Halperin: There’s no doubt press failed to scrutinize Obamacare until now
posted at 8:51 pm on November 21, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham
Laura Ingraham had Time Magazine‘s Mark Halperin on “The O’Reilly Factor” tonight to talk about the magazine’s new cover:
— Dan Hirschhorn (@DanH_TIME) November 21, 2013
The cover, and what I’ve heard of the story read like, well, this site did about five years ago, and four years ago, and three years ago, and you get the point. But back then, any knock on Obamacare from critics was mean-spirited, lies, fear-mongering, and possibly racist. Ingraham asks about that.
INGRAHAM: That’s part of the issue, is it not? The President always seems to see things in terms of political solutions or political responses. So the response here is we have got to rebrand. We have got to sell it differently. We have to have a new ad, have to have the website have more colors, whatever it is. Isn’t it more of a branding problem? This is a technical problem. It’s a policy problem. It’s a substantive problem. It’s not just about whether Obama’s big legacy is intact or progressive ideas in the future are doing well. These are real concerns that were expressed frankly back in 2008, 2009, and into 2010. Forgive me, but I don’t think Time Magazine was doing cover stories on a lot of concerns that were raised back then that were routinely dismissed by many in the media, ideological, as just mean-spirited, turns out most of the Republican concerns about Obamacare were right.
HALPERIN: Laura, there is no doubt that the press failed to scrutinize this program at the time of passage and during the context of the president’s re-election. Any reporter who would argue otherwise would be putting their head in the sand. As we write in “Double Down,” the problem for the Republicans in the re-election context was you nominated, Republicans nominated Mitt Romney, a guy who was not very well positioned, to say the least, to make the case against Obamacare because he passed the healthcare plan in Massachusetts.
I’m always amazed how detached someone like Halperin can be while criticizing the media for an historic dereliction of duty. He is part of the Washington press corps. As “Game Change” and “Double Down” illustrate, he’s one of those with the highest access. And, yet, he couldn’t possibly ask more questions about Obamacare back when it mattered? No. Because Mitt Romney.
Of course, Mitt Romney was nowhere near the picture when the law passed, so how does he explain that? He doesn’t. Maybe he’ll write a book with all the dirt in it a couple years from now and make a bunch of money on the HBO adaptation. Journalism.
Laura presses and he blames Mitt Romney again, but again mentions it got no scrutiny at passage, when Romney was not a factor. WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU, MARK HALPERIN?
HALPERIN: Barack Obama knew he wasn’t going to run for re-election defending the program. Part of the flaws of the way the media works. If the candidates aren’t talking about it gets less coverage. No doubt a disservice was done to the country and to liberals. It didn’t get scrutiny on passage and then again when the president was running for re-election. Our cover story in the magazine lays all this out just how deep the president’s predicament is now politically and substantively.
Now you tell us.
Update: I’m having a technical problem with the video but will have it up for you ASAP. (Fixed!)
Meanwhile, liberals huddled at the White House with Barack Obama. I would love to be a fly on the wall at this meeting. First to see everyone look at Juan like, “Who the heck invited him? He works for Fox.” Second, to see if Ezra Klein or any of them had the guts to ask this guy how he managed to so thoroughly ruin the biggest liberal entitlement program in decades that even the likes of Klein himself can barely defend it.
President Obama held an off-the-record meeting with MSNBC hosts and liberal pundits on Thursday, POLITICO has learned.
Present at the meeting: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell, Washington Post economics blogger Ezra Klein, Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn, Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall, ThinkProgress editor-in-chief Judd Legum, Atlantic senior editor Garance Franke-Ruta, Salon political writer Brian Beutler and Fox News contributor Juan Williams.
The participants agreed to an off-the-record classification for the meeting, though sources familiar with President Obama’s remarks said that Williams later appeared on Fox News and cited some of the president’s remarks, which he attributed to administration officials.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment regarding the meeting.