ABC has made the unprecedented move of giving prime-time programing air time to President Barack Obama for a “Healthcare Reform Special” to be aired next week. Uncommonly a major TV Network has turned over its airtime to what is essentially a White House infomercial on an important upcoming legislative effort.
But, perhaps it is not too surprising that Obama has landed himself some prime viewing time on ABC. After all, former ABC News correspondent Linda Douglass is now the Director of Communications for the Obama White House Office of Health Reform. Coincidence? One would be excused to suspect it.
Douglass gave up her ABC News career in May to take the post with the administration. She claimed to see no conflict at all between being a “journalist” and a partisan government operative. In fact, she was thrilled not to be “sitting on the sidelines” in the era of Obama.
I see this as a moment of transformational change in the country and I have spent my lifetime sitting on the sidelines watching people attempt to make change. I just decided that I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore.
And now, amazingly, ABC nails down all sorts of exclusive interviews with Obama and is playing host to a single sided presentation of what will be Obama’s healthcare advertisement.
For it’s part, ABC is claiming that the “special” had been in the works since the inauguration. Though it is a bit hard to understand how the idea of giving Obama free air time to push his take over of nearly 20% of the economy with his healthcare plans could have been envisioned and scheduled before any such policies were even undertaken. And in response to criticism, a letter was released by Senior Vice President of ABC News, Kerry Smith, denying that this special will be one sided coverage of the healthcare issue.
The president will also give an exclusive interview to Good Morning America and there will be two other ABC News broadcasts emanating from the White House next week.
No news if there will be a few comedy skits, a guest vocalist, or maybe a dance number in Obama’s variety hour show.