Earlier today, I posted an article about the news media’s insufferable penchant for shoehorning Obama administration events into “The Script” — in this case, the traditional news media’s struggle to pin down President Obama’s second term scandal/failure not unlike previous second term administrations. The latest attempt has come in the form of the press suggesting that the Affordable Care Act website is “Obama’s Katrina/Iraq.”
In other words, Healthcare.gov is sort of like Bush’s failures with Katrina and Iraq, which is sort of like Clinton’s impeachment, which is sort of like Iran-Contra, which is sort of like Watergate, etc, etc.
In my post I also linked to a Politico headline suggesting that the Obama administration can’t point to the site being repaired and functioning without seeming like it’s a “Mission Accomplished” moment.
Today, ABC News’ Chief White House Irritant Jonathan Karl badgered Jay Carney with that very cudgel.
“In terms of the goals you set for this moment, in terms of the website being functional for the vast majority of users, is it Mission Accomplished?” Karl asked.
Carney ignored the reference at first, responding that “We were working very hard to make the necessary fixes to improve the website so that by December 1, it would function effectively for the vast majority of users. The metric that we use to measure that has to do with response time, and the stability of the site, and the error rate.”
Carney referred Karl to the improvements that CMS has reported, and added that “We have passed an important milestone in that effort, but the work continues.”
“Let me try to crystallize that,” Karl said, trying again. “Very clearly, in terms of the goal that you set for this moment in time, is it Mission Accomplished?”
More evidence of The Script.
Before it was Katrina/Iraq. Now that most of the Healthcare.gov problems have been resolved much more efficiently and rapidly than Katrina or Iraq, they’ve moved on to baiting the administration with Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” fiasco.
In other words, no. The Obama team had better not boast about website improvements or else it’ll be just like that time Bush landed on the aircraft carrier, waved his package around, then announced the war in Iraq was over when, in fact, it was far from over. They’re totally the same.
Karl was baiting Carney, Is announcing bug fixes for the website a major fuck up? Like Iraq? Is it? Is it?!
There’s no answer to that question. The administration is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t. If it talks about the fixes, it’s “Mission Accomplished.” If it doesn’t talk about the fixes, then no one knows about them and the “Obama’s Katrina/Iraq” meme continues.
By the way, where was Jonathan Karl when the actual “Mission Accomplished” announcement took place?
This is your American news media. And it sucks.