ABC, CBS Mislead on Fox News Town Hall Crowd Cheering Medicare For All

As if it somehow sank the conservative agenda or upended a Fox News narrative, the ABC and CBS Tuesday evening news programs hailed the heavily Democratic Fox News town hall audience that cheered for Bernie Sander’s Medicare for All healthcare plan.

It was clear during ABC’s World News Tonight that they were going to twist the cheering crowd as proof that even Republicans supported government controlled healthcare. “Now, to the race for 2020 tonight, and the fiery town hall. Bernie Sanders on Fox News. And the question about health care in America, it drew a huge response from the audience,” hyped sensationalist anchor David Muir.

ABC congressional correspondent Mary Bruce was full of energy as she explained how Sanders was “at a town hall on the President's favorite network” and “asked voters to embrace one of his most progressive ideas: Medicare for all.”

She played a soundbite of town hall co-moderator Bret Baier conducting an impromptu poll of the Pennsylvania audience to see support for Sanders’ plan:

I want to ask the audience a question, if you could raise your hands here, show of hands of how many people get their insurance from work, private insurance, right now. How many get it from private insurance? Okay. Now, of those, who many are willing to transition to what the Senator says, a government-run system.

[Audience members cheer]

 

 

His Medicare for all plan, often criticized by Republicans, got an enthusiastic response last night from audience members of both parties,” boasted CBS political correspondent Ed O’Keefe on Evening News.

Even though Bruce also noted that the audience was made up of “Democrats and Republicans”, neither correspondent shared a soundbite of Baier explaining how “this audience has a lot of Democrats in it. It has Republicans, independents, democratic socialists, [and] conservatives.” In fact, ABC cut off a soundbite just as Baier was making that point.

As CNN admittedly does with their Democratic town halls, the Fox News town hall crowd seemed more weighted for those voting in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. While ABC and CBS were trying to make hay out of the cheers and the raised hands, they failed to mention that there were plenty in the crowd that didn’t do either.

So, given the facts of the situation, it becomes clear these networks were looking to mislead their viewers about the situation and who was actually cheering. As further evidence of that intent, ABC's on-screen headline read: "Memorable Moment: Sanders draws unexpected support for health plan" (pictured above).

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
April 16, 2019
6:43:06 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Now, to the race for 2020 tonight, and the fiery town hall. Bernie Sanders on Fox News. And the question about health care in America, it drew a huge response from the audience. And tonight, President Trump tweeting, puzzled why Bernie Sanders was on Fox News. Their response tonight, and here's ABC's Mary Bruce.

[Cuts to video]

MARY BRUCE: In Trump territory, rust belt Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at a town hall on the President's favorite network, Fox News, Bernie Sanders asked voters to embrace one of his most progressive ideas: Medicare for all.

BERNIE SANDERS: Do you think it makes sense to spend twice as much per capita as the people of any other nation and be the only country in the world not to guarantee health care to all people?

BRUCE: Moderator Brett Baier then took it a step further.

BRET BAIER: I want to ask the audience a question, if you could raise your hands here, show of hands of how many people get their insurance from work, private insurance, right now. How many get it from private insurance? Okay. Now, of those, who many are willing to transition to what the Senator says, a government-run system.

[Audience members cheer]

BRUCE: Health care was the number one issue in the midterms, and this group of Democrats and Republicans are making it clear, it will likely top the list again in 2020.

(…)

 

CBS Evening News
April 16, 2019
6:38:12 p.m. Eastern

JEFF GLOR: To the 2020 campaign now. New numbers show President Trump's fund-raising has far surpassed any of the 19 candidates officially seeking the Democratic nomination. That includes Bernie Sanders who appeared where few Democrats ever visit last night. Here's Ed O’Keefe.

[Cuts to video]

ED O’KEEFE: Democratic presidential candidates fanned out across the country again today, but it's an appearance by Bernie Sanders on Fox News, the network Democrats love to hate, that's grabbing attention.

BERNIE SANDERS: What we are talking about is simply a single-payer insurance program.

O’KEEFE: His Medicare for all plan, often criticized by Republicans, got an enthusiastic response last night from audience members of both parties.

BRET BAIER: How many are willing to transition to what the Senator says, a government-run system.

[Audience members cheer]

(…)

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Economy Medicare Health Care Medical Insurance Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Labeling Name That Party Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News Video Mary Bruce David Muir Ed O'Keefe Bernie Sanders

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