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We have a WashPo fact checker because the rest of the media isn't interested in doing its job

by: Eric B.

Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 12:00:59 PM EST

Anyone remember the media coverage that the Americans for Prosperity HAD BOUGHT AD TIME! It was the hugest news ... EVAR. I mean, no one much cared about whether the content of the ads was misinforming people, because as we know it's not actually the job of the media to tell people what is true and what is not true. It's the job of the media to simply tell the public what people are saying about other people and let the public sort out whether it's true or not. If our political media actually did the work of examining whether various claims are truthful, it would open them up to criticism from the people who they say are lying and might make them less enthusiastic to talk to the media. And if there's one group of people our political media ought to be accountable to, it's the people who lie to them rather than the public they claim to serve. The job of sorting out truth from fiction is left to other people in fact checking bureaus.

Americans for Prosperity is out with a new ad campaign. Haven't seen any media coverage for it, yet. Hopefully the fact that someone has bought ad time is no longer considered newsworthy, because it isn't. Hopefully someone will think to do something of service to the public, like discuss the ad's accuracy. To that, from the WashPo fact checker.

The claim that the costs are now “unaffordable” appeared odd because, under Obamacare, there is an out-of-pocket maximum of $6,350 for an individual plan, after which the insurance plan pays 100 percent of covered benefits. The Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Michigan that appear to match Boonstra’s plan, as described in local news reports, all have that limit.

Meanwhile, Boonstra told the Detriot News that her monthly premiums were cut in half, from $1,100 a month to $571. That’s a savings of $529 a month. Over the course of a year, the premium savings amounts to $6,348—just two dollars shy of the out-of-pocket maximum.

We were unable to reach Boonstra, but on the fact of it, the premium savings appear to match whatever out-of-pocket costs she now faces.

I should note that the state's political media isn't any worse at telling people whether claims made in political ads are accurate than they are in telling people whether claims in general are accurate. The state's political media is just simply lousy and inept in both cases.

Eric B. :: We have a WashPo fact checker because the rest of the media isn't interested in doing its job
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Sadly, the AFP ad will work
Low-information voters--and this state abounds in them--will react emotionally to Julia Boonstra, her story, and the tinkling piano in the background, and they will conclude that Obamacare is going to kill her. Once they come to that conclusion, they won't be moved by facts and figures or any kind of rebuttal.

AFP is lying, and people are going to fall for its lies, but the complexity of the health care law made both the law and the Democrats vulnerable to this kind of attack. It also didn't help that the president said "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it."

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

I'm not at all ready...
...to feel comfortable saying that the attacks will work, or that if they do, it will be more than what we can make up for in other areas.  I think you're being far too pessimistic without any real/reputable polling to yet back up that the healthcare attacks have any any meaningful effect.

[ Parent ]
Although the examples are rather asymmetrical,
two instances in recent Michigan political history reinforce that the personal testimonial can be a very effective message, in my opinion: The attacks on David Leyton from the parent of a Genesee County murder victim (although the emphasis was on the murder victim himself, his picture, et cetera) in 2010 and the pro-Debbie Stabenow commercials from the mother of a Jessica (if I recall correctly) who had died (was it due to insurance company refusals for treatment? so hard to remember) in 2000.

Early definition of an opponent can be very shrewd. The financial resources likely don't support it on our side, but the early defining is being done by the Republicans of Gary Peters and not being met with early definition of Terri Lynn Land for the general Michigan voter.

You are absolutely right that the verdict is far from rendered, on this race or on this campaign commercial, but it certainly has the capacity to further define a relatively unknown statewide candidate at an unusually early juncture.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
On the other side of the coin,
the Republican attempts to throw (1) the death of a young boy in foster care (Ricky?) or the (2) release of an inmate who killed once free at Jennifer Granholm in 2006 didn't gain traction -- but Granholm was the well-known, well-defined, incumbent governor and those literature pieces were hitting in late September.

Long story short, if I were the Republican statewide nominee, I'd rather have this potential health care mistruth from a real-live Michigan resident than a Davis-created DEBBIE-SPEND-IT-NOW racist spot airing on my behalf.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Back in 2010
Peters and his campaign team proved to be the masters of the form by being on TV the day after the primary with ads defining Raczkowski that kept him on the defensive right up til the election. Let's hope Peters isn't the victim this time.

[ Parent ]

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