Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insulted victims of ObamaCare on
Wednesday – and the three major networks didn’t seem to care. [Video
below. MP3 audio here.]
Speaking on the Senate floor, the Nevada Democrat lashed out at those whose lives have been hurt by the law, saying:
There's plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue. But in those tales turned out to be just that. Tales. Stories made up from whole cloth. Lies distorted by Republicans to grab headlines or make political advertisements.
A few hours later, Reid walked back his comments, sort of:
I can't say that every one of the Koch brothers’ ads are a lie, but I'll say this. Mr. President, the vast, vast majority of them are. And it’s time the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine.
Those are some inflammatory remarks from Sen. Reid. Yet ABC, NBC, and
CBS yawned, failing to mention them on either their Wednesday evening
news broadcasts or their Thursday morning shows.
FNC’s Fox and Friends covered the Reid controversy near the beginning of their Thursday morning show, and they played clips of some real people who have talked about their struggles with ObamaCare on the network.
Below is a transcript of the February 27 Fox and Friends segment:
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Well, certainly yesterday an outrage sort of came
after, both on Twitter and on the Senate floor. Harry Reid under great
fire for his statements really against Obamacare victims. We’ve been
hearing from a lot of them here.
CLAYTON MORRIS: Yeah, this isn't the first time that Harry Reid has been sort of the good cop/bad cop playing bad cop for the Obama administration. He did it for Mitt Romney on the taxes thing. He would not let up on that. And it seems now answering the clarion call about all of these issues about these people who are popping up in these ObamaCare ads, these anti-ObamaCare ads. Are these real people out there? Are these real people with real problems? Well, Senator Harry Reid took to the floor yesterday and said these are all fake. Watch.
HARRY REID: There's plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue. But in those tales turned out to be just that. Tales. Stories made up from whole cloth. Lies distorted by Republicans to grab headlines or make political advertisements.
BRIAN KILMEADE: So Clayton, what you just said, when he came up and brought that thing up about Mitt Romney – ‘oh, by the way, everybody knows Mitt Romney doesn't pay taxes.’ He doesn't even know Mitt Romney. How does – what does he even weigh in on elections for? Unsubstantiated claims. Again, unsubstantiated claims. All made up. Really? Listen.
SHANNON WENDT: When I called and found out ours was being canceled, from there trying to kind of work through that healthcare.gov and just running into glitch after glitch, a dozen different glitches just trying to fill out the application.
JOSIE GRACCHI: My doctors are no longer available in my network. This is delaying all of my treatment and surgery. Most people that get breast cancer don't wait this long to have a surgery.
LAUREN ROBINSON: The premiums went through the ceiling when the Affordable Care Act was instated January 1.
MATT ROBINSON: Coupled with not being able to afford it, they were not going to cover his physical therapy, which he needs.
KILMEADE: By the way, what about the 6.2 million people that lost their policies? Is that made up? Even the president walked back that.
HASSELBECK: And those brave Americans that are actually bringing their stories, and those are just a few that we've actually talked to here.
KILMEADE: They're not actors?
MORRIS: They’re not actors, no.
HASSELBECK: These are real people that actually had the courage to stand up. That’s not an easy thing to do. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday on The Kelly File, this is what he said.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: These people all across America who are losing their policies, whose premiums are going up, whose copayments and deductibles are going up, whose jobs are being lost are not making this up. And no amount of, you know, Harry Reid calling everybody a liar changes the facts. Why in the world would people be calling us with these stories if they were not true?
MORRIS: Meanwhile, Harry Reid sort of walking it back suddenly. He must have – I don't know if he regretted what he was saying, but he suddenly started to walk it back then, some of these comments, and he started to put the blame on a lot of the money that’s coming into these ads, the Koch brothers and others and blaming Republicans for that, calling them un-American. Take a listen.
REID: I can't say that every one of the Koch brothers ads are a lie, but I'll say this. Mr. President, the vast, vast majority of them are. And it’s time the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine.
-- Paul Bremmer is a News Analysis Division intern.