The Right Prescription

SCOTUS, Hobby Lobby & Media Malpractice

The lies just keep on coming.

By 12.2.13


The Supreme Court’s decision to hear two constitutional challenges to the HHS contraception mandate has frightened Obamacare’s media cheerleaders into launching another of their propaganda campaigns designed to protect the “reform” law from itself. Those Americans still naïve enough to rely on establishment news outlets for information on current events are being told that Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius are part of a sinister conspiracy to restrict access to birth control, endow corporations with religious rights, and escalate the “war on women.”

Most of the media malpractice has been directed at Hobby Lobby. The Los Angeles Times, for example, immediately churned out an editorial titled, “The Hobby Lobby Dodge.” This semi-coherent jeremiad included the following portentous warning: “A decision allowing businesses to deny contraceptive coverage to employees based on religion would do more than hurt Obamacare.” The editors go on to fret about “the dangerous claim that profit-making businesses have a ‘religious’ right to defy a federal mandate that they include contraceptive coverage in their employees' health insurance plans.”

Never mind that the owners of Hobby Lobby have no objection to contraception. Forget the well-publicized fact that their employee health plans cover 16 types of birth control. The editors want Times readers to be afraid — very afraid — that the Court might stop the government from running roughshod over the religious liberty of Hobby Lobby’s owners, David Green and his family, by forcing them to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. The Greens have strongly-held religious objections to abortion and believe the government cannot legally force them to pay for abortifacients like the “morning after pill.”

These religious qualms have inspired another media canard about Hobby Lobby — that its owners believe corporations have religious rights. Newsweek, demonstrating the kind of journalistic acumen that allowed it to command a price of $1.00 when it was sold in 2010, introduces this straw man thus: “It is surprising that the high court took up the issue, since it has never found that profit-making corporations enjoy religious rights.” First, no one with a clue was surprised that the Court accepted the case. I myself predicted it last Monday. Second, the Greens have never claimed that corporations have religious rights.

It’s obvious that none of the people who flog this canard have bothered to read Hobby Lobby’s actual lawsuit. Had any of these alleged reporters or their editors done so, they would have noticed the conspicuous absence, in any of its 10 counts against the government, of any claim that corporations have religious rights. Had any of Obamacare’s MSM pimps bothered to do their jobs, in other words, they would know that the main question raised by Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius is this: Can the government strip individuals of their religious liberties simply because they own a controlling interest in a corporation?

Instead of doing their jobs, however, these MSM “journalists” merely repeat White House talking points or provide platforms for Obama’s minions. A particularly shameless example of the latter is the Huffington Post, which provided Valerie Jarrett space to publish this study in prevarication: “The ACA was designed to ensure that health care decisions are made between a woman and her doctor.... Today, there are people trying to take this right away from women, by letting private, for-profit corporations and employers make medical decisions for their employees, based on their personal beliefs.”

Jarrett then goes on to name names: “Among the first cases to reach the Supreme Court is one filed by Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain whose owners want to be able to take the option for birth control benefits away from their employees.” Then, having named the culprits and repeated the lie about their fictitious desire to deny employees access to contraception, Jarrett gets to a theme we will encounter with greater and greater frequency, “To let the personal beliefs of a woman's boss dictate her health care choices would constitute a major step backward for women's health, and self-determination.”

Did you get that last bit about “self-determination”? This is where the “war on women” comes in. As the Supreme Court’s ultimate ruling in this case draws nigh, the other red herrings about restricting access to birth control and endowing corporations with religious rights will be exposed as nonsense. This will leave the defenders of the contraception mandate with no argument other than the claim that opposition to the mandate is a dark plot by religious nuts to keep women barefoot and pregnant. And Obamacare’s media pimps will be more than willing to promulgate this baseless nonsense.

In reality, of course, Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius are about nothing more or less than religious liberty. And that is what has the Obama administration and its media toadies so spooked. Obviously, the Supreme Court considers their case strong enough to deserve a spot on the most exclusive judicial docket in the nation. In the end, assuming John Roberts doesn’t find another horse’s head in his bed, the justices will rule on the merits of these lawsuits rather than red herrings or straw men. And, if the government loses, the MSM hysterics will be a joy to behold.

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About the Author

David Catron is a health care consultant and frequent contributor to The American Spectator. He blogs at Health Care BS and you can follow him on Twitter at @Catronicus.