Political Discourse Olberman Style

Man, the leftist elites are flipping out. It must be hard waking up to the realization that democracy involves “the people” and not “you telling the riff-raff what they ought to do”. Congratulations to Scott Brown this morning but more importantly, congratulations to the people of Massachusetts who went to the polls in unprecedented numbers yesterday for a special election sending a message to incumbents across the land in both parties that they are vulnerable if they no longer represent their constituents. Democracy and liberty aren’t dead yet in the Republic.

The State Of Health Care Reporting Is Sad

The front page article on CNN right now, if read uncritically, would have the dear reader to believe that if you are uninsured in America, you are “at mortal risk” of dying prematurely and that 45,000 people die every year for the sole reason that they don’t have health insurance. Read more closely and you realize that all of the above is based on a study written by physicians who founded a program that supports government-backed “single-payer” health coverage and that is based on such hard data as “What all three of these people have in common is that they experienced symptoms, but didn’t seek care because they were uninsured and they worried about the hospital expense, according to their families.”.

Look, maybe we need single payer health care in this country. Maybe we don’t. But how in the holy hell will any of us be able to decide if we are to base our decisions on craptastic reporting like that linked above? Let us assume for a minute that it really is true that not having health insurance increases your risk of dying by 40%. According to the CDC, the age group measured in the study has a 1 in 305, or .32% of dying from cause whether you have health insurance or not. Acknowledging that the data is a little messy, if you say the uninsured have a 40% greater chance of dying, they are up to a whopping .46% chance of dying. For this, we’re going to completely rewrite how we handle health care in this country and hand it all to the government, keeper of things like Social Security and the regulation of Bernie Madoff?

This is the way reporting is going on CNN and other major media outlets. It’s all screaming and histrionics. This article is riddled with the three terrible sounding anecdotes, blaming their deaths on not having health insurance and being afraid to go to the hospital ignoring any other possible explanation like a freelance cameraman who by his wife’s own admission never complained about anything. Yet his death must have happened because he didn’t have health insurance. Color me unconvinced which is the color black like my sad, cynical heart.

Here’s another good one: one of the authors of the study, again who created a foundation to support single payer government sponsored healthcare, says that not having health insurance has become lethal. Guess what? Having health insurance is lethal too! Everyone dies. Having health insurance does not guarantee that everyone will suddenly start taking care of themselves and going to the doctor on a regular basis any more than having auto insurance ensures that everyone will suddenly start driving the damn speed limit.

Seriously, health care is not a fundamental human right. It just isn’t. In the long run, maybe it’s cheaper and better to have a single payer system and maybe it isn’t. But reporting like this CNN hit piece isn’t furthering the debate. It’s the sad state of big media today that we have to believe stuff like this is front page news.

How To Write Sensational Headlines 101

Here are the facts: Based on two recent studies, sea levels will rise between 27 inches and 6.6 feet by the end of the century.

Which one of the following headlines do you think is written by a screaming alarmist eco-terrorist and which one is written by a level headed editor?

Sea Level Rise May Be Twice More Than Expected

Experts offer scaled-back sea level rise forecast

Nope, no one with an agenda works in the media. Especially no one at the Discovery Channel. Michael Reilly is a hack if he really thinks he can take one study that he’s quoting from, portray it as “expected” and then take a second study and use it to say sensationalist shit like “Goodbye Kiribati, the Maldives and much of the Netherlands. Farewell to low-lying cities. See you beneath the sea.” Seriously, is this what accounts for scientific reporting at the Discovery Channel? Ack.

Edward Murrow must be doing grave gainers.