The California Endowment, a foundation spending big bucks to promote Obamacare, has just delivered a $500,000 grant to TV writers and producers to sneak Obamacare promotions into their programs. “The aim is to produce compelling prime-time narratives that encourage Americans to enroll, especially the young and healthy, Hispanics and other key demographic groups needed to make the overhaul a success.”
In a rather backhanded insult, grant recipient Martin Kaplan of the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center explained, “We know from research that when people watch entertainment television, even if they know it’s fiction, they tend to believe that the factual stuff is actually factual.” He continued on to say that “people learn from these shows.”
The grant is for 18 months and will be used “for briefings with staff from television shows and to track health overhaul-related depictions on prime-time and Spanish-language television.”
The administration is concerned that people don’t have information about how to sign up or get details about the program. Of course, knowing how to sign up is hardly a guarantee one can actually sign up, as the healthcare.gov website has been barely functional since its launch.
Claiming that the grant to Hollywood writers and producers to help get the word out about Obamacare is terribly disingenuous. The real reason is to enlist the country’s best fabricators to spin and mainstream the disastrous program to those too ignorant to seek out information on their own.
Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics and NYU’s Langone Medical Center said “It should not be a place to propagandize; it should be a place to have honest open discussion, wrinkles and all, flaws and all, on health reform,” he said. Critics of the law will be closely watching to see if “Hollywood might be airbrushing the president’s core program, because they are close to the Democrats.”
So don’t touch that dial, America.