Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly ran an interesting piece, stating that judges who voted against the Affordable Care Act, or what the conservatives are calling ObamaCare, receive more press attention than those who voted for the bill.
He then broke it down by the numbers showing that on verdict 1, which supported the Democratic position of Health Care, received an average of 581 words from The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press and Politico.
On verdict 2, which also went in favor of the Democrats and the Obama administration, received an average of 438 words per article from the same four news agencies.
However, when verdict 3 came out by Federal District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson, whose decision went against the Democrats, the same four news agencies wrote an average of 1648 words in articles. Then yesterday, January 31st, another Federal Judge in Florida issued verdict 4 against the Health Reform Bill, and receive an average of 1742 words from the four. Mr. Benen question was, “If there’s a sensible explanation for this, I’d love to hear it.”
Ezra Klein, who writes for the Washington Post responded to Mr. Benen’s article saying,
“I actually think there is a sensible explanation for this: The two judges who ruled for the bill upheld the status quo. And they went first. So their rulings changed nothing. No one could accuse me of harboring an anti-ACA agenda, but I didn’t give those rulings much coverage.
The two judges who ruled against the bill called for enormous changes to the status quo, and enormous changes to the status quo are almost the definition of what “news” is. These two rulings have genuinely called the bill’s future into question, and that’s a big story.”
Well, although I tend to agree with Ezra Klein on many issues, and besides the fact that we share the same first name, I’ll have to disagree with his position on this matter.
Benen is right! There is simply no sensible explanation for the one-sided coverage. And although some may claim the sensationalism of a Federal Judge voting against the status quo is the “definition of what news is,” I prefer to think of the sensationalism of a life changed, if the Health Care reform law remains in effect. Now that’s news!