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June 17, 2009

White House Tricks Media Into Reporting Domestic-Benefits Pander to Gays; After It's Revealed His Pandering is Mostly Symbolic, Media Dutifully Covers Up for Him and Rewrites Earlier Stories, Reducing the Promises He Made to Nothing

Anti-Harkonen Freedom Fighter Geoff found all this.

Step One: Overpromise.

Obama to extend some benefits to same-sex partners
Reacting to a rising tide of anger from gay and lesbian supporters at a series of slights and deferred promises, President Obama will tomorrow extend some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

The move, which begins to mirror the policy of many large corporations, will have an immediate effect for many workers, but it is a deeply reactive response to a core Democratic group whose concerns have been festering for six months. The presidential memorandum -- scheduled for signing tomorrow at 5:45 p.m., may in the short term, give Joe Biden something positive to say at a June 25 fundraiser that has seen prominent guests drop out, a host sharply attack the administration, and which is expected to be marked by protests.

...

"President Obama will be signing a presidential memorandum tomorrow to provide benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees," an administration official said.

Step Two: Get the lapdog media to report it. This from AP, in their first whack at the promise:

Obama to Extend Health Care, Benefits to Gay Partners of Federal Employees

The move would give partners of federal employees access to health care and financial benefits such as relocation fees for moves.


WASHINGTON -- President Obama, under growing criticism for not seeking to end the ban on openly gay men and women in the military, is extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

That's Fox News' headline, by the way. The story is AP, but the outfit running the story gets to run their own headline and make other editorial changes. Whether the headline was originally AP's, I don't know. But Obama's announcement of "benefits" for gay couples seems to have been intended to suggest, without actually committing to, health benefits. That's how the story was interpreted.

Step Three: Underdeliver. People get wise to what is actually being promised, and what is not. From the first-linked article by Ben Smith: Turns out health benefits are not in the offing at all.

However, the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from extending health and retirement benefits to same-sex couples, so the benefits are more likely to be marginal -- like relocation assistance.

The order is one of several lower-profile moves the administration had promised gay groups this month, but appears to have been announced this evening to stem rising protest.

Step Four: the compliant media re-writes the story. He's the same AP story, appearing on Yahoo news, now disclaiming any White House promise of health care benefits.

President Barack Obama, whose gay and lesbian supporters have grown frustrated with his slow movement on their priorities, is extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees but stopping short of a guarantee of full health insurance, a White House official said.

Note the bolded portion, which is apparently new language inserted into the story to limit the promise.

It looks like Obama was desperate to assuage frustrated gay and lesbian Hope and Change True Believers, and so his White House put out the word they'd be giving them health benefits. Or at least made statements strongly suggesting that. And the media, eager to report that Obama is on the side of the Angles in America, ran with it without doing much checking or asking follow-ups. And only later is it pointed out how limited this move is.

And of course now they cover up for him and themselves through stealth-corrections to the record.

AP seems to have been spun. And rather than reacting badly to that, as the media usually does with a non-deity president, they seem to welcome it, pushing Obama's spin and then later softly, softly correcting it without noting the original spin at all.


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posted by Ace at 02:04 PM

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