Howard Kurtz today lauds the MSM for fact-checking Sarah Palin’s death-panel claims, but he’s wondering why those facts didn’t take hold in the public mind. An excerpt:
Ultimately, the media consensus was that Palin had attempted “to leap across a logical canyon,” as the conservative bible National Review put it, adding that “we should be against hysteria.” But the “death” debate was sucking up much of the political oxygen. President Obama kept denying that he was for “pulling the plug on Grandma.” On Aug. 13, the Senate Finance Committee pulled the plug on the provision, with Republican Sen. Charles Grassley saying the idea could be — yes — “misinterpreted.”
Perhaps journalists are no more trusted than politicians these days, or many folks never saw the knockdown stories. But this was a stunning illustration of the traditional media’s impotence.
Well, one, if you look at that NR editorial, there’s more to it. Here’s the entire section, in context:
To conclude from these possibilities to the accusation that President Obama’s favored legislation will lead to “death panels” deciding whose life has sufficient value to be saved — let alone that Obama desires this outcome — is to leap across a logical canyon. It may well be that in a society as litigious as ours, government will err on the side of spending more rather than treating less. But that does not mean that there is nothing to worry about. Our response to Sarah Palin’s fans and her critics is to paraphrase Peter Viereck: We should be against hysteria — including hysteria about hysteria.
The state remains a dangerous servant and a terrible master, all the more so when it is also our HMO.
And two, where’s the fact-checking of Obama’s claims?