Free Markets, Free People

ABC: Absolutely Shameful (update)

Per Drudge:

On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care — a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!

Highlights on the agenda:

ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.

The network plans a primetime special — ‘Prescription for America’ — originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.

If this is indeed the plan then it is simply unacceptable. It flies in the face of one of the media’s self-stated reason for existing – a watchdog, not a lapdog, over the government.

Ken McKay, Chief of Staff of the RNC has sent letter to ABC protesting this. In part he says:

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.

Apparently the Republican party asked to be included and was rejected. McKay concludes:

In the absence of opposition, I am concerned this event will become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda. If that is the case, this primetime infomercial should be paid for out of the DNC coffers. President Obama does not hold a monopoly on health care reform ideas or on free airtime. The President has stated time and time again that he wants a bipartisan debate. Therefore, the Republican Party should be included in this primetime event, or the DNC should pay for your airtime.

Obviously McKay has to be somewhat circumspect in how he says things, but I don’t. It will be an infomercial and it is a shameful example of how poorly the media, now led by ABC, has done its primary mission when it comes to this administration and this president.

ABC not only should have the DNC pay for the air time, that should be prominently and permanently displayed at the bottom of the screen throughout this planned infomercial.

And ABC – anyone who works for them should hang their head in shame. They should also avoid associating the word “journalism” with anything they do from now on as well.

UPDATE: ABC’s Kerry Smith responds.  You can read the response in full here.  Essentially they tell the Republicans and opponents to stuff it, that ABC and only ABC will  decide who will provide the other side of the argument:

Second, ABC News 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. 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.

But, of course, ABC isn’t choosing who will be on the pro-government takeover side, are they? Instead, it is Obama’s “townhall” meeting and, one assumes, he will bring who the heck he wants to that dance and if ABC doesn’t like it, I’m sure they were told they could find something else to do that night.

How freakin’ stupid does Kerry Smith and ABC think we are out here!?


[HT: Neo]

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27 Responses to ABC: Absolutely Shameful (update)

  • Pathetic…

  • I still wish Jon would stop by sometime and tell us how the mainstream media isn’t really biased, just sloppy. Assuming he still believes that after several years of convincing evidence that he’s in the weeds on that one.

  • “Apparently the Republican party asked to be included and was rejected.”

    My God, the Republican’s have got to be the stupidest people on the planet. In Communist countries there is only one party. For purposes other than cover, the grand old party of Duranty’s doesn’t matter.

  • Well, come on guys, it beats having the armored cars surrounding the radio and television stations to secure the airwaves for the ‘proper authorities’ to prevent the revolutionaries from gaining control.  This is much more friendly don’t you think?
    Hugo Chavez, eat your heart out!

  • Don’t worry, ABC will interview one person with an opposing viewpoint, and they’ll borrow Katie Couric to handle it.  Then they’ll bring on a panel of experts to rip the opposing viewpoint to bits.  See?  No worries about bias.

  • Slightly OT, but re: Media Bias.
    Gas is now inching toward 3.50/gallon where I live. I remember when a certain Texas resident was president and how gas prices were a constant media concern. But now…..


  • You totally misunderstand this. It’s part of FAIRNESS. See, a few weeks ago, NBC got to give TAO the on-air equivalent of a Lewinsky. Now, it’s ABC’s turn. Next time, CBS will have a go.

    See? Fairness in action.

    / sarc

    I’m really, really waiting for our resident libs to defend this one.

  • Did Jon claim that the media “isn’t really biased”?  I read a lot of Henke, but I guessed I missed that one.

    • Jon, back in 2006, in the comments to this thread:

      I don’t deny bias at all. I just deny anything like a monolithic media bias in one political direction. [Emphasis mine.]

      I maintained in the comments to that thread that he was wrong, and put out an objective measure to support my position. It was hand-waved off.

      I hope that the media’s treatment of Bush, teenage crush on Obama, and continuing water-carrying for liberal, statist positions at every turn has made this conclusion even more obvious.

      That’s not to say that the media never, ever treats the right fairly, or that it doesn’t go after the left on occasion when the facts are so in-your-face that they can’t help but see them. But there is indeed a general, monolithic bias by the NYT, Washington Post, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Boston Globe, LA Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, et. al. to favor big government and statism, and to denigrate or ignore small-government conservatism. I’m beyond taking any opposing opinion seriously; the facts are just too obvious.

      Examples such as treatment of Palin vs. treatment of Biden and this ridiculous move by ABC are clear indications. The mainstream media is biased. Almost all are liberal/statist biased. A few (Fox) are biased to the right, but those media outlets are much more upfront about their positioning. The ones I named above like to pretend that they are the objective voice of wisdom, and that’s simply false. 

