Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just another example of media bias

Dear Newsweek,

Last month, Senator Tom Daschle and Governor Mitt Romney offered opposing viewpoints on public versus private health coverage. It was a reasonable, balanced effort to present both sides of the argument, and I was personally encouraged by your magazine's effort to avoid bias. However, with Congress under more pressure than ever to produce significant health care reform, and with the president's own recent push for the public option, I was greatly disappointed that you chose to abandon your non-partisan stance.

Jonathan Alter's article, subtitled "Obama must make insurers compete (emphasis mine)", was a naked partisan effort to promote an agenda. In the second paragraph, he refers to insurance company stakeholders as "annoying creatures" that the president should "[slap] around". From the beginning, he strikes a hostile tone, and spices it up throughout the article with dashes of dismissiveness and even ridicule of some of the alternatives to a public plan. From what he writes, there can be no reasonable or practical alternative to a public plan.

No opposition to his point of view is offered. There is no rebuttal from any free market advocate or conservative lawmaker included. The dual articles by Daschle and Romney gave the sense of a reasoned debate, with facts and arguments presented for the reader to judge. In Alter's article, there is no argument; only a conclusion.

This is exactly the sort of biased reporting that will keep me from renewing when the time comes.


Stephen Monteith

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