Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Critics blast cooperative coverage of president's health plan



'ABC News is in danger of becoming a propaganda organ for Obama'

By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Suggestive overlay of ABC News logo over Obama campaign logo, posted on one critic's website

Critics are blasting ABC News for its plan to televise blanket coverage of Barack Obama's health care reform initiative, voicing concern that "the media and government [have] become one" and that the network is "virtually turning over news programming to the Obama government" for "a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda."

The media ethics furor stems from ABC News' announcement that next week the network will devote hours of news coverage to the president's plan, televise a primetime "town hall" discussion on the topic called "Questions for the President: Prescription for America" and anchor its nightly "World News" program from inside the White House.

Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay was doubly incensed that ABC News reportedly rejected a Republican request to be allowed a response.

"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," McKay wrote in a letter to ABC News President David Westin.

McKay's letter detailed that in addition to the primetime town hall special, ABC News has also announced its "Good Morning America," "World News," "Nightline" and web news "will all feature special programming on the president's health care agenda."

"I am concerned this event will become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda," McKay wrote. "The Republican Party should be included in this primetime event, or the DNC should pay for your airtime."

Roger Hedgecock, chairman of the Radio America Free Speech Foundation, suggested ABC News is endangering true freedom of the press by "virtually turning over news programming that night to the Obama government."

"This 'special' will feature Obama government officials promoting the president's proposal for government health care. No opposing views are allowed on the program," Hedgecock wrote in a statement. "For ABC News to present only the Obama government side of this important issue would betray the public interest in a free press."

Further, Hedgecock declared, "ABC News is in danger of becoming a propaganda organ for the Obama government."

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