As indignation turned to outrage Thursday among critics of an ABC News prime-time special on President Obama's health care policy, The Washington Times has learned that ABC employees gave 80 times as much money to Mr. Obama's 2008 campaign for president than to his rival's.
According to an analysis of campaign donations by the Center for Responsive Politics, conducted at The Times' request, ABC employees in several divisions donated $124,421 to the Obama campaign, compared with $1,550 to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain.
The 60-minute ABC program, to air live from the White House on Wednesday, is sparking hardball politics in other ways. Grass-roots boycotts, Republican outcry and a study citing media bias are all part of the mix.
A study released Thursday by the Business & Media Institute (BMI) found that since Inauguration Day, ABC has aired news stories with positive reviews of Mr. Obama's health care policy 55 times, compared with 18 times when the network highlighted negative reviews.
Citing Census Bureau figures, the BMI analyses also accused ABC of "exaggerating the breadth of the uninsured problem," saying the network's claim that up to 50 million Americans are uninsured is false.
"ABC is in bed with their source, so to speak. ABC is supposed to be a news organization, not a producer of infomercials for national health care. And I wonder what they would have done if the Bush administration had asked for positive programming to support the war on terror or Social Security initiatives," said Dan Gainor, BMI vice president of business and culture.