One of the problems of the news media is that most stories are one timers. Today’s murder yields to tomorrow’s, unless there is some gripping aspect to it; parent drowning child, multiple murders, etc. Political stories sometimes don’t make it from the noon news to evening news. When a story is considered to have run its course in attention getting for the news media, it is quickly replaced.

One example of a national interest news story disappearing rapidly is the Affordable Care Act. For months television and newspapers were full of stories about poor design and low application rate. Then coverage dropped to the occasional story, mostly of the “human interest” variety, and reports about happenings in states that refused to participate. There has been very little about enrollment rate or success in more people getting health care.

Paul Krugman has an article, “Obamacare Fails to Fail”, in the New York Times of July 14 that presents information he has dug up about the success of factors like enrollment and cost. It’s worth clicking the article title and reading the story. We still don’t know how the program will work out, but Krugman tells us that it is not an immediate failure.

Next to the Krugman article is one by Charles Blow, “The Buck Stops With Me”. Blow takes on the constant accusation by House Republicans that President Obama has taken no responsibility for anything. (Neither have they!) Blow lists and describes seven situations in which the President has ultimate responsibility. In each case he has said publicly that the buck stops here.

     In an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd after the health care rollout, the president took responsibility for the problems rather than simply pin  them on Kathleen Sebelius, then the health and human services secretary, saying; “My priority right now is to get it fixed. . . . Ultimately, the buck stops with me. I’m the president. This is my team. If it is not working, it is my job to get it fixed.”

Between the Blow and Krugman articles is a list of six items of the percentage of approval by the public of the two political parties from a Pew survey in January 2014. The responses were disapproval of the Republicans about all six positions. One example is which party is more concerned with needs of people like me. Democrats registered 52% positive with 32% for the Republicans.

Without taking a position on any of the issues, I can raise one question about how the Republicans can continue to take positions so removed from reality and expect to be a competitive political party? I can raise a second question about how the news media can ignore reporting on situations like the three raised above?




  1. No comments yet.
(will not be published)