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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

CBS News (Inadvertently) Admits They're Doing a Lousy Job

You've really got to hand it to CBS News. It takes a lot of guts for a news organization -- i.e., an information disseminating service -- to release and report on a poll that shows that a vast majority consider themselves poorly informed.

Most Americans find the health care reforms being discussed in Congress confusing and say President Obama has not clearly explained his plans to overhaul the system, according to a CBS News poll released Tuesday.

Two in three Americans call the health care reforms being debated by lawmakers confusing; only 31 percent said they have a clear understanding of the proposed changes. Sixty-seven percent of those questioned said the reform ideas were confusing.

This evaluation cuts across party lines, with majorities of both Republicans (69 percent) and Democrats (58 percent) saying the current proposals are confusing.

You know what might help? If the media bothered to put things into two categories labeled "fact" and "insane bullshit." It's a long-standing complaint of mine that television news -- network or cable -- always goes out of their way to report "both sides of the story," but never bothers to tell viewers which side is true. As a result, they've got people confused about everything from evolution to global warming. And now healthcare reform.

The idea that Obama hasn't explained it well enough is ridiculous. It's when you get some right wing spinmeister saying that everything the president said isn't true that's the cause of the confusion. And the news media always treats these fools as if anything they say is worth a damn.

There is truth and there are lies. Treating every dispute as merely a difference of opinion destroys that distinction. As a result, people turn off their TVs and find out they're just as ignorant as they were before they turned it on. They heard two wildly different takes on an issue and there was no referee to call foul on the lies. No wonder they're confused.

The irony of a news gathering organization reporting that most people are confused by the news is apparently lost on CBS. It shouldn't be lost on you.

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