RNC looking to buy into ABC Obama coverage


The Republican National Committee sees the four-pronged ABC/Obama epic on health care scheduled for 6/24/09 as nothing more than an infomercial, and is making a special pitch to its constituents to put together enough cash to advertise during the events. “It seems that the mainstream media has finally decided to dispense with the pointless denials of favorable coverage of the Obama Administration,” is how the pitch begins. For its part, ABC continues to insist the coverage will be balanced with all viewpoints represented.

Four ABC News programs – “Good Morning America,” “World News,” “Primetime” and “Nightline” will either be devoted to or have segments on President Obama’s health care initiatives.

RNC says its request to be part of the coverage was rejected by ABC.

“Please help us raise the nearly $100,000 we need to buy air time to get the truth about the disastrous consequences of the Obama Democrats’ government-run health care plans out to the American people. Make a special donation of $25, $50, $100, $500 or $1,000 to the Republican National Committee today, and your gift will support our fight to counter the ABC/Obama ‘special programming’ with our plan for meaningful, genuine health care reform.”

“I think it’s sad because we’re trying to produce a fair and evenhanded debate about an important issue, and unfortunately some see that as a fund-raising opportunity,” said an ABC News spokesman. “Our intentions have been very clear from the start, to have a room full of people with divergent views putting tough questions to the President. And it seems that no matter how many times we say that, some people just can’t hear it.”

Responding to the charges that anchor Charles Gibson was acting as a tool of the Obama administration, ABC pointed out that just last year, the same Charles Gibson was being taken to task for allegedly overly tough questions for candidate Obama.

RBR/TVBR observation: RNC is pursuing the best possible tactic here – make itself part of the programming. And the lesson for broadcasters, when there is particularly compelling programming to sell, is to figure out which companies and organizations have the most to gain or lose and suggest that they follow RNC’s lead and make themselves part of the program through effective advertising.