Heavens to Betsy! You’re Fired!


The Washington Independent highlights Betsy McCaughey’s resignation from the board of directors of Cantel Medical Corp., a medical products company, to “avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.” McCaughey’s resignation coincides with her attempt to revive her false end-of-life counseling smears on The Daily Show.

According to Cantel’s press release:

LITTLE FALLS, N.J., Aug 21, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — CANTEL MEDICAL CORP. (NYSE: CMN) announced that on August 20, 2009 it received a letter of resignation from Ms. Elizabeth McCaughey as a director of the Company. Ms. McCaughey, who had served as a director since 2005, stated that she was resigning to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest during the national debate over healthcare reform.

McCaughey has been on Cantel’s board since 2005, but her apparent conflict of interest hasn’t kept CNN and Fox News from repeatedly hosting her to spread false attacks on health care reform.

All that translates to: Old Betsy Wetsy made such a fool of herself on The Daily Show that she got canned!

Original DVD cover

I thought we’d take a look back on Betsy Wetsy’s shenanigans. From MEDIA MATTERS (July 31, 2009):

On July 16, Betsy McCaughey falsely claimed that the House health care reform bill would “absolutely require” end-of-life counseling for seniors “that will tell them how to end their life sooner.” Since then, numerous media figures have echoed McCaughey’s claim — even after the falsehood was debunked and McCaughey herself backtracked.

McCaughey first made claim on Fred Thompson’s radio show.


In New York Post, McCaughey claims bill “compels seniors” to “submit” to counseling sessions. Following her appearance on Thompson’s show,
McCaughey made a similar claim in a July 17 New York Post op-ed, writing that “[o]ne troubling provision” of the bill “compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years … about alternatives for end-of-life care,” adding that the “mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care.”

[Sean] Hannity: Seniors “forced to undergo, quote, ‘end-of-life counseling,’ apparently to encourage them to check out before their time is up.”


[Laura] Ingraham: “[M]andatory counseling session” by “government bureaucrat” is “frightening.” On the July 17 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, guest host Laura Ingraham said: “The fact that a government bureaucrat will come to an old person’s house as a mandatory counseling session — first of all, stay away from my father, who is 83 years old. I do not want any government bureaucrat telling him what kind of treatment he should consider to be a good citizen. That’s frightening.”


[Rush] Limbaugh: Bill provides for “[m]andatory counseling.”


McCaughey: Bill will “pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely.” In a July 23 Wall Street Journal op-ed, McCaughey again claimed the bill will “pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely,” referring to the provision she characterized as “ensur[ing] that seniors are counseled on end-of-life options, including refusing nutrition where state law allows it.”


McCaughey’s original claim gets “Pants on Fire” status. [On July 23 at PolitiFact]


Despite debunking, Fox News, [Washington] Times continue to advance false claim

Hannity: Bill includes “mandatory advisory counseling sessions with the elderly.” On the July 27 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, Fox News contributor Dick Morris stated that senior citizens are “getting that this is creeping euthanasia.”


Fox News’ Johnson claimed health care reform “a subtle form of euthanasia.” Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. said on the July 27 Fox & Friends, “Some people are saying, well, this is a health care reform, other people say — maybe me — that this is a subtle form of euthanasia. […]”


Fox’s Johnson: Provision “is kind of our 2009 Brave New World, Soylent Green, 1984, Aldous Huxley kind of world.


McCaughey walked back her claim in a Politico article. According to a July 28 Politico article, when asked about criticism of her claim that the bill makes counseling “mandatory,” McCaughey claimed that she was right about the effect (if not the literal wording) of the legislation.


AARP Executive VP: McCaughey’s commentary “rife with gross — and even cruel — distortions.” In a July 28 press release, AARP executive vice president John Rother stated that “Betsy McCaughey’s recent commentary on health care reform column in various media outlets is rife with gross — and even cruel — distortions.” Criticizing McCaughey’s “distortions” with regard to comparative effectiveness research and end-of-life counseling, Rother added that AARP will “fight the campaign of misinformation that vested interests are using to try to scare older Americans in order to protect the status quo.”

Debunkings, McCaughey’s backtracking doesn’t stop media echo chamber

York says according to bill, “there will be consultation … to discuss … end-of-life issues.” On the July 28 edition of Special Report, Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York falsely claimed that a provision in a House health reform bill “says that there will be consultation between a caregiver and a patient to discuss things like hospice care and other issues — other end-of-life issues,” which he claimed raised the question of “whether there’s any coercive element to this.” [Special Report with Bret Baier, 7/28/09]

Washington Post promoted falsehood. In a July 29 Post article about President Obama’s AARP forum on health care, Ceci Connolly wrote that “[o]ne woman asked Obama about ‘rumors’ that under the proposed legislation, every American over age 65 would be visited by a government worker and ‘told to decide how they wish to die,’ ” but did not report that the “rumors” are not true, as Cuthbert and Obama noted during that forum.

