The perfidy of ABC News (tentative conclusion on a breaking story)

Perfidy:  The act of violating faith or allegiance; violation of a promise or vow, or of trust reposed.

ABC News proudly announces what seems likely to be a betrayal of their public trust as journalists, joining the Obama Administration to produce propaganda supporting their proposal for health care reform. If that proves to be true, at least they are open about this – so Americans seeking real news can look elsewhere.

  1. ABC news refuses to air paid ads during its White House health care presentation, the Drudge Report has learned, including a paid-for alternative viewpoint.  (Source:  Drudge Report)
  2. Letter to ABC News from the Ken McKay (Chief of Staff to the Republican National Committee) protests this “glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda”, esp the refusal of ABC News to include any presentation by Republican Party leaders.
  3. Response by Kerry Smith (SVP, ABC News) to the RNC letter — “no one watching, listening to, or reading ABC News will lack for an understanding of all sides of these important questions.”
  4. An excellent analysis of this by Zenpundit:  Well at Least We Know ABC is Immune to Intellectual Embarassment.

This is not about the health care crisis.  It’s about people — including in this case, the executives of ABC News — willingness to throw away a key component of our system in order to push a government policy initiative.  No matter how valuable that initiative, IMO this does not justify corruption of our already poorly functioning social mechanism for informing the American people about the world. 

However small a step in the already too-close media-government relationship, the direction of this trend is alarming.  If you do not consider this alarming, at what point in this trend will you worry?

Here is ABC News’ public announcement of this debacle:  “Questions for the President: Prescription for America”, ABC News press release — Excerpt:

ABC News’ Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer to Moderate a Primetime Conversation with President Barack Obama about the Future of the Nation’s Healthcare System.

  • Special Edition of “Primetime” to Air from the White House Wednesday, June 24th at 10pm ET
  • “Questions for the President: Prescription for America” will continue on “Nightline” at 11:35pm ET on Wed. June 24th.
  • “Good Morning America” and “World News” to Originate From the White House on Wednesday
  • “GMA” to Feature Exclusive Interview with President Obama

As the nation debates sweeping changes in healthcare, ABC News’ Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer will moderate a conversation with President Obama about this critical issue on the nation’s agenda. A special edition of Primetime “Questions for the President: Prescription for America” will air on Wednesday, June 24th from 10:00-11:00 PM ET on the ABC Television Network.

During the discussion from the East Room of the White House, President Obama will answer questions from an audience made up of Americans selected by ABC News who have divergent opinions in this historic debate. ABC News’ Medical Editor Dr. Timothy Johnson will also take part in the conversation which will focus on different ideas for how to fix the system and how proposed changes will impact our already fragile economy.

The health care conversation will continue on “Nightline” at 11:35pm ET.

Wednesday morning’s “Good Morning America” will originate from the South Lawn of the White House and will include an exclusive interview with President Obama. He sits down with Diane Sawyer to discuss healthcare and other issues on the nation’s agenda. Wednesday’s program will also feature portions of Robin Roberts’ exclusive interview with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Charles Gibson will anchor “World News” from the Blue Room of the White House on Wednesday. will invite viewers to join the discussion and share their questions about health care reform at starting Tuesday, June 16th. will also be working with to select popular questions voted on by online users. Some of those questions will be put to President Obama during the program. ABC News’ daily political webcast, “Top Line,” will focus on health care reform throughout the week of June 22. senior political reporter and author of the Note, Rick Klein, will live-blog and interact with users as the forum airs and full video coverage of the forum will be posted online. A special section of dedicated to the health care debate will offer comprehensive coverage of the forum and will continue as legislation is taken up in Congress.


Please share your comments by posting below.  Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them brief (250 words max), civil, and relevant to this post.  Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

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For more information from the FM site

To read other articles about these things, see the FM reference page on the right side menu bar.  Of esp interest are:

Posts about America’s mainstream media;

  1. More post-Fallon overheating: “6 signs the US may be headed for war in Iran”, 18 March 2008
  2. The media discover info ops, with outrage!, 22 April 2008
  3. Only our amnesia makes reading the newspapers bearable, 30 April 2008
  4. Successful info ops, but who are the targets?, 1 May 2008
  5. The myth of media pessimism about the economy, 13 June 2008
  6. Keys to interpreting news about the Georgia – Russia fighting, 12 August 2008
  7. “Elegy for a rubber stamp”, by Lewis Lapham, 26 August 2008
  8. “The Death of Deep Throat and the Crisis of Journalism”, 23 December 2008
  9. The media doing what it does best these days, feeding us disinformation, 18 February 2009
  10. The media rolls over and plays dead for Obama, as it does for all new Presidents, 19 February 2009
  11. The magic of the mainstream media changes even the plainest words into face powder, 24 April 2009
  12. The media – a broken component of America’s machinery to observe and understand the world, 2 June 2009
  13. We’re ignorant about the world because we rely on our media for information, 3 June 2009

41 thoughts on “The perfidy of ABC News (tentative conclusion on a breaking story)”

  1. mac, it is difficult to know what to say. You are right that the consensus reality of the media contains lies and distortions. You are also right that problems can’t be solved if no-one understands their real cause. But the difficulty of our society coming to terms with Reality, is that Reality is political. We all have our Reality that is so important to us. Perhaps you would consider my Reality inimical to you, and I might feel similarly about yours. I am not quite joking when I say that we might both be correct.

    About American culture, I’d have to agree with Fabius Maximus. Your attitude is very harsh. Would you be happier with French culture, or Chinese culture? Perhaps in your travels, you will find another culture that will seem more resonant with your beliefs.
    Fabius Maximus replies: The other question is the accuracy of the mainsteam media in other nations. Heaven probably has reliable news media, but probably little news.

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