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ABC and NBC Refuse to Run Ad Critical of Obama Health Care

6 years ago
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ABC and NBC have refused to run a national ad critical of President Obama's health care reform plan. The commercial features a doctor who warns that a government-run health care system will lead to rationing and will disproportionately harm the quality of care for seniors on Medicare.

The spot has been running for two weeks on local affiliates of Fox, CBS and even ABC and NBC. But the two networks have refused to air the commercial nationally, according to Fox News.

The ad was produced by the
League of American Voters, a national, nonprofit group that advocates for accountability by elected officials.

NBC responded to a Fox inquiry by saying it would consider running the 30-second ad if it were revised.

"We have not rejected the ad. We have communicated with the media agency about some factual claims that require additional substantiation. As always, we are happy to reconsider the ad once these issues are addressed," said NBC spokeswoman Liz Fischer.

In June, ABC was hosted by the White House for a special on health care, which ran nationally in prime time.

But in response to Fox's question about the network's refusal to run the ad, ABC spokeswoman Susan Sewell said in a statement that the network "has a long-standing policy that we do not sell time for advertising that presents a partisan position on a controversial public issue."

League of American Voters Executive Director Bob Adams
takes issue with ABC calling the ad "partisan," saying: "It's a position that we would argue a vast majority of Americans stand behind. Obviously, it's a message that ABC and the Obama administration haven't received yet."

Dick Morris, the former advisor to President Clinton, is the League of American Voters' chief strategist. He told Fox he is especially troubled by the hypocrisy of ABC's refusal to air the spot.

"It's the ultimate act of chutzpah because ABC is the network that turned itself over completely to Obama for a daylong propaganda fest about health care reform," he said. "For them to be pious and say they will not accept advertising on health care shuts their viewers out from any possible understanding of both sides of this issue."

ABC and NBC are only reinforcing the perception of a liberal media bias by refusing to air an ad that shows the downsides of the Obama proposals. The result is that the American people will learn about both sides of the health care debate from CBS, Fox and their local affiliates.

Follow Emily Miller
on Twitter.

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