Hey, Media, The House Did NOT Vote to Repeal Obamacare 33 Times

-By Warner Todd Huston

By the way, we missed this last week when the House voted to repeal Obamacare, but you may recall that the Old Media went bonkers to tell everyone that the July 11 vote was the “33rd time the Republicans voted to repeal Obamacre.” Only there is a little problem with that claim. It isn’t true.

The fact is, the House has only voted twice — not 33 times — to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. And the two times includes the July 11 vote.

Regardless of the truth, though, we were treated to media outlet after media outlet parroting the “33rd vote to repeal” narrative and acting as if it were the truth.

One example is Daniel Akst of Newsday, who scolded Republicans for this repeal attempt. “Despite a host of pressing national problems, House Republicans today voted for the 33rd time to repeal President Obama’s health care law,” Akst scornfully wrote.

Akst’s partisan, skewed those-evil-Republicans narrative was the one most media outlets went with.

Just for a few quick examples, McClatchy-Tribune took up the claim. Naturally, so did extremist Lawrence O’Donnell on another one of those MSNBC gabfests. Bloomberg threw out the claim, as well. So did CBS News. And the L.A. Times joined them.

In short, nearly every paper, TV News outlet and cable channel uncorked this “33rd repeal” nonsense.

So, how did the Old Media get to a claim of a “33rd repeal vote”? By including the 31 other votes that removed small parts of Obamacre. And it should be noted that most of those votes were a bipartisan repealing of those small segments of Obamacare.

Remember when former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chortled that we’d have to pass Obamacare before we’d know what’s in it? Well, once the Democrats forced passage of that flawed bill stuffed with un-vetted and destructive provisions, even many Democrats were shocked by the garbage stuffed into the 2,700 pages of Obamacare, pages not one single lawmaker ever read before voting on the bill.

So, once Obamacare became law and some of the more idiotic things came to light, the House immediately began tinkering around the edges of the bill trying to eliminate the more egregious provisions in Obamacare.

Now, some outlets tried to fudge the “33rd” claim saying it was the 33rd time that a vote was held to “repeal part or all of” the inaptly named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But most didn’t even bother with the qualifying rhetoric.

But as Lee Doren notes, the whole “33rd repeal vote” story is misleading from the beginning. Plainly saying “33rd time to repeal” makes people think that the GOP has tried to repeal the whole bill 33 times and it just isn’t true. Not true at all. And by adding the qualifier of “repel parts” does nothing to keep the “33rd repeal vote” claim from being wholly misleading.

Then again, the Old Media didn’t want people to understand the truth. They wanted to guide the public to view the July 11 repeal vote with disdain. They wanted America to think the Republicans were just being petty and partisan. They were playing advocates for Obamacare again, not reporting the facts.


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  • So 'new media' folks like you claim to be wouldn't think of "playing the advocate" for your own agenda? Give me a break. The 'old media' may have erred in calling it a 33rd vote, but don't act is you're some pure report-only-the-facts blogger.

  • In reply to Thornton:

    And WHERE did I make the claim I am non-partisan? You should give US all a break with your BS.

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