Please Do Not Call This Government-Run Health Insurance Plan A Government-Run Health Insurance Plan


Doin' some journamamalismz!

In a shocking turn of events, the tireless minders at Media Matters are upset with Fox News. The reason? They have uncovered an email memo in which the network's Washington managing editor, Bill Sammon, told staff to refer to the proposed public option in the health care bill as "government-run health insurance" or the "government option."

What's the problem? Apparently Frank Luntz says that calling the public option government-run insurance makes it poll worse, and heavens-to-Murdoch we sure wouldn't want any media organization using language that might possibly make the public skeptical of a government initiative. Towards the bottom of the post, Media Matters also quotes an upset anonymous source from within Fox, who comments: "People are allowed to have opinions when they espouse opinions. But when news is being tampered with, you have to worry."

You can quit worrying already. Opinion doesn't have anything to do with Sammon's memo. Indeed, Media Matters doesn't even make any attempt to prove that Sammon's preferred label is inaccurate. Granted, that would be hard to do, because in fact the public option is a form of government-run insurance. But obviously we can't let anyone in the media actually say this.

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  1. Fox News is threatening the Order by piercing through the doublespeak.

    1. Oh wise and beneficient Big Brother, deliverer of truth, punisher of lies, master of safety and peace…

      Is there anyway to set up a battle-royale to the death between Fox News and MSNBC’s talking heads?

    2. Perhaps Media Matters should change their name to “Libi-Leaks”

  2. Sidestepping Fox news’ pattern of bias is like remarking Hitler was a nice dresser-ya I Godwined it

    1. What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

        1. You bore the entire readership of hit and run. So, I guess that is fair.

          1. pot calling kettle…wait the pool girl is here.

    2. Random words strung together with Hitler thrown in make it sound mean.

  3. You shouldn’t feed the MSM trolls. Media Matters is a joke and has been since it began.

    1. Remember when Joe would tell us that Media Matters was a politically neutral group.

      Good times.

  4. But, but, but. . .WAAAAAAAHHHHHH.

  5. Isn’t someone building a government-financed mosque in New York on the graves of 911 victims? Or something?

    1. Because of the necessary foundation work, this mosque will quite literally be built out of the human remains of 9/11 victims. True story.


        1. You forgot da joooos…

      2. Citation, please. Unless you just pulled it out of one of my elves’ ass.

  6. Would MM piss themselves if Fox called it “Obamacare”?

  7. I’m sorry you’re right. It’s not a government run health insurance plan. It’s a politican run health insurance plan.

  8. MM would rather have it referred to as “Obama’s merciful, beneficial, miraculous plan for you.”

    But that would have been too obvious, so they settled with the disturbingly nondescript “public option.”

    IE, the euphemism that is the most vague, the most meaningless and the lest descriptive.

    Because you don’t have to actually know what it is. If you did, you might have an opinion about it.

    Now THAT’S journalism. Thanks, Media Matters!

  9. Media Matters should just go back their old name.


  10. Would it help if I drafted the SpaceX post? I’ll do it for free.

    1. As long as you don’t refer to it as a “privately built and financed rocket,” you’re good to go.

      1. The situation isn’t ideal, but there’s every possibility that they’ll be serving private clients before long, too. Like Bigelow guests.

    2. *APPLAUSE!*

      1. They could also ask Rand Simberg at Transterrestrial Musings to write something. He’s a blogger, writes for magazines, is an expert in the spaceflight industry, and is a libertarian. I’m only the last thing.

        1. You’re a blogger too. Urkobold doesn’t write his own posts…does he?

          1. Oh, yeah, I guess I’m the Pro Libertate at Urkobold, aren’t I?

            I’m not sure who posts for the Urkobold. I heard it was some lab whore of some sort, but I’ve never met her.

    3. Why not just post a link….We do not need Reason.com to verify reality for us.

      Hell this conversation has seemed to run its course anyway….might as well hijack this thread and we can talk about private spaceships instead of Fox news Vs Media matters bullshit.

