Because “Scare Tactics” Are Better Than the Truth


I’ve been trying to stay away from political blogging because – honestly? – I was battered and bruised by some of the “conversations” that were had in various places (here, included) and I learned – the hard way – that most people just aren’t all that interested in trying to come to an understanding with someone whose views and ideas might be different from theirs.  Still, I’m wading back in to call out Fox News (whom my husband refers to as “Faux News”) on some shameful behavior.

Fox News is reporting about the Obama administration’s plan to repeal a Bush policy (FR Doc E8-30134, which I wrote about here) that prohibits:

recipients of certain federal funds from coercing individuals in the health care field into participating in actions they find religiously or morally
objectionable. These same provisions also prohibit discrimination on
the basis of one’s objection to, participation in, or refusal to
participate in, specific medical procedures, including abortion or

My problem with this reporting is that it insinuates – and not very delicately, either – that the repeal of this regulation would force doctors to choose between performing abortions and going to jail (I can’t embed the video – go here to see it).

NOWHERE in the provision does it state that doctors could go to jail for refusing to perform a service (how do I know that?  I READ it, and so can you).  Obama can’t reverse the anti-discrimination laws already in place to protect health care workers who refuse to participate in services they find morally objectionable. The current administration is seeking to repeal the regulation because its broad language goes beyond the protections afforded under the anti-discrimination law to the extent that it’s foreseeable that health care providers could use the regulation to deny their patients health care services – the regulation could even be interpreted to extend “protections” to the cashier at a pharmacy who refuses to sell someone a box of condoms.

As a dear friend of mine recently opined, the truth is in mighty short supply. Part of my response was that it is the individual’s responsibility to inform him- or herself and to think critically. Part of how I do that is to NOT watch Fox News. Sadly, though, I think that the network has the ears of too many people, and that too many of them are willing to be scared into near-hysterics at the thought of letting other people make decisions about their own bodies.  Like I told another friend of mine, the frightened and defensive folks seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately.



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9 responses to “Because “Scare Tactics” Are Better Than the Truth

  1. This intentional misreporting had me foaming at the mouth yesterday. Thanks for setting the record straight. Damn, I hate Faux News. After being called out on their crap so many times, how do they still have any credibility? Who watches them and doesn’t immediately go check the facts? Who?!

  2. twoblueday

    I never watch Fox “news.” The outfit is full of liars, and any distortion is okay with them so long as it promotes the agenda of Rupert Murdoch (the prince of darkness).

    Jail, no. However, anyone licensed to perform certain services for the public should have to choose between their job and their “conscience” as far as I’m concerned. Yes, I said “should.” Don’t want to have to toe the line? Easily resolved: get into another line of work!

  3. Dingo, a LOT of people, that’s who. So many, in fact, that stuff like this scares me. It took me exactly .035 seconds to find the text of the regulation (though, admittedly, quite a bit more to read it and, if I’m going to be honest, I skimmed a fair bit of it). I’m betting that the majority of people couldn’t even be bothered to take the .035 seconds to inform themselves. The image I conjured on Gerry’s post about truth – of our being like so many naked, blind, open-mouthed baby birds willing to swallow anything that’s given us – is one I’m having a hard time shaking lately.

    Gerry, I had to restrain myself from going into a diatribe about how, if someone doesn’t want to do something that’s part of their jobs, they shouldn’t go into that profession, but this was a post more about the audacity of Fox News than about the dumbassery of the regulation. You want the care and keeping of people’s physical health? Become a doctor. You want the charge of their souls? Become a clergyman. There’s a pretty wide gulf between the two; it shouldn’t be all that confusing…

  4. Robert Haroldson

    Hm…When I saw the title I thought this was going to be about Global Warming. Well, my view of this is that doctors shouldn’t be required to perform proceedures they find morally wrong. There are plenty of doctors out there and you’ll have no problem finding onel do whatever you want.

    Now as far as pharmacists and cashiers go…well if I was running a business I wouldn’t want people working for me who would have trouble selling ammunition or morning after pills. Both are designed to kill things but those moral issues should be left to the customers. I’d only interested in selling things and running a profitable business.

    Of course all this pales in the face of the big problem that is our economy.

  5. Laurie B

    Once again, it is far and away time for a true separation of church and state. If an individual has a state or federal license to dispense care, surgery, medications, or treatment, then said care must be offered in ANY CASE.

    If an individual has a religious reasons to not offer said care, find another job. Your understanding of your theology has nothing at all to do with my civil rights and my access to any type of medical care.

    I’d also add “You’d like mighty fine asking if you can supersize those religiously approved American fries (read French fries, thanks Rush) for me…uhm, no, your licensed medical care would have been enough”.

    I have licenses, I have to respect the duties that go with them. If I don’t, I’m out of my job. What could be more clear?

    Want the license? Don’t judge. Judge? No license.

    That’d be the big old e*sy button.

  6. Let’s not forget this goes both ways, folks.

    I’m talking about Fox News here, not the larger issue at stake.

    Is Fox News “fair and balanced?” Of course not! Has it ever been? Hell, no! Does it twist the facts or outright lie to push its agenda? Of course it does! Even I’m not right-wing enough to not recognize those facts.

    HOWEVER, don’t think for a second it’s the only news agency that does this, nor should you think for a second it’s only the conservative news agencies that do it. The liberal media is just as guilty.

    This was something I emphasized time and time again during my internship as a high school social studies teacher – there is no such thing as an impartial source of news. I don’t care if you find your news via the paper, the internet, the radio, and/ot the TV, you need to consider the source, because they’re all trying to get you to think their way. I would go so far as to say that you should watch Fox News and CNN as much as possible regardless of where you personally reside in the political spectrum, because somwhere in the middle of those two is where the “truth” lies.

    Oh, and TwoBlue, as far as Rupert “the Prince of Darkness” Murdoch goes, were you aware that he hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s re-election campaign in 2006 and also endorsed Obama through the New York Post last year?

    Given that, shouldn’t I be the one calling him the antiChrist? 🙂

  7. Gertrude

    I couldn’t get an abortion in my state if I needed one. The Doctor here that used to perform them killed his wife on St Valentine’s Day is is doing life in prison without parole. True story.
    Yes, that is what it has come too.
    And that is a sad, sad, sad thing.
    Hopefully he has something better in mind by repealing it… changing the language to something more modern, less discriminating.
    He is a purpose driven man.
    May be he will grow a pair and do something about Don’t Ask, don’t tell… though suitable for its time…. outdated now too.
    We’ve got to go forward now. Everyone! Heave! Ho!

  8. RaiulBaztepo

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  9. NY- GUY

    Nit related but last night Fox news was doing a story on the G-20 meeting. They reported that they wanted the FSB to control global companies, and instilled the point that this formation would give foriegn coutries the right to regulate and tell US companies how to run and how to compensate employees. While they wanted to scare you that foreigners could have influence to all of us working Americans they flashed to the representatives at G-20 and zoomed in on only three individuals wearing turbans.

    Now what’s there agenda?

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