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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

It's about time someone took Betsey McCaughey to task
Posted by Jill | 9:22 PM
For months Betsy McCaughey has been doing the talk show circuit, armed with her Big Book and her voice training that allows her to filibuster just about anyone. She filibustered Jon Stewart into the ground. Take a look at Dylan Ratigan and Rep. Anthony Weiner debunking every bogus claim this insurance industry lobbyist makes, while she screeches "Unfair!" and plays the damsel in distress card:

This woman has never let anyone else get a word in edgewise when she appears on talk shows. She speaks with authority and filibusters and thinks that if she just spouts her crap loudly enough and long enough, it will be come truth. As Michelle Cottle notes at The New Republic:
Yes, McCaughey professes to have read the legislation currently circulating, and, as in 1994, she brandishes that fact like a talisman that can dispel any conflicting viewpoint. But, also as in 1994, she spins out an indefensibly sinister, apocalyptic translation of the text that no amount of countervailing evidence can shake. Thus, health care adviser Emanuel's theoretical writings about how to allocate scarce resources, such as human organs, morph into McCaughey's conviction that Obama's "deadly doctor" advocates denying treatment to the elderly and infirm on cost-benefit grounds. Likewise, a database to coordinate information on which treatments work best for which patients--an initiative supported by wonks across the political spectrum--is seen by McCaughey as the first step toward government-programmed computers ordering doctors how to do their jobs. Within the self-styled empiricist resides the mind of a pathological alarmist.

Asked why her analysis bears no resemblance to that of other experts regardless of ideology, McCaughey consistently responds, "My reading of the bills is correct." Even when it is pointed out that her interpretation is clearly hyperbolic--e.g., her fantastic assertion on Fred Thompson's radio show that "Congress would make it mandatory, absolutely require, that, every five years, people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner"--she will not budge. Ironically, her familiarity with the data, combined with her unrecognizable interpretation of it, makes it nearly impossible to combat McCaughey's claims in a traditional debate. Her standard m.o. (as "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart recently experienced) is to greet each bit of contradictory evidence by insisting that her questioner is poorly informed and should take a closer look at paragraph X or footnote Z. When those sections don't support her interpretation, she continues to throw out page numbers and footnotes until the mountain of data is so high as to obscure the fact that none of the numbers add up to what she has claimed. "It's impossible to keep up with the quantity of misinformation," laments Henry Aaron. "It's like being sprayed with muddy water."

And so far it's worked for her -- until today. Dylan Ratigan may be a bully, but Betsy McCaughey is his equal in bullying, except that Ratigan is trying to get a truthful answer out of this purveyer of horseshit, and McCaughey is trying equally hard to avoid giving one -- and to protect the industry she so dearly loves against the marauding hordes of ordinary American citizens.

More from Michael Stickings and Kate Harding.

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Blogger earlbo said...
I think that Jon Stewart did an awesome job with her, when he asked her to find the page in the health care bill that makes end-of-life consultations mandatory. Betsy flipped pages like crazy with her health-care bill prop, she proved her claims to be BS when she failed to cite a single sentence in the bill as proof of her crazy claims.

August 20, 2009: Betsy McCaughey Pt. 1

Jon Stewart is about 100 times the journalist that the "real" journalists out there are. Yes, she resigned her medical position for appearances alright, the company probably was not happy to see their director's buffoonery on Comedy Central for all to point and mock. With all her lies and fear-mongering, McCaughey has earned every bit of ridicule that she has been subsequently subjected to.

Well, Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson also has a hell of a scoop in their Oct. 1 issue in an article called McCaughey Lied About Healthcare Reform For Tobacco Lobby "The Lie Machine: The Plot to Kill Health Care Reform." But what has not been reported until now is that McCaughey's writing was influenced by Phillip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company, as part of a secret campaign to scuttle Clinton's health care reform. (The measure would have been funded by a huge increase in tobacco taxes.) In an internal company memo from March 1994, the tobacco giant detailed its strategy to derail Hillarycare through an alliance with conservative think tanks, front groups and media outlets.

I think by now, Betsy McCaughey has been exposed as damaged goods, and she will only influence the gullible, the tea-baggers and other health-care deniers. At least thats my hope.

Blogger Rhode Island Rules said...
Yeah, Betsey is a little mature to be calling in the damsel in distress card. Boo-hoo the mens beat you up because you are a woman. No Betsey, the men challenged you as they would another man who they thought was lying. Can't handle it? Stay the F off the TV.