The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Obama Is the Subject of the Sentence

Posted on | November 17, 2013 | 63 Comments

You may be old enough to remember the ABC cartoon series, Schoolhouse Rock, one episode of which was “The Tale of Mister Morton“:

Mr. Morton is the subject of the sentence
and what the predicate says, he does.

One of the tricks of media bias is to confuse readers and viewers about who is the subject of the sentence and responsible for action.

A public that is half-educated — or, as is often sadly the case, miseducated — does not have the skills of rhetoric and logic necessary to analyze the ways in which they are deliberately misled by the media, but some of the tricks are so simple anyone can spot them.

The media are attempting to absolve President Obama of responsibility for the failure of his signature health-care law. This blame-shifting requires that someone else be scapegoated in order to preserve the myth of Obama’s hyper-competence. The “fix” the president announced this week, for example, was clearly an effort to scapegoat insurance companies: “This doesn’t change anything other than force insurers to be the political flack jackets for the administration.”

Let’s be clear: Prior to the implementation of ObamaCare, the vast majority of Americans were covered by some kind of health insurance. Maybe you had some complaints about your coverage. Maybe you thought your premiums were too high or the deductibles were too high, but you had insurance, and the president repeatedly promised that if you liked your plan, you could keep your plan, period.

Obama is the subject of the sentence, and what the predicate says, he does: Obama lied.

Well, what about the Republicans?

“Look at all the string of broken promises. If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Try telling that to the 20 million people who are projected to lose their health insurance if Obamacare goes through . . .”
Rep. Paul Ryan, vice-presidential debate, Oct. 11, 2012

Obama lied, and Republicans told the truth, accurately predicting that the implementation of ObamaCare would result in the cancellation of millions of private insurance policies.

You might think that, with truth so clearly on one side and falsehood starkly exposed on the other, no one could possibly be confused.

Ah, but you’re not a liberal newspaper editor determined to prevent the blame from being properly allotted to the Democrats.

Patterico notices the Los Angeles Times doing this with a headline, “Obamacare: Critics seize on low enrollment numbers.”

The trick here is to make “critics” the subject of the sentence and, by use of the word “seize,” to make it appear that they are unfairly or dishonestly exploiting the situation. But the “low enrollment numbers” are, in fact, evidence of a failure these “critics” predicted.

Obama is the subject of the sentence, and what the predicate says, he does: Obama failed.

The Los Angeles Times article itself is nearly as biased as the headline:

Just 106,000 Americans successfully signed up in October for health coverage through President Obama’s healthcare law, the administration announced Wednesday in a report that underscored damage from the botched launch of the law and gave critics new fuel in their effort to roll it back.

(Notice the theme established up front: The problem is not the policy, as such, but rather “damage from the botched launch.”)

The tally falls well short of administration hopes that as many as 500,000 people would select a health plan in the first month of enrollment.

(A subtle shifting of the goalposts: We are told the problem is that the enrollment failed to meet “administration hopes,” thus obfuscating the reality that these were not mere “hopes,” but official projections. However, rather than judge the administration by actual results — i.e., a laughable failure — it is suggested that we should credit them for their good intentions, their “hopes.”)

Enrollment has been particularly weak in the 36 states whose new insurance marketplaces are being run by the federal government.
Fewer than 27,000 consumers signed up for coverage on a federally run marketplace. These federal marketplaces rely on the malfunctioning healthcare.gov website, which Obama administration officials are scrambling to repair.

And again, you see, the repetition of the suggestion made at the outset, that the “malfunctioning website” is an isolated aberration, as if the overall policy of ObamaCare was fundamentally sound and this glitch-ridden website was not symptomatic of the larger problem, namely the attempt to impose a one-size-fits-all Washington-controlled solution to the provision of health insurance.

Grant that the editors of the Los Angeles Times know their readership: No Republican would subscribe to a newspaper which is so blatantly biased, and so the remaining subscriber base of the Los Angeles Times — which has been hemorrhaging circulation for 20 years — is composed entirely of Democrats who don’t want to read honest reporting. Just like the New York Times, the Washington Post and practically every other major newspaper in America, the Los Angeles Times has become a Democrat Party propaganda organ.

“Liberal bias is not a matter of unfairness, but rather
a matter of dishonesty — deliberately ignoring some facts,
and misrepresenting other facts, in order to misinform
the public by portraying to them a politically falsified
view of events and personalities.”

The problem is that you’re not angry enough about this.

 

 


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