The big news in news that covers news coverage is, of course, the White House’s recent announcement that it’s no longer going to treat Fox News Channel as objective journalists. When the White House has its annual Objective Journalists Party, Fox News can come, but the White House will spend the whole time ignoring Fox News until it accidentally runs into them in the kitchen, at which point the White House will ask Fox News if they are having a good time and then say, “Yeah, well, great,” and walk away abruptly. Later the White House’s girlfriend will get drunk and say it’s bullshit that Fox came to the party at all. Still later, MSNBC will throw up while doing the limbo, which everyone had previously assumed was medically impossible.
Since July, rumors have circulated that representatives of PhRMA—Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the drug industry’s trade group and lobbying machine—were meeting with President Obama to discuss potential pharmaceutical pricing regulations in health care reform. Back in 1994, when Clinton tried to overhaul the health care system, PhRMA was instrumental in blocking reform and funding a subsequent Republican resurgence in Congress that, among other services to the nation, forced the President to admit to getting a blowjob from a fat girl on television.* The drug industry is one of the largest sources of lobbying money in Congress, and their opposition to Medicare price negotiations has been vigorous and longstanding. During the 2008 campaign, Obama cited such negotiations, along with the importation of inexpensive prescription drugs from Canada, as a major objective of his reform plan. Now, however, a deal has been struck, Medicare negotiations are off the table, and PhRMA has invested $150 million in advertisements supporting the Baucus bill.