What Fresh Hell Is This?

November 1, 2013

Fact-Checking A Fact-Checker - Colin McNickle Edition

In a rather scathing indictment of a Republican (and conservative, though obviously not conservative enough) member of Congress by a conservative columnist writing for the conservative paper in that Congressional district, the Trib's Colin McNickle writes this about Congressman Tim Murphy:
“We were promised a website where people could easily compare plans and costs,” said Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., on Thursday during a contentious hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the many failures of the ObamaCare website.

“Five-hundred million dollars later” (it's actually something like $700 million and counting) “we find that the American people have been dumped with the ultimate Cash for Clunkers, except that they had to pay the cash and still got the clunker,” the Upper St. Clair legislator said.

It's a great line but one laced with hubris, irony, hypocrisy and whistling past the graveyard.

For you see — and many of you might have forgotten and Mr. Murphy obviously is hoping you have — Murphy voted for Cash for Clunkers, that odoriferous multibillion-dollar government intervention that would have been funny if it weren't such a perversion.
What McNickle also left out was Congressman Murphy's support of the strained rollout of Medicare Part D in 2006.  Here's what Murphy said THEN about that glitchy Bush-era guv'ment program:
It is of no value, as a matter of fact, it is a negative value and of questionable ethical value I think sometimes if people only spend their time criticizing the glitches that have been in the program, as with any program that occurs, whether it is a public or private program, criticizing it, standing on the outside and frightening seniors, frightening seniors into thinking that because there was complexities and difficulties, therefore they should not sign up. [Congressional Record, Page H1665]
But that's a minor point - the major fail of McNickle's fact-check is the cost of the Obamacare website.  He says it's something like "$700 million" and reality says otherwise.

From the Washingtonpost's Glenn Kessler.  His initial assessment is admittedly fuzzy:
So here’s where we stand.

A conservative figure would be $70 million. A more modest figure would be $125 million to $150 million. Or one could embrace the entire project, as outlined by GAO, and declare that it is at least $350 million.
But he added a few updates - one with an upper/lower limit:
The floor for spending on the Web site to date appears to be at least $170 million, with an upward potential of nearly $300 million.
Significantly lower than the "factual" numbers so innocently slipped by your eyes by the "fact-checking" Colin McNickle.

According to Mediamatters, there's only one place where such a large number as McNickle's is found (though they go up to a billion).  That would the the Scaife-owned Newsmax.

And, as we all know, Scaife owns the Tribune-Review.  Where Colin McNickle hangs his fact-checking hat.  How interesting.

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