September 4, 2009

Words Matter

by Ralph Nader:

Ever wonder what’s happening to words once they fall into the hands of corporate and government propagandists? Too often reporters and editors don’t wonder enough. They ditto the words even when the result is deception or doubletalk.

Here are some examples. Day in and day out we read about “detainees” imprisoned for months or years by the federal government in the U.S., Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan. Doesn’t the media know that the correct word is “prisoners,” regardless of what Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld disseminated?

The raging debate and controversy over health insurance and the $2.5 trillion spent this year on health care involves consumers and “providers.” How touching to describe sellers or vendors, often gouging, denying benefits, manipulating fine print contracts, cheating Medicare and Medicaid in the tens of billions as “providers.”

I always thought “providers” were persons taking care of their families or engaging in charitable service. Somehow, the dictionary definition does not fit the frequently avaricious profiles of Aetna, United Healthcare, Pfizer and Merck.

“Privatization” and the “private sector” are widespread euphemisms that the press falls for daily. Moving government owned assets or functions into corporate hands, as with Blackwater, Halliburton, and the conglomerates now controlling public highways, prisons, and drinking water systems is “corporatization,” not the soft imagery of going “private” or into the “private sector.” It is the corporate sector!
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This is a really good point that Ralph's making. Don't buy in to the rosy image of private insurance that the major media and the "tea party" groups are trying to paint. They are screwing people over, all of them. That's the way the game is played and has been played for a long time. The point of health care/health insurance reform is to set new, more fair rules to the game. A public option might be a good start, single payer would be way more efficient.

Don't believe the lies; don't believe any corporate entity on health care or health insurance, even if they say they're in favor of HR 3200.

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