The CNN world, the Fox News world, and Barney Frank

If you live in a CNN world, you might have seen this clip of U.S. Rep. Barney Frank’s confrontation Tuesday night with a young woman holding up a picture President Barack Obama — made up to look like Hitler.

“Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy, as Obama has?” the young lady asked during the two-hour town hall meeting on health care in Dartmouth, Mass.

Replied Frank, who is of Jewish extraction: “I am going to refer my ethnic heritage, and answer your question with a question. On what planet do you spend most of your time?”

He added: “It’s a tribute to the First Amendment that this kind of vile, contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated. Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table.” See it here:

But if you live in a Fox News world, you were less likely to see the Nazi lady, and more likely to see Frank’s repeated, sarcastic rebuffs to more philosophic questions:

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77 comments Add your comment


August 19th, 2009
10:43 am

Replied Frank, who is of Jewish extraction: “I am going to refer my ethnic heritage, and answer your question with a question. On what planet do you spend most of your time?”

Why, Mr. Frank, what planet would you prefer I spend “most of my time”?



August 19th, 2009
10:43 am

I never did hear the answer as to whether Barmy Frank was going to give up his Cadillac health plan and join the rest of us in what’s being proposed.I know the answer,but it would have been nice to hear it from Barmy’s lips.


August 19th, 2009
11:15 am

What part of “control of the private sector by the government” not equate to Fascism/Nazism/ Read your history Barney. Fascism is a leftist/progressive/socialist form of government.

Rabid Repub

August 19th, 2009
11:18 am

Keep the governments hands of my Medicare!


August 19th, 2009
11:28 am

“Keep your hands off my Medicare!”

Oh, you mean government controlled Medicare? More or less the same thing that the Gov. is trying to extend to your children and grandchildren? Do you even know how incredibly ignorant and mindless that statement sounds? “Keep the government’s hands off my medicare?” Don’t you already know that Medicare is a government run agency?


August 19th, 2009
11:29 am

I am a staunch Republican who now lives in Canada. There is a private and public system here, and 1 doctor for every 200 people – as opposed to 1 for every 450 in the US. I can go anywhere I want to for service – there are no insurance companies tell me where to go for tests etc. I no longer spend 1200/month to insure my family – as I did int he US. I am against big govenment but conflicted because at the same the insurance companies dictate everything in the US now. I look at Social Security and Medicare – both used to great benefit by my parents, and these were also viewed as socialist at one time. Now, they are defended by Republicans. Makes you think a bit.


August 19th, 2009
11:32 am

Rabid Repub – Keep government hands off of your Medicare????? What the hell???? Who the hell do you think RUNS Medicare???? I’ll ask Mr. Frank’s question – on what planet do YOU live???


August 19th, 2009
11:47 am

One thing about that Barney Frank, he sure knows how to handle nuts doesn’t he! Hey Barney, How about reverting to the part of your ethnic heritage (Jewish) that forbids homosexual behavior?


August 19th, 2009
11:47 am

The private sector is always more efficient because insurance companies have an incentive to minimize costs while government only wants to maximize votes!


August 19th, 2009
11:54 am

And the way the private sector minimizes costs is by denying coverage or refusing certain doctors/treatments. Hooray!


August 19th, 2009
12:37 pm

Also, I don’t think the lady knew Frank was Jewish.


August 19th, 2009
12:41 pm

I think the private sector’s true motive is to maximize profit. That can happen by minimizing costs. But, instead of being a force to make the delivery of health care more efficient for the consumer, the insurance companies actually force the system to be more efficient for themselves. My friend who is a pediatrician says that the days of the general practitioner or “family doctor” are numbered. Because insurance companies continue to lower the amounts they pay for general office visits, family doctors are losing their ability to make their businesses work. He predicts that in the future, the physician’s assistant will become the first line of care for day-to-day medical issues, while all “doctors” will actually be specialists. And, as Clarence mentioned, the other way to reduce costs is to simply refuse to pay. So, in our current system, we already have a nameless, faceless bureaucrat who stands between us and our doctors deciding on who gets what treatments, and there is usually no appeal process and no way to hold the company accountable, unless you are lucky enough to make a media splash about your case. The fact of the matter is that health care is rationed in the US, rationed first by who can afford to have insurance and second by what the insurance company chooses to pay. Of course, Medicare is a whole different story.

