Howard Kurtz and his panel on Reliable Sources are not impressed with Rush Limbaugh's "in-depth survey of how multimillionaire celebrity patients are treated" in the health care system.
KURTZ: Let me move on to another incident that happened in Hawaii and ended up being covered by the White House correspondents who are with the president, and that was Rush Limbaugh, ,who was hospitalized with chest pains. We were glad that it turned out to be nothing serious.
Limbaugh held a news conference when he was released from that Hawaii hospital, and here's some of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Based on what happened to me here, I don't think there's one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy, and I got nothing special.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Now, Rush Limbaugh didn't take questions, said he didn't want to talk about politics. But he certainly made a point there about the health care system, didn't he?
SMITH: Of course he did. You've got to love Rush.
He did an in-depth survey of how multimillionaire celebrity patients are treated. And they're treated very well, thank you. And so everything, he said, was fine and dandy.
I mean, it's ridiculous on the face of it. And yet, he made his point. He slipped it in there.
KURTZ: But, you know, maybe it's true that he didn't get any special treatment. But, you know, he has a $400 million contract. There are 50 million Americans, more than that, actually, with no health insurance.
SMITH: Well, you know, a friend of mine was yesterday in an emergency room with a heart problem and spent all day there. And he saw the other side of the health care crisis; namely, long lines and jammed facilities. So I think Rush maybe had a little special treatment.
HALL: Well, you know, you can argue that, and you don't want to be unkind. I thought the media commentator showed a lot of restraint for not saying, you know, how do you feel about the 47 million uninsured and do you have a pre-existing condition?
He has been outspoken about how this health care reform is going to bankrupt the country. And the fact that he didn't take questions, then he got to make a speech. Ed Henry was the only person who asked him a question.
KURTZ: Asked a quick question about...
HALL: Right, about, are you taking pain meds, which seemed to throw Limbaugh off.
KURTZ: But you know what bothered me just briefly? Some of the reaction in the blogosphere, where some liberal commentators, when it appeared that he might have had a heart attack, were sort of rooting for him to have a heart attack. Whether you think Rush Limbaugh's views are hateful or not, that struck me as over the line. HALL: I agree with you. That's ugly. I mean, you don't do that.
Even when he's had other problems in the past -- I mean, you know, I think where people might want to question him is about his stance versus what he personally experienced. I think that's valid.
KURTZ: That's fair game. He actually introduced that into the debate by holding the news conference and talking about, absolutely nothing wrong with the American health care system.