June 16, 2009

"As the national debate on health care reform intensifies, I am deeply concerned and disappointed with ABC's astonishing decision..."

"... to exclude opposing voices on this critical issue on June 24, 2009. Next Wednesday, ABC News will air a primetime health care reform 'town hall' at the White House with President Barack Obama. In addition, according to an ABC News report, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, WORLD NEWS, NIGHTLINE and ABC’s web news 'will all feature special programming on the president’s health care agenda.' This does not include the promotion, over the next 9 days, the president’s health care agenda will receive on ABC News programming."

55 comments:

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

Yes, after all, when the Republcians have put so many solutions forward to help the American people avoid bankruptcy at the hands of our current medical system.

Look at all the Republican ideas and proposals:

* Shouted some Frank Luntz talking points.
* ?

Oh, that's right. They controlled both houses and the White House in the past 8 years and had plenty of opportunity to pas their solutions.

And they did next to nothing.

Whiners. There's such a thing as the bully pulpit.

1990bluejay said...

Why not just relocate ABC's Washington,DC bureau to the White House press office for the rest of the Obama's term? Awful. Simply awful.

New York said...

Critics of the plan are invited to attend a televised town hall meeting.

The "critics" will be selected to look as primitive and uninformed as possible.

Nevertheless, the town hall attendees will requested to sign a release so that in the event that one of them manages to ask a good question their personal bank, tax, and employment histories can be fully scrutinized and publicized a la the plumber guy and the Miss America runnerup.

The Real Barack said...

Alpha:

You & my key adviser, Elizabeth Warren would make a good couple [if a good couple can be made from two people that have no sex appeal at all].

garage mahal said...

Just been an outraged kind of week hasn't it?! Almost hard to keep track of them all.

TMink said...

How does ABC stick their tongue so far down Obama's pants?

Trey

rocketeer67 said...

Yes, after all, when the Republcians have put so many solutions forward to help the American people avoid bankruptcy at the hands of our current medical system.

Real, mass bankruptcy at the hands of a profligate President and greedy congress? Peachy!

Theoretical, individual "bankruptcy" at the hands of a highly advanced and highly effective private medical system? Oh, no sir - that just won't do.

Darcy said...

Fun, ain't it? Wait until we actually get this wonderful ObamaCare. If I were a spiteful person I'd wish ObamaCare on only the people who voted for him.

Alex said...

Well well AlphaTroll, all means to an end right? No matter that the MSM is now explicity become PRAVDA, you don't care. As long as single-payer happens, you don't care that we don't have an independent media anymore to hold government to account.

All means to an end for socialists.

rocketeer67 said...

Also, AL, have you ever heard of the "Patients Choice Act of 2009?" But of course you haven't. You're illiterate.

Sofa King said...

All means to an end for socialists.

Yup. No decadent traditions of fair play, no sad devotions to ancient virtues must be allowed to impede Glorious Progress.

jayne_cobb said...

Trey,

There's a flap in the back.

New York said...

The main challenge now for the Obama camp is to foster that old "resisting is futile so you might as well play along" sensibility.

It's that sense that you get when you work for a big company that takes advantage of you all the time and expects you to keep smiling and acting appreciative.

ABC is doing a great favor to help out Obama on this.

former law student said...

The Republicans still have four more over-the-air networks, not counting PBS, on which to present their own health care reform proposal. I am disappointed that they choose to moan and complain rather than take positive action.

Alex said...

FLS - so you're ok with ABC becoming defacto Isvestia? That's the real point of this thread. Stop ducking the issue.

paul a'barge said...

Folks, the issue isn't the health care proposal.

It's the MSM and its KY-Bend-Over relationship to the White House.

Journalism is dead.

traditionalguy said...

ABC can hardly wait for Doctor Communes run by political officers like an Americorps operation. The motto of these new medical workers under commune-ism will be "we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us."

paul a'barge said...

And the way that you know that the issue is the MSM wholesale ownership by the Demo'tard party?

Note how they're all about jumping up and down and waving their hands and chattering about the Health Care Proposal.

It's called distraction.

Diamondhead said...

I don't think the Democrats fully appreciate the disaster they're flirting with. The vast majority of people are happy with their coverage and their doctors. If the Trojan Horse public plan passes, and millions upon millions are forced into a shitty new version of Medicare (and they will be), the Dems will pay dearly for a long time.

jayne_cobb said...

Well even Obama seems to be distancing himself from the current bill

DKWalser said...

