Public Editor

Obamacare website problems follow-up too little

A reader shares an observation about today’s print edition versus yesterday’s, on a matter that affects millions of Americans:

Couldn't resist zinging The Star today. Every major news organization in the country has the rollout of the new health care program as its top or second story while The Star buries it in the middle of its business section. I realize that there was an extensive story yesterday but even that headlined "glitches" which most would find meaning small problems. The news from yesterday reported everywhere but in The Star was about Obama's Rose Garden response to the problems. He gave out an 800 number as an alternate and almost all news organizations, even MSNBC this morning, noted that when people first called the number, they were referred back to the web site and then when they did get through found that the people on the line could only take info and offer to get back to them in a week or so. Numerous news orgs also noting that of all the people lined up with him, only 3 have actually enrolled successfully. This is a continuing and growing problem that appears to go well beyond glitches. Would The Star have been so reluctant to cover this in some detail if it were a Republican administration?

As he correctly notes, this “rocky rollout” was

the lead story on Page A1 Monday.

I’m not fond of questions about what might have been if the other party were in the White House, as that’s obviously an unknowable situation. But it’s perfectly fair to criticize the disparity between yesterday’s story and today’s follow-up on Page C8 about President Obama’s reaction.