The Fox Nationalists are very concerned about the allegation that “ObamaCare Makes Smokers Pay $5,100 More A Year.” It’s a display of empty outrage because insurance companies have required smokers to pay higher premiums for years. And why shouldn’t they? Smokers are willfully engaging in behavior that will result in severe and expensive health problems that may cause their premiums to rise.
So F**king What?
If smokers don’t pay more for coverage, their hospital bills will be dispersed to everybody in the plan. That would raise premiums for people who have healthier lifestyles and keep health care costs down. Is that fair? Whatever happened to the conservative principle of personal responsibility? Now that ObamaCare is being rolled out, conservatives think that smokers should not be charged for the expenses they ring up. All of sudden Fox is for socialist medicine?
If America is going to continue to be the only industrialized nation to lack national health care, then the free market insurance programs (which is what ObamaCare is) have a right to establish conditional premiums based on health models and actuarials. If smokers are able to pay, then they must do so. They always have the option to quit smoking which would remove them from the high risk group as well as improve their health and make them less annoying to others.
A study just released by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs reveals that Fox News paid a pretty penny for former beauty contestant runner-up and Tea Party queen, Sarah Palin. Here are the highlights of the study’s findings:
Appearances on Fox News: 151 (Average 50 per year).
Cost per appearance: $19,868.
Cost per word: $15.85 (189,221 words total).
Appearances on Hannity: 55 (Total cost: $1,092,740).
Appearances on Greta Van Susteren: 55 (Total cost: $1,092,740).
Appearances on O’Reilly and Fox News Sunday (combined): < 20 (Total cost: < $397,360).
Number of mentions of Obama: 786.
Number of mentions of Reagan: 41.
For the term of her contract Palin worked an average of about one day a week. Often she was literally phoning it in from home, where Fox had built her a million dollar studio. She obviously preferred the lame opinion shows with friendly hosts who would not challenge her shallow diatribes. Or perhaps the other shows withheld invitations because they knew she couldn’t grasp anything of substance.
Of course, we need to take into consideration Palin’s unique style of communication. Her “Word Salad” run-on sentences significantly increased the word count and lowered the average cost-per-word. The anchors on Fox, who work every day, get paid significantly less and were probably not thrilled with the compensation their part-time colleague received. It’s clear why Fox did not want to renew her contract. Six months from now they could probably pick her up for $15.85 per hour (if they were foolish enough to want her).
Much has been made of the news that Tea Party queen Sarah Palin and Fox News, the cable network that served as the PR agency for the Tea Party, have parted ways. The reporting generally implied that Palin had turned down Fox’s offer to renew her contract. That is, in all likelihood, exactly what happened.
However, contract negotiations are more complex than that. And now we have reporting from CNN’s Howard Kurtz that fleshes out some of the ambiguities of the original stories. On his program Reliable Sources, Kurtz expanded on the matter by saying…
“My reporting shows that Fox News did offer Sarah Palin a new contract, but it is what I would call a low-ball offer, significantly less, a fraction of the million dollars a year she had been paid.”
In other words, Fox deliberately made an offer that they knew Palin would reject because they had no interest in retaining her beyond her current contract. As speculated previously here at News Corpse, Fox probably “offered her a moose burger and parking validation to re-up – and even that would have been more than she’s worth.” After all, why would Fox continue to overpay someone about whom Fox CEO Roger Ailes reportedly said he thinks is an idiot?
Palin’s star has been fading fast. Fox News only posted a modified AP story about the separation on their web site. Fox Nation, known for its rabid partisanship and rank dishonesty, didn’t report on it all. As evidence of Palin’s rapidly declining value, her first post-Fox stop was at the Internet’s home of doctored videos and right-wing propaganda, Breitbart News. There she answered a couple of vacant questions from BreitBrat Stephen Bannon, the sycophantic producer of the fawning Palin crockumentary, “The Undefeated” (the most ironically named box office bomb ever, considering it chronicles one of modern history’s most frequently defeated political failures).
In response to Bannon’s query about what she planned to do next, Palin had no answer other than vagaries about her desire to quit “preaching to the choir.” She spoke of “sharing more broadly the message of the beauty of freedom” to a larger audience. She didn’t give any indication of where she would find an audience receptive to her wingnuttery that she thinks is larger than Fox News from which she was just ousted. The narrow appeal of her conservative extremism is unlikely to find much acceptance beyond the tiny choir that is currently singing from her warped hymnal.
Then Bannon asked her where she thinks the country stands today and she launched into a dirty laundry list of every worn out criticism the right has lobbed at Obama for four years. She spoke of deficits and unemployment – problems that resulted from George Bush’s mismanagement of the economy and have improved under Obama. Of course, she also included fabricated controversies about ObamaCare, Benghazi, and gun control, that are a staple of the right’s outrage machine.
Palin told BreitBrat Bannon that “Conservatism didn’t lose.” She blames the 2012 GOP debacle entirely on Mitt Romney, despite the fact that he ran as a “severely conservative” candidate embracing every position held dear to the Republican far-right fringe. And she declares that “we haven’t begun to fight! But we delight in those who underestimate us.” In that regard she must be filled to the brim with delight, because it would hard to have a lower estimation of the woman who thinks a “gotcha” question is “What magazines do you read.”
On the basis of that level of insightful commentary, it’s no wonder that Fox chose to insult Palin with a pittance of her prior pay, and free her to tarnish the reputation of some other news enterprise (i.e. Breitbart). Apparently somebody at Fox has concluded that their reputation has already been tarnished enough.