This reminds me of the early 1980s when James Watt served as Secretary of the Interior. Time (or Newsweek, but I'm pretty sure it was Time) ran a letter from the editor announcing a new policy: The environment was too important for Time to refrain from advocacy. From then on, Time would use it's news and editorial pages to advocate for protecting the environment. To that end, it would no longer to try and present a balanced presentation of the many sides of any environmental question. It seems ABC News feels similarly about the issue of health care. ABC News just isn't as candid with its viewers as Time once was with its readers.

martha said...

This is the official end of the MSM---it no longer reports the news but instead takes part in the making of the news.

MSM abrogated its news reporting function this weekend by not showing up to report on the Iranian election.
MSM was dwarfed by Twitter.

MSM RIP

former law student said...

MSM abrogated its news reporting function this weekend by not showing up to report on the Iranian election.

Maybe they didn't want to go to jail, like Roxana Saberi. How many bloggers showed up in Teheran?

The vast majority of people are happy with their coverage and their doctors.

People who have coverage are happy. The issue is how to cover the uncovered: Non veterans too young for Medicare and not poor enough for Medicaid. Obama is not planning to scrap the current system:

Fact Check: Obama Consistent in His Position on Single Payer Health Care
January 05, 2008

Rhetoric: "Today, he opposes single payer health care, and attacks Sen. Clinton for proposing a plan that covers everyone"

Reality: Obama Has Consistently Said That If We Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System, But Now We Need To Build On The System We Have

If Obama Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System. The New Yorker wrote, "'If you're starting from scratch,' he [Obama] says, 'then a single-payer system'-a government-managed system like Canada's, which disconnects health insurance from employment-'would probably make sense. But we've got all these legacy systems in place, and managing the transition, as well as adjusting the culture to a different system, would be difficult to pull off. So we may need a system that's not so disruptive that people feel like suddenly what they've known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside.'" [New Yorker, 5/7/07]

If Obama Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System. "At a roundtable with a handful of invited guests at Lindy's Diner in Keene, Obama said if he were starting from scratch, he would probably propose a single payer health care system, but because of existing infrastructure, he created a proposal to improve the current system." [Concord Monitor, 8/14/07]

If Obama Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System. Obama said, "Here's the bottom line. If I were designing a system from scratch I would probably set up a single-payer system...But we're not designing a system from scratch...And when we had a healthcare forum before I set up my healthcare plan here in Iowa there was a lot of resistance to a single-payer system. So what I believe is we should set up a series of choices....Over time it may be that we end up transitioning to such a system. For now, I just want to make sure every American is covered...

Sy said...

ABC = A Barack Company

AlmaGarret said...

I can just hear the negotiations with the WH press office now: "But Brian Williams and those dorks at NBC got to hang out with all the cool kids at the White House! Why can't ABC hang out there too! ABC is way cooler than NBC!"

What's next? The geeks of CBS set up shop in the Oval Office bathroom for a series of live reports on Obama's flushing habits?

OldGrouchy said...

But, will Brian Williams be allowed to express his frustration at not being allowed to praise Obama (PBUH) personally that evening?

ABC is proud that it shall be allowed to choose the questioners from amongst the select group attending Obama's (PBUH) Townhall meeting. Why, it almost sends a tingle up Charles Gibson's leg.

former law student said...

you're ok with ABC becoming defacto Isvestia?

The most likely outcome will be a boom in viewership for "So You Think You Can Dance," "I'm a Celebrity; Get Me Out of Here," "America's Got Talent," "America's Next Top Model," and "Hitched or Ditched." CBS has reruns that night, so I'm surprised the White House hadn't contacted them.

The Real Barack said...

Look, I am not done yet.

For instance, The Washington Nationals bugs me. Notice the big "W" on their hats. Who does that remind you of? Yeah the last guy who left me this big mess I have to clean up. So that "W" has to go.

Did you hear the team's suggestion box is overflowing with this? .. new name will be The Capital Bears! What do you think? Team will have a old "B" on the caps!

I think it's a winner.

The Drill SGT said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Yes, after all, when the Republcians have put so many solutions forward to help the American people avoid bankruptcy at the hands of our current medical system.


You mean like McCain' proposal to shift the tax benefit on health care insurance from employers to employees, so that employees could have portable insurance? That was savaged by candidate O in a series of ads, here is what the right wing WaPo said recently:

President Obama, in a pivot from some of his harshest campaign rhetoric, told Democratic senators yesterday that he is willing to consider taxing employer-sponsored health benefits to help pay for a broad expansion of coverage.

snip...

Nevertheless, the issue represents treacherous politics for Obama, given his attacks on Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who advocated a similar approach during the campaign.

