“Debunking” Health Care Myths

I’ve seen a few of the nutroots/tinfoil hat wearers pointing out various Conservative talking points regarding current Health Care proposals are false, and they reference various “debunking” sites. One of the more popular (especially at HuffPo) is MediaMatters. MediaMatters hosts a laundry list of Health Care Reform “myths” and their supposed debunking facts, which strangely seem to use selective statistics that ignore overall issues (no pattern there with progressives, is there?) [Sarcasm alert! -ed] MediaMatters prides itself on “correcting” what it calls “conservative misinformation”:

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Maybe we should take a look at MediaMatters’ staff and see just how “nonpartisan” their spotty debunking really is (staff listing and backgrounds below the fold):

Emphasis mine…

Tom Allison most recently worked for John Edwards’ presidential campaign in Iowa. In Virginia, he was involved with campaigns for Gov. Tim Kaine and Sen. Jim Webb, as well as Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Allison interned at the political department of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Washington in English and political science. He is a Researcher with Media Matters for America.

Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006) and Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press (Free Press, 2009). He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com [known for being a “nonpartisan” news source, sarcasm intended -ed.], where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. Boehlert has a bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts and is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America.

David Brock is the author of four political books, including The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy (Crown, May 2004). In his preceding book, Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative (Crown, March 2002), a 2002 New York Times best-selling political memoir, he chronicled his years as a conservative media insider. Brock was the recipient of the New Democrat Network’s first award for political entrepreneurship. He currently serves on the board of The Progressive Legislative Action Network, an organization created to support progressive state legislators. He is the CEO of Media Matters for America.

Eric Burns is a political communications and strategy professional with more than a decade of experience working in local, state, and national politics. He most recently served as the communications director for the House Rules Committee and ranking member Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY). Prior to that, Burns was the primary spokesman and a senior adviser to Rep. Chris Bell (D-TX). A former investment banker, Burns holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and is the President of Media Matters for America.

Ben Dimiero graduated from Middlebury College in May 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He has previously worked as an intern at Focus Features. He began working at Media Matters for America as an intern in August 2007 and is currently serving as Senior New Media Associate.

Hannah Dreier graduated with honors from Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in European studies and international relations. She has interned at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the New Press, and the bilingual San Francisco newspaper El Tecolote. She is a member of the Research Department at Media Matters for America.

Carolyn Fiddler joined Media Matters after most recently serving as development director for the Center for Progressive Reform. She graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in international relations, European studies, and political science and received a law degree from the College of William & Mary in 2007. Prior to attending law school, she worked for the Democratic Party of Virginia, where she served as deputy finance director and later as communications director, and worked as a deputy clerk at Henrico County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. During law school, Fiddler completed two legislative internships with Virginia Delegate Jim Scott. She also enjoyed a brief stint as a political cartoonist. Fiddler is the Senior Director of External Affairs at Media Matters for America.

Ben Fishel has worked as an intern in the offices of Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY). Fishel graduated from Colgate University in May 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science. In May 2006 he began his work at Media Matters for America as an intern in the Research Department and is currently serving as a Radio Booking Coordinator and co-produces the Media Matters Minute radio segment.

Jocelyn Fong graduated from Goshen College in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in peace, justice, and conflict studies [couldn’t get a real degree I suppose. Who knew there was a degree in peace? -ed]. She worked most recently as an AmeriCorps member with Public Allies Arizona. She is a member of the Research Department at Media Matters for America.

Jamison Foser has extensive experience in progressive research, communications, and strategy, having worked for nearly a decade in national politics. Most recently he served as Research Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for the 2002 cycle. Foser is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America.

Brian Frederick holds a doctorate in communication from the University of Colorado and has previously worked as a consultant for the Associated Press and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Frederick received his master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina, where he worked as a columnist and editor for The Daily Tar Heel before becoming the paper’s ombudsman. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa. Frederick is a Deputy Editorial Director at Media Matters for America.

Karl Frisch has worked on numerous political campaigns over the past decade. He served as multimedia communications director and member of the renowned Web team for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. In 2005, Frisch worked as press secretary for Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) on the House Rules Committee. Most recently, he served as national press secretary of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Prior to his work with progressives, Frisch worked for Republicans for several years, including Sen. John McCain (AZ), during his 2000 presidential campaign, among others. Frisch came to Media Matters for America in 2006 as the Communications Director; he now serves as a Senior Fellow.

Matthew Gertz served as deputy campaign manager of Democrat Diane Farrell’s 2006 congressional campaign in Connecticut. He has also worked as an intern for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as well as with Citizens Union, a good-government nonprofit group in New York. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University and is a Deputy Editorial Director for Media Matters for America.

Todd Gregory has worked in journalism since 2001, serving as an editor and occasionally as a writer. Most recently, he was a copy editor at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. Gregory attended the University of Illinois and is a Web Editor at Media Matters for America.

