So, not only is ABC not planning to include opposing voices to President Obama's health care proposals during its special presentation next week -- though ABC does claim "those in the audience" will ask questions of the president -- it is refusing to even allow groups that oppose Obamacare to purchase paid-for advertisements to air during the healthcare special.
Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients Rights, contacted ABC and inquired about purchasing some ad time during the Obama infomercial, but was refused the sale. Scott wanted to air his 60-second ad before the healthcare show started. Though it was refused by the national network, apparently it is still possible for Scott the buy time on local affiliates should he desire it.
It is unfortunate--and unusual--that ABC is refusing to accept paid advertising that would present an alternative viewpoint for the White House health care event. Health care is an issue that touches every American and all potential pieces of legislation have carried a price tag in excess of $1 trillion of taxpayers' money. The American people deserve a healthy, robust debate on this issue and ABC's decision--as of now--to exclude even paid advertisements that present an alternative view does a disservice to the public. Our organization is more than willing to purchase ad time on ABC to present an alternative viewpoint and our hope is that ABC will reconsider having such viewpoints be part of this crucial debate for the American people. We were surprised to hear that paid advertisements would not be accepted when we inquired and we would certainly be open to purchasing time if ABC would reconsider.
One has to wonder why ABC won't even permit a 60-second ad that opposes Obamacare to air? Is 60 seconds too much time for what might be considered an effort at a sort of "fairness doctrine"?
An emailer notes that ABC World News does not feature local affiliate breaks during its air time. I am getting some conflicting info as to whether this healthcare "special" is included under the rubric "ABC World News" or if it is a separate deal, but it is possible that there is no local ad time available for opposing voices at all, unless the network accepts such ads.