Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Overturning Obamacare is by far the most significant thing congressional Republicans and President Trump have tried to do this year. We're frequently told that this is a high priority for GOP elected officials because every Republican ran on repealing and replacing Obamacare, and base voters will punish Republican elected officials if they don't make good on this promise.

So you'd think the repeal effort would be front-page news on right-wing sites. In fact, it's barely visible on those sites.

Here's the current front page at FoxNews.com. I've circled the most prominent story on the health care fight:

Can you see it down at the bottom? The headline is "Senate health bill would lower deficit, increase number of uninsured, CBO says." It's in tiny type (though it is boldface). It's in the same typeface as the headline "North Korea 'amazed' by Spanish beach resort known for drinking binges, plans knock-off" -- though that North Korea story has a higher placement.

Now let's go to the Daily Caller:

Nothing at the top -- in fact, if you scroll down, there are twenty-seven stories before you get to the first one about Obamacare repeal. Among the items given more prominence: "Eric Bolling Talks New Book, Trump Tweets, Senate Run," "University Of South Dakota Scraps Guidelines That Threatened Punishment For Teasing," and "Even Jared Kushner Is Talking About This Dress Melania Trump Wore [PHOTOS]."


Nothing at the top of the page, though there are several McConnellcare stories just below that in the "Trending Now" category, where they're in among such stories as "CHINA’S WILD SWINGS ON THE GAME OF GOLF: RICH MAN’S GAME" and "BUFFETT’S VICE CHAIR – AL GORE IS ‘AN IDIOT.’"

The biggest story in the right-wing media at this moment -- it's leading at Breitbart and Gateway Pundit -- is the newest James O'Keefe nothingburger, a hidden-camera interview with a CNN producer named James Bonifield, who (in response to a great deal of prodding) says that CNN's focus on the Trump-Russia story might be "bullshit." Here's how Breitbart writes this up:
“Could be bullshit. I mean, it’s mostly bullshit right now,” the CNN producer, John Bonifield, said in a video O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released on Tuesday, when asked about his thoughts on the Russia investigation. “Like, we don’t have any giant proof. Then they say, well there’s still an investigation going on. And you’re like, yeah, I don’t know. If they were finding something we would know about it. The way these leaks happen, they would leak it. They’d leak. If it was something really good, it would leak... The leaks keep leaking and there’s so many great leaks, and it’s amazing. I just refuse to believe that if they had something really good like that that wouldn’t leak because we’ve been getting all these other leaks. So, I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the president is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun. You have no real proof.”
Um, who cares what this guy thinks? He's not a hard-news producer -- he's worked for years on non-political medical stories with CNN's Elizabeth Cohen and Sanjay Gupta. On his LinkedIn page, he highlights segments such as "25 Shocking Medical Mistakes (2012), the highest-rated program on CNN the evening it aired." He's investigated what happened to the ALS ice bucket challenge money; he's produced stories on aphrodisiac plants grown in Peru and a breast cancer survivor who posed topless. He's no more of an expert on the newsworthiness of the Russia story than the guy at the end of the bar.

But that's what's getting pulses to race in Wingnut Land -- not Obamacare repeal. Even though repeal has supposedly been every Republican voter's top priority for seven years, the right-wing press doesn't want to talk about the bill that could get repeal done. The contents of the bill aren't proudly enumerated in prominent stories. The legislative strategy isn't being discussed. Why, you'd almost think the folks in the right-wing media realize they have a dog of a bill and want to keep quiet about it.

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