CNN: ‘Disingenuous Insurance Companies’ or Disingenuous Reporting?

-By Warner Todd Huston

On October 13 CNN’s John Roberts conducted an interview with purported “insurance industry insider” Wendell Potter who claimed that the disingenuous actions of the insurance industry made him “decide to become a critic of the industry.”

Mr. Potter is a former head of Public Relations of the CIGNA Corp and Humana, Inc. but he is more than that, not that John Roberts told his viewers this fact. The first major problem with this interview is that Wendell Potter is now a member of Center for Media and Democracy, a group funded by the left-wing Tides Foundation (itself supported by George Soros) and other left-wing organizations. The only hint that viewers got of this affiliation was a three second caption at the bottom of the screen. Roberts never verbally identified the group to which Potter belongs nor that its agenda was anti-insurance company.

Potter went on to rail against the insurance companies calling them disingenuous with their dealings with Obama and Congress.

I think the industry has been disingenuous from the beginning of this debate. They have never had any intention of being good faith partners with the president and Congress. And I know this from having been a part of many, many efforts over the past 20 years, almost, to defeat reform, or to help shape reform to the industry’s benefit. And I was a part of some of the efforts to plan this very campaign.

Roberts, of course, did not challenge this assertion.

Of course, there is a major fact that neither John Roberts nor his left-wing guest mentioned: the insurance companies thought they had a deal with Obama yet Congress said that they would not be held by any deals Obama might make. So, who is disingenuous here? The insurance companies or Obama?

Back in July, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus told reporters that Congress would not be held by any deals such as those struck between Obama and the healthcare industry, drug companies, or insurance industry representatives. He said that since Congress wasn’t a party to these deals they aren’t held by them.

This was echoed by comments by Charlie Rangel (D, New York), House Ways and Means Chair, who said he “didn’t care” what agreements Obama negotiated with industry reps and that he’d carry forward with his own ideas regardless. And it looks like his ideas are to punish industry, not try to work with it.

Additionally, Henry Waxman (D, Calif.) Energy and Commerce Chair, also looked to be ready to slap industry representatives that thought they had a deal with Obama saying that since he wasn’t involved in negotiations, he wasn’t bound by Obama’s deal making.

Finally, Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) concurred with the other two that since his committee wasn’t involved in Obama’s wheeling and dealing, why those agreements are meaningless to him.

So, who is it that is “disingenuous” here? The Insurance industry, Congress, or Obama?

Isn’t it curious that none of these facts made it into John Roberts’ report?
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,,,,,, Human Events Magazine,, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for

He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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