ABC Jettisons Journalistic Ethics to Flack for Obama Health Care

ABC News logoFrom Drudge today:

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, excluding opposing voices on the debate.

ABC is going one step further than NBC did in 1993 when it broadcast a health care special, paid for by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, favorable to Hillary’s health care plan. This time, ABC is cutting out the special interest group, and is directly flacking for the White House.

From my book titled The First Lady: A Comprehensive View of Hillary Rodham Clinton, published in 1996:

In June of 1993, Johnson purchased two hours of prime television time on NBC for a special on health care with Hillary as the featured guest. The cost was $2.5 million and another $1 million was spent on advertising for the program. What was unusual about the show was that it was not presented as a paid advertisement, like the Harry and Louise ads, but as an NBC News Special. For the first time in history, a major network had simply rented out its air time, staff, logo and credibility to a special interest group. There
were howls of protest, but NBC News head Andrew Lack claimed that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the program, had “no political agenda.” The Media Research Center of Alexandria, Virginia, noted that on-stage panelists leaned two-to-one in favor of government dominated plans. Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, one of the co-plaintiffs in the anti-task force lawsuit, called the program “propaganda” and pointed out advocates of free market reform did not appear.