Monday, February 17, 2014

Federally funded Medical Center censors Fox News

I imagine the only thing worse than being forced to watch CNN inside an airport terminal is being forced to watch it in a doctor’s office.

So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered a Michigan health care facility, funded by federal tax dollars, blocked Fox News Channel from its waiting room television sets.

The president of Family Health Care directed staff to block Fox News after a board member complained about our network’s coverage of the Affordable Care Act, an employee told me.

“The board member complained that patients were turning the channel to Fox News,” said the employee who asked not to be identified for reasons related to the unemployment line. “They are pro-ObamaCare and they felt (Fox’s) stance did not mesh with our stance.”

Family Health Care is a private, non-profit business that operates community health centers in five Michigan towns. According to the employee, the health centers have ObamaCare facilitators on site to help people apply for the program.

The employee provided me a copy of an internal office memorandum that confirms the home of “Fair & Balanced” news is blocked.

“A while ago Kathy Sather had asked all sites not to air the Fox News channel on the public waiting room TV’s,” wrote a network manager in an email to staff members on Feb. 4. “Today I blocked the channel on both the medical and dental waiting rooms.”

Sather is president of Family Health Care.

“I did check with staff and they mentioned often the visitors are changing channels on the TV’s,” the network manager wrote. “I now have both TV’s blocking that channel, so the public won’t be able to change the station. If anyone asks for the TV to be put on that channel please let them know we cannot air that channel.”

That edict didn’t set well with the employee who contacted me.

“I feel like we are being manipulated,” the employee said. “Who are they to say you can’t watch something? If the patient wants to put on Fox they should be able to put on Fox.”

Back in Michigan, the employee told me Sather’s explanation is a bunch of “baloney.”

The employee said that there were no complaints from patients – only a board member of the organization.

“It’s all very politically correct,” the employee said. “This complaint thing is baloney. They don’t want anyone to get the idea that affordable care is not good.”


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

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