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Compare and contrast.
Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter (whose job it is to enact legislation): "I have a fundamental problem with any 1,000-page bills."
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart (whose job it is to make us laugh): "I've read the bill."
Stewart broke for a well-earned summer vacation last night with a skillful, informed debunking of the "death panel" claims of GOP spinmistress Betsy McCaughey. She brought along a copy of one version of the bill, quoting from it extensively to argue it contained a slippery slope toward death panels, while avoiding the actual term. Stewart's counterargument was, basically, "No, in plain English, that's not what it says." As, for example, when McCaughey tried to slip in the word "mandatory" and Stewart corrected her that it did not appear in the legislation.
Now, I don't blame Vitter and McCaughey for spreading their deceptive, fear-mongering hyperbole. They're Republicans; that's part of their job description.
But why is comedian Jon Stewart the first "journalist" I've seen tackle head-on the factuality of the "death panel" claims? I don't mean calling the allegations "questionable" or noting at the end of a he-said/he-said story that "The words 'death panel' do not appear in the bill." I mean doing what Stewart did -- inviting a key perpetrator of the myth onto his show, and calling out her lies one by one. He made it look pretty easy.
It's called journalism, folks.