Saber recently participated in Organizing For America’s Health Care Reform Video Challenge, a contest to create a 30 second video ad in support of reforming America’s health care system. His entry depicted him painting an interpretation of the American flag being overwhelmed by the language of his personal struggle with our country’s system of medical care. “Basically the video is a visual metaphor of my battle with epilepsy.”
Saber’s entry, subsequently featured as one of the top 20 finalists, attracted a lot of negative attention by right-wing conservative media for what they called its defacing of the American flag. According to Saber “It was never my intention to insult or disrespect anyone. The decision to paint the flag was to show it as a living, breathing, changing organism, that represents me as an American trying to manage this lifelong disease without heath care”
Fox “opin-u-tainment” Network aired portions of the video, even reediting it so that it appears the video ends with the flag being painted all black, which was indeed not the case, for in Saber’s version the flag comes back to life.
We call Fox “opin-u-tainment” for several reasons. First because we think it was disingenuous to reedit the video (come on guys, it’s was only 30 seconds long!). And secondly because we were under the impression that a “fair and balanced” news network would not have devoted that much time, money, and energy to any news story without contacting the individual in question for their statement. The conservative media’s coverage of Saber’s video entry would lead people to believe Sabers intentions were ego and/or politically driven, instead of the truth, that they are grounded in the frustration, pain, and fear of having no access to a Dr. or hospital.
For the record, Saber is a registered Independent and not part of the Democratic Party. He isn’t even on the OFA’s mailing list. It was his fiancée who is on that list and was contacted when the contest was announced. The bottom line for Saber’s decision to become involved is simple: “Like many of my fellow Americans I don’t want to have to declare bankruptcy on the back of my medical debt, and more importantly I don’t want to die young because I have no care. I don’t understand why as it stands, this country is only concerned about the state of your health if you are under18 or over 65. What about the rest of us? And why isn’t every citizen 65 or older fighting for us all to be able to share in that security?”
*On Nov 17 2009 the winner, was announced. We would like to send our congratulations to the producer of that clip.
“The American flag is a very powerful symbol of unity. It’s time to come together and fight for those of us who are too sick to fight for themselves.” –SABER