- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
ABC employees donated heavily to Obama
Question of the Day
As indignation turned to outrage Thursday among critics of an ABC News prime-time special on President Obama's health care policy, The Washington Times has learned that ABC employees gave 80 times as much money to Mr. Obama's 2008 campaign for president than to his rival's.
According to an analysis of campaign donations by the Center for Responsive Politics, conducted at The Times' request, ABC employees in several divisions donated $124,421 to the Obama campaign, compared with $1,550 to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain.
The 60-minute ABC program, to air live from the White House on Wednesday, is sparking hardball politics in other ways. Grass-roots boycotts, Republican outcry and a study citing media bias are all part of the mix.
A study released Thursday by the Business & Media Institute (BMI) found that since Inauguration Day, ABC has aired news stories with positive reviews of Mr. Obama's health care policy 55 times, compared with 18 times when the network highlighted negative reviews.
Citing Census Bureau figures, the BMI analyses also accused ABC of "exaggerating the breadth of the uninsured problem," saying the network's claim that up to 50 million Americans are uninsured is false.
"ABC is in bed with their source, so to speak. ABC is supposed to be a news organization, not a producer of infomercials for national health care. And I wonder what they would have done if the Bush administration had asked for positive programming to support the war on terror or Social Security initiatives," said Dan Gainor, BMI vice president of business and culture.
Longtime Democratic strategist Tad Devine, however, said he detected the vast right-wing conspiracy of the last Democratic administration, and warned Republicans that complaining could backfire.
"It's the same old, same old from Republicans. People who run political parties have a responsibility to get their side of the story out, and they're attacking ABC to do that. ABC is the vehicle," said Mr. Devine, whose Democratic roots go back to the presidential ticket of Jimmy Carter and Walter F. Mondale.
"Republicans think they must undercut news organizations who give President Obama favorable coverage - or they will lose elections. They're going to go after anyone who gives Obama a showcase," Mr. Devine said. "But it could backfire. If the GOP keeps this up, everyone will tune into that ABC special on Wednesday."
An informal online poll at the New York Daily News on Thursday found that 75 percent of the respondents did not "trust" ABC to provide even-handed coverage. And conservative bloggers have been intensely critical of ABC in recent days.
"I'm not watching ABC entertainment, and I'm not watching their news programming either," said New York-based Karen Dougherty, who writes LonelyConservative.com, one of many blogs issuing a call for boycotts of ABC and its advertisers.
The broadcast, they say, is tantamount to an infomercial for the administration, made worse by the fact that ABC also will broadcast "World News Tonight" from the White House on Wednesday.
"It's not enough to say that ABC is exercising terrible journalistic judgment. The American public has to let ABC know that these decisions matter. As a believer in the marketplace, I think that an advertiser boycott is the way to deal with this unseemly display of media partisanship. After all, every American has a voice in the marketplace," said Sunny Berman of Bookwormroom.com, another conservative blog based in California.
An ABC executive responded to criticisms with the following:
"We welcome feedback from an audience in whatever form it might take. The top and bottom line is that we intend to produce a fair, probing and thoughtful discussion about a vitally important issue," said Jeffrey Schneider, senior vice president of ABC News communications.
The Republican National Committee disagrees.
Denied a chance to question Mr. Obama on his policy or buy advertising time on the program, Republicans said ABC denied them equal time for the town-hall-style event, accusing the network of turning over "its entire programming over to President Obama and his big-government agenda," RNC Chairman Michael S. Steele said in the organization's second public letter to the network in 48 hours.
ABC's Mr. Schneider called the Steele letter "a little sad. But that's how it all goes down. First you leak a letter from the RNC chief of staff to the press - all based on false premises - then the chairman writes something and riles everybody up. Then you ask for money. That's politics 101."
About the Author
- Paying attention: 85 percent of wary Americans take immigration 'personally'
- Ron Paul giving away a Colt AR-15 in the name of 'freedom'
- John Bolton endorses Scott Brown, the newest 'national security candidate'
- Inside the Beltway: Everybody's hot on the Cold War
- Inside the Beltway: Immigration rage festers on all sides
Latest Blog Entries
- A startling 20 percent of Democratic lawmakers already endorse Hillary Clinton for president
- Hey food police: calling obesity a 'disease' is actually a health risk
- Cheese and an 'enhanced experience': White House goes showbiz on the State of the Union address
- Cruz calls it a 'circus': the State of the Union spectacle begins
- Half of American fans say God and 'supernatural' forces are in play during sports events
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world