The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal.com’s “Best of the Web” written by the editor, James Taranto.
If You Like Your News, You Can Keep Your News
Here’s a fun story. It seems that officials at the Department of Health and Human Services are “concerned that senior leaders, including Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, ‘can be left ignorant and unaware’ of what Congress and the public are saying about them and their policies,” the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reports. Although HHS has “a large communications shop,” it is unable to do its job:
The reason, according to HHS, is that there is too much media to monitor and the department’s public affairs office is having trouble meeting deadlines and producing readable summaries. What’s more, like with the website issues plaguing Obamacare, the internal staff has had difficulty getting their news summaries to work on mobile devices.
“While the secretary, the agency heads, and senior leaders across the department are critical customers, it is important to the department in general that staff at all levels in all agencies be aware of how the department and its agencies are being cast in the public eye. All HHS staff essentially are ambassadors to the public on the department’s behalf,” said a department notice.
“Without this knowledge, HHS leaders can be left ignorant and unaware of what the public, Congress and stakeholders may be saying and reacting to, thus leaving HHS officials less than fully informed in their decision making processes,” added the department.
So guess what they’re doing? That’s right, they’re “collecting the names of private companies that can produce a customized daily digest of news better and more complete than the one HHS aides currently compile.” Got a PR firm? If so, here’s news you can use: “Interested small businesses have until Dec. 23 to tell HHS if they can handle the job.”
So the agency that presumes to control your medical care isn’t even competent enough to read the newspapers and summarize their content–and they’re turning to the private sector for help. Oh well, it could be worse. With this crowd, it’s a wonder they’re not calling on Congress to enact “comprehensive media reform.”
For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”