      1. “Why not just post a link….We do not need Reason.com to verify reality for us.”http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/1208/SpaceX-Falcon-9-rocket-launch-First-step-of-new-space-era

      2. It’s been discussed in other threads, but I’d like some consolidation of comments. An opinion. A quote or interview. You know, professional stuff.

        Several news sources are going on about this being a gamechanger, and even i09 is talking about corporations “owning” space. Heh, heh.

        1. Though the hope is that commercially funded space travel will serve as a supplement to scientific and military work, that may not be the end result. If SpaceX is successful,

          Uhhh….why is it bad if space gets used for unintended purposes that are not military?

          And has IO9 always been a a pro-military left wing site?

          Space can’t be privatized!!!! We need it for WAR!!!


          1. Weirdness is right. But space is only going to get utilized and colonized if we all go, not just some steely eyed, diaper-wearing chicks. Until there’s a McDonald’s in the Kuiper Belt, we’re just boring.

  11. Also, no referring to tax funded condom distribution programs as “socks for cocks”.

    1. In the same vein (hehe) as Toys for Twats?

  12. Why does the government get to control the language that describes government run health care?

    And in what world is it biased to use your own more descriptive and approachable language rather then the government’s language?

    1. We need an anti-government to do such things. And to regularly make snarky remarks about the government.

      1. And to regularly make snarky remarks about the government.

        Technically isn’t that the media’s job?

        So Media Matters is complaining about Fox News for doing what it is supposed to do?

        I guess my perception that the Fifth estate is supposed to be check on power and not a rubber stamp is terribly wrong.

        1. The media is pro-established institutions. Period.

    2. The comments over at media matters are interesting. They are pretty much uniformly behind the “Fox is spinning the story” idea. There is pretty much zero recognition that the term “public option” is spin created by the democrats to support their “Federal Government Health Insurance Program”.

      You can put whatever label you want on the thing, but “public option” is probably the least apt, least descriptive and least honest.

      “Government Insurance” isn’t very honest either – oh sure, it captures what the program is purported to be at first… but the entire point of the program is to run private insurance out of business and move to a single payer system. Since the President himself announced his intentions to use the “camel’s nose” tactic, I think calling it “Camel’s Nose Insurance” is the most honest and descriptive. I’m probably alone on that one though…

      1. “Camel’s Nose Insurance”


        1. Does that mean ‘Camel Toe Insurance’ is a non-starter?

  13. Excuse me, but the health care reform bill that passed did not have a “public option” and the bill that actually had one never even got debated on the floor of either house, but that didn’t stop Faux News from characterizing the actual bill as ‘government-run health care’ … even when it was the most enormous gift to the insurance industry of all time. The only thing the govt will do is set standards for minimum coverage!

    1. I been noticing this form a liberal trolling for a while. As it becomes increasingly clear that Obamacare is a disaster and completely unpopular, expect to see more of this kind of trolling.

      Yeah, Obamacare was a right wing bill. Liberals were just crying with joy the day it past out of respect for Obama I suppose.

    2. The only thing the govt will do is set standards for imprison you for breathing, should you choose not to carry what it defines as minimum coverage!

      1. +1

    3. The use of “Faux News” is the hallmark of a serious thinker.

    4. The only thing the govt will do is set standards for minimum coverage!

      Good, good. And what happens when you (the individual) don’t meet the “set standards for minimum coverage”?

    5. Excuse me, but the health care reform bill that passed did not have a “public option” and the bill that actually had one never even got debated on the floor of either house, but that didn’t stop Faux News from characterizing the actual bill as ‘government-run health care’

      If this is the problem then why is Media Matters so upset that Fox news used the word “Government” rather then “public”?

      And yes in case you are confused I just destroyed your argument.

  14. Next Up: Media Matters does a backflip when someone refers to the tax plan compromise as “maintaining current rates” rather than “a tax cut for the rich”.

    1. Wait, someone referred to it as maintaining current rates? I’ve mostly heard “extending cuts” – usually with some spin of “the Obama tax cuts” for the middle clase and “the bush tax cuts” for the wealthy.

      1. Be thankful I don’t take it all.

  15. Be on the lookout for my next website: MediaMattersMatters.com

    My first entry will be about how I’m upset about Media Matters because Media Matters is upset about Fox News because Fox News uses “government-run health insurance” because it polls worse and Media Matters thinks they should use “public option” because it polls better.

