Letter: Reporting on the debate

Reporting on the Rove debate

Re: Rove knocks health care, ‘pretentious’ YPU (Sept 9): At the Yale Political Union debate Tuesday, students pressed Karl Rove in questions and speeches to back up his criticisms of the health care bill, claiming that his facts were as fraudulent as the invented “death panels.” What a disappointment to see that the News’ coverage skipped over his assertions to report only on his antics and one-liners. The kiss he shared with the chairman of the Progressive Party may make a good lede, but the News allowed Rove’s clowning to eclipse the substance of the debate.

The cover article didn’t address the content of Rove’s speech on the front page, and, in the sidebar of quotes, let Rove’s assertions stand without question. Among his distortions, Rove implied that the new health care law would force citizens to pay for the care of illegal immigrants. Although, as was the case before the law was passed, the government would cover trauma services in emergency rooms regardless of immigration status, Obama’s bill does not expand coverage to illegal immigrants in any way.

Reprinting Rove’s false claims without comment or ignoring his claims entirely is an irresponsible way for a newspaper to treat an influential politician. Objective journalists do have room to discuss objective facts.

Leah Libresco

Sept. 8

The writer is a senior in Jonathan Edwards college, the former president of the Yale Political Union and a staff columnist for the News.


  • theantiyale

    **All White Houses lie**. And not just white lies. The repugnant thing about Bush’s White House liars was their arrogance and swagger. But that emanated from the top: As goes the king, so goes the country.

    Actually, the king was the jester and the jester (Cheney) was the king, so this adage may not apply.

    Nice article: LONG question. Especially important to this posting-board was your point about anonymity. Some of the rage here seems cowardly when hidden behind psudonymic curtains.

    Paul Keane

    [link text][1]

    [1]: http://theantiyale.blogspot.com “The Anti-Yale”

  • CBKM

    I mean… I was kind of annoyed that /all/ they did was regurgitate his claims, given that he did, in fact, have a lot of facts and figures to back them up- I seriously doubt anyone who was on the fence about Obamacare looks at the issue any differently after reading the YDN’s coverage of the debate, so I don’t think you have too much to worry about, Leah. If anything I thought it made Rove sound like some kind of soundbite spewing pundit; whatever other impressions you got of him the other night, you can’t say he isn’t intimately familiar with the specifics and technicalities of the issue.

  • FailBoat

    Ms. Libresco is right that the health care bill, as passed, does not give health insurance to illegal immigrants. According to at least some Democratic congressmen, however, it was prearranged that it eventually would:

    *Some members of the caucus almost withheld their votes for health reform over what they saw as punitive, anti-immigrant measures in the bill, which bans illegal immigrants from using newly created exchanges to buy insurance, even with their own money, and maintains a five-year waiting period for legal residents to enroll in Medicaid.*

    *They signed on only after receiving assurances that their concerns would be rectified as part of the immigration reform battle, according to lawmakers, advocates and Hill aides.*

    *“The expectation was that everybody knew it was unfair and that a new immigration bill would correct that,” Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told POLITICO.*


    The emperor truly has no clothes.

  • ibap

    And how much did this clown get paid?