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You would think that people who tell lies as part of their jobs would eventually get good at it, but I recently heard a fib that was absolutely incredible.
In December of 2010, a Federal District Court in Virginia ruled that it was unconstitutional for the Federal Government to require that people go out and purchase health insurance, under penalty of fines or imprisonment or whatever.
You can't order somebody to buy something or be punished.
Suppose the government addressed the failure of American automobile manufacturers by mandating that you and I and everyone else had to buy an American car this year -- or else pay a big fine or go to jail. Forcing people to send their money to one government-selected corporation or another is not a good thing. Anyone should be able to see that.
So how did National Public Radio News headline the Virginia Court story?
"A Federal District Court today ruled that poor people cannot get health care".
Honest. I am not making this up. I wish I had a recording. And if you don't believe me, that means that you agree that it was an unbelievably dishonest statement, thank you very much.
Let me say here, that to his credit, the announcer halted for a split-second in the middle of delivering that line. He apparently knew that somebody had handed him some dirty copy, but what could he do, he was in the middle of it and he was on the air. Nobody except smart people would notice, and there are not enough of them to worry about.
Credit is due to NPR's ombudsman, too. NPR deserves credit for even having one. I don't know what happened in the wake of that juvenile attempt at changing the record of what happened, but I do know that they busted Terry Gross for her juvenile lynching of Bill O'Reilly. And most deservedly so.
Update: During the 2011 Wisconsin union protests (what vile people!)
I heard three different "truth-adjusted" news reports on NPR in one day.