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Ed Driscoll

Q and A and Q

November 12th, 2013 - 4:26 pm

What did Mr. Obama know and when did he know it?, Jay Nordlinger asks at the Corner, but not before noting what a cliche “the Watergate question” has become:

For the last 40 years, a constant in American political life has been “the Watergate question” — the one asked by Howard Baker: “What did the president know and when did he know it?” This is one of the great clichés of our time, and often an annoying one. Still, I think it applies to Obamacare. And I have not heard people dredge it up in this context, though they probably have.

What did President Obama know about the health law, and its effect on people who have been insured, and when did he know it? What did he know about the millions who would be thrown off their plans, and when did he know it? How long did he cling to the fiction — the selling point: “If you like your plan, you can keep it” — after he knew it could not be true?

John Nolte of Big Journalism answered that question on Saturday, after Mr. Obama’s Thursday night faux-pology to NBC’s Chuck Todd:

We now know that as far back as 2010 the president knew eight to nine million people would lose their health insurance. We have him on video admitting to that:

The 8 to 9 million people you refer to that might have to change their coverage — keep in mind out of the 300 million Americans that we are talking about — would be folks who the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office,  estimates would find the deal in the exchange better. Would be a better deal. So, yes, they would change coverage because they got more choice and competition.

The key phrase is Obama admitting that those 8 or 9 million “might have to change their coverage.” And that video is the smoking gun equivalent of finding video of President George W. Bush admitting he knew all along that Iraq had no WMD.

And yet, straight through the 2012 election, Obama continued his campaign to reassure the American people that they could keep their insurance. Period.

Here’s the video of the above exchange between Obama and Cantor:

On the other hand, what did the media know, and when did they decide that the rest of us didn’t need to know it?

Monday on “Morning Joe,” while NBC’s Chuck Todd did refuse to accept Healthcare Bob Ezekiel Emanuel’s ludicrous excuse-making for President Obama’s Big Lie about being able to keep your health insurance, Todd did admit he never really believed the promise: “This is why I never understood why he said it … When he said it, I immediately kept thinking, ‘Well, how is that going to work?’”

That is all well and good, but where was this skepticism when it mattered?

I don’t want to single out Todd, because I know he wasn’t the only reporter wondering the same thing. But if at the time, you see the president launching a massive campaign of reassurance to get a bill passed and win re-election — a campaign that involves a promise that you as a reporter don’t believe he can keep — where was the reporting? Where was the media narrative demanding the president explain something a reporter as powerful as Todd “never understood?”

It is not like the evidence wasn’t out there. Over two years ago, a number of serious conservative think tanks and legitimate fact-checkers backed up Todd’s suspicions. But the reaction to this evidence from the media, when Mitt Romney or anyone on the political right brought it up, was either wrist-flicking or direct pushback from the media in the form of phony fact checks.

While Chuck Todd of NBC and MSNBC took the silent route to avoid upsetting his fellow Democrat in the White House, CNN invited school kids into the studio, to sing the praises of Obamacare, based on the tune of a Miley Cyrus song(!) in October of 2009:

The following month, Katie Couric, then with CBS, read Christmas-themed poetry to the American people on its behalf in time for Thanksgiving of 2009:

And ABC produced an infomercial earlier that year targeting Obamacare’s benefits.

Naturally, after all that cheerleading, lying, and looking the other way on Obamacare’s behalf, and with their reputations on the line, “The mainstream media, I believe, wants ObamaCare to fail,” NBC’s Ed Schultz pipes in today from fantasyland subsidiary network MSNBC.

Speaking of the networks’ reputations, while the ratings for both CNN and NBC have plummeted in recent years, and concurrently, as Noel Sheppard writes at Newsbusters today, “Fox Nearly Doubles CNN and MSNBC’s Combined Prime Time Viewers Last Week,” will anyone besides the viewers hold the networks accountable for the cheerleading for Obama over the last six years?