Tonight is the big night for President Barack Obama and ABC who will air exclusive coverage of a town hall style meeting on the president’s health care initiative. Such coverage from the White House is unprecedented in American History. Of course there will be no Republicans present i.e. members of the opposition. ABC also refused to sale air time for advertisements of groups offering challenging viewpoints or alternative solutions to Obama’s health care plans.
June 24, 2009 1:14 PM
Posted by Brian Montopoli
This evening President Obama will participate in a town hall forum on health care, which will air exclusively on ABC at 10 p.m. Eastern Time. And Republicans aren’t happy about it.
The Republican National Committee derides the event as an “infomercial.” And a newly-formed group called The Media Fairness Caucus, headed by Texas Republican Congressman Lamar Smith, sent a letter to ABC – one signed by 40 Republican members of Congress – complaining that the network’s decision to air the forum along with accompanying coverage “gives the American people a slanted view” on the health care debate.
“The manner in which the news programming is being presented – at the White House with the President and First Lady and without opposition – is unprofessional and contrary to the journalistic code of ethics to present the news fairly and independently,” the letter says. “This is not a Presidential news conference open to all news outlets. This is an exclusive arrangement from which the President and his viewpoints stand to gain.”
ABC News president David Westin responded with a letter of his own in which he complains that “you have found it appropriate to criticize a program that has not yet aired.”
“Contrary to your assertions, this will not be ‘slanted’ in any way – much less a ‘day-long infomercial’ or ‘in-kind free advertising’ as you allege,” writes Westin. “It will be a thoughtful, respectful, and probing discussion of some of the issues raised by the calls for health-care reform. We will include a variety of perspectives coming from private individuals asking the President questions and taking issue with him, as they see fit.”
Crazy things are beginning to happen with this White House and the media so none of this surprises me. Sounds like a snore fest. If you want to see something more thrilling tonight Bill O’reilly will do battle with Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) tonight on the O’Reilly Factor of FOX NEWS. 8PM EST.