"For the first time in American history, he wants to tax your health benefits," Obama said in September. "Apparently, Senator McCain doesn't think it's enough that your health premiums have doubled. He thinks you should have to pay taxes on them, too."


rank partisan hypocrisy

Deb said...

"ABCNEWS prides itself on covering all sides of important issues and asking direct questions of all newsmakers -- of all political persuasions -- even when others have taken a more partisan approach and even in the face of criticism from extremes on both ends of the political spectrum. ABCNEWS is looking for the most thoughtful and diverse voices on this issue.

ROFLMAO.

knox said...

Sickening. No pun intended.

hawkeyedjb said...

Why would anyone be surprised that ABC will be using its facilities to advance a political viewpoint? Isn't that what members of a political party do?

reader_iam said...

Anyone have a problem with the State Department asking Twitter to postpone a planned maintenance and Twitter complying (if indeed that's why it did)? Why or why not? What if the State Department had asked Twitter to schedule one? What if this didn't involve Iran, or even a foreign country, but rather something going on here?

Sincere questions. Mulling over some things (and no, posing questions is not the same thing as rendering an opinion--I said, and meant, I'm mulling over some things, and in very rough form) and looking for some inputs from other brains and perspectives.

When is an alliance between government and private media--of whatever type--OK and when is it not? When does a slippery-slope concern come into play and/or become credible, and when doesn't it?

Notice: I'm also going to post this on the Iran thread.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I don't understand what ABC was thinking, money-wise. Sure they may get a one-time hit in ratings, but can't they see they are alienating a huge part of their audience? There aren't big pro-Obama rallies happening anymore, but there are big Tea parties and anti-Letterman campaigns. ABC is pissing off the people who care about the news between elections. Stupid!

Jeremy said...

ABC Senior Vice President Kerry Smith responded, calling McKay's arguments were based on "false premises." Smith said that the health care specials are "devoted to exploring and probing the President's position and giving voice to questions and criticisms of that position," and he dismissed charges that the program would feature a partisan, one-sided message.

ABC News is looking for the most thoughtful and diverse voices on this issue. ABC News alone will select those who will be in the audience asking questions of the president. Like any programs we broadcast, ABC News will have complete editorial control. To suggest otherwise is quite unfair to both our journalists and our audience.

Elliott A said...

Without an independent and free press, there can be no democracy (or republicanism for that matter). This should be done in a neutral setting. All the local universities are on break, hold the fiasco there.

Alex said...

Notice how Jeremy will defend every action that Obama takes or the MSM's fawning over him. This is in stark contrast to the rest of us who always had many criticisms of President Bush. Unlike Jeremy, we don't see the President as an infallible god-like being.

Alex said...

ABC News is looking for the most thoughtful and diverse voices on this issue. ABC News alone will select those who will be in the audience asking questions of the president. Like any programs we broadcast, ABC News will have complete editorial control. To suggest otherwise is quite unfair to both our journalists and our audience.

So says Isvestia.

The Drill SGT said...

ABC News is looking for the most thoughtful and diverse voices on this issue. ABC News alone will select those who will be in the audience asking questions of the president.

Let's carefully parse the statement.

First off, the Secret Service and WH ultimatly determine who gets to be in the audience.

secondly, ABC says they get to choose who asks te questions, fair enough.

what they dont say is, who gets to determine what the questions are. The previous campaign saw both democratic cndidates planting quetion in their audiences. why not now?

elHombre said...

Alpha Liberal wrote: "Look at all the Republican ideas and proposals ...."

FLS wrote: "The most likely outcome will be a boom in viewership for "So You Think You Can Dance...."

I see. So if the Repubs have no ideas or proposals, or nobody will watch anyway, then it's perfectly appropriate for ABC to pimp for Obama and the Dems, right?

Never mind that pimping for the Dems means we will never know if the opposition has any ideas or objections, because PravdABC won't tell us.

Obots in the Obamanation. Phew-w-e-e-y.

Jeremy said...

This what all of the networks should be covering..our Republican moral compass...God Bless You One And All:

Sen. John Ensign's admission late Tuesday that he had an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer over the course of nine months doesn't seem likely to cause the type of wall-to-wall coverage that similar marital slip-ups have in the past.

But it should, at the very least, re-open the longstanding debate over how much attention should be paid to a politician's personal life. And when it comes to this topic, Ensign's own record of denouncing the affairs and misconducts of other pols could come back to haunt him.

During the height of the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, the Nevada Republican denounced the president's conduct as "an embarrassing moment for the country."

'I think we have to feel very sad for the American people and Hillary and Chelsea,' he said.

