ABC Responds To Complaints About Indoctrination Special

Yesterday, I fired off an email to ABC News under their “Specials” category complaining about their move to become State TV and run the President’s special programming next Wednesday, June 24th.  The entire evening is devoted to the White House and the President’s plans for healthcare.  The Evening News with Charlie Gibson and the special “Prescription For America” will run live from the White House.  Supposedly a townhall format will be used that will offer a vigorous debate on the topic, however no Republican leaders are invited to speak, nor is the group Conservatives for Patient’s Rights being allowed to purchase ad time during the special.  We all know the truth about this program: it is indoctrination clearly.  I received an email from ABC News with several links to stories they were running on the issue and one was their response to a letter received from the RNC complaining about the programming.  Here is that letter:

Mr. Ken McKay
Chief of Staff
Republican National Committee
310 First Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
Dear Mr. McKay:

I am in receipt of your letter of June 15, 2009 and wanted to respond to a number of false premises you raise regarding our ongoing and upcoming coverage of health care.

I hope we can all agree that a robust debate of health care issues and potential policies is in order.

To that end, ABC News announced plans to broadcast a primetime hour from the White House devoted to exploring and probing the President’s position and giving voice to questions and criticisms of that position. We hope that any American concerned about health care will find our efforts to be informative, fair and civil.  
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.
Third, there already has been extensive coverage of the upcoming health care debates, on ABC and elsewhere, and there will be much, much more. Indeed, we’ve already had many critics of the President’s health care proposals on the air – and that’s before a real plan has even been put before the country.
In the end, no one watching, listening to, or reading ABC News will lack for an understanding of all sides of these important questions.

Thank you for your interest.

Kerry Smith
Senior Vice President, ABC News

Do you believe them?  I do not and find myself torn about watching the program.  I want to watch to see if is indeed just more propaganda or if our voices will have changed the tone, but do I want to give ABC the ratings?  I think I will wait for the transcripts because I find it highly unlikely that ABC will cave to conservative pressure.  They are swimming too comfortably in the tank with Obama.

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