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Dear Mr. Westin,

ABC Turns programming over to Obama; News to be anchored from inside the White House

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.

Late Monday night, Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay fired off a complaint to the head of ABCNEWS:

Dear Mr. Westin,

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.

Today, the Republican National Committee requested an opportunity to add our Party’s views to those of the President’s to ensure that all sides of the health care reform debate are presented. Our request was rejected. I believe that the President should have the ability to speak directly to the America people. However, I find it outrageous that ABC would prohibit our Party’s opposing thoughts and ideas from this national debate, which affects millions of ABC viewers.

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.

Ken McKay
Republican National Committee
Chief of Staff

Do what?  Can you imagine for one second if it was FOX news trying to pull this?

ABC News Responds to Republicans Over Broadcast

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.

So then, in review:  basically, it’s going to be an ABC news sponsored infomercial about the ‘amazing virtues’ of nationalized health-care. A one sided delivery with the ability to reach millions by a news agency that claims it “prides itself on covering all sides of important issues”.

Unbiased my ass.

Let us contemplate for a moment, what if former President Bush were in office and it was Fox News broadcasting from the White House doing a special promotion piece in order to gain support for the Iraq War with the oppositional voice of the Democrats purposefully left out.  Can the degree of rightful outrage even be calculated?

This will be nothing less than pure propaganda, thanks to a complicit media. I understand the president trying to promote his health care proposal, I can even understand using the elegant backdrop of the White House…but for a a major news outlet that claims to be unbiased to promote one side of an issue allowing one political party to capitalize on their built in audience…I just have no words.  Do they really not see how this looks to the average American?  State controlled media anyone?

P.S. If the idea of government run health-care doesn’t scare the shiitake mushrooms out of you, perhaps you ought to look into the bang up job our government has done so far with VA Healthcare and Indian Health Services.  You can BET that they will be as ‘diligent’ with a nationalized plan as they are with everything else they manage.

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