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Frontline Fronts for Corporations Instead of Public


By Margaret Flowers

It was with a sense of déjà vu that I watched the latest Frontline documentary about health care. “Obama’s Deal” endeavored to reveal the significant influence of health industry dollars on our political process; however, as in Frontline’s Sick Around America, the producers did a disservice by the failure to educate the public about the bigger picture of the health care situation in this nation and the range of possible solutions.

Curiously, just as it was in the health “debate,” single payer, improved Medicare for All, was also excluded from the film. The major point of the influence of health industry dollars on the reform process which should have been mentioned is that these dollars were spent in order to restrict the debate and protect industry profits. The lucrative status quo would have been threatened if single payer had been openly discussed because a publicly-financed national health program can provide high quality universal health care and control health care costs, something that a private insurance based system cannot accomplish.

After watching this film, viewers would have no idea that single payer exists or know that there is a strong movement for it. Considering that there have been attempts to push for a national health program for over 100 years in this nation and that, because of a strong grassroots movement, single payer legislation was nearly introduced on the floor of the House in November and was actually introduced on the floor of the Senate for the first time in this nation last December, the omission appears to be intentional.

Those of us in the single payer movement are accustomed to being censored by the corporate media. The reason for our exclusion is known: health insurance and pharmaceutical corporations advertise heavily on these airwaves and wield considerable power over the programming. This was described clearly by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s August 2009 piece titled “Single-Payer & Interlocking Directorates: The corporate ties between insurers and media companies” by Kate Murphy.

The producers at Frontline carefully cut single payer out of the film. When the host, Mr. Kirk, interviewed me for “Obama’s Deal,” we spoke extensively of the single payer movement and my arrest with other single payer advocates in the Senate Finance Committee last May. However, our action in Senate Finance was then misidentified as “those on the left” who led a “counterattack” because of “liberal outrage” at being excluded. This occurred despite an email exchange following the release of the preview in which I specifically requested that the producers identify that we are a nonpartisan group fighting for single payer: a health reform model based on evidence of what is effective here and abroad and on health policy principles. This mischaracterization unfortunately mirrors the way in which the health industry has portrayed the single payer movement (verified by Wendell Potter, a former Cigna executive).

“Obama’s Deal” contained a segment on those who oppose health reform, but nowhere were single payer advocates given a chance to explain their proposal or motivations. Neither was it noted that the hatred and fear seen at the summer Town Halls and that factored in the election of Scott Brown were assisted by the stealth organizing efforts of ultra-conservative Dick Armey of FreedomWorks and others.

We have the resources in this nation to achieve the same high quality health outcomes and health security that exist in other advanced nations. One reason for our failure is the intentional misinformation and omission of information in corporate media. Our public media does a disservice by leaving out the full picture of our broken political process, its effect on the health and economic wellbeing of our people and the truth of what we can achieve.

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Sometimes yes, sometimes no.....typical liberal class whoring.

When this so called turn around is actually this:

A World of Pain Ahead
Housing Crashes Again

http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney04152010.html

Corporate, imperial cheerleading is all about lies and PROPAGANDA:

EXCERPT:

"A recently released report from First American CoreLogic shows that "distressed sales accounted for 29 per cent of all sales nationwide." Nearly one-third of all home sales are distressed REOs. Also, according to a report from Clear Capital, "Home prices nationally have dropped 3.9 percent quarter to quarter, the first quarterly drop in nine months. (Thanks to Diana Olick, Realty Check, CNBC) Bottom line: More people are being forced from their homes, the banks are facing bigger losses, and the housing market is on the skids.

The Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has largely been a bust. Of the 3 to 4 million potential modifications, only 170,000 homeowners have successfully converted into a new mortgage. Under the new "principal reduction" plan, borrowers will be able to refinance into a FHA loan if lenders agree to slash the face-value of the mortgage. This puts the government on the hook if the homeowner defaults, which will lead to heftier losses for Uncle Sam. One of the main sticking points with the new program has been second liens, which are the home equity loans that were made using the mortgage as collateral. Falling home prices have made these loans essentially worthless, but the banks have resisted writing them off altogether because hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake. Even so, the four biggest banks have signed on to the new program hoping to stem the surge in foreclosures. Here's an excerpt from an article on Housingwire that shows how desperate the banks are to stop the bleeding:

"Two major banks are expecting major increases in foreclosures, by the end of 2010.

"According to the Irvine Housing blog, Bank of America, which currently forecloses on 7,500 homes every month will see that number rise to 45,000 by December 2010.....

“JPMorgan Chase is forecasting bigger foreclosure numbers in the coming months. According to a presentation at the end of February, JPMorgan expects the amount of real estate owned (REO) properties in its portfolio to reach between 33,000 to 45,000 in Q410. By comparison, in Q409, REO inventories were at 23,100." ("Big Banks Prepare for Major Rise in Foreclosures Ending 2010" Jon Prior, Housingwire.)"

