Okay, so because of America’s Right, I felt obligated to tune in at 10:00 p.m. to ABC for the 90-minute Obamacare infomercial broadcast from the White House. I credit my A.D.D. for allowing me to fade in and out a bit, picking up a few tidbits here and there as President Barack Obama, fresh from a healthy dose of Just For Men (was I the only one that noticed the still wet and glistening coating of Soul Glo?), answered planted questions from planted audience members during the rare moments he wasn’t soaking up Diane Sawyer’s loving gaze.
I didn’t make it too far into the programming, however. At one point, as Charlie Gibson was playing the role of detractor with one of those “tough questions” promised by ABC, he asked the president how, if the new plan provided coverage for the 47 million uninsured Americans, the rest of us could get doctor’s appointments. I was hoping that Gibson would look down his nose at the president like he looked down his nose at Sarah Palin last fall, but instead I think I saw in his trousers the beginning of the Bill Clinton-like manifestation of a Chris Matthews-esque chill running up his leg. The question that broke the camel’s back, at least for me, went something like this:
“Mr. President, if your health care reform plan will ensure that the 47 million or so Americans right now without health insurance will receive coverage,” Gibson asked, trying to sound tough, “how will people ever get doctor’s appointments? I mean, it’s already difficult enough to get an appointment, right? Now, if there aren’t all that many new doctors, but 47 million new patients, how will that work?”
Obviously, that’s not verbatim, but the point remains — why didn’t Charlie ask about how many of those “47 million Americans” are here in the United States illegally, or how many earn more than enough money to pay for coverage but choose not to?
I couldn’t take it any more. The entire production, from the set to the makeup to the seating, just reeked of the kind of staged crap-fest we saw in Monday’s press conference, when the White House and the Huffington Post staged a question on Iran.
ABC should be absolutely ashamed of itself. Not only for refusing advertising from anyone with a contrary point-of-view, but for so easily bending over and assuming the position for a scared, defensive administration obviously trying to stem the growing backlash from voters on both sides of the political spectrum.