Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker crystallized the media’s liberal working assumptions on the aching need for nationalized health care on Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN. Apparently it’s not biased to offer a victory to the president if reality has a liberal bias. Lizza channeled Stephen Colbert, without any winks or giggles:
HOWARD KURTZ: Do you agree with Roger’s point that the media are helping the president by drawing this contrast with a system that — nobody likes the system now. People tend to be somewhat happy with their own health care, a little frustrated with insurance companies.
RYAN LIZZA: That’s right. Most of the media coverage takes as an assumption Obama’s point of view that reform is necessary and that the system is broken. So that’s a victory for the president.
KURTZ: Is that bias?
LIZZA: I don’t think it’s bias. It’s not bias if it’s factually true.
Lizza would not agree with this supposition if instead of polls showing the “need” for revamping health systems, we were discussing polls showing the “need” for invading Iraq. Large (if not lasting) public support for war was factually true. Assuming the health system is “broken” and the government must fix it is an assumption, not a fact.
Seconds later, columnist Debra Saunders came closer to political reality in that many people are satisfied with their own health care, and are favorably disposed to supporting greater access to health care for the poor and uninsured. But they have sticky questions about how much it’s going to cost taxpayers, and whether it will remake their own health care choices.