On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" (@JoeNBC) this morning (7/24/09), we saw the most inexcusable health industry propaganda get voiced without any comment or correction whatsoever by at least four pundits on the set. In a segment with Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the Republican congressman quoted dubious research on Health Care reform produced by the Lewin Group. As we have learned all week, Lewin is owned by United Health Group, one of the nation's largest insurers. Yet despite this well publicized fact, Mike Barnicle, who obviously knew the truth about Lewin, twice asks Price "Who funds?" the Lewin group. Price appeared nervous and stumbling, no doubt because he knew he was about to be busted for trying to repeat a discredited source. He can only manage to awkwardly blurt out that Lewin is a "non partisan research organization." Shocking to any informed person watching, Mike Barnicle just lets this pass. He never follows up on why he kept asking Congressman Price who funds the Lewin Group.  He just lets the sensational (and erroneous) "research fact" (which absurdly claimed that 100 million Americans will be automatically moved from a private to a public health care program) stand, without informing viewers about what so many already know about Lewin. Next on camera, @CarlosWatson, whose facial expression reveals that he knows what a whopper was just told; but, he also chooses to let it go by—but not without a validating "thanks" to the other GOP Congressman appearing with Price (Dave Camp (R), for "outlining those 3 points about as clear as I've heard anyone from that side of the aisle do it." It is almost a certainty that Watson, @morningMika and the the rest of the Morning Joe "cast" knew the real story (because Washpost, Huffpost, @DavidShuster, Ed Schultz, Twitter and many others have covered it repeatedly all week.) This incident is a perfect illustration of how the right's noise machine is fooling the American people all over again, using easily debunked lies and misinformation, and how this very kind of irresponsible broadcasting—which they so often pretend is "journalism"—is empowering them to do it. So in the final weeks of what may be the last Health Care fight for another 40 years, will America's bloggers—so often touted as the only remnant of a Fourth Estate we have left—hold MSNBC (and much of the MSM) accountable for this kind of propaganda enabling, using it to illustrate just how the deck is stacked against truth tellling? We shall see.

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