I always save the Week In Review section of the New York Times for last on Sundays. By then I've had at least 40oz. of coffee, making me fully buzzed for a bit of opinion. And seeing Congressman Earl Blumenauer's name on an op-ed piece that filled almost the entire back page offered an extra jolt.
It started out cute: "I didn't mean to kill Grandma. I didn’t even mean to create death panels." The congressman's contribution went on to describe and debunk the proliferation of the "death panels" through our jacked up news cycle. There's an especially sharp comment on Newt Gingrich's outright lying:
The Speaker Gingrich I served with a decade ago would have been appalled at the blatant and repeated falsehoods of the Newt Gingrich of 2009.
But I got to thinking: Why now?
Blumenauer explains: "now that I and my fellow lawmakers in the House have passed a health care bill, I’m finally free to explain what I learned as the author of the now-famous end-of-life provisions."
That logic doesn't add up. If media manipulation is what this whole thing is about, Blumenauer should've been in the game from the start. He should've written this piece at the height of the controversy—not after it fell from the front page. As they said over and over again in the great documentary on political spin, War Room, "Speed Kills." It's true now more than ever.
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