Designer InformationApr. 22, 2010
Former Charlottesville Daily Progress reporter Bob Gibson refers to much of what passes as fact in our world today as "designer information." There's no doubt that politicians, the media and groups on both sides of issues play fast and lose with the facts. Last night we witnessed some of that on the floor of the Virginia Senate surrounding debate over the abortion funding amendment. Some of the claims made were, to be polite, creative. Which brings us to the current leader of the free world (yeah, I know, but stick with me here) and his own personal PR firm, the Mainstream Media. President Obama is clearly one who can craft a message out of just about anything and make it fit his agenda, and there are few in the MSM willing to call him out on it and risk being thrown out of the press pool. The White House is the Madison Avenue of "designer information."
Case in point was last week's announcement by the White House that same-sex partners could no longer be denied visitation rights at the nation's hospitals. Homosexual rights groups rejoiced at this monumental "civil rights" moment (never mind they already could do this). In fact, in Virginia, the General Assembly passed useless legislation a few years ago saying this very thing. No one objected because it wasn't necessary. Anyway, the media said the president had been emotionally touched by a story out of Florida where a lesbian had sued a hospital over not being able to visit her partner. The story was oft repeated, and has been for a while.
Except it isn't entirely accurate.
The Family Research Council reports the details here. According to the hospital:
The most important piece of information to consider from our side of this story is that the charge nurse on duty the night Ms. Pond was in our care — and the person who made all visitation access decisions that evening — is herself a lesbian with a life partner. In addition, numerous members of the medical team working in our trauma unit are openly homosexual. We can assure you that Ms. Langbehn was not treated differently because of her sexual orientation.
Oops. But then again, don't count on too many Americans learning of this tiny little discrepancy between fact and messaging.