The New York Times had first shot in 2014 at the video of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber mocking the “stupidity of the American voter,” but took a pass.
Though the Times eventually followed up on reports of the MIT economist’s now-infamous remarks on the passage of the Affordable Care Act, it did so only after they had generated a national scandal.
Times’ reporter Robert Pear was the “first real journalist” that tipster Rich Weinstein contacted with the newly unearthed footage, he told the Washington Examiner.
Weinstein met Pear at a conference in Washington, D.C., when he was trying to find a reporter who he could tip off to a separate Obamacare issue involving contracts between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and CGI Federal, the company that was brought on to build healthcare.gov.
“Nobody would listen to me,” Weinstein said, explaining that his earlier attempts to connect with media had been mostly unsuccessful. “So I was trying to contact journalists directly because I had this stuff.”
Having met Pear on Oct. 30 at a Cato Institute conference, titled “Pruitt, Halbig, King & Indiana: Is Obamacare Once Again Headed to the Supreme Court,” he followed up on the contact.
“I sent [Pear] an email telling him he should look at these videos I found,” he said, noting that he discovered the footage of Gruber’s now-infamous “stupidity” remarks on Nov. 2.
Weinstein showed the Examiner an email to Pear dated Nov. 9 including a link to the Gruber video and reading, “Thought you’d be interested in this.”
Pear, who had just two days earlier reported on separate Gruber comments regarding state health care exchanges, responded to the email, asking, “would you happen to the know the time and place of the panel discussion?”
Weinstein provided details of the 2013 health care event and the Times reporter answered with a simple, “thank you.”
That was the end of their communication, Weinstein said. Pear never followed up on their conversation and he never wrote about the tip.
Fortunately for the public record, conservative activist group American Commitment found the footage that Weinstein had circulated on social media and uploaded it to YouTube Nov. 7. The Daily Signal found it there and published it Nov. 9 with an article titled “Caught on Camera: Obamacare Architect Admits Deceiving Americans to Pass Law.”