During "Good Morning America's" respectful coverage of Ted Kennedy and the sad announcement of his cancer on Wednesday, ABC's medical expert, Dr. Tim Johnson, used the occasion to laud Kennedy's very liberal goals for reforming health care. After stating his admiration for the Massachusetts senator, Johnson fawned, "He is a true giant in the field of those of us who care about health care reform. And we want his leadership to continue."
Johnson may be a doctor, but his rigid liberalism fits right in at ABC. He has a long history of using network airwaves to back Kennedy and other liberal Democrats and their policies. On September 24 1993, he rhapsodized, "...The Clintons are almost heroes in my mind for finally facing up to the terrible problems we have with our current health care system..." On July 19, 1994, he extolled then-First Lady Hillary Clinton's plans for universal health care in an interview, saying, "So at least from the physicians represented here, you get a 100 percent vote, including mine, for universal coverage."
The awe that the doctor held for the Clintons apparently hasn't lessened with time. On October 19, 2007, Johnson practically endorsed Senator Clinton's run for the White House. He announced on GMA: "She certainly knows health care better, I think, than any other candidate....I'm very impressed with her knowledge base."
On April 26, 2007, Johnson raved about Kennedy and a fellow Democrat, Representative John Dingell, for their liberal health care plans. He affectionately referred to them as "two old war horses" who are "trying to do what I think is the right thing."
So, while ABC viewers can expect competent medical advice from Johnson, they should probably be aware that his political policies are just as liberal as many of his network colleagues.
A transcript of the exchange between Johnson and GMA co-host Diane Sawyer, which aired at 7:11am on May 21, follows:
DIANE SAWYER: And I know you know him. I know that you feel strongly about him.
DR. TIM JOHNSON: Oh, I've come to admire the man enormously in the last several years. He is a true giant in the field of those of us who care about health care reform. And we want his leadership to continue.