald quickly noted, "As always: even when the dirty leftist hippies are proven right, they're still Shrill, unSerious Losers who every decent person and 'journalist' scorns."

...If ever there's ever been a political movement fueled by, and carefully constructed around, irrational "gut hatred," it's today's right-wing mini-mobs. But you don't hear much from Village pundits like Ambinder about the "gut hatred" of Obama, do you? That doesn't seem to turn off pundits, reporters, or producers.

In truth, right-wing "gut hatred" has become the news story of the summer. It's being celebrated and rebroadcast all season long. That deranged "gut hatred" of a new president barely halfway through his first year doesn't delegitimize the protesters in the eyes of the Beltway press in the way the same press corps seemed to write off anti-war protesters as being fringe radicals. (Too angry!) The "gut hatred" of Obama is what makes the mini-mob news.

...Let's see if the press continues to treat angry (unhinged) conservative protesters as inherently important and newsworthy after having spent years dismissing angry liberals as insignificant and out of the mainstream.

"Sean Hannity Mulls Wing-Nut Dream Presidential Ticket with Sarah Palin But, you know, only if God calls." by Joshua Holland, AlterNet August 25, 2009.

also see:
WND Exclusive ELECTION 2012 President Hannity? Talker drops hint Talk-show host says he won't rule out bid for White House at World Net Daily Aug. 21, 2009

Ralph Reed has returned to the fray with a vengeance enlisting a number of big-hitters & angry white men such as Sean Hannity of Fox News & Dick Armey former house leader & Lt. Colonel Oliver North (of the Iran -Contra scandal who said he would kill a five year old if he was ordered to) and actor Jon Voight who fears Obama is part of some Russian devised Communist plot or sent by the Illuminati to help create The New World Order or possibly just one of the Lizard People.)These conspiracy theories tend to morph into one another at the will of the True Believers.
But still the American media treats these Nutters as if they were rational and represent "Real Americans". If these people were not so bloody dangerous they would be laughable.

And from Ralph Reed's newest incarnation Faith & Freedom Coalition website

Over 1,200 grassroots activists packed into a ballroom at the Gwinnett Place Marriott this past Saturday to hear from nationally syndicated radio personality and Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity, Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed, six gubernatorial candidates, members of Congress, and other national headliners, including Lt. Colonel Oliver North and Jon Voight.

The major purpose behind the Freedom Rally was to formally launch the Georgia state affiliate of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a new grassroots venture that is sweeping the country, forming chapters from coast to coast. Reed also unveiled VoterTrak, the organization’s new online organizational tool, which will be used over the next decade to build a database of 10 million conservative voters.

Citizens for Faith and Freedom Rally at America’s Health Care Town Hall Meeting
August 15, 2009

Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, spoke to America’s Healthcare Town Hall in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park on August 15th.

Thousands attended the gathering that was dedicated to free markets and patient centered healthcare reform. Other speakers included former House Majority Leader Dick Armey who is currently serving as Chairman of Freedom Works and talk radio host Herman Cain.

Reed told the crowd:

“We are here to say loud and clear that we will never allow government bureaucrats to get between us and our doctor. The Democrats and the media may smear grassroots citizens who show up at town hall meetings to protest Obamacare, call them ugly names, insult them, and accuse them of being un-American or evil, but we are American citizens. Our right to protest has been purchased with the blood of patriots who paid the ultimate price so that we could be free men and women and have the ability to petition our government. We will not be intimidated, we will not be silenced, and we will not go away.” Ralph Reed Aug. 2009

and so it goes,

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