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The media’s pathetic obsession with Obama’s “apology”

I had the unique experience of watching President Obama’s interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd in real time, as it happened, in order to respond to it on “Hardball” Thursday night, without the benefit of Twitter or other media to help me decide what was important. Personally, I thought the president worked hard, if not always convincingly, to get Americans to take a longer view on the success of the Affordable Care Act. I was struck by his assertion that the ACA tried to be as “undisruptive” to the private market as possible. As someone who wanted at minimum a public option and thought the president compromised too much with the greedy private system, I thought the takeaway from the interview was “no good deed goes unpunished.”

But NBC News, and all of Twitter, trumpeted what turned out to be the newsworthy bite in the interview: Obama’s “apology.” Asked by Todd whether “you feel like you owe these folks an apology for misleading them,” he replied, after a lot of throat-clearing: “I am sorry that they-- you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me. We've got to work hard to make sure that-- they know-- we hear 'em and that we're going to do everything we can-- to deal with folks who find themselves-- in a tough position as a consequence of this.”

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