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Following Analysis of ABC News Health Care Advertising, Group Says ABC News Should Worry Less About Its Anchors and More About Its Integrity

Friday, December 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ABC News should focus less on Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer and more on integrity, says the National Center for Public Policy Research, which just completed an advertising review of ABC's nightly World News.

The multi-month review, using data collected by executive director David Almasi and analyzed by policy analyst Matt Patterson, was conducted after ABC allowed President Obama to pitch his health care proposal on ABC's Primetime in June and then gave Obama additional airtime that evening on Nightline.

That night, ABC News refused to allow the conservative group Conservatives for Patients Rights to purchase paid advertising to put forth an alternative.

In the 98 days of advertising logged by Almasi and analyzed by Patterson, the broadcast featured 1,102 commercials, 597 of which were placed by members of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) trade association, representing 54.17% of commercials aired.

PhRMA very aggressively supports Obama's health care agenda.

"It's clear that World News relies on the members of PhRMA to sponsor it," said Almasi.  "Ford and Proctor and Gamble are reliable sponsors, but the overwhelming amount of paid ads were for drugs pushed by the members of this very powerful and very political trade association.  Ad after ad on World News comes from members of the drug lobby group PhRMA.  It's almost laughable how many ads they run each day.  If they were to stop, it would seem doubtful the broadcasts could continue."

Says Patterson, "ABC News seems to have a significant financial stake in the success of ObamaCare.  Should we be surprised that they hand over an hour to Obama to promote his plan, while shutting out opposing views?"

For more information, download "Obama Buys the News" by Matt Patterson at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA595.html or call.

Contact: David Almasi at (202)543-4110x11 or dalmasi@nationalcenter.org or Judy Kent at (703)759-7476 or jkent@nationalcenter.org

SOURCE National Center for Public Policy Research

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