January 05, 2011 2:42 pm ET by Simon Maloy
Doug McKelway, the reporter who unknowingly aced a job interview with Roger Ailes when he was fired from WJLA last year for lying about President Obama, was on Fox News’ America Live this afternoon reporting on the White House’s reversal of course on Medicare reimbursements for doctors providing voluntary annual end-of-life counseling — the non-controversial policy that was mutated by the right into “death panels.”
And demonstrating that he’s clearly a better fit at Fox News than at a real news outfit, McKelway kicked off his report as follows: “Do death panels live or do they die? That is the question. It appears that they have died once and for all.”
Nope. They haven’t died. Because they never lived. Because they don’t exist, and never have.
But he wasn’t done there. McKelway pointed to the New York Times report I linked to above and singled out a quote from an anonymous administration official saying that the rule change “should not affect beneficiaries’ ability to have these voluntary conversations with their doctors.” I don’t even know how to describe McKelway’s interpretation of that comment:
MCKELWAY: But still, and this is the interesting thing about this, the White House has left a little bit of wiggle room in all this. Listen to what an unnamed White House official told the New York Times today. Quoting now: “This should not affect beneficiaries’ ability to have these voluntary conversations with their doctors.” Now in other words — and I’m curious, Megyn, what you might think of this as a lawyer — what it means, as best we can understand, that patients can discuss anything they want to with their doctor, it’s just that it’s not going to appear in print at any time, and the White House is basically absolving itself of any responsibility of any connection to anything written in literature in the Federal Register to that effect.
I’m completely flabbergasted as to what he’s yammering about here. The White House says that Medicare beneficiaries will still be able to meet with their doctors for voluntary end-of-life counseling, and McKelway thinks this means that the White House is trying to “absolve[e] itself of any responsibility”? For what? Is he saying that the White House had a nefarious plan to encourage elderly Americans to meet with doctors and now they’re trying to disavow it? Or enact it secretly? Does he think that the law provided for these voluntary conversations? Does he have any idea what the hell he’s talking about?
My guess would be no. He’s completely clueless and a complete joke of a journalist. But since he’s repeating right-wing talking points and ignorantly blathering about the Obama White House, Fox News will probably promote him.