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Unreal: Medical Center Won't Let Patients Watch FOX News

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Tell Kathy Sather, the president of Family Health Care, how you feel. Her phone number is: 231 745 2743 ext. 55509

Sather's email is:  ksather@familyhealthcare.org


By: Todd Starnes

I imagine the only thing worse than being forced to watch CNN inside an airport terminal is being forced to watch it in a doctor’s office.

So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered a Michigan health care facility, funded by federal tax dollars, blocked Fox News Channel from its waiting room television sets.

The president of Family Health Care directed staff to block Fox News after a board member complained about our network’s coverage of the Affordable Care Act, an employee told me.

“The board member complained that patients were turning the channel to Fox News,” said the employee who asked not to be identified for reasons related to the unemployment line. “They are pro-ObamaCare and they felt (Fox’s) stance did not mesh with our stance.”

Family Health Care is a private, non-profit business that operates community health centers in five Michigan towns. According to the employee, the health centers have ObamaCare facilitators on site to help people apply for the program.

The employee provided me a copy of an internal office memorandum that confirms the home of “Fair & Balanced” news is blocked.

“A while ago Kathy Sather had asked all sites not to air the Fox News channel on the public waiting room TV’s,” wrote a network manager in an email to staff members on Feb. 4. “Today I blocked the channel on both the medical and dental waiting rooms.”

Sather is president of Family Health Care. 

“I did check with staff and they mentioned often the visitors are changing channels on the TV’s,” the network manager wrote. “I now have both TV’s blocking that channel, so the public won’t be able to change the station. If anyone asks for the TV to be put on that channel please let them know we cannot air that channel.”

That edict didn’t set well with the employee who contacted me.

“I feel like we are being manipulated,” the employee said. “Who are they to say you can’t watch something? If the patient wants to put on Fox they should be able to put on Fox.”

It’s almost impossible to believe, right? Surely, there must have been some sort of misunderstanding. What could possibly be so offensive about Fox News? I mean sure, Bob Beckel is known to use a few “colorful metaphors,” but he’s just a lovable curmudgeon. And who doesn’t love the Factor Word of the Day? We are a pithier nation because of the No Spin Zone.

So I reached out to Sather who promptly confirmed that Steve and Elizabeth and Brian were no longer welcome in the waiting rooms.

She said the health center had a responsibility to do everything humanly possible to “ensure a positive patient experience in the waiting room.”

“Simply put, several complaints have been brought to my attention asking that we not air the Fox News channel in our televised waiting areas,” Sather wrote. “I responded by addressing the issue promptly asking that the channel be blocked in response to those complaints.”

I can’t imagine a patient finding a more positive experience than watching Fox News Channel.

A few years ago my mother was hospitalized. Because of her medical condition she was unable to talk. One day I received a telephone call from my mother’s nurse. She told me that mom was thrashing about and throwing things at the television set. She couldn’t figure out why she was so rattled.

We went through a list of possibilities, until I suggested it might have something to do with the television show she was watching.

“Well,” the nurse replied, “When I walked in she was watching Fox & Friends, but after she fell asleep I changed the channel.”

Which channel, I asked?

“CNN,” she said.

“Sweet mercy,” I hollered into the phone. “Change it back to Fox News! And hurry – before she breaks the television set.”

Read the full column at FOXNews.com

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