Tag Archives: Senate Finance Committee

Palin ‘Death Panels’ Smite Journalism

Private Health Insurance Companies 'Death Panels'

Private Health Insurance Companies 'Death Panels'

For once, mainstream journalists did not retreat to the studied neutrality of quoting dueling antagonists.

They tried to perform last rites on the ludicrous claim about President Obama’s death panels, telling Sarah Palin, in effect, you’ve got to quit making things up.

But it didn’t matter. The story refused to die.

The crackling, often angry debate over health-care reform has severely tested the media’s ability to untangle a story of immense complexity. In many ways, news organizations have risen to the occasion; in others they have become agents of distortion. But even when they report the facts, they have had trouble influencing public opinion.

In the 10 days after Palin warned on Facebook of an America “in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel,’ ” The Washington Post mentioned the phrase 18 times, the New York Times 16 times, and network and cable news at least 154 times (many daytime news shows are not transcribed).

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The GOP Has Become a Party of Nihilists

GOP Death Panels

The GOP controls the strings of scare tactic 'death panels' myth.

In one of those awful collisions between public policy and real life, I was in the midst of an awkward conversation about end-of-life issues with my father when Sarah Palin raised the remarkable idea that the Obama Administration’s attempt to include such issues in its health-care-reform proposal would lead to “death panels.” Let me tell you something about my family situation, a common one these days, in order to illuminate the obscenity of Palin’s formulation and the cowardice of those, like Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the lead Republican negotiator on the Senate Finance Committee, who have refused to contest her claim.

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With Sarah Palin Resigning, Rural Alaskans Have Hope in Gov. Parnell

Of Yup’ik ancestry, Myron Naneng serves the peoples of the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta as President of the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP).

Of Yup’ik ancestry, Myron Naneng serves the peoples of the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta as President of the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP).

Known as one of Gov. Sarah Palin’s harshest critics in rural Alaska, Myron Naneng wondered if some honest-to-goodness ribbing would come his way in the aftermath of Palin’s stunning resignation announcement earlier this month.

“Many people have jokingly asked if I (should) take credit for the resignation,” said Naneng, president of the Association of Village Council Presidents. “From people on the street to other locations (around Western Alaska), I haven’t heard any desire for (Palin) to stay on.”

Palin announced July 3 she would step down as governor and hand the reigns to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell on July 26. Palin said she did it because ethics complaints and politically-ambitious state lawmakers would keep her administration from getting any work done.

The news sent political and pop culture tremors around the globe. A few days after the announcement, Naneng talked from his Bethel office about his reaction and that of rural Alaska.

“Should I say hallelujah?” Naneng said. “What’s there to be broken up about?”

Poverty, high energy costs, and concerns about access to fish and game are the issues constantly swirling around residents in remote portions of the country’s largest state.

Naneng and AVCP recently organized a media tour of Western Alaska villages to showcase the lack of subsistence and commercial fishing in the area, days after Marshall fishermen defied authorities and illegally caught 100 king salmon.

“We didn’t call it a protest,” Naneng said. “It was fishing for food.”

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