Glenn Reynolds on New York Times' Subtle Bias: The Case of Obamacare
Instapundit Glenn Reynolds writing in the New York Post details "subtle bias" at the New York Times. Here's a case in point:
Readers of last Sunday's front page, for example, were informed that "In Hopeful Sign, Health Spending Is Flattening Out."
Hopeful? Well, maybe. The article is full of caveats and to-be-sures like this: "The growth rate mostly slowed as millions of Americans lost insurance coverage along with their jobs. Worried about job security, others may have feared taking time off work for doctor's visits or surgical procedures, or skipped nonurgent care when money was tight." Or this: "Some experts caution that there remains too little data to determine whether the current slowdown will become permanent, or whether it is merely a blip caused by the economy's weakness."
But, we're told, "[M]any other health experts say that there is just enough data to start detecting trends — even if the numbers remain murky, and the vast complexity of the national health care market puts definitive answers out of reach."
At this point, an editor might have spiked the story, commenting that all we've got are dueling experts who admit that they don't really know what's going on amid their "murky" numbers.
While that might have been good use of editorial discretion, it wouldn't have advanced the narrative about cost declines, which is this: "If so, it was happening just as the new health care law was coming into force, and before the Supreme Court could weigh in on it or the voters could pronounce their own verdict at the polls."
There's your narrative:ObamaCare is working, and the Supreme Court should back off. Oh, and voters, don't be mean to the Democrats who rammed this down your throat.
Despite the fact that, once you've gotten through all the caveats and battling experts and murky data there's not much actual evidence of that — at best, some hopeful supposition, mostly from people with an investment in ObamaCare…"
Read Peter Suderman's analysis of this particular health care story.