The other way to maximize profit is to increase revenues. Increasing premiums is one way to go about it, and I think we have all seen evidence of that. It is true that part of this increase is due to health care costs that continue to rise at an aggressive pace despite whatever “efficiencies” we have put in place to control them. But another way to increase revenues is to gobble up or defeat the competition so customers have no alternatives. In many parts of the country, people have only one or two choices for insurance, so there is no competition that would theoretically bring down prices. The same thing happens in other industries, too. If a city is only served by Delta, the cost to fly there will be much higher than a nearby city served also by AirTran. So, the ticket price is not dependent on either distance or time of flight, but on a calculation of the maximum price the market will sustain. The same thing happens in communities without a choice of insurance providers.

Ultimately, the insurance companies are answerable to their stock holders who demand the maximum return on their investment. If you have a 401K or similar plan and have bought into a broad market fund, you likely own some shares of health insurance companies, which leads to an interesting thought. A lot of people are unhappy about the way health insurance companies are running their businesses, but a lot of those same people also own pieces of those companies. Perhaps we need a town hall meeting with insurance company executives.


August 19th, 2009
1:05 pm

lan is a liar.


August 19th, 2009
1:18 pm

Barney Frank: You’re so wrong I’m not even going to dignify your claims with a real answer.

AJC Bloggers: Oh yeah? Well you’re gay and Jewish.

Fox News: …And you’re too sarcastic.

C’mon. Is anything being discussed here really anything like what went down in Germany in the 30s and 40s? This *is* crazy. Who’s filling your heads with this stuff, and what’s their motivation anyway?

My guess: ratings and profit.


August 19th, 2009
1:27 pm

“The private sector is always more efficient because insurance companies have an incentive to minimize costs while government only wants to maximize votes!”

Minimize costs and maximize profits. No insurance company ever made dime by paying out claims.
Maximize votes?
They get votes by serving the public.
They serve the public with the taxes we pay.
The taxes we pay go to the services we vote for.
There’s plenty of incentive to do it right.

Why not spend your energy making sure that the taxes we pay are spent wisely, instead of just assuming it’s a lost cause and putting all of your faith in people with a profit motive and no incentive to get more health care to more people for cheaper? That’s a true fiscal conservative.

Y’all are bought and sold by big money.

cletus T. rockafella

August 19th, 2009
1:37 pm

Cliff is correct – refuse to pay. Got in a fight with my brother, jimmahjoejimbob & went to an expensive hospital in North Fulton county. Stayed overnight. Bill came to $16,000. Told them I would offer 1/100 of 1 cent on the dollar or file bankruptcy. They took a hike. Free health care be the best health care.


August 19th, 2009
1:43 pm

Enter your comments here


August 19th, 2009
1:46 pm

Frank gave as good as he got. Its about time someone gave them a dose of their own medicine and put those protesters in their place. I wish other Congressmen had the stones to take Frank’s lead. Where was all this talk about “overspending” and “deficits” when the government was voting to fund two wars (one we didn’t have to fight) while giving out tax cuts (I’m STILL trying to figure out the math on THAT one)?


August 19th, 2009
1:50 pm

To those of you who revert to judgement of Frank’s sexual orientation in your statements: you betray your pathetic bigotry and do nothing to forward an intelligent debate about the issue at hand. I realize you are eager to judge others and it’s hard to stop, but you waste everyone else’s time and attention span with your witless, and more to the point, irrelevant smears.


August 19th, 2009
1:50 pm

Hey “spectator” – I am not a liar – born in Silver Springs Maryland, as was my brother, while my Parents are from Kentucky. Don’t believe me about what I wrote – look it up. Canada spends half as much on health care per capita/per citizen than the US, (3K Can vs 7K US), the life expectancy is higher as well by 3 years (81 Can vs 78 US) and the infant mortality rate is lower. By every measure, the US is beat by every other G8 nation, and yet we spend more than they do. The US may be a great country, but we get our ass handed to us by other nations who do it better n health care. I am for big business, and growth, not getting screwed in a system that is unjust. Educate yourself! you can still be a Republican and see the middle ground – unless of course you’re a stuborn mule.