    1. And to stop the potential infinite loop, I plan on registering TurtlesAllTheWayDown.com

  16. And another thing, they’re not “Death Panels.” They are “Angel Liasion Committees.”

    1. I hope that title change comes with a pay raise.

      1. No, but you should see the after-life insurance pacakage.

  17. Go fuck yourself, Suderman, you right-wing asshole.

    1. Suderman, you right-wing asshole.

      Suderman must be the middle because John was accusing him of being the new left wing plant to replace Weigel.

      Note: I may or may not have backed up John a bit on this.

    2. “Go fuck yourself, Suderman, you right-wing asshole.”
      C’mon, max, show your true incoherence. Toss “Hitler” in there someplace like your buddy did earlier.

  18. The only thing the govt will do is set standards for minimum coverage!

    Gosh, it sure seems like they wouldn’t have needed 2000 pages just to tell the Secretary to write minimum coverage rules.

    ObamaCare, of course, does far, far, more than that. And while what was called the “public option” didn’t make it in, its very close cousing the health insurance exchange (which is, in fact, government run) did.

    1. RC.

      As I said above, this is going to be the liberal story going forward. Obama sold out to the insurance companies and passed a right wing health care reform bill. And that is why it and he are so unpopular.

    2. …its very close cousing the health insurance exchange…

      Who decided to call these things “exchanges”, anyway? That sounds an awful lot like “markets” and therefore completely misleading.

  19. Media Matters = Conservapedia without the lulz.

  20. Feh, anyone who watches fox news deserves the drivel they get.

    1. So I take it you don’t watch it? That is okay. Neither do I. But if you never watch it, how do you know it is drivel? Media Matters?

    2. So I take it you don’t watch it? That is okay. Neither do I. But if you never watch it, how do you know it is drivel? Media Matters?

    3. Feh, anyone who watches fox news deserves the drivel they get.

      Fox is the most popular news channel.

      As libertarians shouldn’t we be a little more open to what the market decides is the “middle” in terms of media bias?

      Note: Yeah it is entirely possible that the middle wing of America’s political spectrum is drivel still your post was as good as any to post this as a reply.

      1. As libertarians shouldn’t we be a little more open to what the market decides is the “middle” in terms of media bias?

        The median consumer often decides how to spend his own money in pretty appallingly stupid ways which end up hurting him. The free market just looks good because the median voter often decides how to spend other people’s money in even stupider ways which end up hurting others.

        1. The median consumer often decides how to spend his own money in pretty appallingly stupid ways which end up hurting him.

          My point was not to say Fox News was Correct or the best choice. My point was that its popularity is evidence that its bias is the bias of the largest portion of the population. Fox news is not the right wing network as the left claim it is. Fox news is the middle of political opinion.

    4. drivel
      *factually accurate descriptions

    5. drivel
      *factually accurate descriptions

    6. drivel
      *factually accurate descriptions

  21. And people are *shocked* that costs are rising; they blame the insurance companies (since Nancy would never do that…)

  22. These articles are why I stopped subscribing and stopped contributing to Reason Foundation. I can’t take you seriously if you can’t call things by their given name.

    1. Yes, how unlike Reason to question government rhetoric.

  23. Whenever I do Yahoo video searches, anything that’s not from YouTube will usually be from Media Matters. And the video will always be about Fox News. Yes, we know they’re right-wing and biased. Yes, they can be flat out wrong and misleading. But can you honestly call yourself a media watchdog if your sole purpose is to breathe down one channel’s neck and flip out if they so much as make a comma splice? The only excuse would be if all the newspapers, magazines, and news channels were declared illegal except for Fox News, and that only exists in Media Matters’ paranoid wall scribbles.

    1. They are specifically created and funded to “expose fox news”. So no, they don’t really, really call themselves a media watchdog. That label is just for the other news sources to use when repeating Media Matter’s spin as “objective review”.

  24. Precedence for this kind of thing was set when we weren’t allowed to speak Candicate Obama’s middle name, which appears on legal documents and was givin to him by his mother, because it would be racist to do so.

