- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2014

President Clinton, speaking at Georgetown University as part of his series of lectures there, dinged the press for its coverage of President Obama’s health care overhaul and said that all too often, the press will settle on a storyline and “shoehorn” facts and developments into that narrative regardless of what’s actually happening.

“Policymaking tends to be dimly understood, often distrusted, and disconnected from the consequences of the policies being implemented,” he said Wednesday. “I have felt that most intensely in the development, the passage and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

“But I also feel it in many other areas as well,” he continued. “One of the problems is that if a policymaker is a political leader and is covered primarily by the political press, there is a craving that borders on addictive to have a storyline. And then once people settle on the storyline, there is a craving which borders on blindness to shoehorn every fact, every development, everything that happens into the storyline, even if that’s not the story.”

He told the audience that he’s spent a lifetime believing that policy matters.

“And therefore, the debates are important, the disagreements are important, but it’s not very helpful to overlay them with too much cynicism and pretend that it doesn’t matter and it’s all just a roll of the dice,” he said. “I just don’t believe that.”