Saturday, August 22, 2009

Betsy McCaughey's Daily Show Appearance

I'm posting Jon Stewart's interview with Betsy McCaughey, former Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York who is credited with starting the myth that the current healthcare reform bill will lead to senior citizens not getting medical care. In other words, she is the mother of the hysteria about elderly people being encouraged to sign DNRs even if they don't want to, being told they have to just sit back and die instead of receiving actual care. 

And according to political gossip, McCaughey inspired Sarah Palin's controversial remark about "death panels." 


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Betsy McCaughey Pt. 1
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The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 1
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The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 2
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Daily Show
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Political HumorHealthcare Protests


The interview shows how complicated this bill is, but also, how easy it is for it to be twisted to one person or another's purposes. Also, it's a great interview on Stewart's part, if you can stand watching a little confrontation. He does an excellent job of cutting through her double-speak and forcing her to point to exactly where the bill says what she is claiming it says. (Which by the way, it doesn't.) 

Apparently, McCaughey resigned her position on the board of directors of the Cantel Medical Corporation following this interview. 

But here's a silver lining: Maybe this hyperbolic, fear-mongering spin is finally backfiring, and now, people will actually start to really think about living wills and advance directives in a serious and calm manner. We can hope, right :)

4 comments:

hospicephysician said...

Thank-you for posting this. I haven't laughed so hard in my life. Kudos, Props etc. to Jon Stewart for being educated and straight out calling her out. You could easily see her discomfort and you could see how she was reading into the bill what she wanted it to say. I think you're right, as more people get educated people like Betsy McCaughey and Sarah Palin will just look plain silly when it's all said and done.

Anonymous said...

I whish people would stop saying the bill is complicated like it's a bad thing, it's a bill,a thing that become laws and will be interperted by judges when things go wrong. The bill needs and must to take small minute details into account. Insurance companies rules are even bigger and lots of them are internal meaning that the public has no way of knowing the full set of rules used by those companies. Complexity is not always a bad thing, sometime it is necessary. In this case I think complexity is inherent to the process. What we need is transparency, and we have that by being able to look at the bills ourselves. Of course it takes time and effort to look at the different bills which is why we rely on the media and experts to summarize these things for us. Unfortunately, when you have poeple like Betsy McCaughey, Palin, reblican congress, and fox all telling lies, we can no longer rely on the poeple that are supposed to help us. But I guess that's what the republican wants, they know that they can't loose by lying, if their lie works, then they win because their lie worked. If their lies does not work and they get busted, they will use the fact that they were not telling the truth as a reason not to trust the gouvernment so they win again because they want smaller government so its in their interest for poeple to think that they cant't trust the goverment.

Fran said...

Thanks for posting the McCaughey expose. I wish she hadn't done so much damage so soon! Did you catch lovely NYTimes piece yesterday, "A Georgia County Shares a Tale of One Man's Life and Death"? That's where I do the Rabun Ramble race every July 4th (a benefit for college-bound Rabun County high school kids.) I'm still trying to figure out how to link The Good Death to my new(ish) trueslant.com/franjohns blog, whereon I'm writing a lot about health reform. Ah, technology.

Jessica Knapp said...

@hospice physician, you're right, Jon Stewart is great in this interview. He holds her to her point and makes her show the evidence, which just isn't there. And people who keep following the debate, beyond the initial blow-up, I think will see that a lot of this was just crazy rhetoric.

@anonymous, that's a good point. Any major bill is going to be complicated. And that probably is an arguing tactic, to call it complicated as a bad thing to scare people away from it.

@Fran, I missed that piece. I'll try to find it in the archives. And thanks for trying to link. I understand how confusing new systems can be. (I just moved myself, so my life is full of new systems and processes right now.)