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Fox & Friends Pimps "Baby Joseph" "Health Care Nightmare" 2 Days In A Row

Reported by Priscilla - February 24, 2011 -

Libya is on the verge of a civil war. There is labor unrest in the American mid-west. The US government might shut down. And along with these news items of major interest there is, for Fox News, exclusively, the ongoing "Baby Joseph" saga in which the family of a terminally ill child is refusing, despite a Canadian court order, to remove the feeding tube from the child. It's great propaganda for Fox as it promotes the right wing "right to life" meme and reinforces the myth that "Obamacare" is like Canadian healthcare which, according to this most recent spate of stories about "Baby Joseph," has "death panels." Yesterday, Fox & Friends provided the requisite agitprop and it continues today.

Fox legal analyst Peter Johnson and Steve Doocy stuck to the script with their comments about how this situation is "what could happen here." In the lead up to Gretchen Carlson's interview with the child's father, Doocy teased it by describing how the Canadian health care system is ordering the death of the baby which was echoed in the chyron. They even had a chyron using the term "death panels." Gretchen began her interview with the comment that the child's father was "fighting to keep his baby boy alive." (The baby boy is dying because he's in a persistent vegetative state.) Her guests were the child's father, Moe Maraachili, with his spokesperson from the "Euthanasia Prevention Coalition" who imediately misinformed when he claimed that there hasn't been a full prognosis of the child's condition. (Full prognosis here.) Gretch "framed" the story with her comment that this is all about how a family doesn't have the right to do what they want with their own baby." She asked if it was a "doctor's panel" that's deciding the child's fate. (Kaching) Gretch asked Mr. Maraachili about security that is watching him "constantly" because, "they fear that you could kidnap your own baby." Fact-check - Security has been set up because of the volatility of the situation which could pose a risk to patients and staff. Maraachli continued to complain about the treatment that the child has received in Canada, prior to which he was supposedly healthy, which, according to Gretch, prompted "a whole other debate about government run healthcare in Canada vs. the US..."

This morning, Gretchen Carlson seemed quite agitated about how the evil Canadian court is ordering the removal of the feeding tube. She then played a section of yesterday's video in which the Euthanasia Prevention spokesperson trashed the Canadian system in which "the courts are taking over." So no bias here, nosiree. And no bias with Gretchen's next guest (just kidding) - are ya ready for it - Dr. Mark Seigel who was ranting about death panels, yesterday, on Megyn Kelly's show. To Gretch's question about the court taking away the parent's rights, Siegel said "absolutely" and proceeded to rant about "assisted suicide." Despite the contention of the Canadian doctors that the tracheotomy will be painful for the child, Siegal disagreed. Gretch, in her best breathless Miss America voice, said how "stunned she is" about this story. Siegel claimed that "every" American doctor would allow the child to go home. He did his standard spiel about how this is "rationing" and cost control when it is, according to the lawyer who rebutted him yesterday, about resource allocation and what is best for the child. He repeated his claim that it could happen here. Gretch read a statement from the Canadian Health Board to which Siegel suggested that the Board is breaking Canadian law about assisted suicide. He talked about how "life is precious" and should be "prolonged." He repeated yesterday's meme about governments not having "sensitivity." The agitprop chyron: "Health Care Nightmare." Gretch, in her best dramatic voice, said that the child's father is just "so desperate for somebody to help him" and asked what his options are. Siegel said - are ya ready for it - "We can keep publicizing this." LOL - ya mean politicizing? As if Siegal has any say, he wants the child to be transferred to Michigan. He ended by saying that "this is a wake-up call to the US to keep care the way we have it." LOL - you mean one of the most expensive systems in the world with an outcome that's way below health systems in Europe and Canada! Carlson referenced how the security guards are watching the father. (Right Gretch, he or some "pro-life" wingnut could attempt to "rescue" this child and this could pose a danger to staff and patients - who are grateful for the security and if you bothered to research this, you'd know it.) Siegel said "that is absolutely disgusting."

Comment: What's "disgusting" is that, as in the Shiavo affair, Fox "News" is taking what should be private family matter and using it to pander to certain interests and to reinforce right wing opposition to healthcare reform. And in politicizing this, it's also "disgusting" that they would take the anguish of a family and turn it into a way to scare people about "death panels." Another "disgusting" thing is that Fox News' GOP pals want to role back health care reform which would mean that kids who have these types of pre-conditions might not be able to enrolll in a health care plan - which would mean that they would be treated at public expense - which would drive up health care costs - which could result in "rationing." Funny, Gretch isn't "stunned" about Arizona Medicaid patients having their transplants rationed. At least Megyn Kelly provided a counterpoint to Siegel's misinformation and political talking points. But Fox & Friends is an "opinion" show in which facts take a backseat to propaganda and emotion takes a back seat to reason. Ya think!