when fake news becomes the real fact-checker

The Daily Show, although a Comedy Channel hit, often is the only place on cable news where one can find claims measured against evidence. The health care debate over so-called “death panels” is a good example, as in the recent interview with Obama critic Betsy McCaughey, who was unable to present evidence for her more dramatic claims. The Times makes another effort at tracking such claims:

Last month, in a radio interview with former Senator Fred Thompson, Ms. McCaughey said, “One of the most shocking things I found in this bill, and there were many, is on Page 425, where the Congress would make it mandatory, absolutely require, that every five years, people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner.” She went on to say that it encouraged people to cut their lives short “in society’s best interest.”

In fact, the bill offers to pay for Medicare patients to speak with their doctors about their wishes for the end of their life, on issues like who will be allowed to make decisions if they are incapacitated, and what kinds of care are available for terminally ill people.



One Response to “when fake news becomes the real fact-checker”

  1. James Says:

    http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2009/08/nyt-names-and-shames-mccaughey-et-al.html – It’s interesting to note the first line of his update (as well as the correction to NY times article he summarizes.

    Here’s the full interview (the original was edited): http://www.indecisionforever.com/2009/08/21/exclusive-extended-health-care-conversation-with-jon-stewart-and-betsy-mccaughey/

    Going on somewhat of a tangent, this is also interesting to note: http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2009/08/health-care-framing-tactics-failing.html

    If George Lakoff could do what Frank Luntz has done, the left might see more of a swing in influence. Of course, the ethical quandary in wordsmithery is implicit (although it does seem to work…)

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