Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | Gruber | Obamacare | architect | stupidity | Americans

Author Sharyl Attkisson: Gruber Coverage Proves My Point

By    |   Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:11 PM

The failure of major networks to cover Obamacare consultant Jonathan Gruber's statement that healthcare reform involved systematic deception appears to reflect strong ideological bias on the part of media gatekeepers, former CBS investigative reporter and best-selling author Sharyl Attkisson says.

Several videos have emerged of Gruber, an MIT economist whom the administration paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to help design and sell the Affordable Care Act, saying "the stupidity of the American voter" played a role in the act's passage.

In the videos, Gruber stated that the law's labyrinthine complexity was used to hide the fact that the individual-mandate penalty was actually a tax.

Gruber also said "lack of transparency" about the law's funding provisions helped win it public support and congressional approval.

Attkisson, the author of the new best-seller "Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington," spoke with Newsmax in an exclusive interview Tuesday.

The mainstream media's ho-hum reaction to Gruber's remarks, she says, just validates the message in her book.

"I wasn't surprised," Attkisson said of the networks' decision to largely ignore the story.
"I feel it proved the 'Stonewalled' point, what I discussed in the book: [Media gatekeepers are] shooting themselves in the foot and actually alienating their chance to get viewers, when they claim that's what they're all about.

"Some of the decisions they make are so counterintuitive to what's good journalism and what's good for the viewers," she adds, "you have to wonder why they're doing something that's such a bad business decision."

None of the network nightly news broadcasts reported on Gruber's remarks when they first emerged. According to the conservative Newsbusters.org watchdog, as of Tuesday evening Gruber had not received a single mention on the nightly news broadcasts of ABC or NBC. Instead, those networks relegated the story to their Sunday morning political talk shows.

Attkisson says some editors have allowed their news judgment to become tainted by other considerations.

"I can only conclude that they are so sometimes ideologically entrenched, whoever's making the decision, that they'd rather shoot themselves in the foot from a business standpoint.

"They're insuring the demise of the very platform that they're trying to protect by doing this. But they're so entrenched that they either don't realize it or they don't care, because they can't bring themselves to put something on television that they don't agree with."

According to Attkisson, federal officials who spin breaking news in an effort to receive favorable coverage are no longer satisfied to get their side of the story presented to the public. Instead, they try to altogether censor the reporting of genuine news stories they see as politically unfavorable.

In "Stonewalled," Attkisson gives myriad examples of this "soft censorship," and relates stories of her first-hand experience covering the BP oil spill, scandals related to green energy, and the deadly attacks in Benghazi that the administration initially suggested was an angry reaction to an anti-Muslim video.

Attkisson says powerful gatekeepers who control what news is aired appear to be evaluating whether a story will have a desirable effect on the public, based on their own political worldview, before they decide to run it. In some cases, she says, rather than spin the story they simply refuse to run it at all.

"We've decided you don't need to hear this story about green energy because you might draw the wrong conclusion," says Attkisson, channeling the attitude of some media elites. "You don't need to hear about the Gruber story because we disagree with what it might make you think.

"So we're not going to report on it fairly. It doesn't exist. That's shocking.

"How crazy is that, for the press to be bringing up the rear on a story that's on the tip of everyone's tongues? Congress is talking about it, it's about a major policy initiative — and they won't even mention it on the news as if it doesn't exist."

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The failure of major networks to cover Obamacare consultant Jonathan Gruber's statement that healthcare reform involved systematic deception appears to reflect a strong bias on the part of media gatekeepers, former CBS reporter and best-selling author Sharyl Attkisson says.
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Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:11 PM
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