CBS, like most of our corporate media, has barely been one step above the God-awful right wing crap that's spewed over at Fox day in and day out, but this week, they seemed bound and determined to win that race to the bottom instead. We had Jan Crawford concern trolling for the insurance industry. Over the weekend, 60 Minutes decided that it was time to pick up the Benghazi baton from Fox and run with it, with Sen. Lindsey Graham more than happy to immediately pile on.
And on this Sunday's Face the Nation, as our friends at Media Matters took him to task for, host Bob Schieffer allowed Rep. Darrell Issa to come on and lie to his audience without a bit of push back on the problems with the ACA's website: CBS' Schieffer Allows Issa To Push Debunked Attack On Health Care Website:
CBS anchor Bob Schieffer allowed Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to push the discredited claim that health care website contractors were pressured to change an aspect of HealthCare.gov by the White House days after those contractors explicitly denied any pressure from administration officials.
On the October 27 edition of CBS' Face the Nation, Schieffer asked Issa about the purpose of congressional subpoenas from the House Oversight Committee, which Issa chairs. Issa responded by claiming contractors had admitted that White House officials pressured them to drop a tool that allowed exchange customers to get a price estimate before registering on the website. Issa's accusation was the shorter version of one he made earlier in the week, in which he claimed in a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, "We are concerned that the administration required contractors to change course late in the implementation process to conceal ObamaCare's effect on increasing health insurance premiums."
Schieffer never pushed back on Issa's accusation, even though officials from the contractor, CGI Federal, denied any White House pressure to remove the tool from the website. A press release from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) pointed out that in congressional testimony, CGI senior vice president Cheryl Campbell refuted Issa's claims, testifying that she was not aware of any orders from the White House to remove the price estimate tool:
You can go read the rest of the post for more details on that, and here's another lie by Issa that Schieffer missed as well: The Myth Of The $634 Million Obamacare Website.
It would be nice if these "news" anchors did an ounce of homework or research before they allowed these pundits and politicians onto their shows so they'd know how to rebut them, but as Karoli pointed out in her post where we caught that dolt Cupp lying to the viewers of This Week, they don't care about facts. They care about controversy, conflict and their ratings.
Transcript via CBS below the fold.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Good morning, again. And we welcome California Congressman Darrell Issa. He is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Friday, Mister Chairman, your committee along with the Senate Committee, announced you'd start issuing subpoenas soon if you didn't get the documents that you had requested from Secretary Sebelius' department. What exactly are you looking for now and what is it you hope to find out?
REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA (Oversight Committee Chairman): Bob, we're looking for quick answers so that we can on behalf of the American people straighten out as much as can be straightened out that's above the water--which is the website--and the ninety percent that's below the water like an iceberg that are the other problems in Obamacare. And, just quickly, twenty-five hundred counties, almost sixty-eight or almost sixty percent, fifty-eight percent of those counties only have two or one companies bidding for health care. So it's not just the website, it's a question of cost and benefit to the American people.
BOB SCHIEFFER: The White House is saying and they told me again last night that they believe they can get this thing fixed by the end of November. And if they do, they say they'll be back on schedule and people will be able to buy this insurance before the deadline.
REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA: Well, I hope so. I hope for the American people that they can fix this and fix it quickly. But let's understand, your next guest, Jeanne Shaheen, Senator Shaheen, she is talking about extending, or in some way recognizing that the American people don't just have a right to get on and make a quick selection, they have a right to a competitive opportunity that was promised to them. They have a right to find out who the doctors are because, in fact, they were promised they'd get to keep the doctor they have, and under bronze plans and some of these plans, there's no way they're going to get to keep them. And it's one of the reasons that I'm trying to push to the original goal which was make health care affordable, something that is so far not happening in this act.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, what is it you think you will have to subpoena the administration for the in-- information that you want? I mean what-- what do you specifically want?
REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA: Well, a lot of it has to do with the contractors have already told us that, in fact, people representing-- represented that the White House was telling them they needed these changes, including instead of a simple "let me shop for a program then decide to register," they were forced to register and go through all the things that have slowed down the website before they could find out about a price. The American people have a right, even if they don't need to use the exchange, to be able to find out what those prices are and look at them competitively against other opportunities.
BOB SCHIEFFER: The White House, the President, his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, both have said that they stand by Secretary Sebelius, that the President still enjoys full confidence in her. Do you think she should lead?
REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA: Well, you know, you've had me on before asking about full confidence in Eric Holder. This President has to understand this was his signature legislation. They had-- they voted it on a purely partisan basis, but they had unlimited money, six hundred million dollars, just to do this part, and billions to do the other part. The President has been poorly served in the implementation of his own signature legislation. So if somebody doesn't leave and if there isn't a real restructuring, not just a sixty-day somebody come in and-- and try to fix it, then he's missing the point of management one-o-one, which is these people are to serve him well and they haven't.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So you're basically saying it would be best if she went.
REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA: If she cannot reorganize to get the kind of a team in consistently to meet his agenda, then she shouldn't be there. And right now when she says she didn't know, why didn't she know that the President's signature legislation was, in fact, in trouble?
I'm sure we'll get a chance to be treated to more "fair and balanced" coverage from Schieffer next week, after Issa has finished conducting another round of his witch hunting.