August 19th, 2009
2:37 pm

So happy a politician has finally started to stand up to the outright lies and utter stupidity being spewed at these town hall meetings. It is a testament to the real strength and reach of corporate lobbyists that people are buying the “death panels” and fascism claims. Use fear to keep people from acting in their own best interest. It works. Over and over and over again. We are a very young and ignorant country. Having basic health care for everyone is such a horrible idea. I mean really, let the old, poor infants and children and sick die. THAT is the American way.


August 19th, 2009
2:47 pm

And the AJC wants to know why its circulation is down & CNN’s viewship has moved to Fox…could you swing a little more to the left?

Most of us are over here, somewhere between wanting less government & hoping to see the government actually do something productive.

As Ronald Regan said, the scariest 9 words ever spoken: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”


August 19th, 2009
3:09 pm

I heart Barney Frank – I was waiting for someone to finally push back. The sad thing is – I would have loved to hear rational questions and a civilized debate at these town meetings instead of all the yelling and name calling. How else will we work this out successfully for the benefit of everyone?


August 19th, 2009
3:13 pm

YOU GO BARNEY! you tell ‘em what we’ve all been thinking! you’re the smartest guy in Congress!

Dave Kossmann

August 19th, 2009
3:16 pm

I think Barney Frank is a breath of fresh air. Its about time someone told these idiots that they were idiots directly. To even equate anything in this country to the horror of the Nazi in Germany is horrible. This is the greatest country in the world and if you don’t don’t think so get out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


August 19th, 2009
3:28 pm

I dont live in the US nor am I a citizen nor do I care about Rep or Dem agendas. What I find funny in a strange way is the craziness around health reform. I do find disturbing how ppl show up at town halls screaming and yelling and holding up pics of Hitler. I dunno, but to me, walking around with Hitler pics are messed up. If I showed up at work with Hitler memorabilia I’d be canned. I was wondering if ppl are so against gvt health care, why aren’t they protesting against the insurance companies and health care providers that are ripping them off? Or are ppl comfortable paying large amounts that increase every year? Where I live, I have mostly gvt health and some private. I wish I had the option to opt out of one and choose another like the one proposed in the US. Other than that, I have no real worries. I thought I paid more than an American until I saw how much your private health care is extremely high. I agree that quality of service is very important as well, but american lifespans have decreased as well. I don’t get it, what am I missing that causes ppl to fear the public option?


August 19th, 2009
3:45 pm

Barney Frank is a breath of fresh air? Thats rich. Want to blame Bush for getting in a two country war? I get it. You then also have to blame Barney Frank and Chris Dodd for the real estate debacle we are in, and by extension the losses everyones 401k plans have been saddled with.

You cannot have it one way without the other. Liberals will aways try too, its up to realists to keep them in check…


August 19th, 2009
3:52 pm

Barney frank was absolutely right. I believe that there should be a real debate on the health care reform issue, but these birthers, deathers, and nazi comparers just need to shut up, leave the room, and let the adults have a conversation.


August 19th, 2009
3:54 pm

Good for you, Barney Frank!

Oh, and Republicat_Slave: please take your bigotry elsewhere.


August 19th, 2009
4:04 pm

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by socialist electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the socialist clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the socialist radio to one of the FCC regulated channels to hear what the socialist National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using socialist satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of socialist US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the socialist drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as kept accurate by the socialist National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my socialist National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the socialist roads build by the socialist local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the socialist Environmental Protection Agency, using socialist legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the socialist US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the socialist public school. If I get lost, I can use my socialist GPS navigation technology developed by the United States Department of Defense and made available to the public in 1996 by President Bill Clinton who issued a policy directive declaring socialist GPS to be a dual-use military/civilian system to be managed as a national socialist asset.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the socialist workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the socialist USDA, I drive my socialist NHTSA car back home on the socialist DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the socialist state and local building codes and socialist fire marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it’s valuables thanks to the socialist local police department.

