In what appears to be a bright spot of journalism over at ABC News, reporter Jonathan Karl has been repeatedly hitting the White House hard in recent weeks over its failed ObamaCare rollout, going so far as to mock its advertising attempts to sign up young people for health care.
While Karl hit the White House hard on Sunday's World News, he was far from tough on Monday’s Good Morning America, and offered up a puff-piece cheering on ObamaCare’s enrollment numbers. Last week, Karl confronted White House Press Secretary Jay Carney over newly released ObamaCare ads, asking the press secretary, “I mean is anybody going to buy health care because Barack O-Breezy tells him to buy it because it’s hot?” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Karl followed this up by calling "Pajamaboy" mockery "justified" in a tough report on Sunday night's World News. During the segment, Karl mocked a new ad released by the pro-Obama super-PAC Organizing for Action, saying that the ad is:
Earning some justified ridicule for this online ad featuring a 20 something guy in zip-up plaid onesie pajamas. That's spawning all manner of parodies. Even one with a photo shopped White House Press Secretary. California is out with this, featuring rapper calling himself Brock O-Breezy telling young people to sign up because it's hot.
After playing a clip of his interaction with Carney, Karl continued to hit the White House, proclaiming that, “Only nine states have said how many young people have signed up so far and none of them have come close to hitting that target."
Unfortunately, Karl’s hard-hitting ObamaCare piece may have been short-lived as he offered up a softball story on the December 23 Good Morning America. On Monday morning, Karl acted more like a White House stenographer than an actual reporter, quoting the White House saying, “the website is prepared to handle a surge in traffic that is expected today…The President himself said that more than 1 million people have now enrolled through the health care law.
Karl then goes on to cheerlead for the White House, proclaiming, “That is a big improvement, a massive improvement.” Sadly, it appears as though Karl could only make it one day before returning to media’s job of propping up ObamaCare at every turn.
See relevant transcripts below.
ABC World News with David Muir
December 22, 2013
6:11 p.m. Eastern
REBECCA JARVIS: Turning now to another deadline and one that the Obama Administration is watching very closely. Tomorrow is the last day to enroll for ObamaCare health insurance if you want your coverage to begin on January 1st. The administration set a goal of 7 million signed up by March and on Friday, the president announced they've only hit the 1 million mark. The challenge is not only to keep the website rubbing without any glitches, but also to get younger Americans to sign up. ABC's Jon Karl reports.
JONATHAN KARL: There's a new front in the battle over ObamaCare. Young people. If not enough sign up, premiums could skyrocket and so far, they don't seem to be paying much attention.
UNKNOWN PERSON 1: It hasn't really been on my mind lately.
UNKNOWN PERSON 2: I haven't had much time to think about that.
KARL: To get their attention, the pro-Obama group OFA is out with this video.
UNKNOWN PERSON 3: We love you no matter what. But it's time to get covered.
KARL: And they’re earning some justified ridicule for this online ad featuring a 20 something guy in zip-up plaid onesie pajamas. That's spawning all manner of parodies. Even one with a photo shopped White House Press Secretary. California is out with this, featuring rapper calling himself Brock O-Breezy telling young people to sign up because it's hot.
UNKOWN PERSON 5: ♪♪I’ve got this health care which has got it going on ♪♪
KARL: I mean is anybody going to buy health care because Barack O-Breezy tells him to buy it because it’s hot?
JAY CARNEY: Having not designed advertising campaigns myself, I'm not an expert, but I think that, you know, people -- there are efforts under way to reach potential consumers.
KARL: And then there's the anti-ObamaCare side. One group launched this creepy video with Uncle Sam taking over a woman's medical exam. It has over 2 million views. The group is also having opt-out parties, telling people not to enroll. Health care experts say at least 40% of enrollees need to be young adults to keep premiums from going up. Only nine states have said how many young people have signed up so far and none of them have come close to hitting that target. White House officials say that efforts to reach out to young people will intensify in the New Year and they insist that past experience shows that young people are most likely to wait until the last minute before buying health insurance. Rebecca?
JARVIS: Jon Karl. A lot of people waiting until the last minute for a lot of things this time of year.
Good Morning America
December 23, 2013
7:05 a.m. Eastern
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: To President Obama now. He's enjoying the holidays with his family in Hawaii as we approach a key deadline for ObamaCare. Today the last day to sign up for health insurance for anyone who wants coverage to start in January. ABC's Jon Karl is in Hawaii now with the latest on where the program stands and what to expect today. Good morning, Jon.
JONATHAN KARL: Good morning, George. Well officials say they are ready for this. The first big deadline, first big test. They say the website is prepared to handle a surge in traffic that is expected today. And that the call centers have been beefed up. George, there are now 12,000 people available to take calls, helping people enroll, help them through that process. The President himself said that more than 1 million people have now enrolled through the health care law. And George, that is a big improvement, a massive improvement, in fact. But as you know, the goal is 7 million enrollees by March 31st. So they still have a long way to go.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They do have a long way to go. And the President has a long way to go on his vacation. Going to spend a full two weeks this year, after his vacation getting interrupted last year. What have they been doing so far?
KARL: It will be, if he goes through with it all, one of the longest vacations he's had so far. He's already had a round of golf. He took the family out for dinner last night. He took in a college basketball game. And of course, the President is never truly on vacation, even when he's here in Hawaii. He's been getting national security briefings on the situation in Sudan and of course on the progress with this health care rollout. George?