Patterico's Pontifications


Tommy Christopher Out At Mediaite

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:26 pm

Daily Caller:

Mediaite and its illustrious White House Correspondent Tommy Christopher have parted ways, The Mirror has learned. And it wasn’t voluntary. We’re told Christopher was fired. Details are still forthcoming.

In the past year there were murmurings that editorial leadership was not pleased with Christopher, particularly his reporting on racial issues. Editors were well aware of the varying difficulties involved in working with him and privately voiced concerns.

That said, he’s a character and a pretty decent writer — in 2010, he even live-tweeted his own heart attack and lived to tell about it. Or tweet about it, as the case may be. In 2011, he suffered gangrene of the appendix, but mostly kept it under wraps.

I hate “reporting” like this, and I’ll wait for some official word (which, granted, may never come) rather than unsourced rumor before I conclude Christopher was fired. In what may be some corporate ass-covering, Mediaite is acting like they loved the guy:

We are also saying goodbye to long-time columnist, important liberal voice, and all-around rabble-rouser Tommy Christopher. As the longest-standing member of Mediaite, he has consistently been an important part of the media conversation and an able sparring partner for conservative columnists everywhere and on our site!

Whether he was fired or not, the Daily Caller observation about the annoying aspects of Christopher’s writing on race is spot-on, though I am surprised that Mediaite was bothered by it. Christopher is the epitome of (goofy) White Guilt, and if you look at every racially charged issue from the point of view that holds that the white guy is always the racist, you’ll easily be able to emulate Christopher’s views. And insufferable self-righteousness? That is Tommy Christopher’s life blood.

He’s basically the guy who bristles every time you level any criticism, no matter how just, and claims you are misrepresenting him . . . but feels totally entitled to call you dishonest, unethical, and racist.

He’ll be missed. Or something.

Thanks to Dana, who DRJ correctly suggests ought to just be a guest blogger.

Lois Lerner to Return?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 pm

To testify, that is. Lois Lerner has been told to come back to the Hill. The House Oversight Committee has said “no go” to her Fifth Amendment privilege, ruling that when she opened her big yap to make a comment about the controversy, she waived the privilege:

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is hauling Lois Lerner back to Congress.

Issa told Lerner’s attorney in a Tuesday letter that he expected the retired IRS official to appear before his committee on March 5.

Lerner, the official at the center of the IRS targeting controversy, invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination at a May 2013 hearing, just days after she apologized for the agency’s treatment of Tea Party groups.

But the Oversight Committee later ruled that Lerner waived her rights by making an opening statement, setting the stage for her recall next week.

In his letter to William Taylor, Lerner’s attorney, Issa said that her testimony “remains critical to this committee’s investigation.”

“Because the committee explicitly rejected her Fifth Amendment privilege claim, I expect her to provide answers when the hearing reconvenes on March 5,” Issa wrote.

Unconfirmed rumors from an anonymous source sitting in this room say that she plans to waive her privilege long enough to say:


You tell ’em, Lo!

P.S. Got anything you want me to affirm on my tax statement, Lo?

Four FIVE! Pinocchios for Obama on ObamaCare Claims

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

The Washington Post “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler evaluates the following statement by Barack Obama:

We’ve got close to 7 million Americans who have access to health care for the first time because of Medicaid expansion.

And gives it the maximum Four Pinocchios. Kessler’s conclusion:

What does this mean in terms of evaluating the president’s statement? He seems to be falling into the same trap as other Democrats, and some reporters, by assuming that everyone in the Medicaid list is getting health insurance for the first time because of the Affordable Care Act. But that number is nowhere close to 7 million. It could be as low as 1.1 million (Avalere) or as high as 2.6 million (Gaba.) If one wanted to be generous, one could include people coming out of the woodwork, even though they would have been covered under the old law, but no one is really sure what that figure is.

(“Coming out of the woodwork” refers to the large number of people who were eligible for Medicaid before but did not realize it.)

In any case, no matter how you slice it, it does not add up to 7 million. It is dismaying that given all of the attention to this issue, the president apparently does not realize that the administration’s data are woefully inadequate for boastful assertions of this type.

My, isn’t it dismaying that the President has gotten fooled like that! It would be even more “dismaying” if — as I believe — he fully knows that his figures are wrong and is simply telling the American people something he knows not to be true. (I know, it’s seems almost impossible to believe from Mr. If You Like You Plan You Can Keep It.)

Also dismaying is that the “Fact Checker,” one of the few Big Media types actually busting Obama over his health care misstatements, completely misses the distinction between “access to health care” and “health insurance.”

While nobody is going to argue that the uninsured all have access to the best health care available, it is not the case that they are utterly without access — and it’s certainly untrue that Medicaid is the cure-all. There is a network of “health care safety net” providers including “emergency departments, community health centers, public hospitals, charitable clinics, and in some communities, teaching and community hospitals” that provide health care to the uninsured. It’s not an ideal situation, because these people have health conditions that are aggravated or even caused by a lack of preventative care.

But Medicaid does little to fix that problem. The New York Times explained in November that many doctors are not accepting patients under Medicaid and that this would only get worse with the expansion of the Medicaid rolls. The thrust of the story is that providers of health care to low income people are “already overwhelmed and are unable to take on more low-income patients.”

Obama is not telling the truth, and even Glenn Kessler masks the extent of it. Everybody in this room is stupider for having listened to Barack Obama’s statements on this. I award him Five Pinocchios, no points, and may God have mercy on his soul.

Thanks to Dana for the Kessler link, and to JD for that video clip.

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