The 2013 State Media Awards Go To

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Courtesy of Russ Winter of Winter Actionables

The WinterActionables State Media Award for 2013 goes to Newsweek for its absurd January 2013 cover (below). To be fair, it was published before the International Business Times bought Newsweek brand and its products last August. Runner up for worst of the worst in 2013 is state television MSNBC’s Chris Matthews “Obama on Mt. Rushmore” gibberish from last February.

The Why They Get Paid the Big Bucks Award goes to Ed Schultz, again of State TV’s MSNBC. He apparently didn’t do well with math in school as he claims that the $85 billion in sequester cuts is 30% of the country’s $3.5 trillion budget. In reality, of course, it’s just about 2.5%. Just goes to show what’s in store on State TV when the Treasury market blows up and there is a real fiscal crisis.

The Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award of State media journalism goes to Barbara Walters for this syrupy interview. Despite her relationship with Alan Greenspan in the 1970s and having access to everyone in the sistema, when was the last time she called someone out and did anything truly newsworthy or hard hitting?

The Honorable Achievement Award for Caring Out the Orders of the State goes to MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry for her “Come on Home, Edward Snowden” travesty last July. I still haven’t cooled off on this one.

Although Harris-Smith comes off as an amateurish hack, another media operative, David Gregory of “Meet the Press,” comes off as a hired goon. His attack on Glen Greenwald, the journalist who broke the Edward Snowden story, says a lot about the condition of American media. Greenwald handles it masterfully.

In the third quarter, CNBC continued to fall out of bed on its ratings. This dominant business-news channel hit a 20-year low in its target demographic of adults 25 to 54 years old, according to Nielsen. Since 2008, average total daytime viewership has fallen more than 50% — to 169,000 from 348,000 —at CNBC, which commands three-quarters of the audience among business-news networks.

It’s pretty remarkable considering what the market has done. I speculate that the reason may be poor credibility and a tendency to be nothing more than a mouthpiece and propaganda arm for the sistema and kleptocrats. 

I tried to create a “Kudos List” as well but really couldn’t. Sure, you can dig deep and find greats like Bill Moyers of PBS — but he’s 80 years old, God bless him!  And noteworthy is Steven Brill’s investigative piece called “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us” about the epic failures of our health care system.

When Pulitzer Prize winner and journo veteran Seymour Hirsh broke a story that critically examined the Obama administration’s “cherry picking” of information on the chemical attacks in Syria, he had to have it published outside of the U.S.  Seymour, and a spry 76, is another God bless old timer that they don’t make any more.  Sadly, one of our younger shining lights in the media, Dylan Ratigan, has left the media bubble.

SOME REAL NEWS 

So Oregon’s health care exchange is apparently considered the most grotesque fiasco in the U.S. Gee, from its ad (at right), it looks like a barrel of laughs and fun and capture the bizarro State advertising award.

An Associated Press story notes that last week state officials cancelled an advertising campaign to get people to sign up at CoverOregon.com because the website still isn’t up and running.

The UK’s Daily Mail ran the first major coverage story of how people are experiencing Obamacare, illustrating mass confusion and a rising tide of anger.

Kaiser Health News reports that millions of lower-income people are expected to shift between exchanges and Medicaid. The federal government’s Healthcare.gov website, opted by 36 states, has been unable to transfer income and other data from applications to the state agencies that run Medicaid, the state-federal program for low-income adults, and the children’s insurance program. As a result, tens of thousands of applicants have been left in limbo – without coverage that was supposed to begin Jan. 1.

Meanwhile, the administration offers no Obamacare age data for those enrolled. Age of enrollees is described as a “key element” to evaluating the overall success of Obamacare. A study report by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that four of 10 enrollees would need to be between 18 and 34 years old to prevent a rise in premiums in subsequent years. A White House spokesman pledged to make the age data “available as soon as possible.”

“Muito complicado,” as they said all the time when I was in Brazil.

Closing Orwellian quote: “Once someone clicks ‘enroll’ and selects a plan, we consider them enrolled. We don’t know if they have paid or when they pay the company because it’s a private transaction between the company and the consumer,” a senior White House official said.

 

Learn more about Winter Actionables here.