Accuracy in Media

This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments about whether President Obama’s signature political achievement, the Affordable Care Act, is constitutional or not. On the eve of one of the most important Supreme Court arguments in our nation’s history, the national media’s coverage of the health care reform law has been anything but balanced. The national media should report the facts about the Affordable Care Act objectively and let the people make their own decisions.

The Affordable Care Act became law on March 23, 2010, and legal challenges were filed almost immediately. The legislation was controversial before it was signed into law by the president. The national media repeatedly downplays this unconstitutional mandate and defends big government.

Negative news coverage of Obama’s health care law is often buried in the back sections of print news continuing the media’s history of biased coverage of this important constitutional issue. Based on media coverage, one would never believe the latest (March 17-18, 2012) Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of “Likely U.S. Voters,” which shows that 56 percent favor repeal of the health care law. A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted March 21-25, 2012, and published without much fanfare on the Times’ online blog, The Corner, found that more Americans continue to “disapprove of the federal health care legislation than support it” and “that 36 percent of Americans approve of the health care law, while 47 percent are opposed. By nearly two to one, those who say they strongly disapprove of the law outnumber those who strongly approve of the legislation.”  The media acted in a biased manner by practicing what is referred to as “bias by placement” and hiding the poll data on page B26.

The media have not just simply misdiagnosed the disease or given the wrong prescription, they have worked to help sell the snake oil. The national media had many tools in their doctor’s first aid kit. The biased word choices of the media acted as if America should be ashamed of itself for not leading the world with universal health care coverage.

The media acted in a biased manner by practicing what is referred to as “bias by story selection” and using emotional, anecdotal human stories. American citizens will not be shamed, guilted or scared into a federal mandate that steps on our sacred foundation and the U.S. Constitution.

Once people didn’t jump in line, the media often demeaned the critics and stated that once they really understand it, people would join in support. You can’t candy-coat this bad medicine that easily by simply demonizing its opponents. It is the wrong prescription for America.

Americans deserve to hear objective coverage of today’s current events, such as one of the most important Supreme Court arguments, rather than a biased and opinionated interpretation of them. We need to remind the media of their profound obligation to provide the American people with the facts, rather than tell them what to think. The American people are not dumb.  They know bad medicine when they taste it.

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