George Graham

Propaganda Machine Gears Up to Block Health Care Reform

I don’t listen to right-wing radio or watch right-wing TV. I know…. I should. Get the other side of the story… Or at least know what the enemy is saying … and so on … But I can’t. My stomach can’t take it. The stuff they spew forth is just too rank. So I am indebted to a web site called Media Matters for alerting me to the latest outrageous examples of the rampant propaganda and downright lies in which the right-wing noise machine is indulging. As you might expect, the topic du jour is health care reform. And the lies just keep on coming.

According to Media Matters:

This week, the Drudge Report, Fox News Channel, Fox Business and CNBC’s The Kudlow Report ran with a chart released by congressional Republicans that …. purported to show “the complex health care reform proposal by Democratic congressional leaders.” The release from (Texas) Representative Kevin Brady …. stated that the chart “depicts how the health care system would be organized at the national level if the Democrats’ plan became law. These new levels of bureaucracy, agencies, organization and programs will all be put directly between the patient and their health care.”

Fox News’ Sean Hannity hosted Bill O’Reilly ambush-producer extraordinaire Griff Jenkins, who described the chart as “Candyland,” noting that “whatever it is, it’s a lot of government between you and your doctor,” while syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, also on Fox, touted the chart by saying it makes the health care bill “look like an absurd Rube Goldberg device.”

chartEven the most cursory look at the health care proposals coming out of Congress would expose the absurd “chart” (right) as fanciful fiction, apparently invented to satirize the plan recently unveiled in the House.

But the right-wing media don’t care about such niceties. If they can’t find facts to back up their propaganda, they will use whatever they can get – even if it’s obviously made up.

A site colorfully titled “Crooks and Liars” took the trouble to show what a real health care chart might look like under the Democrats’ proposal (below).

(I know… it still looks complicated, but I’m sure you realize that anything built on the existing web of medical services and health insurance in America is going to be complex. After all, the layers and layers of government make it impossible to implement a simple federal plan of any kind.)


“Crooks and Liars” adds that:

As Media Matters points out, today’s GOP is trying the same old tricks of yesteryear, when they set out to destroy the Clinton health care plan in 1994. They’ve released a confusing and misleading flow chart …. to show how awful a public option would be – and it’s already being picked up by the right-wing media.

Here’s another example of right-wing lies cited by Media Matters:

Not to be left out in the world of insane health care claims, an editorial by the conservative Investor’s Business Daily actually claimed that the House tri-committee health-care reform bill includes “a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.” The claim is false, of course, but that didn’t stop Rush Limbaugh, the Media Research Center or a host of other media conservatives from advancing the delusional line of attack on reform.

For the complete Media Matters article, click:

In this nutty world of non-journalism, many people choose their information sources (as I must admit I am tempted to do) to match their view of things, not to broaden their understanding. Our minds are made up, so don’t confuse us with the facts. But even so, you would think so-called media outlets would make some pretense of conveying factual information – even the crazy denizens of the conservative base.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for