--2 Health Care Coverage: Local TV Fail; Print FTW!
Dec. 9, 2016

Health Care Coverage: Local TV Fail; Print FTW!

August 19, 2009, 12:00 am
By Corey Pein
See, this is what I'm talking about: This KOB report, "Bingaman receives earful at Clovis town hall," which concludes, "many left the meeting saying they were still unclear about how reform will actually work."

The story focuses on a bunch of people shouting their fears about government-financed health care to the only politician from New Mexico who has any real power in this health care debate.* Then the reporter says, without apparent irony, that people left the meeting "unclear."

Gee, if only there were someone--some industry--whose job it was to cut through the bullshit and inform the public about matters of concern, like the actual contents of legislative proposals. If only there was some way to deliver that message to thousands of people at once, through radio waves, maybe.

Wouldn't that be something?

Depressingly, KQRE took the same heat-but-no-light approach, almost down to the headline. That both of these reports contain almost no useful information suggests the future of local broadcast is even sorrier than that of print.

There is some good news: Phil Parker over at the Journal North had an impressive follow-up today on the local reaction to the health care debate. He actually did some reporting, and read all the notecards on which people submitted questions at US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan's health care town hall in Santa Fe the other night. Parker counted 61 left-leaning questions, and 17 right-leaning ones. That sounds fairly representative of Santa Fe's political demographics.

And here's my story about health care and local business in today's SFR.

* A caveat: Sen. Jeff Bingaman may no longer have much power in the health care debate; in fact, he may never have. Bingaman's Republican negotiating buddy, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, appears to have duped Bingaman and other Dems who wanted to reach a compromise on health care. Bingaman's spokeswoman told me the other day that Grassley and other GOP Senators in the health care "group of six" were not negotiating on behalf of their party, and appeared to be operating in good faith. This story in The New York Times suggests otherwise.


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