Saturday, November 30, 2013

A New Scandal, But Only If It Were True

Jed Lewison on Sat Nov 30, 2013

The claim: According to House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, in order to meet the October 1 deadline for launching, the Obama administration ignored security issues with the website, risking the disclosure of personally identifiable information from people applying for insurance—and even worse, they concealed a memo about this information from key technical staff.

The reality: The memo had nothing to do with the October 1 launch of It concerned a component of the website that is not planned to launch until April 2014 and would only be used by insurance companies to supply information about their plans to the health care exchanges. The reason key technical staff did not see the memo was that it was not relevant to them, had no bearing on the October 1 launch, and had nothing to do with personally identifiable information.

Stuff like this keeps on happening with Darrell Issa. He makes a sweeping allegation of malfeasance, and the claim proves to be incorrect. It happens often enough that the default position should be to assume that he's lying. Yet all too often, media outlets regurgitate his garbage.

It's easy to see why Issa would lie: It's great politics for him. But reporters shouldn't enable him, no matter how many clicks it buys them.

  Originally published to Jed Lewison for Daily Kos