I then get on my computer and use the socialist internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and browse the socialist World Wide Web using my graphical web browser, both made possible by Al Gore’s socialist High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991. I then post on and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.


August 19th, 2009
4:07 pm

I dont get it.. people want their healthcare plans to be market based? Because most of them ARE as of now!
Insurance is the big huge scam… which only means that when something along the line fails and someone gets hurt… hospitals get sued for millions…so they’ll charge you an arm and a leg in the first place just so they can pay THOSE millions when it hits!

So what you’re saying is… let it play like that. I don’t want the government to regular the healthcare so that we all get treated even when we’re not able to cough up hundreds or thousands of dollars for a single ER visit.

I laugh in your faces.. this is the most bizarre yet morbidly hilarious thing I’ve heard.

You go Barney.


August 19th, 2009
4:10 pm

With so much adversity against the Obama plan, I’d say Mr.Frank did nothing to help the cause …. he’s an arrogant idiot & should be removed immediately from office…..anyone who talks to his own voters in that manner doesn’t deserve to be in office. Additionally, his show-offs in Congress are not impressive either.

Jean in Ohio

August 19th, 2009
4:18 pm

Bless Barney Frank for finally saying it like it is. Some of these people who are ranting and raving at town hall meetings are such a bunch of stupid asses. Most of them look like they are one pay check from not having health care coverage, but they would still rather be screwed by the insurance company.

They’d rather pay higher insurance premiums (which they are), find themselves denied coverage when they need it (happens to someone every day), pay excessive cost for medicine (happens to everyone everyday), but Heaven forbid the government would suggest making coverage available at a reasonable cost, in a method that would decrease costs for everyone, that would not only cover them when they need it, but someone less advantaged. Maybe that’s the whole point their afraid someone disadvantaged may finally get some medical care.

Thankfully Congressman Franks recognizes ignorance when faced with it, and calls it what it is. If MikeB thinks he is a realist I have news for him…at age 75 I can tell him he not only doesn’t have his head screwed on right … he hasn’t a clue about what’s real.


August 19th, 2009
4:19 pm

@David the “Keep the governments hands of my Medicare!” comment made by Rabid Republican is a statement lampooning the ignorance spewed at these town hall meetings. I think your sarcasm detector is broken.


August 19th, 2009
4:20 pm

Since when does Barney Frank have his constituents best interests at heart?


August 19th, 2009
4:23 pm

Members of Congress don’t have a “Cadillac” health plan. They have the same choices of health plans that all other federal employees do. These are certainly decent benefits–the same as those available to the worker who processes my parents’ Social Security or an FBI agent’s. But Congress members are not receiving special treatment. This latter claim is just one more of the litany of lies and misinformation disseminated by the extreme Right, including Fox News.


August 19th, 2009
4:59 pm

To paraphrase the sainted Pres. Reagan: “The ten most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the insurance company and I’m here to help.’”


August 19th, 2009
5:02 pm

Rabid Republucan probably means anymore than their hands already are in the medicare. Have some common sense before nitpicking people…


August 19th, 2009
5:06 pm

I love that Barney Frank. It’s keeps it real honest and direct. Also for all the people that are against the public option. Are these the same people that are against social secrutiy, worker’s comp, and unempolyment. If they really cared about America and Americans they would be for the public option.


August 19th, 2009
5:09 pm

I bet each and every one of you here cheering on Barney will be back to complain abut huge tax hikes if these healthcare ides came through.

Jean you really want to have your cake and eat it too huh? (rolls eyes)


August 19th, 2009
5:22 pm

“Jean you really want to have your cake and eat it too huh? (rolls eyes)”

a tax hike is probably cheaper than continuing to pay for insurance that’ll drop me if I get sick.

you can’t get something for nothing, unlike republicans think.


August 19th, 2009
5:37 pm

Quote from Keith

“What part of “control of the private sector by the government” not equate to Fascism/Nazism/ Read your history Barney. Fascism is a leftist/progressive/socialist form of government.”

