Dan Gainor

With apologies to Janet Jackson, America’s rhythm nation is so 1989. Now it’s an Indoctri-nation. The mainstream media don’t tell us what’s going on; they tell us what to think. Today’s example is nationalized health care. It will be the topic tomorrow, the next day and the next. But June 24 more than most.

On June 24, a major news outlet appears to be throwing away any pretense of being neutral in the national health care debate.

Take it away ABC. Tell America what to think about health care with “Questions for the President: Prescription for America.” It’s an extravaganza of coverage as the network vows to “moderate a conversation” with the president. To give an idea of how committed ABC is, “‘Good Morning America,’ ‘World News,’ ‘Nightline,’ and ABCNews.com’s ‘Top Line’ will all feature special programming on the president’s health care agenda.” Add in a Tuesday love bomb session with Michelle Obama focusing on eating healthy and it’s a network that looks like it’s working for the White House.

That doesn’t sound exactly balanced, does it? You don’t see them doing a special on the GOP’s health care agenda. And though they now are downplaying it, Medical Editor Dr. Tim Johnson is part of the program and he has been pro-nationalized health care since Hillarycare in the 1990s.

ABC has caught enough heat about the special to cause real global warming and the network meekly responded with a letter claiming it would do a good job, just like the job it’s already done on health care.

Kerry Smith, a network senior vice president said “we've already had many critics of the President's health care proposals on the air.” But that’s far from correct (another preview of ABC’s special). Since Obama took office, the network has favored supporters of Obama’s health care plan – either the president or other experts promoting his plan – by a 3-to-1 margin over critics. So if by “many,” Smith meant one-fourth of the total, she’d have been accurate.

Still, the network may fear the infomercial approach because it’s already been so heavily criticized. Viewers might even get fair coverage – for a day.

Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.