In totalitarian regimes, the media becomes nothing more than a propaganda arm of the regime. A great example of this is Pravda in Russia. Our democracy is dependent on a vigorous press that acts as a watchdog on the government. It relies on a free press that maintains its independence and strives at all times to present all sides of a story. Whenever our free press limits its vigourous pursuit of these goals, our democracy is threatened.
This ABC special is an example of rank propaganda. I don't necessarily have a problem with rank propaganda as long as it is identified as such. Daily Kos makes no bones about which politician it supports. Yet, the worst part about what ABC is doing is that they are claiming to be balanced and objective all the while allowing propaganda. Here is how ABC's VP Kerry Smith characterized the special.
ABCNEWS prides itself on covering all sides of important issues and asking direct questions of all newsmakers -- of all political persuasions -- even when others have taken a more partisan approach and even in the face of criticism from extremes on both ends of the political spectrum.
ABCNEWS is looking for the most thoughtful and diverse voices on this issue. "ABCNEWS alone will select those who will be in the audience asking questions of the president. Like any programs we broadcast, ABC News will have complete editorial control. To suggest otherwise is quite unfair to both our journalists and our audience."
Propaganda only works when the audience thinks they are getting fair and objective reporting. For ABC to turn the 24th of June into an Obama health care infomercial is bad enough. For ABC to deny it is downright dangerous.