Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Employs Classic Technique of Liberal Bias in Headline on Enrollment Numbers

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 am

Over nine years ago, I made an observation that holds true today:

[W]henever one candidate criticizes another, there are two ways to characterize what’s happening. If you think the criticism may be valid, you will refer to the criticism passively, and discuss the “mounting criticism” of the candidate being criticized. But if you don’t like the criticism, then you will refer to the criticism as an “attack.” You will consistently phrase the description of the criticism in the active voice, as in: “Cheney attacked Kerry over the issue of . . .” Rather than saying that the parties voicing the criticism have “pointed out” their opponent’s misstatements, you will say they “seized on” those misstatements.

The L.A. Times handles the ObamaCare enrollment numbers embarrassment in just this way, with a piece titled Obamacare: Critics seize on low enrollment numbers.

There is mounting criticism of the way bias presents itself in Big Media.

COMPARISON: By contrast, when Bush ran into his problems launching his prescription drug plan, the L.A. Times didn’t talk about critics “seizing on” the problems, but instead published an article with numerous stories of actual human beings who had been adversely affected.

The couple, both disabled from a car accident three years ago, had eagerly anticipated the new Medicare prescription drug plan. They thought it would bring financial relief.

Instead, it has brought anguish.

“It’s like my [prescription drug] card is just paper,” said Steggell’s husband, Alan Sheridan, 58.

For three weeks, such problems have rankled Medicare beneficiaries — most of them low-income people — across the country. The new prescription drug benefit’s disastrous launch has resulted in thousands of snafus that, in many cases, have kept elderly or disabled poor people from getting their drugs or forced them to pay significant costs out of pocket.

As Morgen Richmond has pointed out, 4 1/2 months into the launch, 27 million seniors had signed up. With ObamaCare, we’re getting about 24 (phony) enrollees per state per day.

Bush had better facts and worse coverage. Notice a pattern?

15 Responses to “L.A. Times Employs Classic Technique of Liberal Bias in Headline on Enrollment Numbers”

  1. whereas the foodstampcare website seizes on about 8 concurrent visitors

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  2. They’re hard to seize being so little, tweeze would be more like it.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Dueling wise-crackers.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  4. This one hits a little too close to home.

    As my head empties, going with the flow seems not an option.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  5. Wonder what Obama’s administrative fix will be. What’s the over/under on it being illegal?

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  6. Per “request”:

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  7. Not fit for bird droppings…

    Colonel Haiku (89b580)

  8. Kaus does a lot of this too, I think his favorite is the “at a time when” device. There needs to be a single web site which consolidates all these tactics and even gives names to them.

    Handle (b513ae)

  9. But…but….Bush Lied, and People Died!

    What will be the death toll from the cancelled policies that cannot be replaced, and the care denied/delayed due to a lack of coverage?
    This, the PPACA, was undertaken to solve the Great Problem of a lack of affordable health-care insurance coverage affecting perhaps 17-20MM legal residents/citizens, and will probably end up throwing twice that many onto the rolls of the un-insured. To what end?
    Free BC pills for 20-something women?
    Free Condoms?
    Free Abortions?
    Keeping college and post-college slackers on their parent’s policies (if those parents can keep them)?
    And now, they have what?
    No Jobs,
    No Marketable Skills,
    No Future!
    This is a recipe for severe social unrest.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  10. It isn’t “liberal” bias, it is Democratic Party bias. I think the people would be better served by it being described for what it is. The most “liberal” Republican in the world could propose something and they would be wrong because they are not a Democrat. This is partisan bias more than ideological bias. The LA Times is a propaganda organ for the Democratic Party.

    crosspatch (49bf90)

  11. It is Leftist Hive Think.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  12. Remember when the left attacked the Part D plan as “confusing”? Moveon started the meme, and both leftists I know used that word.

    I guess I must be stupid, because to me, Obamacare is CONFUSING.

    Patricia (be0117)

  13. If only there was a profession or trade of people that would ask questions of the people in power.

    AZ Bob (7d2a2c)

  14. Reader: What are you talking about, “you didn’t know”?
    Editor: I’m shocked, shocked to find that there is bias going on in my paper!
    [a reporter hands the editor a sheaf of papers]
    Reporter: I added the inflammatory changes you demanded, sir.
    Editor: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
    Editor: Everyone, I demand that all bias be removed from our articles!!


    Don’t Nobody Move

    Smock Puppet, Gadfy, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (006437)

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