ABC employees donated heavily to Obama
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.
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.