Editorial Missed the Real Story

February 26, 2014

The Caledonian-Record - St. Johnsbury, VT

By: Chuck Gregory

Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once remarked of a Time magazine article critical of his government, "People who don't have anything to do with their hands pick their nose. People who don't have anything to do with their mind read Time." The Caledonian-Record editorial board ("Bumbling Worthy Of National Mention") missed the real story behind the Newsweek story.

The real story was not the state of progress of a health care system for all families, but the manufactured perception of the status of progress. Lynnley Browning swallowed hook, line and sinker the fear, uncertainty and doubt fed him by the fud-flingers at Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, a lobbying group not only funded by deliberately anonymous donors, but clearly well-coached in the health insurance industry's snake-oil patter. Browning then settled for reaction from the other side.

That Browning's editor settled for such tripe shows that Newsweek shares Time's defect.

It was Time that peddled a perception of presidential aspirant Howard Dean, putting on its cover the face of a grim Dean and falsely characterizing him as a liberal. Just as Time did with Dean, so has Newsweek's Browning. And just as the Democratic candidate in 2004 was defeated by the lies of the Swift Boaters for Truth, so might Vermonters seeking assured and affordable health care for their families be defeated by editorials that confuse perceptions with fact.