I’ll admit, I’m worried about what media is going to look like 10 – 20 years from now. If you look at the decay of quality journalism in just the last few decades for the sake of “breaking the story first” or seizing on which pointless pop culture story can drive the most revenue — well, the future doesn’t look too bright.
Stories often seem driven by whatever gets them the most viewers because that brings in the most ad revenue.
And here’s a little “secret” I’m sure most of you are well aware of — anger, fear and negativity sell.
Even in my writing for my Facebook Page Right Off A Cliff and Forward Progressives I’m well aware that positive, uplifting news stories get a small fraction of the traffic a good, “What the hell did __________ say about President Obama?” will get.
So as the Affordable Care Act website’s issues have mostly been fixed, I can pretty much guarantee that the media won’t stop digging to find those people who’ve still had issues.
It won’t matter if 99% of the people using the site have done so flawlessly, they’ll find the 1% that have still seen issues and slap them on your television screen without mentioning how it’s working for the vast majority of people. Even if they do decide to say the site is working, you’ll see them say things like, “Well, it’s working but still has a lot of issues to fix.”
For the media, the issues with the Affordable Care Act have been a gold mine.
It’s why the cancellation of insurance plans made such massive headlines. When it all broke down, about 5% of Americans were being forced to switch health care plans — that’s it.
But you know what I never heard? How many millions of Americans were being denied health care coverage due to the Republicans refusal to expand Medicaid in many GOP-controlled states.
Denying health care to tens of millions of Americans is far worse than simply forcing some to purchase more comprehensive health care plans. But the Medicaid story wasn’t a revenue driver, while bashing “Obamacare” is.
Even if they don’t want to attack the overall functionality of the website, they’re starting to claim that there are security issues which could potentially, maybe, possibly, somewhat but not with any certainty exist. Or there’s the newer claim that insurance companies aren’t getting personal information delivered to them correctly.
Here’s a newsflash: Nothing in this world is flawless.
Hell, I tried reserving a truck on U-haul yesterday and had server issues, which were confirmed by the person I called at U-haul. Does that mean U-haul is a failure and needs to be shut down? No. That would be absurd.
But now that the major issues with the website have been fixed, you’ll simply see Republicans and the media switch the narrative to drive fear about something else. Both realize that the American opinion about “Obamacare” is at an all-time low so they can push whatever theories or fear-mongering they feel like pushing right now and it’ll benefit both of their interests.
For Republicans, they don’t really have to worry about being truthful about what they claim (not like they’ve ever been anyway) because they know trust in the president is down. Americans are more likely to believe whatever ridiculous statements they want to make right now.
As for the media, they realize that only time will build trust in “Obamacare” again, and as the website’s main issues have been fixed, they need to seize on these last few moments to extract as much fear as possible from their audience before this issue is no longer a revenue driver.
Because for both Republicans and much of the media—it’s just good for business.