Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
Pants on Fire!
Organizing for America
Over the past few months, we've learned that "we just can't count on the media to debunk" lies about health insurance reform.

Organizing for America on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 in a fundraising e-mail

Organizing for America says media won't check facts, but we find many debunking reports.

Normally, modesty would forbid us factchecking an item about media factchecking.

But we couldn't ignore statements in a recent e-mail from Organizing for America, the Democratic advocacy group that emerged from Barack Obama's campaign organization.

"Friend," begins a fundraising e-mail from the group signed by director Mitch Stewart. "Over the past few months, two things have become clear about the fight for health insurance reform.

"1. Our opponents will create and spread outrageous lies to try to stop President Obama from creating real change. 2. We just can't count on the media to debunk them."

The e-mail asks for cash contributions to help Organizing for America fight back.

"Stepping in when the media fails is a daunting challenge," Stewart writes, "But this community has already come together and accomplished feats no one thought possible. ... Please donate today to get the truth out."

Lest we be accused of tooting our own horn here, we'll confine ourselves to a review of some of the other media coverage of the health reform battle.

Factcheck.org has debunked many false claims, including an e-mail analysis of what's in a bill being considered in the House of Representatives, as well as a list of " seven big myths " about health reform.

CNN's "Truth Squad" has  looked at whether you have to go blind in one eye before getting eye care (wrong!) and many other false claims about health care. The Truth Squad cataloged all their fact-checks on their Political Ticker blog .

There's also the Associated Press. They reported several fact-checking pieces, including looking at claims Obama has made , as well as claims about euthanasia and illegal immigrants .

CQ Politics reported a story on whether health care would be rationed, whether employees could be automatically enrolled in a public plan, and whether the government would have real-time access to bank accounts, among other things. Nope, nope and nope.

We could go on (and on), but you get the picture. There is no shortage of reporting on false claims about health care.

We know, based on our own reader e-mail, that there is still a lot of confusion about health care reform and what it entails, including among those who are truly undecided. And we've also heard from readers who have negative, factually incorrect ideas about health care reform and don't want to be argued out of their beliefs.

Mitch Stewart of Organizing for America might not like the fact that some Americans remain unconvinced. They also probably don't like it that town halls during August have been packed with people making erroneous claims, or that some pundits think Obama is losing the debate over health care.

But for Organizing for America to say that the media isn't debunking false claims about health care is wrong -- demonstrably wrong. In fact, it's laughably delusional. We rate their statement Pants on Fire!