erik lundegaard


Thursday May 11, 2017

NPR: Drug Addicts Attack NJ Rep Whose Daughter Died at Age 11

Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) is the congressman who resurrected the repeal/replace Obamacare bill with the so-called “MacArthur amendment.” This is what the New York Times editorial board had to say about it:

The original Trumpcare bill, whose spectacular failure embarrassed the White House, had a public approval rating of just 17 percent because it would have taken health insurance away from 24 million Americans, many of them poor, sick and elderly. The new version would further tighten the screws on vulnerable Americans by letting insurance companies charge older people and people with pre-existing conditions much higher premiums than they charge younger and healthier people. It would also give insurers the freedom not to cover essential health services like maternity care and cancer treatment.

Yesterday, Rep. MacArthur met his constituents in a town hall in Willingboro, NJ, and NPR was there with him. In more ways than one. Their report on Morning Edition evinced much sympathy for the millionaire businessman and barely any for the citizens he's supposed to be representing—many of whom will lose health care if his amended bill makes it through the U.S. Senate. 

While we hear some of the back-and-forth, at one point reporter Scott Detrow feels he has to “walk us through” the situation. He tells us, doesn't let us hear it, but tells us, that MacArthur talked about his daughter who died at the age of 11, then adds, “and the crowd responded by jeering and heckling him.” 

We get the aftermath of this, with MacArthur admonishing the crowd, but not the actual jeering and heckling. I'm not sure why. Was it the whole crowd jeering him? Or a few people? In what context did MacArthur bring up his daughter? 

Meanwhile, the main constituent we do hear from, who is complaining about losing her coverage, is a drug addict. I shit you not.

Basically on NPR, it's: a man who lost his 11-year-old daughter vs. a drug addict. Those are the battle lines. Which side are you on? 

When his report was finally over, we got this back-and-forth with host Rachel Martin:

Rachel: Oh, Scott. That was intense.

Scott: You get that for about five hours

Rachel: So was MacArthur just kind of standing there on his own? Was anyone in the room defending him? 

Scott: Not too many people. This was one of the more Democratic parts of his district, and that's something he pointed out. ... But he did have some backers in the room, including Loretta Hence. 

Loretta: I'm a little bit taken back. It's such a hostile crowd. And I got irritated with some of the people because they wouldn't give him a chance to talk. 

Scott: You know, she wanted to hear what Congressman MacArthur had to say at the meeting, and she felt like the people in the room didn't want to hear what he had to say, they just wanted to yell at him? And i can tell you, that did seem to be the case with a lot of people in the room. It was more about getting in his face and pushing back rather than having a conversation. That's why MacArthur I think got frustrated.

Poor man. All he wants to do, after all, is not appoint a special prosecutor in the Comey firing and taking away health care from 24 million people. How awful that the drug addicts of New Jersey are preventing him from doing both. But thank god NPR is there to help him out.

Posted at 05:18 PM on Thursday May 11, 2017 in category Media