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Sat Jul 21, 2012, 03:22 PM


"Obamacare" ?

I just attended a debate for the US Senate seat in Virginia, moderated by Candy Crowley of CNN. During the debate, Crowley referred to the Affordable Health Care Act as Obamacare. Following the debate, I spoke with Robert Toon, who is Crowley's co-worker. Mr. Toon was very nice and I'm afraid I was a bit rude with him.

I asked Toon why a journalist would refer to the AHCA as Obamacare. Toon said CNN news people had actually discussed the issue during a staff meeting and decided to refer to it as Obamacare, because, he said, the President had called it that himself. I told him I thought it was inaccurate and unprofessional to refer to the law as such.

I said, as a small town journalist, I strive for accuracy and honesty - why doesn't CNN?

The President does not make laws. All three branches of government have approved this law, so why Obamacare?

I'd like to hear some other opinions.

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Reply "Obamacare" ? (Original post)
tabasco Jul 2012 OP
PoliticAverse Jul 2012 #1
tabasco Jul 2012 #4
MissMarple Jul 2012 #2
unblock Jul 2012 #3

Response to tabasco (Original post)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 03:28 PM

1. Why are they called 'The Bush tax cuts' ?

President Obama embraces ‘Obamacare’ label. But why? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/president-obama-embraces-obamacare-label-but-why/2012/03/25/gIQARJ5qaS_blog.html

If you say 'Obamacare' everybody knows what you are talking about.

I call it 'The ACA' cause it's less to type. The full title is 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act'.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 04:22 PM

4. Repubicans are forcing their language on us through the corporate media.


Bush tax cuts = republican-generated terminology (all tax cuts good for republicans)
Obamacare = republican-generated terminology (evil, black President forcing his law on us)

Obama seems to have acceeded to the terminology in an effort to neutralize a perjorative.

Neither are accurate and should not be used by journalists, who should strive for honesty and accuracy.

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Response to tabasco (Original post)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 03:35 PM

2. I call it the Affordable Care Act.

It just makes more sense to me than the other name.

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Response to tabasco (Original post)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 04:09 PM

3. it's kinda funny, "obamacare" never struck me as having a negative connotation

because i rarely *listen* to news these days. i generally get it all online in text.
cnbc is always on at work, but i usually tune it out.

yes, i did notice that only republicans were referring to it as "obamacare", but in print you can't hear the sneer and derision that conveys on tv or radio. the word itself really doesn't have any negative connotations, in fact it's quite arguably positive in giving credit for obama for caring. it's ALL in the way the word is said that gives it the negative connotation that republican propagandists are famous for.

anyway, i don't know, i don't think it's required for journalists to take a clinical view of terminology when it comes to laws. sb123 might be a more accurate way to refer to some senate bill, but that's not helpful. and referring to it by its formal name is subject to easy manipulation by congress -- witness the "p.a.t.r.i.o.t. act". worse, republicans can give the name the "green energy act" some law that gives a tax credit for polluters to pollute more. you get the idea.

that said, journalists shouldn't be quick to let a law's opponents name it.

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