Friday, October 31, 2008

CNN is trying so hard not to be Fox News, they can't even tell you the truth about McCan's healthcare plan

CNN has done a fairly decent job covering the election so far this year. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being my TV is always tuned to CNN and 1 being Fox News, I would give them a 6. Their electoral college map isn't updated very often, which compared to sites like 538 and Pollster and Real Clear Politics is almost a joke. California is no longer considered a toss-up? Get the fuck out!

Another major limitation of CNN's election coverage is that they don't want to be put into the same category as Fox News, so they go over the top trying to make the coverage so middle of the road that they completely miss the boat sometimes. Now, I can already hear the comments coming on this one, so let me launch a preemptive strike against those of you who are already pointing out that my last post was a trash job of Fox News for being too far to the right. CNN is trying to walk that fine non-partisan line, and I'm trashing them as well. Based on this, I'm sure it would appear that the only news organization that would make me happy is some left wing echo chamber, which is definitely not the case.

Sometimes, news comes along and the facts are out there and no one is disputing them. A good news organization by my estimation would be one that reports the news regardless of who looks good or bad. Fox sucks because they present only good right or bad left stuff. CNN sucks because they try so hard to appeal to everyone, that they leave out details sometimes.

Case in point was their Fact Check tonight on Obama's claim that McCain's health care plan includes taxing your health care benefits. They accurately point out that this is a key component of McCain's plan, but then go out of their way to say that Obama's claim doesn't include the fact that McCain provides a $2500 tax credit for individuals and $5000 for families to offset the increased tax rate. They imply that Obama's claim is misleading because he doesn't mention McCain's tax cut and leave it at that.

The problem with this is what Obama and other non-partisan groups have already pointed out, which is that the average health insurance plan costs more than twice as much as McCain's tax credit. In an effort to be fair and balanced, CNN leaves out the punchline, which is that the tax credit makes it sound grand to people who don't know how much their employers pay for their health insurance. Tax credit sounds fantastic, but in reality most people's income taxes would go up because they are going to be paying taxes on health insurance premiums like they are income. At the end of the day, the tax credit is a null issue since most families will only feel the cold hands of Uncle Sam on their shoulders a little bit more than they used to, assuming that their employers continue to offer insurance, which many will not. When did news organizations start sucking this bad at their jobs?

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