After the Jonathan Gruber video that included the Obamacare insider crowing about passing a misleading health care bill thanks “the stupidity of the American voter” in an October 2013 panel appearance at The University of Pennsylvania, the institution, good, compliant, loyal to Obama and apparently complicit in the Administration’s philosophy of deception, hid the damning comments by taking the video offline. The university reposted it after being compared to the Soviet Union and condemned for censoring knowledge rather than spreading it.
On Monday, the University of Rhode Island also attempted to assist the progressive cover-up of its contempt for the public and democracy, removing its video of 2012 discussion where Gruber explains how the law was passed to “exploit” the American voters’ “lack of economic understanding.” So far, URI has offered no explanation regarding why the video was pulled, and it doesn’t have to.
The video was pulled because the overwhelmingly left-leaning academic establishment in the U.S., like the similarly slanted journalistic establishment, have taken sides, choosing to assist and abet the desperate, anti-democratic efforts by Democrats to lie, hide and spin their way out of the fair and clear implications of Gruber’s inconvenient truths. This is frightening, and every citizen regardless of political preference should understand that the effort must be foiled if our system of government is to regain lost trust and integrity. Universities and journalists are supposed to be truth-seekers, and in this matter are behaving like political operatives. Note that only Fox and the National Review, so far, have reported Rhode Island’s efforts to bury Gruber’s statements, and that is just a continuation of a disconcerting theme throughout this fiasco.
From an excellent Examiner summary of how the mainstream media is spinning the story:
Only a handful of major news organizations have devoted significant coverage to Gruber’s “stupidity” remark and his other admissions, including his saying the law’s “lack of transparency” was key to its passage by Congress and that the measure was vaguely written so the Congressional Budget Office would not score it as a tax.The Washington Post and CBS News have published several stories on the Gruber videos, but they have also downplayed his role in writing Obamacare and focused a great deal on the GOP’s response to the controversy in partisan terms.
As a result, the Post’s reporting has included these headlines: “Did Jonathan Gruber earn ‘almost $400,000’ from the Obama administration?” “Obamacare consultant under fire for ‘stupidity of the American voter’ comment,” “Despite what Jonathan Gruber said, Romneycare didn’t ‘secretly’ rip off Medicaid” and “GOP’s anti-Obamacare push gains new momentum in wake of Gruber video.”…Meanwhile, CBS News has focused on the Republican reaction:
“[W]hen the bill was being written, the administration paid Gruber almost $400,000 for technical advice on drafting the law,” CBS reported Thursday. “Republicans, for their part, turned Gruber into an all-important player.” Other CBS Gruber headlines have proclaimed “GOP gets more fuel in fight against Obamacare” and “Found footage fuels GOP’s fight against Obamacare.”ABC News’ sparse Gruber coverage included this headline: “How Little-Known MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber Shook Up Washington This Week,” which ignored Gruber’s prominent role in crafting the law.
This is not a partisan issue, not unless only conservatives and Republicans think that a democracy should involve an informed electorate making choices based on truth rather than lies, and that leaders who deceive the public to pass laws the leaders want are behaving like despots. The media’s effort to frame the matter as partisan—Look! Only Fox is reporting this! What does THAT tell you?—is no less than sinister, as well as an indictment of media integrity. Why isn’t the New York Times as outraged as Fox? Why isn’t MSNBC insulted that the President tried to deflect the issue by pretending that Gruber was a minor bystander in Obamacare’s construction despite a $400,000 consulting fee at taxpayer expense?
No, MSNBC is in full Obama defense mode, and the truth matters not. The Cycle’s Ari Melber would have disgrace himself in any other newsroom with his absurd dissembling. First, co-host Krystal Ball said: “The problem with this law has always been the fact that when people look at the details, they like what they’re getting, but when they hear Obamacare they don’t like what they’re getting. So, it’s actually the opposite problem of what he is saying, right?” That was idiotic enough: right, you hack, Americans–like me— loved it when the details of the law revealed that they would lose their health insurance plan after the President swore otherwise. This is Big Lie stuff, increasingly the tactic of choice by the desperate Democrats.
Melber then called Gruber nothing more than “some dude” who shared his opinions about the law. “Who cares?!” he exclaimed, saying, disingenuously, that Gruber did not even “work directly” on the Affordable Care Act. “I hope this is what Republicans continue to do, because it’s pathetic. And the fact that they’re so excited about this, trying to go do oppo research on some dude that no one ever cared about, no one ever heard of…No one cares about Jonathan Gruber, I swear to you!”
Nobody but, for example, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, who both publicly praised Gruber’s contributions to the bill. Nobody but former Obama aide Steve Ratner, who must have made the MSNBC staff choke on their coffee when he said this on their own network:
“Jonathan Gruber was, back in the day, in 2009, the guru on health care…He designed the Massachusetts plan for Romney. I think if you go back and look at the Washington Post or the New York Times or anything from that period, you will find Jonathan Gruber’s name all over it, as both someone who’s the leading expert on health care quoted by everybody, and as someone who the White House was using — I don’t think we knew the dollar numbers he was paid at the time — but I remember that when I was in the White House, he was certainly viewed as an important figure in helping to put Obamacare together. And so, it’s exactly what you said. The problem is not that Gruber helped them put Obamacare together, because he was the man. The problem is what he said in the last two weeks and how the White House has handled it.”
This is a political, journalistic, academic, culture-wide integrity check. Melber has flunked. Juan Williams has flunked—he endorses the “its OK because everybody does it” excuse. Obama (“I just heard about this… The fact that the some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is no reflection on the process that was run”—a lie), Reid, Pelosi, Josh Earnest—they have all flunked miserably, as I have discussed. Most of the news media has flunked. A few have not: Joe Scarborough; Jon Stewart; Ron Fournier, and some others. The University of Rhode Island, obviously, flunked. Will Republicans pass? Well, they never have before. We can hope.
The question that matters the most is this: will the American public show integrity? Will it stand up for democracy, and loudly and in unequivocal terms tell its politicians and elected officials that it will not tolerate being treated like fools, idiots and sheep, and wants real transparency, not the phony, manipulative variety that we were promised in 2008? The latest media spin is that Jonathan Gruber is the villain here, and that he is the stupid one. Gruber is not stupid, just corrupt and politically naive at the same time. We will be stupid, however, if we don’t heed this inadvertent whistle-blower’s message, refuse to let it be airbrushed and mocked away, and take significant and effective, non-partisan action in response to it. We have heard all of the excuses, lies, spin and rationalizations now: they can only work on the apathetic, the dim and the complicit. Don’t let them work on you, and if a friend or colleague apes one or more of these talking points, you have all the rebuttals at your disposal. Pass the integrity test. Stand up for a democracy that cares about real, informed participation in the system, like our nation’s Founders wanted. Don’t be corrupted.
I can’t think of much that is more important.