Thursday, August 20, 2009

When Biased Reporting Goes Too Far And Misinforms

Over the past few weeks, I've noticed something in CNBC's coverage of the health care legislation that constitutes not just sloppy reporting, but genuine misinformation.

Carl Q, the hispanic co-anchor of the network's morning Squawkbox program, now exhibits a rather strange behavior for a news program anchor. Either he is really stupid, and I don't mean that lightly nor euphemistically, or he's been given orders to ignore certain realities.

Here are just two examples, out of several I've seen this month, of what I mean.

A few weeks ago, Carl Q interviewed Virginia Republican Representative Eric Cantor on health care. After Cantor laboriously catalogued several Republican ideas, presented for inclusion in a health care bill, Carlos asked Cantor,

'So, if you defeat this bill, do you declare victory Congressman?'

Anyone watching the interview just saw Cantor say that Republicans know that things must improve in the health care sector, and that he had just ticked off a number of ideas for introducing substantially more competition without government involvement as a provider.

Carl the Q simply ignored these, and, instead, attempted to paint Cantor and his colleagues as purely negative and only wishing to halt any health care reform.

You have to wonder, if Carl were not given instructions to do this, how he can be allowed to remain in his job when he's so obviously mentally impaired. He cannot process statements by his interview subject and respond to them contextually.

Then, just this week, South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint was interviewed by the very same Carl the Q. Once again, the Senator rattled off several ideas which Republicans had offered for health care reform. Once again, Carl the Q responded by totally ignoring DeMint's remarks, saying, to paraphrase,

'So, Senator, is there any possibility Republicans will compromise on cooperatives instead of a single-payer model in the health care bill?'

It's apparently a reflexive response that Carl can't hear his Republican Congressional interview subjects' answers about solutions to health care costs, etc.

A wide range of Republicans now routinely offer a coherent, sensible set of solutions, including:

-medical tort law reform
-interstate insurance competition, ending state-bound regulation and marketing, to increase competition
-relaxing/removing mandates so that consumers may purchase exactly what they choose
-tax-based credits or other treatment to place all consumers on a level field in terms of before- or after-tax basis for health insurance expenses
-a government-funded credit for pre-existing conditions insurance, distinct from that offered by for-profit entities

Why CNBC can't manage to acknowledge these truths is beyond me. Unless, of course, you assume the network, as a matter of policy, simple chooses to tilt the news this dramatically.

Otherwise, one is left to conclude Carl Q is totally unable to do his job, and should be fired for incompetence.

After all, if a news anchor can't reliably and correctly report news and interview newsmakers, of what use is he?

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