On Friday’s Newsroom, CNN’s Rick Sanchez implied that the president of Conservatives for Patients Rights was lying about how “under the British health care system...health care has become so scarce that mothers are now forced to give birth to babies on sidewalks.” A woman in the UK did deliver on a sidewalk recently, but Sanchez complained, “As...you might expect, that statement went unchallenged.”
The CNN anchor made this accusation 18 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. Just before this, he used the occasion of a new “attack ad” from Conservatives for Patients Rights to re-air the bulk of his August 6 interview with the organization’s president, Rick Scott. Sanchez questioned the credibility of the ad: “It makes the questionable charge that health care reform will raise your taxes on everything- everything, it says- and it comes from a group whose track record, as revealed on this newscast, is dubious.” In his view, CPR is “dubious” because their president Scott “does not really seem to want the government getting in the way of his profits....He got rich beyond imagination, while his health care chain was ripping off the federal government. And remember? Scott admitted to me that his company paid a record fine of $1.7 billion for defrauding Medicare.”
After playing about four minutes from his earlier interview with Scott, Sanchez gave an update of sorts on the CPR president’s whereabouts: “By the way, we should share with you this- Rick Scott appeared last night on a conservative news program, and he agreed with a suggestion that under the British health care system- which he maintains the United States will adopt- health care has become so scarce that mothers are now forced to give birth to babies on sidewalks. And as it- you might expect, that statement went unchallenged.” As the anchor said this, the graphic on-screen read, “Untrue, Unchallenged” [see above].
Scott’s anecdote actually took place. An August 17 article from the UK Daily Mail reported that on August 2, “A young mother gave birth on a pavement outside a hospital after she was told to make her own way there. Mother-of-three Carmen Blake called her midwife to ask for an ambulance when she went into labour unexpectedly with her fourth child. But the 27-year-old claims she was refused an ambulance and told to walk the 100m from her house in Leicester to the city’s nearby Royal Infirmary.”
So what is there to challenge, Mr. Sanchez?