Commentary Magazine


Contentions

A Bold Prediction

Tonight, ABC is giving President Obama two full hours to sell the American people on his health plan. Naturally, in the interests of fairness and balance and presenting a complete picture, ABC will also allow those who disagree with the president to present their opinions.

Whoops, my mistake. ABC won’t be interviewing or featuring any opponents. Nor will it be accepting paid commercials to present the alternative.

ABC says it will be featuring a wide assortment of ordinary Americans who will be allowed to ask the president and his people unscripted, unsolicited questions on the subject. We all know how well that works out. During the presidential primary season, CNN teamed up with YouTube to host a pair of debates — one for each party. And when it came time for the Republican debate — surprise, surprise! — they stacked the deck.

Among the 34 supposed “undecided Republican voters” chosen to ask questions, 8 were found to have serious ties to Democrats. Declared supporters, former Democratic interns, and — in one famous case — a retired gay Air Force general who worked for both John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. General Kerr got extra-special attention, as befitted his long-standing relationship with CNN — he, alone, was flown in to the debate to critique the answers given by the candidates.

CNN got away with it. And tonight, so might ABC News.