FAIR or Not?

Michael Corcoran of the organization FAIR recently wrote an essay about media bias in health care policy reporting, entitled, “Media ‘Extremes’ on Healthcare: Universal Coverage or Taking Healthcare From Millions.”   What is curious about the essay is its underlying hypocrisy.  For the most part, the essay follows the original formulation of Chomsky and Herman‘s “Propaganda Model” of mass media analysis.  But the article also focuses primarily on Senator Bernie Sanders’ “medicare for all” or “single payer” plan.  It is perfectly legitimate to discuss that proposal, and to pick apart and analyze criticisms of it.  But is it appropriate for an organization named “Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting” to make snide comments about reporting that certain people “would have you believe is the ideological equivalent of the Socialist Worker” or characterizing “national healthcare as some kind of Bolshevik conspiracy”?  In other words, while it is absolutely accurate to state that the self-described “socialist” Sanders’ single-payer system is manifestly not about nationalized/socialized healthcare, the unanswered question is why it is important that it isn’t? Why not advocate a “Bolshevik healthcare” system?  As the journalist John Pilger has noted, “Sanders is a cold-warrior and ‘anti-communist’ obsessive[.]”  Corcoran more or less join the conservatives he criticizes in engaging in the “anti-communism” bias spelled out in the “Propaganda Model,” and furthered by the likes of Sanders.  If “Bolshevik healthcare” means something like contemporary Cuban healthcare, Americans would be lucky to have it.  Corcoran needs a dose of his own “fairness and accuracy” debunking — he is merely advocating for a social democratic position while trying to depoliticize it under the guise of a “scientific” media analysis that has a major self-serving blind spot.  Put another way, Corcoran is just promoting ideology masquerading as a critique of ideology.