Friday, 28 August 2009

ABC, NBC Refuse Anti-Obamacare Ad

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Healthcare AdThe League of American Voters has sponsored a 33-second television commercial criticizing President Obama’s healthcare reform proposals, but ABC and NBC are refusing to run the ad in its current form, Fox News reported on August 27.

The commercial is viewable below, on YouTube, and currently at the League website:

The TV spot features neurosurgeon Mark J. Cuffe, M.D., who warns that there aren’t enough doctors to care for the millions of people President Obama wants to see covered by insurance. Dr. Cuffe points out that government-run healthcare will lead to rationing, and he urges Americans not to let our system become like those in Canada and England.

About two weeks ago the commercial began airing on local affiliates of ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS, but ABC and NBC have refused to run it on a national level. “The ABC Television Network has a long-standing policy that we do not sell time for advertising that presents a partisan position on a controversial public issue,” said spokeswoman Susan Sewell in a written statement. “Just to be clear, this is a policy for the entire network, not just ABC News.”

NBC, on the other hand, claims it has not refused the ad. If the ad were revised, the network might reconsider. “We have not rejected the ad,” spokeswoman Liz Fischer told “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.”

Bob Adams is executive director of the League of American Voters, a 15,000-member group that describes itself as “a national non-partisan and 501(c)4 non-profit organization created to keep our elected officials in Washington and across the nation accountable.” The group defines its core issues as: “defending America’s free enterprise system, supporting a strong national defense and security infrastructure, promoting common sense family values and championing the idea that good government is one that is both limited and honest.”

The controversial TV spot is an example of how the League works toward its goals by educating Americans. “It’s a powerful ad,” Adams said. “It tells the truth and it really highlights one of the biggest vulnerabilities and problems with this proposed legislation, which is it rations health care and disproportionately will decimate the quality of health care for seniors.”

Adams isn’t happy with ABC’s characterization of the ad as presenting a partisan position. “It’s a position that we would argue a vast majority of Americans stand behind,” he stated. “Obviously, it’s a message that ABC and the Obama administration haven't received yet.”

The advertisement was conceived by Dick Morris, a political analyst with FOX News and chief strategist for the League of American Voters. He points out ABC’s hypocritical accusation of partisanship when the network has already given President Obama hours of air time including their Prescription for America special.

“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.”

Of course, no 33-second video can delve into the subtle nuances of all aspects of healthcare reform. But the concluding point of the spot does bear repeating: America should not copy the socialized medicine systems of Canada and England.

Our forefathers fought and died to throw off a system of government that was tyrannical and oppressive. Two-hundred-some years later, the last thing we should do is seek to imitate the government control over healthcare that our former ruler inflicts upon its own people.

Photo: Image from video paid for by the League of American Voters

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