By Tom Blumer
As I noted Monday, the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, finally broke down on Friday and mentioned the name “Jonathan Gruber” in a news story — a Friday afternoon item which, among other things, dishonestly attempted to distance the Affordable Care Act advisor from his long acknowledged and celebrated (until recently) “architect” role.
As of early evening, the only other AP mention of Gruber has come in an unbylined Sunday morning story on President Barack Obama’s insistence that, in AP’s words, “the American public was not misled about certain provisions of his health care law,” and that, again in AP’s words, “there was no provision of the health care law that was not extensively debated and was not fully transparent.” The terse, “Now will you people please go away?” five-paragraph report follows the jump:
Note the reference only to a single “newly surfaced video,” even though there have been, at last count, ten damning videos which have gained visibility in the past week — all of them betraying Jonathan Gruber’s contempt for the American people and virtually anyone else challenging him or “his” law.
The AP writer also repeated the assertion, shown to be false in yesterday’s post, that Gruber has “disavowed” his remarks. He has done no such thing. As I wrote yesterday in response to reporter Philip Elliott’s attempt to slide such garbage past us:
Gruber has never unconditionally said “I’m sorry.” Gruber has never said that any of his statements were wrong. Thus, he has NOT “disavowed” his remarks. He has only said that he shouldn’t have said them.
The original question and the text of Obama’s response as carried at the White House web site is as follows:
ED HENRY: At your Burma town hall a couple days ago you tried to inspire young leaders by saying governments need to be held accountable and be responsive to the people. I wonder how you square that with your former advisor, Jonathan Gruber, claiming you were not transparent about the health law? Because in his words, the American people, the voters are stupid. Did you mislead Americans about the taxes, about keeping your plan, in order to get the bill passed?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: No, I did not. I just heard about this. I get well briefed before I come out here. The fact that some advisor who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters, is no reflection on the actual process that was run.
We had a year-long debate, Ed. I mean, go back and look at your stories. The one thing we can’t say is that we did not have a lengthy debate about health care in the United States of America, or that it was not adequately covered. I mean, I would just advise all of — every press outlet here: Go back and pull up every clip, every story, and I think it’s fair to say that there was not a provision in the health care law that was not extensively debated and was fully transparent.
Obama’s response is simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny and sad. This is the same guy who said dozens of times that “If you like your plan, doctor, provider, and drug regimen, you can keep them — Period.” We all know now that this core guarantee — not just a promise, a guarantee — was a lie, and that there was virtually no entertaining of the idea that Obama’s assertion might not be true in the establishment press in the runup to the law’s passage.
The best response to Obama’s “extensively debated” claim comes from then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2010, she acknowledged that the details of the law were a complete mystery to virtually everyone just days before it passed, when she told a friendly audience that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”:
At the 2010 Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties in regard to the Healthcare Reform Bill AKA Obamacare, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”
Pelosi knew — as did Jonathan Gruber — that only a lack of transparency would enable the law to pass.
But the AP’s unidentified writer doesn’t care. He or she, and the wire service employing him or her, desperately want dissenters to listen to Dear Leader, shut up, and move on.
Editor’s note. This appeared at newsbusters.org.