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Dear Beltway Press: Seriously, Stop Repeating Republican Lies

Why is it so hard for some reporters to be honest about how dishonest Trump and the GOP are?

Look no further than this headline from The Hill to explain why America is such a dumpster fire right now:

White House aide: 'Pre-existing conditions continue to be covered' under ObamaCare repeal bill

That is based on two interviews given by White House legislative affairs director Marc Short and it is a lie. Not "spin" or "a falsehood" or "stretching the truth"; it is a complete and total lie. End of line. Graham-Cassidy contains language specifically intended to let states bypass that part of the law. It's there because the far right extremists of the Freedom Caucus hate the idea that insurance companies have to allow sick people to buy insurance.

Republican governors, even as the House and Senate GOP have sworn on a stack of bibles that pre-existing conditions are protected, have made it clear that they will immediately eliminate those protections. So, no, it's not true that pre-existing conditions will continue to be covered unless you add "until your Republican governor takes it away, chump" to that statement from the White House.

The article then quotes another complete and total lie:

"There is also an ability for states to apply for a waiver, but in that, it's conditional on them showing how they will continue to make pre-existing conditions covered on an affordable basis."

But that's not true, either. There's no enforcement mechanism for the federal government to hold states accountable so when Scott Walker tells his donors in the health insurance industry to go ahead and price expensive sick people out of their insurance, they can and they will.

You wouldn't know that from the headline, however. In fact, in a 230 word article, the only hint that everything quoted was a lie comes 162 words, or about three quarters of the article, in and consists of a single sentence:

The new ObamaCare repeal bill gives states a way to repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions, a controversial move that opponents of the bill are denouncing.

Which is then followed by more claims by Trump that the bill does the exact opposite of what it actually does. So the article reads something like this: Everything is fine, great, wonderful, incredible, you have terminal cancer, magnificent!

And it gets worse. Somehow, despite not finding the fact that the White House was lying important enough to mention earlier in the piece (or even really mention at all), the writer did take the time to quote something utterly unrelated to pre-existing conditions that was also a complete and total lie:

Short said the current healthcare system is not working and is unsustainable.

Because that was important enough to print but not even the mildest of fact-checking? Really? Really.

This is not reporting, it's stenography. It's literally the least one can do and still call oneself a "journalist." But aside from the laziness of the article/blog post, the mindless repetition of Republican bullshit is exactly how we got to where we are today. All politicians lie to some degree but once upon a time, when the lying got out of hand, the press would slap them back into their place. But somewhere along the line, the "liberal" media stopped calling a lie a lie and Republicans took this freedom from accountability to its logical conclusion. Black is white, up is down, war is peace, ignorance is strength, we've always been at war with Eastasia. Donald Trump is president.

But all is not lost. Despite the atrocious headline cooked up by either the writer or the editor, whoever runs the Twitter account for The Hill is clearly more dedicated to actual journalism than his or her coworkers. They managed to do a better job in a single tweet:

It's not that hard to write about politics, especially if you're a liberal but also if you're striving to be a neutral party. Follow this simplest of rules: "If I have to lie or cover up someone else's lies, I'm not doing my job correctly." That doesn't work for conservative writers, of course. If they followed that rule, they'd have to write about how Republicans hate black people and Jews and want to end Medicare so they can give more money to the rich. But it works great for the rest of us. Maybe The Hill should try it someday instead relying on their Twitter feed to be more honest than their writers.

There are 43 days left to the the 2017 elections.

There are 407 days left to the 2018 elections.

- This article kills fascists

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