Fascism is a form of Nationalism, where the state’s values are put above all other values, religion, family, privacy, etc. It has nothing to do with the left (just the opposite, as Fascism stems from an ultra right conservative approach), progressive, or socialism. Maybe you should read your history, Keith, and a dictionary.


August 19th, 2009
5:53 pm

gee Keith, I wasn’t aware neo-nazis were leftist… either you don’t know what you’re talking about, or hitler never bombed Russia because he despised communism more than dick armey


August 19th, 2009
6:00 pm

Barney is a idiot we better get our economy back in shape first talking to him is like talking to a dinning room table

I strongly believe we need a federal reserve audit. The recent stock market action suggests to me the federal reserve is intervening in a free and open market. I believe the biggest beneficiary of this TRILLION DOLLAR stock market move in a couple of weeks was Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs sells derivatives in our equity markets its apparent that Goldman Sachs Has Total Control Over our stock market using the unlimited capital available from the federal reserve. I believe Goldman Sachs doesn’t have the best interest of our markets. They are misusing the federal reserve to manipulate the stock market and making huge 100 BILLION DOLLAR profits THIS IS ILLEGAL people expect our government to obey the laws just like citizen. Also this manipulation without regards for cost continues to put our government and the people more and more in debt




August 19th, 2009
6:14 pm

The previous poster who said – “Fascism is a leftist/progressive/socialist form of government” might want to dig a bit deeper (in fact open any history book or looking on Wikipedia would suffice). The literal translation of Nazism is something like “national socialism”. This doesn’t mean it has any relation at all to the generally accepted meaning of the modern political term “socialism”. You can call yourself whatever you like, but it’s only a label of your own choosing! By your own logic I suppose you would also consider North Korea, whose official moniker is the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”, as a full blown democracy. It’s this kind of untruthful nonsense that really detracts from any meaningful dialog.


August 19th, 2009
6:21 pm

Government should be abolished then it will solve all our problems. Let anarchy rule!


August 19th, 2009
7:22 pm

I am amazed that so many people are actually blowing past the content of the Blog. Why would a woman calling a gay Jewish man a nazi not be relevant to Faux News?

But now, a personal to Republicrat_Slave: Can you plese clarify your URANUS comment? Was that a Limbaugh dittohead comment? A homophobic slam? Or the expression of a homoerotic wish? If the latter, was it about Frank? Or Rush?

As for the Insurance comments, it is clear that many people on both sides don’t understand their own care or what is available (or not available) in Medicaid. One of the things I find interesting is that employers are, for the most part, keeping quiet about comparisons.


August 19th, 2009
7:26 pm

I’m a girl from England and have been following this roughly.. So are the government trying to create a similar system to our National Health Service? I don’t really want to get into this as I don’t know all the facts and I’m certainly not trying to badmouth anyone but why did that lady bring Hitler into it?


August 19th, 2009
7:29 pm

Good for you, Mr. Frank! Tell ‘em like it is!
You idiot Republicans never cease to amaze me! You started two wars and spent trillions of dollars because 3000 people died on 9/11. Yet over 20,000 people die every year because they don’t have health care insurance but you don’t want to help them. Millions file for bankrupty because of doctor bills. And over 46 million people don’t have health care insurance — when those 46 million+ go to the doctor and can’t pay, who do you think is actually paying the bill? YOU ARE! And who’s going to pay for the health care for the over 65% of Americans who are overweight with potential to develop diabetes, heart problems, etc. Who’s going to pay for health care for the baby-boomers as they age? Guess again! You are! That’s what President Obama means when he says our health care system is unsustainable.
Wake up, people, before it’s too late!

Great post, Len_RI. Unfortunately, the Foxers here are too stupid to understand. They’d rather make political points than help their fellow man (and themselves!) They’re being taken for a ride by the big corporate insurance companies but they just don’t get it.

Gary R

August 19th, 2009
7:49 pm

Many Thanks to the Rush Limbaughs, Ann Coulters, Glenn Becks, of the world for proving once again that you can indeed fool some of the people all of the time.

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination.” – Mark Twain