All three network morning shows on Friday highlighted the departure of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Good Morning America's Jon Karl insisted that the exit was a "chance for her to leave on a relatively high note." CBS This Morning's Jan Crawford claimed that "Sebelius made clear the decision to leave was hers." Over on NBC's Today, Chuck Todd dished dirt, explaining, "In addition to the management issues, the White House also lost confidence in her ability to sell the product publicly."
He gossiped, "Senior aides were not happy with how she struggled in what should have been a friendly interview with Jon Stewart." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] However, if Sebelius struggled, Today viewers didn't know about it for weeks after the October 7th Daily Show appearance. It wasn't until October 31, 2013 that the botched interview was mentioned on Today. Back then, Todd briefly conceded, "When she went in front of Jon Stewart at the Daily Show, that became a big problem. It became another PR problem." Despite this "PR problem," Today viewers didn't see an actual clip until Friday.
"More time for health sign-up" cheered the Washington Post front-page headline for Amy Goldstein's March 26 story on the administration's latest ObamaCare delay, this time for the individual mandate which requires Americans to be insured so as to avoid paying a "tax" penalty. In an amazing dereliction of her journalistic duty, Goldstein utterly failed to mention that just two weeks earlier HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified to Congress that, in fact, the March 31 sign-up deadline was not going to move.
Goldstein, of course, was too busy parroting the administration's talking points and turning to supposedly non-ideological "consumer advocates" who hailed the deadline extension (emphasis mine):
On Friday, the Supreme Court issued a one-paragraph order in Little Sisters of the Poor et al v. Sebeluis et al. It told the Sisters that for the case to continue with no enforcement of the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, they need only to inform the government in writing "that they are non-profit organizations that hold themselves out as religious and have religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services." That's easy, because that's what they are, and that's their position.
As a result, the government has been "enjoined from enforcing against the applicants the challenged provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related regulations pending final disposition." In other words, the Sisters will get their way until the case is decided. After the jump, I'll present a bit of the sane coverage by the Washington Post's Robert Barnes, followed by portions of the reality-avoiding writeup of Jesse Holland found at the Associated Press.
On Thursday, Stephanie Condon at CBS News reported ("Security chief: HealthCare.gov has passed security testing") that Teresa Fryer, who had recommended against allowing HealthCare.gov going live before its October launch but was overruled, "told Congress ... that the Obamacare website passed security testing in December, and she would recommend that its official Authority to Operate (ATO) be extended when the current ATO expires in March."
On Friday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, in an otherwise keister-covering dispatch apparently designed to show that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was really, really unaware of the web site's prelaunch security problems, claimed without qualification that "There have been no successful attacks on the site" — even though by law the government "need never notify customers that their personal information has been hacked or possibly compromised."
As NewsBusters has been reporting for months, late night comics have been tearing the atrocious rollout of ObamaCare apart.
Conceivably the best job done to date was by ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel who during his opening monologue Tuesday evening absolutely savaged the law whilst ridiculing the uninformed young people in this country that have ignorantly supported something that clearly harms them (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Jay Leno continued his unrelenting attacks on the White House Monday.
The NBC Tonight Show host opened last night’s show saying the film “American Hustle” is “about the marketing of ObamaCare” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Mere minutes after New Jersey governor Chris Christie said during a press conference on Thursday that he was firing deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly for lying about her role in closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge, many online posters compared the Republican official's swift action with the utter lack of movement by president Barack Obama, who has yet to terminate anyone in his administration, even if that person is embroiled in scandal.
Several comments included barbs aimed at the “mainstream media” for reporters' wall-to-wall coverage of the Christie scandal while allowing Obama officials to avoid any punishment. “To confused journalists, what @GovChristie is doing right now is called 'leadership,'” noted @derekahunter. “Google it, then look at the White House & feel shame.”
In June, the Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn filed a report with the following headline: "Kathleen Sebelius: Exchange enrollment goal is 7 million by end of March." She reported in her first two paragraphs that "7 million" is "how many people the Obama administration hopes to enroll in its new health insurance marketplaces by the end of March."
Apparently that clearly expressed target isn't supposed to matter now, and the White House is trying to pretend that it never existed. Of course, the press, including the Politico, has been helping them.
Obamacare's designers appear to have assumed that life is completely static. As far as they're concerned, people who are single don't marry, women don't have children, married couples don't sometimes divorce, individuals and families don't move, and workers don't change jobs. I say that because HealthCare.gov will from all appearances not accommodate any of the aforementioned common life changes. Seriously. (I'm not about to test that assertion myself; the site is still hopelessly not secure, remember?)
A very weak headline at an Associated Press report by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar carried at Yahoo News attempted to limit the damage, perhaps in hopes that smartphone users and others won't click through and see how awful and far more sweeping the problems are (bolds are mine):
The White House and its media minions want you to believe that everything is going swimmingly with ObamaCare since repairs were made to Healthcare.gov.
Quite the contrary, Iowa's KCCI TV reported Friday that the 16,000 people in that state who applied for health insurance via that website need to reapply due to a delay in paperwork (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Their stated excuse is, "These could never happen here, so why should U.S. news consumers care?" Their real excuse is, "We don't want anyone thinking that Obamacare could lead to this, even though there are already plenty of signs that it will."
Two weeks ago, the UK Daily Mail reported on three just-released "damming reports" on Great Britain's government-run National Health Service. A separate December 20 UK Telegraph dispatch reports that the NHS is "on the brink of crisis" because it has been "treated as a 'national religion' while millions of patients receive a 'wholly unsatisfactory' service from GPs and hospitals." A scroll through supposedly U.S.-based news results from December 11-26 in a search on "national health service" (in quotes" at Google News returns precious little actual coverage here; the few exceptions are at conservative-leaning outlets like Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog. Excerpts from both UK items just noted follow the jump.