Why yes, they certainly did.
Twitchy readers may recall that the New York Times ran a column three and a half years ago bemoaning the plight of an Oregon sawmill worker, John Brodniak, who couldn’t get treatment for cavernous hemangioma because he didn’t have health insurance:
Without insurance, John has been unable to get surgery or even help managing the pain. When he collapses or suffers particularly excruciating headaches, Esther rushes him to the emergency room of one hospital or another, but an E.R. can’t do much for him. One hospital has told them not to come back unless he gets insurance, they say. That meant that the couple had no income — and no insurance for anyone in the family, including the children. Neighbors have helped, and a community program has paid the rent so that they are not homeless. But bills are piling up, and John and Esther don’t know how they will cope.
The column crescendoed with a clarion, hysterical call to Congress to Do Something to promote health insurance:
John’s story is not so unusual. A Harvard study, to be published next month in the American Journal of Public Health, suggests that almost 45,000 Americans die prematurely each year as a consequence of not having insurance. John may become one of them.
If a senator strolled indifferently by as John retched in pain, we would think that person pitiless. But isn’t it just as monstrous for politicians to avert their eyes, make excuses and deny coverage to innumerable Americans just like John?
A few months later President Obama signed Obamacare into law. Mission accomplished.
Just one problem. Kristof’s column was complete B.S., from top to bottom. For starters, Brodniak did have health insurance and did receive treatment. Other holes are noted here.
The author of the wildly incorrect op-ed piece? You guessed it: Nick Kristof.
That column, by the way, still appears on the New York Times website and has never been retracted.