Former CNBC reporter ‘Silenced’ by management for criticizing ObamaCare

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on November 19, 2014

Jump to...

Print

Directions

-Read the excerpt below from the Nov. 16 Fox News Insider post.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

melissa-francis

Financial news reporter and anchor Melissa Francis.

Fox Business Network anchor Melissa Francis revealed on her show Friday that when she worked at CNBC, she was silenced by management for questioning the math behind ObamaCare on television.

In the clip (below), Francis explains that she is not surprised by the lack of media coverage… :

“When I was at CNBC, I pointed out to my viewers that the math of ObamaCare simply didn’t work, not the politics, by the way, just the basic math,” Francis said.

“And when I did that, I was silenced. I said on the air that you couldn’t add millions of people to the system and force insurance companies to cover their preexisting conditions without raising the price on everyone else.”

“I pointed out that it couldn’t possibly be true that if you like your plan, you can keep it,” Francis said. “That was a lie. And in fact, millions of people had their insurance canceled.”

“As a result of what I said at CNBC, I was called into management where I was told that I was ‘disrespecting the office of the president’ by telling what turned out to be the absolute truth.”

Francis spoke to Howard Kurtz on his show to discuss her experience at CNBC.

She explained that this happened when she was a financial reporter and anchor at CNBC roughly four years ago, around the time the administration was arguing for the passage of ObamaCare.

After repeatedly questioning on-air how the money behind ObamaCare could add up, she was called upstairs to her manager’s office and told her comments were inappropriate.

“Look, this is math, not politics. I’m talking about dollars and cents. We’re a money channel,” Francis said. “And I was told I was ‘disrespecting the office of the president.'”

She added that she was called in more than once…

Why protect the executives involved and not name names? Kurtz asked.

“It was pervasive across the network, and there was more than one person who told me to stop” Francis explained.  “So to pin it on an individual would allow them to scapegoat one or two people in particular, and I think it was pervasive across the network and that people should know about it.”

“The point of business journalism is to illuminate the economic facts.”

Kurtz asked why she didn’t go public earlier, and she explained that she felt complicit in the Gruber videos, because she tried to illuminate the cost of the bill, but was stopped from doing that.

“I think the American public deserves to know that the reason why Jonathan Gruber [an Obamacare consultant who referred to the “stupidity” of the American people] and others like him are able to get away with this is because there are networks out there and management at CNBC who are complicit in this cover-up and keeping people ignorant,” Francis said.

“You may decide that ObamaCare makes sense, but you need to do it based on the facts. You need to understand the real math, then decide. And that’s certainly what we try to do on Fox Business.”

Watch Kurtz’s interview with Francis below:

UPDATE: Responding to CNBCs reaction to the New York Post denying her claim…, Francis said, “Notice they didn’t say it’s absolutely not true because I think they know it is true, and it happened on more than one occasion,” said Francis.

Francis appeared on “The Kelly File” on Monday night and noted that the response from CNBC – which was more of a personal attack than a denial – was glib and sarcastic and treated the whole thing like a joke.

She reiterated that she was correct to question the math behind ObamaCare, and it is information that needed to be out there.

“The American public needs to know facts and then if we decide we still want to pay more for insurance so that other people can be covered, fine! But they need the accurate mathematical facts to make a decision.”

(Excerpted from insider.foxnews.com)

Questions

NOTE: Melissa Francis was a financial news reporter and anchor for CNBC. She originally provided live hourly reports from the New York Mercantile Exchange on trading in crude oil futures contracts. Prior to CNBC, Francis was a correspondent for CNET’s broadcast unit, where she covered finance, technology and consumer products. In January 2012, Francis became a financial news reporter and anchor for Fox Business Network.

1.  Watch the interview with Melissa Francis at the bottom of the excerpt.  What type of media bias does she say CNBC producers displayed?

2.  Ms. Francis made the following points in her interview:

  • When I was at CNBC, I pointed out to my viewers that the math of ObamaCare simply didn’t work, not the politics, by the way, just the basic math. And when I did that, I was silenced. I said on the air that you couldn’t add millions of people to the system and force insurance companies to cover their preexisting conditions without raising the price on everyone else. I pointed out that it couldn’t possibly be true that if you like your plan, you can keep it. That was a lie. And in fact, millions of people had their insurance canceled.
  • As a result of what I said at CNBC, I was called into management where I was told that I was ‘disrespecting the office of the president’ by telling what turned out to be the absolute truth.
  • The point of business journalism is to illuminate the economic facts.
  • I think the American public deserves to know that the reason why Jonathan Gruber [an Obamacare consultant who referred to the “stupidity” of the American people] and others like him are able to get away with this is because there are networks out there and management at CNBC who are complicit in this cover-up and keeping people ignorant.
  • You may decide that ObamaCare makes sense, but you need to do it based on the facts. You need to understand the real math, then decide.

What do you think about her assertion that CNBC producers did not want her to make the points she made about Obamacare?  What motive would she have to make this up?  What motive would CNBC have for saying she made it up?  Is there any way to check the validity of her statements?


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1.  Financial news reporter Melissa Francis says CNBC producers displayed bias by omission and spin.

2. Opinion question. Answers vary.  Re: checking the validity – it is possible to watch financial reports by Ms. Francis when she was at CNBC to ascertain if she stopped reporting on the negative aspects of Obamacare or appeared to reverse her initial pronouncements about problems with the law.