A plan by ABC News to run an “infomercial” in suppor t of President Obama’s health care plan troubles at least one former White House press secretary.
Dana Perino, who served as press secretary for President George W. Bush, expressed surpr ise that ABC would r isk throwing away any claim to political impartiality by going to the White House June 24 to broadcast “World News” and a prime-time special on the president’s national health care plan.
“Another day, another controversy about the media. The networks and newspapers continue being the subject of the news. This comes as the profession’s credibility regarding bias hangs in the balance and its business models are being upended by new ways of getting people infor mation,” Mrs. Perino said June 16 in a blog at NationalReview.com.
“I’ve often worked with ABC and have long admired the quality of journalism the network produces across its platforms. This decision, however, troubles me,” Mrs. Perino said.
“I like a robust debate, and finally we’re starting to see some really good reporting on the merits of the president’s reform proposals. Judging by the reaction, people don’t seem to like what they’re lear ning. And some may feel like they’ve not been getting the full story about how much the reforms will cost them. Now that that cat’s out of the bag, their skepticism is rising. It’s no wonder the White House wants to open its doors to ABC for a large-scale PR push.
“Perhaps ABC will help provide more clarity and ‘select’ people who will ask tough questions; however, no matter how tough the questions are, President Obama will have homefield advantage. And it’s hard not to look like you’re in the tank when you’re anchoring from the Blue Room.”