I had to do a double take this morning when I saw a report that ABC News was going to anchor its news from inside the White House in a special June 24 prime-time push for health care reform.
The network essentially is turning programming over to the Obama Administration. Can you imagine the outcry if FOX News had done something similar during George W. Bush’s presidency?
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, this is not good news. What’s especially disturbing is the way ABC is excluding dissenting opinions. There have always been charges of media bias, but we are seeing more blatant, shameless examples of one-sided reporting than I can ever remember.
Ad agencies and other organizations that have to work with the news media need to be aware of this disturbing trend, which will only end up further damaging the reputations of places like ABC News.
When a news media outlet is no longer deemed credible or impartial, people begin seeking other sources for their information. Blogs, Twitter and other social media provide alternatives and will, I believe, become increasingly important ways in which people get and disseminate information.
Media outlets that appear to be puppets for the government will become increasingly irrelevant—and will only have themselves to blame.
Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.