Do you remember TASS? For any of you that don’t, it was the propaganda vehicle for the former Soviet Union that posed as a foreign and domestic news agency. It fed the peoples of the Soviet Union, and the gullible among the rest of the world’s populace, a steady diet of pro-Soviet propaganda throughout the Cold War.
Historically, America hasn’t had a TASS (or its equivalent). True, the American media has, at times in our history, worked closely to advance specific policy objectives, but such instances have been the exception, not the rule. That’s because our media here in the United States cared about being objective, of at least maintaining the pretence that they were independent, and not mere arms of the state.
Apparently, such appearances no longer matter, at least to ABC News.
As reported on the Drudge Report:
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.
The article goes on to note that the RNC has issued the following statement in response to ABC’s plan:
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.
Republican National Committee
Chief of Staff
ABC News, of course, has issued a counter-statement in response, claiming that it “will have complete editorial control” over the broadcast. Somehow, I doubt it.
It looks to me as if we’re more likely to get yet another glorified infomercial; and worse, one that again fails to feature Vince Offer. You’d think some savvy White House intern would have clued in on the fact that Vince is the critical component in a successful infomercial, but, alas, that has not happened yet.
All kidding aside, I have to at least acknowledge the consistency of the Obama administration’s logic. Given that they have set about centralizing control of health care in Washington, it only makes sense to centralize the evening news broadcasts there as well!
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