Good question, wrong answer

GOOD QUESTION, WRONG ANSWER…. On CNN yesterday, John King noted an email that’s circulating in right-wing circles, which specifically cites legislative language — that does not exist — which “mandates” that the government “has a say in how your life ends.” King noted that the claim is false, and explained to Rep. Tom Price (R) of Georgia that even many conservatives concede that the claims are wrong. King asked, “Does it hurt your cause when conservative critics are misleading people and are twisting the facts?”

“Well, I think this is symptomatic of the process that we’ve been through, and that is that it’s been mostly in secret, that it hasn’t been a bipartisan way, certainly in the House,” Price responded. That doesn’t make any sense. Price sees a partisan process, which rationalizes conservatives lying? It’s almost as if Price didn’t understand the question.

Price added that people can “go to that area of the bill and they see that the government will mandate, will dictate that the physician and the patient, who is eligible for Social Security, have that conversation at least once every five years.” This is, of course, completely and totally wrong.

King responded, “Well, you say it ‘mandates.’ Others who read the bill, including our organizations, fact-checkers and other organizations’ fact-checkers, says that it covers and recommends you have these conversations.”

Now, that’s almost a good response. The he-said/she-said dynamic is still there — King could have simply said, “That’s wrong” — but at least there was a little pushback.

But what’s striking to me is how the exchange played out. King noted a bogus claim and asked whether dishonesty hurts the conservative cause. A Republican member of Congress responded by ignoring the question and repeating the bogus claim.

There’s a certain pathological quality to this.

On a related note, any chance news outlets will conclude that Price is obviously dishonest and shouldn’t be invited back onto the air, where he prefers to mislead the public? Don’t answer that; it’s a rhetorical question.