Hannity: “I don’t want somebody at the end of my life from some bureaucrat counseling me about whether or not I need antibiotics.”


Buchanan: “Now we’re hearing all this stuff about people at the end of their life are gonna get visited by some guy.” On the July 31 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan said: “We’ve been talking about the other side now, which is the apprehension and fear on the part of people who’ve got good health insurance and would like to have other folks taken care of, but they say wait a minute, we’re gonna get taxed, and now we’re hearing all this stuff about people at the end of their life are gonna get visited by some guy.”


Salon’s Conason says McCaughey the “source” of the ” ‘elderly euthanasia’ hoax.” In a July 31 Salon article, Joe Conason wrote: “It appears that McCaughey is the source of the ‘elderly euthanasia’ hoax now circulating on the Internet, talk radio and in right-wing media, which claims that Democratic health bills will force old, ill Medicare recipients into making plans for their own deaths.

(You can watch–and I heartily suggest you do–both parts of Jon Stewart’s interview of Betsy Wetsy here)


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24 responses to “Heavens to Betsy! You’re Fired!

  1. It only took 15 years for karma (or progressives) to repay Betsy McCaughey for her help torpedoing the Clinton health care plan in 1994. The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow, but they grind very fine.

  2. I’m about ready for a mandatory end of life counseling session myself.
    How much more of this lunacy can we take?

  3. Dusty

    I really do wonder about the avg intelligence of the Faux Noise watcher. After the rest of the news media has said the ‘end of life’ crap is false..Bets and her buds are still passing it along as real and folks still believe her.

    I did enjoy Jon Stewart jerking her chain. I put the vid’s up on my blog to spread the enjoyment to others. 😉

    • i don’t know if it’s necessarily a matter of intelligence (though i’m quite sure a lot of dolts watch faux news). there’s something else going on. intelligent people can be talked into the most stupid things if the the right buttons are pushed. in the case of faux news, i think a lot of people just like to be assured that their own prejudices are acceptable and correct.

      • Friend of the court

        vapid validation.

      • I sort of agree.

        The problem, though, is that a lot of FNC viewers use it as their ONLY news source. They don’t check anything else, even though FNC has a record of getting the facts wrong.

        They have been fed the line that all other news sources are biased, so they don’t check anything on those unreliable networks.

        That, however, does go back to intelligence, I think.

        • i’m sure that a percentage of faux viewers are intellectually challenged, but i still think there are many who aren’t stupid, but intellectually lazy. they have certain beliefs that they want verified, and twisting the facts doesn’t matter as long as they fit into that belief system.

  4. A purer form of fecal matter than this woman was never foisted upon the health care debate.

  5. jeb

    My, she claims to be an advocate and she was on a Board of Directors? Guess there was no reading comprehension test when she was hired (and probably no ethics quiz either).

  6. KarenZipdrive

    I am loving how this bitch and Dick Armey lost their cushy paying jobs because of their fat mouths. Keep talking, clowns!

  7. Hello Nonnie !! 😀

    I watched the Jon Stewart clips. I thought the Betsy Lady a bit mouthy. Then JS said to Betsy Lady “You’re HYPERBOLIC!”

    What I learned from the interview is that the proposed Health Care Bill is a thousand pages long, and it is written in gobbledegook.
    Somebody somewhere stuffing it with unnecessary gobbledegook detail.
    No wonder the whole thing is stalled and everyone is arguing about different things.
    The Bill, in my opinion, should work like this: FIRST it should be short and generalized … and only after the generalized bit gets passed … THEN bits can be debated, then added, then more bits added, then debated and subtracted, then added again and so on. The Bill gradually gets fatter and fatter and even surpasses its present fatness, but it will have been built gradually and thoughtfully, piece by piece, and not cobbled together in one big lump overnight.

    ps “Gobbledygook may indicate a failure to think clearly, a contempt for one’s clients, or more probably a mixture of both. A system that can’t or won’t communicate is not a safe basis for a democracy.” <– somebody said that.

    • hi mighty mikk0mouse! 😀

      most bills are that long. if they were all done piecemeal, nothing would get passed. the gobbledygook level is a direct result of most legislators being lawyers. everything has to be packed with legalese so that the right people and corporations retain their loopholes, and the rest of us have to hire lawyers just to figure out what our rights are.

  8. Hi Nons! Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. It’s been a very trying week, personally. One thing though, it’s kept me from getting wound up from listening to those rethuglican rants!

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