Wallace moved on, and the exchange goes down as a classic example of a Sunday morning news show. Interviewee says what he or she wants to say whether true or false. Interviewer may or may not push back, often allowing a falsehood to roll into public consciousness masquerading as a truth.

Trudy Lieberman’s “Medicare primer” is here. And an archive of her critiques of press coverage of the issue is here.

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.