THE LIBERAL CLASS WHORES WILL NOT ADMIT THAT CLASS MARKETS OF DESPOTISM HAS SMASHED THE MIDDLE/WORKING CLASS AND STILL CHEERLEADS THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS, "FREE MARKET" DOGMAS, CLASS MYTHS.

Fighting Corruption or Persecuting Political Prisoners in Venezuela?

http://www.zcommunications.org/fighting-corruption-of-persecuting-politi...

excerpt:

"As Venezuela heads toward its fifteenth internationally monitored election in ten years[1], the international media assault against the democratically-elected Chavez government is intensifying. On April 3rd, New York Times correspondent Simon Romero lent a hand to Venezuela’s elite, neo-liberal opposition by warping positive news about the government’s anti-corruption efforts into a profoundly biased diatribe about supposed political persecution.

With scant reference to several very relevant facts, Romero suggested that Chavez puppeteered an arbitrary arrest of Judge María Lourdes Afiuni merely for having displeased the president, and that this is part of Chavez’s effort to take control of the judiciary and silence dissent.[2]

When considered even-handedly, the arrest of Judge Afiuni for illegally allowing a wealthy banker to be released from custody and thus flee the country reflects the government’s efforts to establish the rule of law in the historically corrupt banking sector and justice system. It also brings to light deep-rooted problems in Venezuela’s judiciary, indicating that there is much more to be done to fully correct these problems.

What Occurred?"

SO THE LYING CORPORATE, IMPERIAL LIBERAL PROPAGANDIST CONTINUES IN THE NEW YORK TIMES. HOW OFTEN HAS THE NYT BEEN FORCED TO CHANGE THE FACTS, AFTER IT FIRST LIED, LIKE THE GEORGIAN/RUSSIAN MASSACRE INITIATED BY AMERICAN EMPIRE.

OR THE JUDITH MILLER, ZIONIST LYING CHEERLEADERS, WHICH THE NYT ISSUED A MILD MEA CULPA. THEIR CLASS WHORING IS WHAT DISCREDITS THEIR REPORTING.....THEIR DEFORMED CLASS IDEOLOGY CORRUPTS THE NEWS. WHEREAS CHAVEZ ARRESTS HIS CORPORATE WALL STREET CROOKS, THE NYT HIDES THE CRIMINALITY OF WALL STREET FROM US, AND OBAMA HAND PICKS THESE CRIMINALS AS ADVISOR, "EXPERT IDIOTS" TO HIS CABINET.

Exposing and Resisting Empire and War Media in the Age of Obama*

http://www.zcommunications.org/exposing-and-resisting-empire-and-war-med...

The corrupt corporate deformed links, criminal links and fascist Empire are everywhere

Contrary to PNHP's hopes, coverage of leftist criticism of ObamaCare was fleeting, at best, in this Frontline program. The Teabagger crowds got much more extensive coverage.

This film is much more about whose team won -- D vs. R -- than what is really in the bills and how they will affect people, and how they will further enrich the already rich and powerful.

My biggest problem with this film is its blind acceptance of the Senate's 60-vote threshold to get anything done. NOTHING is said about Harry Reid's immediate power to force true filibustering -- make the R's stand up hour after hour, defending their load of crap to Americans -- hell, the word "filibuster" is never used EVEN ONCE in this film. For more about how the D's, if they'd had anything remotely resembling fortitude, could have dealt with the R's filibuster threat, see the blog post at http://backbonecampaign.org/Blog.cfm?ID=361 .

All in all, this film was a big letdown for me. It's not the first time I've been disappointed by the often-outstanding Frontline series. In my opinion, in most of their programs that fail, it's not because of what they said, it's what they left out altogether.

I have little doubt that the Obama sycophants who wildly engaged in a post-health-care-"reform"-bill-signing party-hearty scream-and-shout "our team won" lovefest will view this documentary as evidence of a great Obama / Democratic Party victory. To me, it's a case history of failure.

In Frontline’s “Obama’s Deal” it’s interesting that sponsor John D. Macarthur (Foundation) was sole owner of the nation's largest privately held insurance company (Banker’s Life and Casualty).

Without full and adequate reporting on this statement I suppose one might not understand the bigger picture.

Banker’s Life was sold after his death and sells supplemental health, long term care and Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance products. The foundation was created in John's will but with no instructions on how the money should be used. He left that up to his hand-picked board of directors. The composition of the first board included Catherine T. MacArthur (his wife), J. Roderick MacArthur (their son), three officers of Bankers Life (the company he established), and Paul Harvey (radio commentator). The Bankers Life executives and Paul Harvey held conservative views (http://learningtogive.org/papers/paper152.html).

To further make the point about Frontline’s reporting on the healthcare debacle: I don’t know if there are board members partial to the for-profit health industry monopolies but without full investigative reporting one certainly might believe there are biases.

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