The Media Blackout: Single Payer Healthcare

Here’s an excellent example of how “liberal” ideas get no play in today’s media:

Single Payer Healthcare

It you went by the right-wing manufactured conventional wisdom, you would think that this is completely off the agenda, anywhere in the United States, and that only wingnuts like the Greens are willing to put themselves on the record as being in favor of it.

Except for the fact that the California Senate passed a single payer healthcare bill, SB 921, by a 23-14 margin last year – and the Assembly Health Committee passed it by a 12-5 vote this year (a couple of days ago). Obviously, a lot of non-wingnut types think it is a credible idea (8 members of the State Senate, and 18 members of the Assembly, are authors or co-authors, for example).

Pretty newsworthy, eh? Yet, a search in Google for information about AB 921 (“SB 921” california) results in *zero* hits among major media outlets. In fact, only on page five does coverage by even a single minor media outlet appear (LatinoLA) in the results.

I double checked this astonishing result by searching with Google News. The results? Just 7 hits (at least one of which is a letter to the editor)! #1? The Sonoma Index Tribune. #4? The People’s Weekly World. #5? Good Housekeeping, of all things! NOTHING in the L.A. Times. Nothing in the San Jose Mercury. NOTHING in the San Francisco Chronicle. Let alone any national newspapers, such as the Washington Post, New York Times, the major newsweeklies, CNN, MSNBC. NADA. ANYWHERE.

The biggest state in the union is credibly close to implementing Single Payer Healthcare, a massive debate is going on between various sectors of the electorate and interest groups, and NOTHING is being said about it in our major media. Anywhere. For the last thirty days. Despite the fact that the only action on the bill since July of 2003 has occured during that period.

How is this possible? …well, readers of this blog know the answer to that question. And we also know what the answer is: a media messaging infrastructure of our own, to counter the Mighty Wurlitzer built by the right over the past thirty years, at a price in the billions.