Monday, the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff told the story of Michelle Langbehn, a women suffering from a rare form of cancer who was counting on the kind of treatment she apparently can only get through the National Institutes of Health. Because of the government shutdown, she may not get those treatments. While this is a perfectly appropriate story for the Post to tell, its very premise is based on an extraordinary lie of omission.
Nowhere does the Post tell its readers the truth: that House Republicans have offered a compromise spending bill that will fund the National Institutes of Health and get Ms. Langbehn the treatment she needs. The problem is that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won’t allow the compromise legislation a vote in the Senate, and President Obama has promised to veto it.
The Post interviews Langbehn and although the newspaper and reporter must be aware of this compromise legislation offered by the GOP, the interview questions–and therefore the article itself–are premised on the lie that Congress is the problem, not Senate Democrats and Obama.
Via Twitter, I asked Sarah Kliff why she (or her editor) chose to withhold this important context from her readers. I’ll update any response I receive.
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