Daily Show – Betsy McCaughey

This is some great stuff from Jon Stewart.  From the Huffington Post.

Betsy McCaughey is a famous liar who famously lied about the Clinton health care bill back in the 1990s, who has returned to lie just as famously in the aughts about the Obama health care bill. Last night, she made an appearance on The Daily Show in a two(plus)-part interview with host Jon Stewart, which centered on her latest, greatest distortion: that the current health care reform package wending its way through the House contains provisions that would enforce draconian consultations imposing conditions upon both patients in end-of-life circumstances and the doctors treating said patients. This falsehood, first promulgated by McCaughey, later came to be colloquially referred to as “death panels.” Not a jot of it was true.

McCaughey brought to the interview tactics old and new in an attempt to snow the viewers. As James Fallows points out in his sobering essay on McCaughey (linked to above), “Her unvarying pose is that of the objective researcher who has, selflessly, pored through the pages of a bill and emerged to warn us about what she has found.”

Keeping to this shtick, McCaughey came to the stage carrying a binder, which she said was the first half of the House health care reform bill. In addition, she came prepared to do whatever she could to ingratiate herself with the audience and with Stewart, plying him with saccharine compliments. Watching these tactics unfold, one couldn’t help but recall the last great ingratiator who’d made an appearance on The Daily Show hoping that buttering up Jon Stewart would pay off on easy treatment: CNBC buffoon Jim Cramer.

If there was anything disappointing about the way the Daily Show approached this McCaughey interview, it was that Stewart’s pushback lacked the “spare no expense, leave no stone unturned” research job that had been done for the Cramer interview.

Stewart, who was quick to point out that McCaughey was not the person who coined the phrase “death panel,” conceded little else during the interview. That said, the interview went basically like this: McCaughey would say the bill said something, only it would turn out that different words were used, or that it actually wouldn’t say that at all, and Jon Stewart would gently point this out, and she’d insist otherwise, and then start flipping through the bill, not really finding the proof or the documentation she was talking about. Stewart, at one point, contended that McCaughey’s take on the matter was “hyperbolic” and “dangerous.”

I don’t want to get too deep in the weeds, because the interview is the thing, but the concept that McCaughey seems to be unable to get her head around — or that she believes she can manipulate voter opinion over — is the idea of adherence in end-of-life planning. She seemed to clearly indicate that she thought “adhering” to a living will means that the patient can’t change his/her mind at any time during the course of his/her life; that once it’s written, you’ve had your one crack and there are no “backsies.” This is, in a word, crazy, because:

a) A living will only goes into effect once a patient is permanently incapacitated to the extent that no amount of medical care will bring the patient back into a state where they can proffer consent to attempt further life-saving procedures.

b) When the bill talks about adherence, this refers to the medical professionals adhering to the instructions in the living will, including, as Stewart points out again and again, adhering to any calls for “life sustaining medical procedures.”

McCaughey insists at one point during this interview that the proof of her claims can be seen in the fact that the section in question was stripped from the bill. They took it out! THIS HAS TO HAVE BEEN A DASTARDLY PLOT, FOILED BY BETSY MCCAUGHEY. Yes. That must have been it.

Also: she believes that the government has a grand plan to literally end the lives of senior citizens. SURELY, THIS PLAN IS FOOLPROOF.

The interview ran long, and The Daily Show decided to run it as is until they were out of time. The entire interview was placed online to watch, with Stewart cautioning that one should only view it in the company of someone capable of navigating you through a “bad trip.”

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Filed under Humor and Satire, Politics

8 responses to “Daily Show – Betsy McCaughey

  1. > It is working for us.

    Sounds like an anarchist position to me! I’m OK so I don’t care about anyone else. I wonder who is providing this great system to PT?

    I have government insurance. As a State of Florida employee, the government is providing my insurance by paying almost all of it. So I am on government-subsidized insurance.

    Health care is NOT working for a lot of folks, because they do not have it. There is an assumption that for the government to become involved means his situation will go south. Why?
    Which page is that on?

    Amazing how many “small government” conservatives supported the financial bailout last year, the most massive government intervention since the New Deal. Why? Because they had money to protect! They didn’t give a damn about “the people.” It was self-interest.

    News update: the Dems won and they get to call the shots. I say ram it through without the GOP. Bi-partisanship is way overrated. To the victor goes the spoils.

    Why we are the only major industrialized country in the world without government health care. Are we so smart? of just too immature as a country compared to the Europeans, who have been around a lot longer and have a longer view.

    Tell you my “health care” position…we pass a law that says we never attack another country or send troops to another country for ANY reason unless that country has attacked us with its military force and there’s no doubt. (Unlike the faked Gulf of Tonkin incident which was the excuse for VietNam.)

    Ethnic cleansing? Not our problem. Iraq takes out Kuwait? Not our problem. North Korea rolls over South Korea? I don’t care!

    Then, we take all those billions we save from no more Iraqs, no more Bosnias, no more VietNams, etc. and we a lot of American lives are saved or improved and we are still WAY ahead in the money department.

    And no body bags of young folks coming back because the military was their only viable option in life. Oh, and that law also says everyone in Congress who votes to send troops to war, and has a child capable of serving is sent to the front lines. Let’s see how may wars we have then. F*ing hypocrites.

    But in the end, it doesn’t matter to me. I have good health insurance and I do not believe that government health care will somehow dilute that.

    Check out this former health care industry flack’s inside perspective on the BS the industry is pushing:


    Now I’ve got to get to something that really matters.. a poker tournament! 😉

    • eehard

      Which reminds me of the five deferments Uncle Dick got from serving in Vietnam. His sorry ass wouldn’t have lasted a week in Nam!

      The military industrial complex will always seek out or create new conflicts where none exists. Eisenhower was right on the money!

  2. Not to cloud the water, but I find it “interesting” that while Florida Repubs are presumably against health care, they have no problem with the State providing hurricane insurance. What’s with that?

    I’d think health care is much more important than hurricane insurance. Ooops..I forgot – the ones who benefit the most from hurricane insurance are NOT the folks living in the home. It’s the banks who hold the mortgage.

    So, here’s what I say: get the State out of hurricane insurance. If the bank wants to protect its interest, let the bank find, and pay for, that insurance on it’s loan balance without charge to the homeowner. IF the homeowner wants to, and can afford, hurricane coverage on his equity, then he has the same option. Very fair.

    “Samll government” is BS. The only real difference between the Dems and Repubs is where they want the government interfering with our lives. The Dems want my wallet; the Repubs want my bedroom.

    I prefer the Dems until the glorious anarchist dawning because I can always make more money. But bit of freedom I lose to the GOPs idead of “family values” and “national security” is probably lost forever.

    Y’all know about “Real ID” requirements for a driver license staring Jan. 1, 2010? Comrade citizen, show my your national ID! What a bunch of crap! Costa Rica looks better and better.

    • eehard

      I bet you have your beach front property already picked out!

      • Well Nick, as a lowly paid government “public servant”, I am unable to afford beachfront property. Besides, those areas are so way in the boonies that I doubt there’s a good hospital nearby. So, I’d retire to the capital, where there’s plenty of health care for retirees. And a Sam’s Club…

        Now, if I were a New Jersey Mayor,Alaskan Senator, etc. then my financial situation would be much better. LOL!

  3. eehard

    Okay. As long as your easy to find. Fakename and myself will surely want to come and visit. Your health care will be better. Costa Rica ranks 36th on the W.H.O. list. One spot above the good old USA.

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