Friday, January 28, 2011

Journalists Fib

Here's a shocker: Some journalists just make stuff up. Journalist Mike Evans had reported that he had spoken with Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie and that Abercrombie had told him that there was no birth certificate for Barack Obama anywhere to be found. Now Evans has been forced to confess that he "misspoke" - the current euphemism for "told a whopper".

Here's the story:
A celebrity journalist now claims he misspoke when he said last week that Hawaii’s governor told him he was unable to find President Barack Obama’s original birth certificate after a search of state and hospital archives. Mike Evans told on Wednesday he was remorseful and embarrassed that he appeared to have given the impression that he had discussed the search for Obama’s birth certificate with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Evans, who says he has been a close friend of Abercrombie since the 1980s, appeared on Minnesota’s KQRS radio last week and said he’d been told by the governor himself that Obama’s birth certificate was nowhere to be found. Evans told KQRS on Jan. 20:

"Yesterday, talking to Neil's office, Neil says that he searched everywhere using his powers as governor ..... there is no Barack Obama birth certificate in Hawaii. Absolutely no proof at all that he was born in Hawaii."

But that’s no longer Evans’ story.

“Only this I can you tell you is 100 percent fact: that Neil never told me there was no birth certificate,” Evans told Fox News. “I never talked to him.”

On the morning of Jan. 20, Evans says he accidentally told KQRS that he’d spoken directly with Gov. Abercrombie about the Obama birth certificate.

“I was on 34 radio stations that morning. That was the only station where instead of saying ‘the hospital said there’s no birth certificate’ I misspoke and said Neil said that,” Evans said. “I misspoke and I apologize for that. I apologize to Neil.”

Evans says he first noticed the story on Jan. 18, when he was reading an online article with the headline, “Hawaii governor can't find Obama birth certificate.” The article cites an interview with a former Honolulu elections clerk who says records of Obama’s birth could not be found at either Honolulu hospital.

“Halfway down the story it said the long form certificate was not on file at the two hospitals,” Evans said. “It says the hospitals say there’s no birth certificate and says Neil says he couldn’t find it.”

Evans said he continued reading other reports online, including one that quotes a former Honolulu election official as saying no hospital has been able to find Obama’s original long form birth certificate.
This story is a little confusing, but evidently, the hospitals have said they have no record of Barack Obama's birth, but, contrary to what Evans had earlier reported, the Hawaii governor who was on a mission to find the darn thing never said there was no such document. He has, though, admitted to failing in his quest for this holy grail.

But that aside, how can anyone "accidentally" tell a radio station that he spoke to the governor about anything, let alone something as contentious and serious as documentation of the president's citizenship and eligibility to serve?

There's a moral to this unfortunate story: Just because you read it in the papers, heard it on the news, or saw it on television doesn't mean it's true.

Seeing What's in it

Over at Hot Air John Sexton reports that the number of waivers granted by Health and Human Services to businesses and unions who have requested exemptions from the Health Care Reform law (Obamacare) has shot from 222 to 729 in one month. Over two million people are now exempted from the program.

Sexton explains the reason for these waivers:
This ever-expanding list of waivers is the direct result of ObamaCare raising the annual benefit caps on certain health plans. Obviously, a plan with higher annual limits is potentially more costly than one without them. The money to cover the difference in premiums has to come from somewhere. Without the waivers, it will come from the employers who are forced by law to upgrade to the more expensive plan. In other words, the 729 organizations who have received waivers are not seeking refuge from an unintended consequence, but from the costs associated with one of ObamaCare’s features. The real question is what these businesses will do once the waiver program comes to an end.
By requiring insurance providers to raise the benefit levels that they're obligated to provide to their clients in a year, Obamacare in effect forces the providers to raise the premiums they charge. This means that businesses and unions who pay part or all of their employees' insurance have to pay more for their employees. That means that these businesses will have the following options: cut costs elsewhere, lay people off, or opt not to take on new employees.

That's a heck of a position for a "jobs president" to put businesses in.

Actually there's another option for employers, one that is probably the intent of Obamacare: drop employee health care coverage. This would drive employees who can't get care through their employers into government provided insurance, a single-payer system, like many European countries have. It would probably also drive insurance companies out of business.

When the President assures us that we'll be able to keep our current insurance under Obamacare I'm sure his aides in the White House are all snickering.

Before the vote to pass this bill last year, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi perplexed people of common sense everywhere when she told us that we had to pass the bill in order to see what was in it. Well, now we're seeing what's in it, and, just like seeing what's in a sausage, it isn't pretty. That's why the GOP and, I suspect, a lot of moderate Democrats, want to see the thing repealed.