Hard Questions – From Political Reporters!

I think I can comfortably say that print and broadcast media sources not owned by Rupert Murdoch (full disclosure: I’m a News Corp shareholder, dun-dun-DUUUNNNNN) were generous to Senator Obama and have continued broadly positive coverage of President Obama. So, it came as a surprise to see the President treated not-so-gently in stories today from both Politico and the Associated Press.


At a campaign stop in Virginia last summer, he said: “We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators, insurance companies, drug companies – they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.”

Now, though, none of the White House negotiations are open for public consumption. And the Obama administration has rejected a request from a watchdog group to disclose the health care industry executives who have come to the White House to discuss the issue. The group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, is poised to sue Obama’s administration to obtain the records.

Emphasis mine. The piece makes several good points and raises a lot of valid questions. If Politico grows into a site where no one, regardless of their left-ness on the political spectrum, is safe from this kind of story, that could be pretty great. The AP article is not so exhaustive, but includes this:

It’s true that people would not be forced to give up a private plan and go with a public one. The question is whether all of those private plans would still be in place if the government entered the marketplace in a bigger way.

Acknowledgment that Obama is capable of being less than 100% forthright combined with a recognition that government “competition” tends to be a stacked deck? I’m sort of amazed.

Leave a Reply