Eric H. Hananoki previously worked as a researcher, segment producer, and blogger for The Al Franken Show on Air America Radio. He also served as the director of online communications for the Midwest Values Political Action Committee. Hananoki held research internships with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and America Coming Together. His writing has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and Flak Magazine. Hananoki graduated from The George Washington University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He is a Senior Researcher for Media Matters for America.

Brad Herring is a video editor, director, and producer, most recently with Progressive Accountability, where he created the documentary Third Term: How John McCain Promises to Continue George Bush’s Failed Policies. He studied film at Drexel University in Philadelphia with a concentration in screenwriting, and he has produced and directed one independent feature. He is currently an Editor of Video Production at Media Matters for America.

Brandon Hersh holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in political communication from the University of Florida. He has interned for Florida state legislators and for former Rep. Tillie Fowler (R-FL). While pursuing his master’s degree, Hersh served as the University of Florida’s representative for the Center for American Progress’ Campus Progress and as a research assistant for the university’s College of Journalism, focusing on 2004 election news coverage. Hersh also worked for CNN’s YouTube Presidential Debate team and was a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Political Communication. He now serves as the Deputy Press Secretary at Media Matters for America and co-produces the Media Matters Minute radio segment.

Jeremy Holden covered state government for The Daily Reporter in Columbus, Ohio, and has contributed editorial content to Independent Banker magazine and Ohio Tavern News. He recently earned a Master of Arts degree from the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. He is a Senior Researcher for Media Matters for America.

David Hughes graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and rhetorical theory. He has previously worked with the United Way and the American Cancer Society in fundraising, grant writing, and grassroots organizing. Most recently, he was a solutions consultant with Democracy Data & Communications, working on constituent management, PAC development, and grassroots communications for a variety of organizations and projects including The Nature Conservancy and Sunrise Powerlink. Hughes is a Director of External Affairs at Media Matters for America.

Terry Krepel has worked for newspapers for more than 17 years as a reporter, designer, and editor. He is the founder and editor of ConWebWatch, which monitors conservative news websites. Krepel holds a master’s degree in multimedia journalism from Arkansas Tech University and is a Senior Editor at Media Matters for America.

Marcia Kuntz most recently ran the Alliance for Justice’s Judicial Selection Project. Previously, she served as minority counsel for the housing subcommittee of the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services and as legislative counsel to Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School, Kuntz is the Editor-in-Chief at Media Matters for America.

Jessica Levin graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in May 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in English. She has previously worked as an intern at a scientific philanthropy foundation and as a legal assistant in a brokerage clearing firm. She began working at Media Matters as an intern in December 2006 and is currently serving as the Press Secretary.

Greg Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland with a double major in government and politics, and history in May 2008. He previously interned for the Maryland Public Interest Research Group and worked as a deputy volunteer coordinator for the Peter Franchot for Comptroller campaign in 2006 in Maryland. He started at Media Matters for America in the summer of 2007 as a Special Projects intern and is currently a member of the Research Department.

Simon Maloy previously recently worked for Kaplan Higher Education Online in New York as an editorial intern. He has been published in The Raw Story, a progressive news website. Maloy holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Williams College. Previously a Senior Researcher, Maloy is now a Deputy Research Director at Media Matters for America.

Sarah Martin graduated from Bryn Mawr College in May 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Growth and Structure of Cities. As an undergraduate, she held a variety of positions in the school’s Computing Services department and was a multimedia and design intern at the college during the summer of 2006. Martin is a member of the Technology and Online Community Department at Media Matters for America.

Pilar Martinez graduated with honors from Strayer University, where she majored in accounting. Martinez has more than 17 years of experience in finance and management, including 14 years in the nonprofit sector. Most recently, she worked at the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) as the finance and administrative director. Prior to CCAP, she worked at the National Park Foundation and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. She is the Controller at Media Matters for America.

Matt McLaughlin has worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers since 1989, covering government, courts, education, and technology, among other issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and mass communications from Towson University and is the Managing Editor at Media Matters for America.

Julie Millican has been involved with several progressive organizations and campaigns, including work with America Coming Together, MoveOn.org, John Kerry’s presidential campaign, and local Democratic parties. She has conducted research studies relating to media consumption and political knowledge and has held a governmental internship in which she worked on public policy and environmental issues. Millican holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and is a Senior Researcher at Media Matters for America.

Phil Mione has worked as an intern in the office of Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), as well as for the campaign of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) and the nonprofit group New Jersey Citizen Action. Mione graduated from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in May 2006 and is a Public Affairs Associate at Media Matters for America.

Dianna Parker previously worked as a policy and communications assistant for the National Audubon Society, focusing on global warming and renewable energy. She has also interned for Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and for The Journal Newspapers, where she served as a general assignment reporter. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in print journalism and is a Researcher at Media Matters for America.

Sarah Pavlus previously worked as a researcher at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with a focus on Midwestern races. She also worked at the research consulting firm Ginsberg Lahey and on political campaigns in Iowa, Colorado, and Florida. Pavlus holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Washington University in St. Louis. She started at Media Matters for America as a Senior Researcher and is now a Deputy Research Director.

