CNN Lets White House 'Fact Check' Anti-Obama Claims, But Gets It Wrong
Published: 8/12/2009 2:10 PM ET
CNN's 3pm ET Newsroom anchor Rick Sanchez on Tuesday pleaded with White House spokesperson (and former ABC and CBS reporter) Linda Douglass to reject as a "falsity" that the health care "public option" desired by congressional liberals would include government payments for abortions.
"There's no evidence, as we've found out, that there's any plans to make the government or make all Americans pay for abortions in the plan," Sanchez insisted before lobbing this softball to Douglass: "What's your strategy for dealing with those falsities?"
Unfortunately for Sanchez, just days earlier the Associated Press carried a dispatch with the headline: "Gov't insurance would allow coverage for abortion." The report, by Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, explained that Democratic "abortion rights supporters" were insisting on the government payments to make sure that the coverage would be available to "millions of women who now have it through workplace insurance." The first three paragraphs:
WASHINGTON - Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and recast federal policy on the divisive issue.I thought people were promised that they could keep whatever health insurance they currently have, so why would the coverage need to be duplicated in the government plan?
Federal funds for abortions are now restricted to cases involving rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. Abortion opponents say those restrictions should carry over to any health insurance sold through a new marketplace envisioned under the legislation, an exchange where people would choose private coverage or the public plan.
Abortion rights supporters say that would have the effect of denying coverage for abortion to millions of women who now have it through workplace insurance and are expected to join the exchange.
MRC's Matt Balan noticed how Sanchez indulged Douglass near the end of the 3pm ET hour of CNN's Newsroom on Tuesday, August 11:
RICK SANCHEZ: Hey, when you watch people ask questions, like the woman who was asking about old people all being killed under the Obama care, or the person who starts to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, or the woman who starts talking about abortions, although there's no evidence, as we've found out, that there's any plans to make the government or make all Americans pay for abortions in the plan - what do you think, what do you say and what's your strategy for dealing with those falsities?
LINDA DOUGLASS, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON ON HEALTH CARE: You know, I mean, obviously some people have come with particular ideological interests that are less related to health insurance reform. They're not about costs. They're not about coverage. They're not about whether you're going to have security if you lose your health insurance at your job.
They are coming with different kinds of issues. They're using these forums to ask those questions. But you're also hearing people ask questions such as the woman who was worried about what's going to happen to old people because there has been so much - you know, so many scare tactics employed. What this provision does is provide coverage for a person who is seeking advice about making a living will.
SANCHEZ: No, we get that. We get that. We get that. And the President explained that very well, by the way.
-Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center.