“If Thomas Edison invented the electric light today, it would be reported on the evening news that the candle-making industry was threatened. Ralph Nader would announce a lawsuit on behalf of the poor people who might get electrocuted. And the candle workers union would have at least two senators introduce a bill to block electricity on behalf of their industry.”
I thought of this quote from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich while reading some news clippings this morning about the strategy and tactics being used to try to rustle up the votes to pass the current rendition of a health bill.
AP reported that House leaders “expressed optimism.” The CBS Evening News called it a “mad scramble for votes in the House.” The Christian Science Monitor wrote, “…many liberal members remain angry that they are being asked to pass a bill based on the more conservative Senate version.” Fox News’ headline read “Obama Pleads With Dems to Pass His Health Bill”. And the Washington Examiner wrote, “Dems turn risky health vote into manhood contest.” Wow!
Reading this stuff makes it easy to understand Gingrich’s rant about bias in the press. We all know that in politics where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit. But this kind of reportage is rocket fuel for the polarization that is strangling our country. Given that Newt’s quote is from April 22, 1997, I am not sure there’s a lot of reason to hope for change anytime soon.
For more blog posts from David Saltzman, click here.