On his FNC program The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly engaged in full blown fear mongering tonight as he compared President Obama’s attempts to pass healthcare reform with George W. Bush’s belief that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States. Only in the fractured realm of Fox News could a healthcare bill be equated with an unjust war that has killed thousands of people.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
O’Reilly said, “President Obama sincerely believes that healthcare reform will make America stronger, just as President Bush sincerely believed that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the world, but both men could be wrong, and it’s very possible that Obamacare could cause mass chaos in our medical system, and drive the treasury into bankruptcy. That’s not a scare tactic. That’s real life. The President must know Obamacare is a huge risk for the country, and at this point I believe the risk is not worth taking. Bill-O suggested that private insurance reform was the answer.
Simply saying that something isn’t a scare tactic does not make it so. O’Reilly was engaging in fear mongering of the highest order. Where is the evidence that healthcare reform with throw our medical system into chaos? How could this healthcare reform bill throw our system into chaos when it doesn’t contain a public option or any major changes to healthcare delivery mechanism? As far as bankrupting the treasury, O’Reilly needs to look at the CBO numbers. The healthcare bill will save the country money. The current system is already bleeding us dry.
The comparison between George W. Bush and Iraq and Barack Obama and healthcare is not only faulty, but also insulting. The decision to pass a healthcare reform bill is not the same as manipulating intelligence to justify a war that has killed or injured hundreds of thousands. O’Reilly was trying to demonize healthcare reform by comparing it to the unpopular Iraq war. The two decisions are not the same, and it never ceases to amaze me that Fox News can jam so much misinformation into one minute of programming. They are true masters of their trade.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association