August 5, 2009
The WhiteHouse.gov Blog has released an appeal under the header of ‘Facts are Stubborn Things’ asking people to flag “scary chain emails” and “videos starting to percolate on the internet” claiming to “uncover” the truth about the President’s health insurance reform positions.
The posting warns against disinformation seeking to challenge the costly legislation, claiming that: “the President has consistently said that if you like your insurance plan, your doctor, or both, you will be able to keep them.” And since when does the President do what he says? If he did, the wars would be over, people would have the promised 5 days to read pending legislation, Obama would not have used signing statements and his administration would have no lobbyists, etc., etc.
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[efoods]Nothing is wrong with setting the record straight, but it is clear that the White House intends to keep tabs on its "flagged" opponents and other health care dissidents. "The Truth" turns out to be the politicial viewpoint being pushed by the White House itself, as the video demonstrates.
The true intention of the ‘warning against disinformation’ is to chill free speech and brand political opposition as false. Besides, it is clear that Obama’s rhetoric differs starkly from what he really does, so there is little reason to stop asking critical questions and challenging any of his administration’s claims.
This episode is reminiscent of the 2008 presidential campaign where an "Obama truth squad" vowed to arrest anyone telling ‘lies’ about Obama, and otherwise intimidating anyone criticizing him.
Again, under the auspices of fighting disinformation, the Obama team is seeking out those challenging his policies and flagging them as in the wrong and even against the law. Nevermind that the Obama truth squad in Missouri were themselves on a highly-politicized campaign, itself not necessarily a true portrayal, to "remind voters" that Obama is a ‘Christian who wants to cut taxes for anyone making less than $250000 per year’ and to ‘respond immediately to any adds violating Missouri ethics laws.’