      • I remember that thread.

        Seems to me, maybe, just a difference in the density of a monolith. As he did not deny that there was a media bias, just the possiblity of an objective analysis.

        But you’re right, it would be interesting to read Jon’s take on this latest BS.


    • Oh, and on the sloppiness thing, here’s Jon from this thread:

      I think you guys are assigning to bad intentions what can merely be chalked up to sloppiness, and a general proclivity for bad news and scandal.

      There’s a bit of a false dichotomy there between sloppiness and bad intentions. First, they can be biased without their intentions being bad. Second, there’s nothing to preclude both bias and sloppiness. Saying they are sloppy doesn’t innoculate the media against charges of bias.

      • I don’t remember that thread.
        But the funniest thing about that thread is that Jon called someone a “dipsh!t.”

        Language, Jon. Language.


        It’s just so uncharacteristic.
        For most of us, we don’t give a f*ck all.


  • Don’t worry, ABC will interview one person with an opposing viewpoint, and they’ll borrow Katie Couric to handle it.
    Oh please let it be with Palin.
    I would love to see Tina Fey mock the interview.  You gotta admit, it’s pretty funny.
    Although, would be considered a mock if Fey does it verbatim?

  • I love Tina Fey.  But if they select Palin for an interview, I’d rather they borrow Letterman to conduct it.  That could make for some memorable television.

  • Well, let’s remember that Henke wasn’t the only one poo-poohing the idea in that thread, huh?

    Sharks points in that thread are still valid, too.

  • Now you know how the anti-war side felt in 2002-03.   Enjoy the ‘blame the media’ feel.  Whoever is on the losing side always thinks the media is unfair.   It’s unsurprising that the far right would feel that way.

    • Trollin’, trollin’, trollin’
      With his ego swollen
      Bull$hit he is rollin’

      Raw Erb

      No facts or logic from him
      Assertions, he just states ’em
      All he does is let his own mouth run….

      He has to feed his ego
      Sometimes he sounds just like Joe
      So godd*am dumb we all just make fun

      Fling it out, throw BS
      Spew some more, dump the rest
      Will we bite? Take a guess

      Raw Erb

      Fling it out, throw BS
      Spew some more, dump the rest
      Will we bite? Take a guess

      Raw Errrrrrrb!

    • Sadly, I really expected this rather ignorant reply from you. I recall many dissenting voices on the news in 2002-2003. And I don’t recall the broadcasters forbidding dissenters from appearing on air.

      Go see if you can fix Bonnie Eagle High School’s graduation.

  • ABC actually did the GOP a favor by not allowing one of their political hacks to once again flaunt their ignorance on nationwide television.

  • No Erb.

    As has been demonstrated countless times, the left’s idea of media bias is when they feel the media isn’t carrying sufficient water for them. You’re used to a certain level of cheerleading and back patting for your causes *(about 15 points worth, as we’ve been told) so when the media would only call Bush a liar but stop short of calling him Hitler, you took that as a howling measure of bias.

    It has nothing to do with “losing”.  The Times published that McCain was having an affair on the flimsiest of sources that my J-school prof would’ve red-penned the whole story, but in order to find out John Edwards had an affair and a kid out of wedlock, we had to go to the National Inquirer.

    Explain how that has to do with “losing side” please?

  • BTW for Erb

    Explain how the game “name that party” supports your theory. Ought to be a hoot.

  • Scott,  your comment seems unreasonable.  I don’t recall a “news” broadcast  from the White House followed by a discussion of the war with no opposing viewpoint.  Did such a thing happen in 2002-2003 and I just missed it?

  • Oh, and you feel quite qualified to give us a synopsis on the good and bad of a national health care system including costs and proposed savings?  You might also want to cover the unintended, or intended consequences of such a program.  But, I doubt you could do that.

  • And even if the media did do that in 2002-3… did it justify it then?
    2 wrongs do not make a right.
    P.S.  The anti-war side had tons of coverage in 2002-03.
    For starters:
    And it’s not the media’s job to advance any views, in theory.  They are just supposed to report things as they happen.  ABC is doing an infomercial.

  • A television network, newspaper, or any other outlet in a free media is certainly free to do as its management sees fit. (Usually they at least attempt to maintain a fig leaf of disinterest, but hey…) As consumers, we can only voice our disapproval with our dollar, or in this case, with our viewership, which generates the advertising revenue for the network.
    I plan on letting ABC know I would be viewing their network or affiliates any more. If you plan to do the same, here is the contact form for ABC: