Media Matters has filled a grave need in the progressive movement, bringing awareness to conservative lies and media malpractice for years. Now they're filling yet another niche with Email Checker, a simply superb idea.
You can send them that conservative email forward your friends or relatives send you, and they will write a full fact-based response that you can send back. It's countering viral emails with viral rebuttals. Spectacular. Here's one from their site:
The following email has been widely forwarded. Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below. Please feel free to copy and paste it and send to your friends.
[note - all mistakes below are original to text of email]
Date: Sat, 01 Aug 2009 16:01:57 -0400
Subject: AARP AGREE OR DISAGREE... a note to seniors.... but something to think about
About two years ago Winnie and I dropped our membershipin the AARP because of their leanings.This is even more so since they baacked Obama in the election and are now supporting his health reform bill. This bill with reduce benefits to Medicare by abour $500,000,000,000 to help pay the costs of his health reform. This means seniors will be denyed life saving care. AARP no longer represents seniors, but their high paid executives and their business partners. They contributed more to the Democrats than to Repbulicans in the elections. I suggest seniors should rebedl by dropping their memberships.
This email is interesting, but I have some questions.
The articles I've read say that the cuts they're talking about are going to be to the parts of Medicare that waste money and not benefits to actual seniors. And why shouldn't we be using the money to treat seniors instead of wasting it on needless paperwork and on the few doctors who manipulate the system so as to receive a higher repayment? Here is one of those articles: http://www.newsweek.com/id/214254
Plus, the House bill increases payments made to doctors so that they can afford to take in more seniors. I know I want my doctor to get paid more so they can continue to afford to treat me. I read that without an act of Congress, my doctor could get paid around 20% less for treating Medicare patients next year. I don't want to risk losing my regular doctor.
You, I'm sure, are entirely aware that prescriptions cost way too much. The New York Times says that this bill will decrease the amount seniors will have to pay for their medications. If the bill doesn't pass, the price of prescriptions will go up 20% in the next ten years. If you want to read that article, here is the link - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/health/policy/31drug.html
And, frankly, I'm tired of people trying to tell me that the government is going to deny seniors life saving care. Congress would never write a law like that, mostly because they're good people but also because more seniors vote than any other group! Politicians are smart - they're not going to tell the largest group of voters they can't go to the doctor.
AARP and President Obama are working towards making health care affordable for all Americans - including seniors! Those efforts will mean changes, but isn't it worth it if everyone will be able to afford to go see a doctor? Imagine where you would be now if you hadn't been able to go see a doctor when you were younger.
Look - if nothing changes, Medicare will go broke. Something has to give, and I'm not willing to give up on this program.
Let's talk soon.
Fucking great. It's one thing if a media outlet writes "The Top 5 Lies About Obama's Health Care Reform". That's useful. But the majority of people predisposed to believe ridiculous email forwards don't trust traditional media sources. They get a letter from someone they know debunking the myths, and they'll be far more likely to believe it. And these are well written.
Loving this tool. Fills a gaping hole.