Georgina Petronella graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University in May 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in English. She has worked in theater production, including at the Folger Shakespeare Library and at the Sre Theatre of Washington, D.C. She serves as Strategic Writer at Media Matters for America.

David Pirotte has been involved with the Free Software movement and digital rights activism. He graduated with a degree in music technology from Northwestern University, where he worked in the information technology department. He is the Director of Technology at Media Matters for America.

Rob Savillo has experience in research, writing, and content analysis. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies with an emphasis on media and communications. He was the first student to earn the Certificate in Communications and Media Studies at UMBC. Savillo is a Research Analyst at Media Matters for America.

Eric Schroeck has worked as a reporter and editor for several newspapers since 2003, most recently as the local editor for The News Leader of Staunton, Virginia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from St. Bonaventure University and is a Web Editor at Media Matters for America.

Jeremy Schulman served as the deputy communications director for Dave Thomas’ congressional campaign in Colorado’s 7th District. He has also interned for the Institute for Policy Studies and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado. Schulman holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Pomona College. He is the Research Director at Media Matters for America.

Raphael Schweber-Koren previously worked as a researcher for the Thunder Road Group, following internships at National Public Radio and the AFL-CIO. Schweber-Koren holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Johns Hopkins University and is a Senior Researcher at Media Matters for America.

Chrissy Schwen most recently worked as a management consultant supporting state and federal government agencies. Previously, she worked in organizing for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) during the 2004 and 2006 campaign cycles. Chrissy holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Indiana University. She is a Researcher at Media Matters for America.

Damien Shirley graduated from the George Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He worked for the U.S. Treasury Department and the Democratic National Committee before joining Media Matters for America, where he currently serves as the New Media Associate.

Andrew Seifter has experience organizing, advocating, and fundraising for several progressive not-for-profit groups, including the Sierra Club and the State PIRGs. He also served as a research assistant for a Member of the British Parliament. Seifter holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan and a master of science from the London School of Economics. Seifter is a Deputy Editorial Director at Media Matters for America.

Adam H. Shah most recently worked as senior counsel for the Judicial Selection Project at Alliance for Justice. Previously, he was an associate with the New York City law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Shah graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with a degree in history and received a J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was contributing editor of the Michigan Law Review. He is a Deputy Editorial Director at Media Matters for America.

Doug Stauffer has worked in television as a researcher, booker, and producer for programs including NBC’s The John Walsh Show and The Jane Pauley Show and TLC’s Operation Homecoming. Most recently, he worked as news coordinator on the Emmy award-winning Montel Williams Show. Stauffer is a Television Booking Coordinator at Media Matters for America.

Rose R. Survine-Wesley has worked in administration and customer service at various companies throughout the United States. She attended Barnes Business College in Denver, where her studies focused on accounting for business. Survine-Wesley is the Administrative and Finance Assistant at Media Matters for America.

Solange Uwimana has worked as a reporter, writer, and editor in newspapers, online media, and publishing for almost 10 years, most recently as an editorial assistant at APICS The Association for Operations Management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism (news-editorial) and mass communications from the University of Colorado and is a Web Editor at Media Matters for America.

Elbert Ventura has worked as a writer, editor, and researcher for various publications. His work has appeared in The New Republic Online, The American Prospect Online, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other outlets. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and political science from Brown University and a master’s degree in media and public affairs from George Washington University. He is a Research Fellow at Media Matters for America.

Mandy Vlasz has experience in political campaigns and consulting, beginning with the 2000 Gore/Lieberman campaign, for which she worked in the finance department of the national headquarters. She has also worked for Democratic polling firm Lake, Snell, Perry & Associates and on the U.S. Senate campaign of Gery Chico of Illinois in 2004. Vlasz is an Illinois native and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Bradley University. She is the Director of Operations at Media Matters for America.

Morgan Weiland most recently worked as a reporter for the Bureau of National Affairs, covering health care policy and Capitol Hill. She has previously interned in the United Nations’ press office in Geneva, Switzerland, and at an NPR affiliate in Lafayette, Louisiana. Weiland graduated with honors from Carleton College in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and cinema & media studies; her thesis on the U.S. media’s failed coverage of the lead-up to the Iraq war garnered several awards. She is a member of the Research Department at Media Matters for America.

Pete Welsch has worked as a Web developer and has conducted computer-mediated communications research on the intersection of blogging and the political process. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and dual master’s degrees in information science and library science from Indiana University-Bloomington. Previously a Systems Developer, Welsch is now Deputy Director of Technology at Media Matters for America.

Tate Williams … graduated from the University of Texas at Austin [emphasis mine] and the University of Houston Law Center and is the Chief of Staff at Media Matters for America.

Oliver Willis has worked as a Web developer and information architect on several media-related Web projects. He also boasts extensive experience in political blogging and authors his own site, which has been profiled in The Boston Globe and Baseline magazine, and on PBS. Willis attended Florida Atlantic University and is a member of the Technology and Online Community Department at Media Matters for America.

Bias? What media fact-checking bias?

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~ by tom on September 16, 2009.

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