ABC News apparently sees its role not merely as reporting the news, but acting as advocates on a highly-charged political issue being promoted by a left-wing Democratic presidential candidate.
Check out the graphic from this morning's Good Morning America: "GMA Gets It Done: Taking on Medicaid. Fighting to Treat Tooth Decay."
The screencap shows a palpably emotional GMA co-host Chris Cuomo literally pointing his finger at the head of the federal Medicaid program. The moment came during the course of a segment this morning recounting the sad case of 12-year old Deamonte Driver, who died after infection from an abscessed tooth spread to his brain. The boy and his family were in fact covered by Medicaid, the government health care insurance program for poor people. But the boy's mother [pictured below] had never before taken him to a dentist, and when the abscess occurred it was reportedly difficult to find a dentist willing to provide care, given Medicaid reimbursement rates.
GMA CO-HOST CHRIS CUOMO to the Medicaid official: Why am I wrong to place the blame on the federal government? We give you our tax dollars to take care of kids exactly like Deamonte Driver: the most vulnerable, the most at risk, make sure they get care, and you didn't. This is your fault, don't pass the buck.
View video here.
GMA aired the segment at 7:10 EDT this morning, just hours before a hearing on the issue of Medicaid coverage of dental care is to be convened by . . . presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich [D-OH], who has made nationalized health care a centerpiece of his campaign.
GMA CO-HOST DIANE SAWYER, introducing the segment: One in three American children have no access to any form of dental insurance, and the consequences can be truly tragic.
CUOMO: You put your finger right on it. People talk about health care all the time, but they ignore dental care. But here is the reality: while eight million kids in this country lack health care, three times as many, over 25 million, don't have dental care.
Sawyer and Cuomo misled on two counts: as with health care in general, not having dental insurance does not mean not having dental care. In any case, as mentioned, young Deamante did in fact have insurance: Medicaid.
It's one thing for a local news station to go to bat for a guy who got a bad muffler job at the auto shop. But is it ABC's role to thrust itself into presidential politics in this way? Of course when it did, it predictably did so in favor of expanding government.
Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org