- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 8, 2013

Not long after the Iraq war began, another conflict also was underway between news organizations and the Pentagon, tasked with supplying information to the restless press in a 24/7 marketplace without compromising the safety of troops or the security of the mission. Then Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was often on the hot seat, facing down journalists and their demands for more, more, more.

At one point, Mr. Rumsfeld shook his head and publicly recalled a simpler information era, suggesting to his media foe that the old weekly film newsreel of the World War II years had been of practical service. Americans on the home front got a clear idea of what was important, he said. They had a workable perspective, informed and engaged, but not confused or overwhelmed.

“No TV,” Mr. Rumsfeld lamented at the time. “There was radio, and people went to the movies and saw a newsreel, a summary of the week’s events. Now we’re seeing every second.”

A decade later, the public faces an even greater barrage of information and news clutter. Distrust in the media is at an all-time high, according to the latest Gallup findings. Do we need to return to the no-frills newsreel from a time when less could be more?

Certainly not, says Ron Paul, who launches the online Ron Paul Channel on Monday.

“I think we should have more information, not less,” the former Texas lawmaker and presidential hopeful tells Inside the Beltway.

“When you’re maintaining a state, you have to put some lies out there. The need to know exactly what our government is doing has become more important than ever. So the key is more information, more media, more news,” Mr. Paul says.

“The government, on the other hand, should never know exactly what we’re doing.”

PRIVATE MATTERS

One Texas Republican already has proposed that Obamacare be defunded as part of “any continuing budget resolution.” So says Rep. Steve Stockman, who cites a Health and Human Services Department analysis that says the Affordable Care Act’s data system is rickety, vulnerable and won’t be ready to go until Sept. 30, just a day before public enrollment begins in the program.

Americans are likely placing “private medical information in the hands of hackers,” Mr. Stockman reasons.

“Unless Congress agrees to defund Obamacare, they will be making people pay through the nose for the privilege of having their identity and private medical records stolen,” he says. “Hackers and identity thieves love Obamacare. Time is running out and Congress needs to act now, because Americans will be thrown under the Obamacare bus beginning Oct. 1. The last thing Congress can afford to do is look like they don’t care by refusing to defund the failed program.”

AND NOW THE VIDEO

Just in time for all those rumored town hall meetings? Crossroads Grass Roots Policies — the aggressive outreach group founded by Karl Rove — has produced a video quickie for lawmakers to screen on their home turf. It is three minutes worth of arguments against the Affordable Care Act, pointing out that the law’s promises of lower costs and universal coverage “are false.”

The video and a strident memo will be distributed hastily through U.S. House and Senate offices.

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