"The stubborn yet false rumor that President Obama’s health care proposals would create government-sponsored “death panels” to decide which patients were worthy of living...."
Earlier this week I wrote about a truly horrendous piece the Times published about health care, and about the ways in which these vicious rumors start and then spread. This new report calls these lies out for what they are, and is as honest and important as the earlier one was deceitful and lazy.
But in praising the Times, we should remember that they are days, if not weeks, behind the blogosphere on this one. Much of the damage of the "death panel" meme has already been done, and although this kind of reporting is a step in the right direction, brave journalism requires publications to get out in front of these rumors and gossip campaigns before they take root in the national dialogue. The Times is right to publish this piece, but in waiting this long to call a spade a spade, they did the country a fantastic disservice.