It’s Shock & Awe, the Siege of Leningrad and the Second Punic War all rolled into one campaign designed to bring down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).
Congressional Republicans, a few DINOs and the right-wing media are the greedy puppet-enablers of the giant military-style propaganda attacks on Obamacare in service of health care and pharmaceutical interests. The 42 kindergartenish anti-ACA House votes are but one example of the inmates running the asylum. Try to imagine any organizational parallel in your own lives of those opposed to an issue voting 42 times to continuously express that opposition when they know it will never be approved.
This will be the first part of my two-part contribution on the question of the ACA. This submission will reflect the extraordinary propaganda campaign being waged in one specific media; the print media. Its singular purpose is to convince readers to go along with right-wing state efforts to eviscerate Obamacare to the point of irrelevance. For now I’m excluding radio and TV talk shows, other electronic media, town hall meetings and assorted additional propaganda venues that are just as heavy with anti-ASA Rhetoric and apocryphal BS.
There are various paths in newspapers to cultivate a point of view through lies, deception, deceit and pure repetition. My local Southern paper pursues all. It’s owned by Halifax Media Group. Halifax is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida and claims to be the 12th largest media group in the United States.
On the print and electronic side Halifax owns 33 newspapers and affiliated websites. They also include specialty Sports, Lifestyle, Tourism and “For Moms” publications. But if my local Halifax property is any indicator, their true specialty seems to be pushing the Republican anti-Obama health care agenda. In print, this is done through cherry-picking AP stories, running snide cartoons in opposition to ACA, printing editorials from other newspapers, carrying the predictable right-wing columns pillorying Obamacare from the likes of George Will and Michelle Malkin and, of course, the local paper’s own editorial position and the quoting of extremists politicians on the subject whenever possible.
Here are some (not all) examples of headlines that my local readers have eyeballed in some prominent spot of their Upstate South Carolina Halifax property over the last year. My paper’s anti-Obamacare campaign started off with one of a number of cartoons. The most recent was headed ‘Obamacare Options.’ A character dressed in shirt, tie and slacks with a Democratic donkey head was depicted as thinking “Defend it.” A similarly dressed Republican elephant opted for “Defund it.” The cartoonist included a middle-age man reading a newspaper “Let it collapse under its own weight.” On the newspaper page was printed “Higher Premiums, Less Access and Employers Ending Coverage.” That’s one form of print propaganda quite popular with my paper.
Below the ½ page cartoon panel was a feature called “other voices.” Today’s ‘other voice’ was from an inevitable right-wing editorial page from an inevitable right-wing paper. This effort was entitled “More bad news. Obamacare subsidies aren’t panning out as advertised.” The piece is from the pages of The Colorado Springs Gazette. The Gazette was recently sold to the Anschutz Corporation, owned by oil billionaire, fracking-loving Philip Anschutz. Anshutz is another one of those old right-wing farts who want to leave a legacy of a mangled country when they finally pass on to you know where. This religious wing-nut, homophobe owns the uber-right Weekly Standard and has supported extremists candidates like former Congressman and immigrant-hater Tom Trancedo. ‘Other voices’ is virtually always far right, no, make that far, far, far right and a worthless read. But it does its job of negatively propagandizing everything the administration supports.
Here’s another cartoon example. Under the heading “Good news we’re going to delay your part”, a speeding locomotive, bearing the lettering “Obamacare”, is about to plunge off a train trestle while pulling a caboose with ‘Employer Mandate’ written on the side.
Again, right below it is an “other voices” feature, “Obama’s future. Latest delay puts health care reform on shaky ground.” Here’s another ‘other voices’ sample: “Health care chaos. President’s selective changes to ACA are reason for concern.” Well, you get the idea. One of the ending lines call it an “ill-conceived law.” Or how about this one? “Health care fallout. Businesses are feeling the bite of Obamacare.” BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM it home.
One more cartoon: An Obama figure waving and declaring “I’ve got a puppy.” The president is leading an enormous, vicious looking dog with a mean scowl and teeth bared with ‘Obamacare’ adorning his massive body. This absurd effort is from the pen of one Marshall Ramsey, a youngish Obama-hater from the Creators Syndicate. Another of his “cartoons” has Obama at a podium casting a shadow of a disgraced Richard Nixon while holding a speech sheet labeled AP and IRS scandals.
Let’s get to some headlines. Bear in mind the Managing Editor or ‘spot’ editor picks the stories from a huge AP selection including many positive ACA stories. Here we go with quotation marks at the beginning of the first headline and the end of the last one. “Affordability glitch. Low-wage workers could get left out in health overhaul. Health insurance policies face cancellation. Overhaul surprise Some plans won’t meet requirements. Health reforms pressure primary care doctors. Patient load to rise for overworked physicians. Health law’s rule delay could harm enforcement.”
It continues: “Obamacare divisions may hit poor. Exchanges under health law create confusion for Medicare recipients. Poor to be stuck in health care gap. President’s big plan already starting to fail. New health law poses security concerns. Small businesses rush to renew health policies. Firms trying to avoid higher prices under ‘Obamacare’. Health plan worries Democratic governors. Insurance for employees’ families in jeopardy at small companies. Insurers worry young people will opt out of health insurance. State should forego health insurance exchange, Keck says. Senator sees ‘train wreck’ for health overhaul. Physicians are fleeing new system.”
These are just a fraction of the print renunciations of ACA. For those conversant with history, it’s instructive to remember the final outcomes of those actions mentioned in the first line of this submission.
In a few days, I’ll utilize facts (whatta concept) to make all the pro-Obamacare adherents feel much better.