26 March 2012

File under sad but true

Health care reform coverage, pretty good. Other reform coverage, not so good.

As pointed out immediately in the comments, given that there were a huge percentage of the population that did not know what was in the bill(s) and felt it was a sudden and actual shift in health care, the fact that Ezra Klein et al were able to interview alternative version proponents like Ron Wyden or Paul Ryan with a good degree of clarity and information does not seem to have mattered. Nevertheless, the number of mainstream journalists and bloggers employed by mainstream journalism who are able to give cogent point by point breakdowns of more esoteric topics than even health care policies, eg environmental/energy policy, tax policy (which has only partisan coverage), financial reform, and so on, is depressingly low.

If we assume the purpose of journalism is to inform the public, usually the public receives the information that it wants to hear just fine but doesn't really look too hard at the rest. The amount of in the weeds coverage available at that point seems like a point for the people who actually study these issues and the impact of public policy options and implementation in order for that very select group of insiders to have less to complain about. As a further problem, despite there being a very large amount of insider-wonky coverage of health care reforms, the general public still didn't get behind the actual bill (despite liking many to most portions of that bill). Or perhaps we could say in spite of that coverage, the bills that we actually passed still had some amount of support. When a good portion of that coverage pushed more radical shifts in any direction other than the steady as she goes path we took and looked at the actual policy as failure.
Post a Comment