Thursday, July 24, 2008

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


Steve Byan said...

I got pretty steamed while listening to ATC when driving home yesterday. Bob Seigel introduced Joanne Silberner's story on "Britain Weighs Social Cost Of 'Wonder' Drugs" by stating something to the effect that "compared to the US health-care system, Britain's taxpayer-funded health care decreases costs by rationing health care". I couldn't bear to listen to the story after that intro. National Republican Propaganda Radio is clearly catapulting the "ooga-booga be scared of single-payer health care" propaganda.

I wrote the following to ATC and the Ombudsbot:

On Wednesday, July 23, All Things Considered host Bob Seigel introduced Joanne Silberner's piece on health care in Britain by stating something to the effect that "compared to the US health-care system, Britain's taxpayer-funded health care decreases costs by rationing health care". This is a factually incorrect statement.

First, a single-payer health care system such as Britain's reduces costs compared to the US system by reducing the overhead in the payment system, which in the US includes many insurance company employees and the profits of these health insurance companies.

Second, surely NPR's reporters have read or heard the news stories (although probably not on NPR) telling us that the job of many of these health insurance employees is to reduce insurance company pay-outs (and thus increase insurance company profits) by rationing health care.

It is absurd to claim as did NPR that single-payer health care reduces cost solely by rationing. Both Britain's system and the US system ration health care. However, in Britain, the savings are returned to the taxpayer, while in the US the savings go to insurance company profits.

Can NPR honestly say that their reporting on this subject follows the NPR code of ethics? Were Mr. Siegel's comments fair, unbiased, accurate, and honest?

Porter Melmoth said...

I say, jolly good show, Steve.

I know one hears all sorts of stuff about the UK system (and not just on NeoconPR), but I experienced the UK system over two years, from a small village to a world class facility (Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford), and I found it to be remarkably efficient, uncluttered, and dedicated to problem-solving. I won't go so far as to rave about it, but the US media LOVES to throw darts at ANY national health program. So does NPR, only they can apply their usual faux-intellectual sneakiness to it. Blob Seigel's really good at that stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I guess we are not the only ones to get "steamed" by NPR.
[presumably for different reasons]

Robert Novak blames NPR for the hit-and-run accident he caused:

"In an exclusive interview with TMZ, Novak admitted that he was at fault but blamed NPR for distracting him while driving:

Novak tells us he was listening to NPR in his Corvette when suddenly, "Some guy came up and hit my car with his fist. I figured I had done something that had created road rage, but I didn't know what it was. Then a bicyclist blocked the road in front of me. I asked what the problem was. He said, 'You can't just hit people and run away!'"


Kevan Smith said...

The latest "Counterspin" from FAIR takes NPR to task for outright factually wrong commentary and coverage of a McCain campaign event. Check it out at . It's in the first five minutes.

big!pink!fuzzy!bunny! said...

Bwah, hah, hah, hah - ol' Knob-vac relly did 'er now, eh? See what terminal NeoCON Denial Syndrome does to a brain?

"This is not my beautiful Corvette...
This is not a cyclist splattered on my bug guard...
I didn't leak the name of a covert CIA operative...
It was NPR's fault!"

(apologies to the great D. Byrne)

Absolutely hysterical.