Why the War With Fox? Is It All About Money?

A mostly political weblog.
Oct. 21 2009 5:47 PM

Why the War With Fox? Is It All About Money?

The official what-we-tell-reporters reasons for the White House War with Fox don't quite add up. If the attempt is to get the MSM not to follow Fox stories--well, they weren't following FOX stories before (see ACORN). If the attempt is to keep FOX "off balance," the White House campaign is instead giving FOX extra life. If the attempt is to triangulate-- isn't triangulation is supposed to make you look sensible and moderate? This is making the White House look a bit hysterical, coming just when health care reform seemed a quiet "fait accompli."

Maybe it's all about raising money from the base by riling it up. It's late October, after all. Dems (and Dem consultants) need dollars. And those campaign fundraising dollars haven't been "materializing as much as expected." Just a thought. ... One clue: Does the FOX War last much past Election Day, or does it mysteriously wind down? ...   3:06 P.M.

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How I Got That Exclusive: What if they proved that 1950's nuclear testing increased cancer among boomers  and only Walter Shapiro showed up at the press conference? ...  4:51 P.M.

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As Nate Silver notes , the Washington Post decided to heavily promote a poll showing voter support for a public option "even though public opinion has been fairly steady on the issue for months." But I can't see anything wrong with the question itself, or the general pro-government shift the poll suggested.

Question 10, however--highlighted by Ezra Klein --looks catastrophically flawed :

10. Which of these would you prefer - (a plan that includes some form of government-sponsored health insurance for people who can't get affordable private insurance , but is approved without support from Republicans in Congress); or (a plan that is approved with support from Republicans in Congress, but does not include any form of government-sponsored health insurance for people who can't get affordable private insurance)? [E.A.]

Isn't Medicaid is a "form of government sponsored insurance for people who can't get affordable private insurance"? Medicare also covers some of those people, if they're over 65. Lots of state programs for near-poverty families might be considered "government sponsored" health insurance. 

Many people might reasonably read this question as asking whether they thought Republican support was important enough to eliminate Medicaid and Medicare and SCHIP,  which may be why the alternative that didn't do this got such strong support (51 to 37). Those numbers seem worthless when it comes to illuminating the current debate. (What does "sponsor" mean, anyway? Promote? Subsidize? Control? Run?  Even if you put Medicaid aside, is this the famous "public option" they're talking about or just the subsidized health insurance exchanges?) ... [ Thanks to reader T.A .] 1:18 A.M.

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