Since Barack Obama announced his run for the White House in 2007, the Huffington Post has been among his most loyal and vicious flacks in the news media. Since then, HuffPost’s two daily mantras have been, (1) “Must. Protect. Barack,” and (2), “Blame everything that goes wrong in America on the Republicans.”
On Sunday, October 12, we got a dose of both mantras in one, right on HuffPost’s front page.
First, we saw this headline, with the image of a professional, decisive Obama on the phone, claiming, “Obama Orders Immediate Federal Action On Ebola.”
At the very top of the front page, on the same day, we saw this headline, with an image of Obama looking sternly over the speaker’s shoulder : “NIH Director: We’d Probably Have An Ebola Vaccine If Not For Budget Cuts”:
On the surface, these two stories would have little relation, aside from the ebola connection. But a peek beneath the surface reveals the real, unseemly agenda at work: for HuffPost to act as a conduit for the Obama administration to blame Republicans for the Ebola debacle – after ignoring Obama’s colossal incompetence at every step of the way during this unfolding crisis.
In a nutshell, National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) director Francis Collins claims that were it not for budget cuts to his agency over the past ten years, an ebola cure could have already been found:
Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said that a decade of stagnant spending has “slowed down” research on all items, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. As a result, he said, the international community has been left playing catch-up on a potentially avoidable humanitarian catastrophe.
“NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”
Given that all spending bills originate in the House of Representatives, and the Republicans won control of the House in five of the last seven elections, it is implied (but not explicitly stated) that these spending cuts were the Republicans’ malicious attempt to undermine Americans’ health. Rather than being an isolated incident of HuffPost allowing exceptions to Arianna’s strict prohibition of “conspiracy theories and inflammatory claims,” it is part of the supposedly “nonpartisan” newspaper’s daily, drip-drip-drip attack on Republicans, that range from provable lies to racist incitement.
And in this incident, there is zero evidence in HuffPost’s article to show a correlation between funding and ebola research. Yet once again, HuffPost enabled the NIH director to implicitly slam the Republicans, who control the House:
Collins said he’d like Congress to pass emergency supplemental appropriations to help with the work. But, he added, “nobody seems enthusiastic about that.”
What Stein and HuffPost failed to mention about the NIH, however, is even a hint of the massive waste of taxpayer dollars that occurs at the agency every year, and particularly under Obama. For example, in October 2012, Forbes produced this report, which documented some examples of how the NIH spends the money that taxpayers are forced to give it:
$386,000: A study to determine if massage benefits rabbits.
$1,158,000: A study to determine of people can lose weight by meditating.
$400,680: “Non-Specific Effects of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Hot Flashes”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Here are some other ways that the NIH has thrown away U.S. taxpayer money:
$1,500,000: A study to help women in Brazil to quit smoking.
$509,840: A study to see if text messages in “gay lingo,” sent to methamphetamine addicts, will “persuade them to use fewer drugs and more condoms.”
$1,500,000: A study to determine why lesbians are overweight.
$2,700,000: A study to determine why lesbians have more “vulnerability to hazardous drinking.”
$666,905: A study to discern the benefits of watching reruns on television.
And then, there are the grand-daddies of all known NIH wasteful spending programs (thus far):
$2,600,000: A program to train Chinese prostitutes to drink alcohol responsibly (while on the job).
$17,000,000: A study to determine if Chinese prostitutes, some as young as 14 years old, would use a substance to help reduce the spread of STDs.
All told, the NIH has spent more than $90 million in the past ten years on studies related to Chinese prostitutes.
How much further along on a cure for Ebola would the NIH be if it wasn’t operating a free-for-all of boondoggle studies, costing the U.S. taxpayer billions of dollars?
Somehow, Stein and HuffPost forgot (or refused) to ask the good director of NIH that question. That certainly wouldn’t have been prudent at this juncture, when HuffPost’s overarching mission is to protect Obama and the agencies he oversees from being held to account for his (and their) massive, escalating incompetence and subversion.