…reefer madness? us msm spins and spins as us 99% reels…Posted: 2014-02-10
…as the 99% of the US (and much of the world) continues to reel from an economic disaster wrought by the exceptionalists, and continues to pay for such transgressions and more, the US MSM continues to mislead. Could it be Reefer Madness 2.0 — though we balk at blaming the humble weed?…
Young children. Basics of football learnt, drilled and practiced. Referee blows the whistle. The forward passes off the ball. And all 22 players chase after the ball. Off the pitch. Up the greens. Referee and assistants and coaches and parents in hot pursuit.
Happily the MSM is not that entertaining, not by a long shot. Which brings us to this.
Many an analyst would agree that the flawed Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare, programme could have been much better designed – which does not mean that the programme is not a marked improvement over the status quo ante. Not only that, many an analyst would agree that the term ‘read’ also connotes comprehension. Not only an analyst would know this but also any average high school student.
Inhaling deeply – fresh air. The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released its outlook, a projection, on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The report is sufficiently clear to avoid misunderstanding by the fairly attentive reader. So it does take ingenuity to claim to have read a report and then totally misconstrue one of its conclusions – but no ingenuity necessary where the predictable MSM is involved.
Thus, the US MSM on the whole ran pell mell with a report that the health care programme would reduce employment by over 2 million persons (projected after 2017). Breathless news! Disaster looms! Repetition and repetition, and we have a controversy, where none should be. Sowing seeds of confusion? Or just plain ignorance?
Since the release of the report, and the opening whistle, analysts have been striving mightily to dispel the misinformation (or disinformation) so rapidly spread. We touch on a sample of responses. Working backward, we have Paul Krugman with Stephen Colbert, a brief amusing but informative TV interview, ‘The Media’s Disastrous Coverage of the CBO Report’.
From his blog of a few days earlier, we have Krugman’s take on the madness, Obamacare and the Reverse Notch. An excerpt,
…the new CBO report that, among other things, increases the budget office estimates of labor supply effects; it now says that affordable care will reduce labor supply by the equivalent of 2 million jobs.
That’s a valid point. And CBO, wich has been burned before on this sort of thing, really needs to be more careful in how it states things — a lot of the press ran with the headline “Obamacare costs 2 million jobs”, and it will become part of what everyone on the right “knows”, yet is totally untrue…
We have Dean Baker’s take on the madness – we now rule out the humble weed as culprit – with a simple example, CBO Says Obamacare Will Raise Wages. An excerpt from his blog post,
Apparently a lot of media folks have made such a habit of repeating Republican talking points that they can’t see what is right in front of their eyes. The Republicans are touting the fact that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to reduce the number of people working.
Guess what? This was one of the motivations for the ACA. It is a feature, not a bug. There are a lot of people who would prefer not to work and would not work if they had some other way to get health care insurance. Imagine a 62 year-old with diabetes and other health conditions. No insurer will touch this person. If they can get insurance at all they are looking at bill that will certainly run well over $10k a year. If this person has a job that provides insurance they will keep it until they qualify for Medicare no matter how much of a struggle it is to go to work each day.
Kevin Drum is stunned by the madness, How Did the Media Blow It So Badly on Yesterday’s CBO Report?. And avoiding partisan ‘nuance’, observes,
Yesterday the CBO released a long-term budget analysis that included a chapter about the effect of Obamacare. Among other things, the report concluded that in 2017 and beyond, it would have the effect of reducing employment by about 2 million jobs. This produced a gigantic raft of misleading headlines—some from outlets like Fox News, of course, but also from a wide variety of mainstream news sources.
This is a debacle… And here’s the thing: the CBO’s conclusions were crystal clear. The report explained in simple language what effect Obamacare was likely to have and what channels it worked through. It even had a handy bullet list showing the most important causes of lower employment.
And yet, lots of reporters and headline writers got it wrong. It’s crazy.
[Bold added for emphasis]
And, as Drum notes, a reporter even at WaPo got this one right. [Maybe WaPo did not have access to whatever substance the others have been taking?] Drum’s subsequent post adds to his analysis.
Unfortunately, most of the embattled 99% of the US fall prey to the sheer bombardment by the MSM with such nonsense, and for them acceptance is less dispiriting than disputing. And that explains why blogs and other media persevere at it. And it explains why more and more academics and experts now venture out to corporate TV to explain economic issues, a venture of limited success for its evident unappealing lack of controversy and ‘TV eyeballs’.
Now then, if something as simple, as straightforward as this issue on health and employment is so grossly misconstrued by the US corporate MSM, then…