Weeks later, Ensign would call on Clinton to resign. "I came to that conclusion recently, and frankly it's because of what he put his whole Cabinet through and what he has put the country through," he was quoted saying at the time. "He has no credibility left," he added.

Jeremy said...

Alex said..."Notice how Jeremy will defend every action that Obama takes or the MSM's fawning over him."

You're a liar.

Jeremy said...

All of the networks did broadcast presentations from the White House, Fox and asshole O'Reilly included.

This is just another case of the whining and bitching about anything Obama.

Little children.

vnjagvet said...

Jeremy is talking about a Republican Senator that has nothing to do with health care. He literally copies the ABC press release defending the indefensible.

I say we separate Press and State.

Even Jeremy can't oppose that, can he?

David53 said...

The Congressional Budget Office says it's gonna cost more than 1.3 trillion to fund O'bama's health care plan over the next 10 years. That's in addition to the wad we already spend on health care every year. I'm very interested in finding out how the President is going to fund it. I guess we'll find out when we tune in to ABC.

Penny said...

Nightly news said his funding plan was to increase taxes on the rich.

David53 said...

Nightly news said his funding plan was to increase taxes on the rich.

The rich always find a way to pass the buck so what he's really saying is that he's going to increase taxes on the middle class.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Nightly news said his funding plan was to increase taxes on the rich."

That's what all funding plans are! But just wait until you see the definition of 'rich.' I don't mean the stump-speech definition, I mean the one that actually passes into law. I well remember being a 'Clinton Millionaire' in the 90s.

Jim said...

Jeremy is just trying to do here what he always does: hijack the thread by changing the subject.

The subject here is whether ABC can be trusted to handle the subject objectively. Based on their history, the answer is clearly no. They made such a hatchet job edit out of Gibson's Palin interview that they have forfeited any claim to objectivity.

The FEC requires that politics conducted by parties be balanced by the opposing viewpoint, or it must be paid for by the party as a political advertisement. That's why the opposition is always given the opportunity to do a rebuttal speech to the President's State of the Union speech - no matter which party occupies the Oval Office.

It is precisely to protect the public from abuses of the power of the Presidency that those regulations are in place. But the Leftists here who were so up in arms about their perceived abuses of executive power by Bush, suddenly have no problem with flagrantly violations by the Obama administration.

Like the feminist movement who gave up its claim to be speaking out for the rights of women by spending the 90s defended the Sexual Harasser In Chief, our resident Leftists have completely given up any claim of credibility on their complaints about the Bush administration. Lying supine before even more obvious abuses by the Obama administration shows that their complaints never have been and never will be anything more than a cheap political ploy.

Thanks for clearing that up.

former law student said...

Never mind that pimping for the Dems means we will never know if the opposition has any ideas or objections, because PravdABC won't tell us.

"We will never know?" Are you serious?

Unlike the former Soviet Union, the US has many newsgathering organizations that can ask Obama hard questions. Unlike the reclusive W., Obama puts on frequent press conferences (to the point where dbq, I think it was, grew sick at the sight of him). Fire away then.

Sofa King said...

Unlike the former Soviet Union, the US has many newsgathering organizations that can ask Obama hard questions

Can, but won't. Where's that Air Force One passenger manifest, incidentally?

Unlike the reclusive W., Obama puts on frequent press conferences (to the point where dbq, I think it was, grew sick at the sight of him). Fire away then.

Does he really? How many real (i.e., diverse group of reporters allowed to ask unscripted questions) press conferences has Obama given?

scinfinity said...

Unlike the former Soviet Union, the US has many newsgathering organizations that can ask Obama hard questions. Unlike the reclusive W., Obama puts on frequent press conferences (to the point where dbq, I think it was, grew sick at the sight of him). Fire away then.

You mean the ones where he's taken no questions from the biggest cable news network and, instead, spends a lot of time whining about them?

scinfinity said...

Unlike the former Soviet Union, the US has many newsgathering organizations that can ask Obama hard questions. Unlike the reclusive W., Obama puts on frequent press conferences (to the point where dbq, I think it was, grew sick at the sight of him). Fire away then.

You mean the ones where he's taken no questions from the biggest cable news network and, instead, spends a lot of time whining about them?

scinfinity said...

Unlike the former Soviet Union, the US has many newsgathering organizations that can ask Obama hard questions. Unlike the reclusive W., Obama puts on frequent press conferences (to the point where dbq, I think it was, grew sick at the sight of him). Fire away then.

You mean the ones where he's taken no questions from the biggest cable news network and, instead, spends a lot of time whining about them?