Good Afternoon Mags!
Usually, I am one that advocates, "Don't Shoot The Messenger!" but in
this case, your DailyKos article, (the DailyKos having been established and
proven to be an unethical, literal hate site!) reporting on a "WaPo"
story; (*ergo*: "Washington Post"; also known for their bias and being
less than credible!) written by "author" David Fahrenthold; (and I
emphasize "Author" versus classifying David Fahrenthold as anything
remotely close to a "Journalist"!) is proudly and blatantly "In The Tank
For Hil Clinton"! Fahrenthold has demonstrated that he is less than
credible; and described by his peers as "unethical". A number of
Fahrenthold's "stories" have been proven to be based upon conjecture, lies
and devoid of facts!
The Real Story of David A. Fahrenthold
The Real Story of David A. FahrentholdPosted: August 22, 2014 in Don't Push
Tags: David A. Farhenthold
<https://powerchairdiaries.com/tag/david-a-farhenthold/>, Washington Post
[image: David A. Fahrenthold]
David A. Fahrenthold
*By Mark E. Smith*
When David A. Fahrenthold, reporter for the *Washington Post*, asked me on
July 21, 2014, “How do you explain the Russian mafia, then?” he finally had
me stumped. Up until that point of the interview, I held my own when it
came to explaining the challenges that many with disabilities face in
obtaining life-sustaining power wheelchairs through Medicare. But, the
Russian mafia? Well, he had me on that one.
“I don’t know anything about the Russian mafia,” I replied. “Again, David,
those of us with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury or
multiple sclerosis have to fight bureaucracy and cutbacks to such a degree
that it takes some a year to get a vital power chair – and even then it’s
often not funded to the fullest extent of technology needed. Medicare’s
policies continue harming those most in need….”
See, all this started when Fahrenthold sought to interview me for a story
he was striving to flesh out for the* Washington Post*. As he put it, “I’m
looking to do a story on people with disabilities defrauding Medicare to
get motorized wheelchairs.”
I took the absurdity of his premise seriously, seeing the interview as an
opportunity to educate him. Of course those of us with disabilities aren’t
looking to defraud anyone. We use our power chairs out of medical
necessity, wishing to live socially-inclusive lives, where obtaining
funding for a power chair is a lengthy, difficult process that, by its
inequitable nature, harms many in need, depriving vital mobility. I
explained that no one chooses disability or wishes to fight lengthy
insurance battles to obtain the mobility needed to pursue education,
family, career or community – it’s among the unjust challenges that often
come with disability. I even explained the medical documentation trail,
required supplier certifications and standards of practice, and why pending
legislation to sustain access for complex rehab technology is vital to my
“I’ve had cerebral palsy my entire life, and worked in the mobility
industry for 17 years,” I told Fahrenthold. “Never have I met anyone using
a power chair who hasn’t needed it out of medical necessity. It’s simply
illogical to think that those of us with disabilities are defrauding
anyone. To the contrary, we continue struggling to obtain the technology
that allows full social inclusion.”
Fahrenthold became more insistent that those of us with disabilities had to
be defrauding the government to get power chairs, and when I asked what
incentive there was for me or my peers to perpetrate such a supposed crime,
he had no answer.
“If I offered you a free power chair, would you take it?” I asked.
“No,” he replied.
“Why not?” I asked.
“I don’t need one,” he said.
“Exactly,” I replied.
He paused, then stated, “But, I’m not a crook.”
No, Fahrenthold wasn’t a crook, but he wasn’t being an ethical journalist,
either. He continued pressing me to somehow say something that would
substantiate that those of us with disabilities are defrauding the
government to get power wheelchairs. It was at that point that he asked me
to explain the Russian mafia.
Now, my back story is intriguing, but the whole story gets more disturbing
for those of us with disabilities. On August 16, 2014, the *Washington
Fahrenthold’s story, the headline reading, “A medicare scam that just kept
rolling: The government has paid billions to buy power wheelchairs. It has
no idea how many of the claims are bogus.”
And, neither does Fahrenthold. He interviewed me and several other
advocate-experts who told him the truth and reality of power chair funding,
and he blatantly omitted us and the truth entirely. Fahrenthold got his
story – but wrote it ignoring all facts.
So, what was in Fahrenthold’s story? Conjecture, the Russian mob and,
indirectly, a sitcom as his source.
In his article, he pieces together a crazy cast of characters from the
1990s and early 2000s who round up immigrants, steal dead doctors’
identities, and then the Russian mob and others somehow convert it all into
a scheme to prescribe those who are able-bodied wheelchairs, whom then use
them to, in one case illustrated, hold giant, stuffed teddy bears. After
interviewing me and other advocate-experts, this is the literal story
Fahrenthold came up with.
Yet, Fahrenthold didn’t stop there. Because there’s no evidence of power
chair fraud in the real world of present, he speculates on what criminals
will target in the realm of Medicare fraud: “In Puerto Rico, the next big
thing seems to be arms and legs.”
After going through this experience, and wondering why Fahrenthold would go
through such lengths to try to create a public stigma that paints those of
us with disabilities as crooks because we need wheelchairs, I did some
research on him. On his professional Twitter page, in promoting his “story”
on power wheelchair fraud, guess what he retweeted to support his case…. A
YouTube clip of the *Seinfeld* character, George Costanza, using a mobility
scooter. By his own tweeting admission, Fehrenthold’s inspiration and
indirect source was a sitcom.
Yet, unlike David A. Fahrenthold’s farfetched account published in the
Post*, life for those of us who rely on life-sustaining power wheelchairs
isn’t “bogus” or a sitcom. It’s very real.
But alas, with the periodical/newspaper business being what it is today;
(e.g.; damn near completely gone and/or broke! Newspapers aren't what they
used to be!) along with the fact that the WaPo assigned 21 Reporters to
Donald Trump in an attempt to find "Anything"!
"*Please dig up some dirt on "The Donald!*" the WaPo Editorial Board said,
order to try and dig up any dirt they could find on Trump!
On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 12:38 PM, ImStillMags Mags <sitara8...@gmail.com>
> Great reporting and hard work by this journalist.
> Farhenthold of WaPo: Trump Illegally Used $258k in Foundation Money to
> Settle Legal Problems
> David Farhenthold has dug even dipper into the Trump Foundation scandal
> finding that the Trump illegally used $258,000 in Foundation money to
> settle legal disputes. . Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million
> dollars from his...
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