    What MediaMatters is saying is that you can’t speak the truth, even though it is true, because they know you have secret bad intentions when you do.

    1. Not to mention that he used his middle name when taking oath of office in the presence of millions of people.

  25. Media Matters already was bitching that Fox is “perpetuating the myth” that family farms have been lost due to the estate tax.

    I think MM’s beef was that Fox said something like “a lot of” family farms had to be sold, and MM’s position was that it wasn’t really all that many that really had to be sold.

    And of course the liberal commentors expressed the appropriate level of disgust, scorn and derision for those awful liars at Fox – including one who said the statement that ANY family farms had ever been sold as a result of the estate tax was a bald-faced, blatant lie.

    Yes, there are special provisions in the estate tax to exclude CERTAIN family-owned businesses, including farms, from MOST of the estate tax. But it certainly is true that there are indeed family farms that had been in the family for multiple generations that had to be sold to pay the estate tax. About 10 years ago, there was one such farm a few miles down the road from where I was living at the time – everyone in the county knew of it, because it had been there since the early 1800s, they had a nice roadside farmstand and they did hayrides and “pick your own pumpkins” in the fall. At the time, it was owned by the fifth generation – and when dad died, the heirs indeed could not pay the estate tax and had to sell of most of the land to pay for it.

    In conclusion, let me say a big, fat FUCK YOU to the lefties and progs who think the estate tax is moral, ethical or just.

    1. Come on now BSR, Warren Buffett has to make a living some how.

    2. the lefties and progs who think the estate tax is moral, ethical or just

      Like MNG. But he would set up panels to determine whether the heirs deserve it or not, and make sure that a little something is left for the kids. He is truly a kind and generous soul.

      1. So it’ll work if the right people are in charge. Of course!

      2. Sure. Just as soon as we set up panels to determine whether applicants “deserve” welfare or any other government benefit.

  26. http://www.slate.com/id/2277401/

    Jack Shafer

    The call to refer to the program as the government option instead of the public option came from Republican pollster Frank Luntz, Media Matters and Kurtz report. But this shouldn’t disqualify the new term from the Fox News stylebook. Government option is superior to public option in that it emphasizes that the government?and thus the taxpayers?will be footing the bill. As a modifier, public has many nongovernmental uses, as in public appearance, public figure, public display, public-key cryptography, public editor, public enemy, public storage, and public opinion.

    But when government is used as an adjective, there is no such confusion. Does that make Fox News’ semantic solution superior? I’ve always thought that Social Security should be renamed Government Ponzi Scheme. I’d also like the Export-Import Bank to be renamed the Government Subsidy Depot?but that’s another column.

    That Sammon issued a memo directing Fox News reporters to use a phrase he considers more accurate hardly constitutes “spin,” as the headline to Kurtz’s piece has it. If government option is spin, isn’t public option spin, too?

  27. Media Matters is obviously a right wing hack organization with this insistence on the term ‘public option.’ What does the word ‘public’ connote to Mr and Mrs America? Public Parks. Places where rapes and muggings occur. Where you have to watch out for the unsanitary needles as you walk around. Obviously they want you to think that if you didn’t accept the Obamacare corporate give away, but were for Universal Healthcare, than you wanted to see Mr. and Mrs. America bent over a table raped, mugged and dirty needles stuck in their asses. Dirty pool, Media Matters. Dirty pool.

  28. So you don’t have to, here’s two snippets from MM posts on this topic:

    The government IS the public, as in “of the people, by the people and for the people”. … Even a publicly owned comapny is still only made up of and answerable to a handful of individuals, while the Government is still answerable to (and made up of) the ENTIRE public.)

    *snicker* Aww, isn’t that cuuute! MediaMatters posters actually believe politicians are the same as “the public”!

    How quaint.

    1. What is odd is if the government is the public why does he give a crap which word Fox news uses.


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  31. Media Mutters hates facts.

    They hurt their vaginas.

    Liberal trash.

  32. I actually think they have a point.

    In the future, I direct all media organizations to refer to Media Matters as “that bunch of fucktarded leftist douchebags.”

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