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11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.09 Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru

11.09 A new way to make steel could cut 5% of CO2 emissions at a stroke

11.08 Medicaid’s stunning victory

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11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

11.14 The Real Florida Recount Fraud

11.14 Telling NRA #ThisIsOurLane, Doctors' Photos Show Blood-Soaked Reality of America's Gun Madness

11.14 At Freshman Orientation, Young and Growing Progressive Caucus Makes Clear It Will 'Fight Like Hell' for Bold Democratic Agenda

11.13 'You Sound Nervous': Gillum Mocks Trump as President Demands End to Florida Recount

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11.09 Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally [Making America Less Great Again...]

High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

11.10 US stops refuelling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Yemen war [But there are a few children still alive. It's too soon!]

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11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

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11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

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  PBS Shies from Single-Payer Debate

OUR "UNBIASED" MEDIA ISN'T:

PBS Shies from Single-Payer Debate

by Dr. Margaret Flowers
Originally published in ConsortiumNews.com earlier yesterday, 15 April 2010

Comment by Bob Parry: In a U.S. news media that often seems to follow either the Right’s ideological dictates or Corporate America’s financial interests, there is at times hope for something better from PBS and its documentary series, Frontline.
Though Frontline does produce some quality content, the series often appears to stay within some invisible border, like a dog that gets shocked if it ventures over an electronic fence, a behavior on display in a recent Frontline show on health reform, as Dr. Margaret Flowers notes in this guest essay:

It was with a sense of déjà vu that I watched the latest PBS Frontline documentary about health care.

Obama’s Deal” endeavored to reveal the significant influence of health industry dollars on our political process; however, as in Frontline’s “Sick Around America,” the producers did a disservice by the failure to educate the public about the bigger picture of the health care situation in this nation and the range of possible solutions.

Curiously, just as it was in the health “debate,” single-payer, improved “Medicare for All,” was excluded from the film.

The major point of the influence of health-industry dollars on the reform process, which should have been mentioned, is that these dollars were spent in order to restrict the debate and protect industry profits.

The lucrative status quo would have been threatened if single-payer had been openly discussed because a publicly financed national health program can provide high quality universal health care and control health care costs, something that a private-insurance-based system cannot accomplish.

After watching this film, viewers would have no idea that single-payer exists or know that there is a strong movement for it.

Considering that there have been attempts to push for a national health program for over 100 years in this nation and that, because of a strong grassroots movement, single-payer legislation was nearly introduced on the floor of the House in November and was actually introduced on the floor of the Senate for the first time in this nation’s history last December, the omission appears to be intentional.

Those of us in the single-payer movement are accustomed to being censored by the corporate media. The reason for our exclusion is known: health insurance and pharmaceutical corporations advertise heavily on these airwaves and wield considerable power over the programming.

This was described clearly by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s August 2009 piece titled “Single-Payer & Interlocking Directorates: The corporate ties between insurers and media companies” by Kate Murphy.

The producers at Frontline carefully cut single-payer out of the film. When the host interviewed me for “Obama’s Deal,” we spoke extensively of the single-payer movement and my arrest with other single-payer advocates in the Senate Finance Committee last May.

However, our action in Senate Finance was then misidentified as “those on the left” who led a “counterattack” because of “liberal outrage” at being excluded.

This mischaracterization occurred despite an e-mail exchange following the release of the preview in which I specifically requested that the producers identify that we are a nonpartisan group fighting for single-payer: a health reform model based on evidence of what is effective here and abroad and on health policy principles.

The mischaracterization unfortunately mirrors the way in which the health industry has portrayed the single-payer movement (verified by Wendell Potter, a former Cigna executive).

“Obama’s Deal” contained a segment on those who oppose health reform, but nowhere were single-payer advocates given a chance to explain their proposal or motivations.

Neither was it noted that the hatred and fear seen at the summer Town Halls and that factored in the election of Scott Brown were assisted by the stealth organizing efforts of ultra-conservative Dick Armey of FreedomWorks and others fronting for political and corporate agendas.

We have the resources in this nation to achieve the same high quality health outcomes and health security that exist in other advanced nations. One reason for our failure is the intentional misinformation and omission of information in corporate media.

Our public media does a disservice by leaving out the full picture of our broken political process, its effect on the health and economic wellbeing of our people – and the truth of what we can achieve.


Margaret Flowers, MD is a pediatrician who serves as the Congressional Fellow for Physicians for National Health Program.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on April 16, 2010.

 

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