18 Mar 2014 Disney Chief Robert Iger Calls ABC News “Fair and Balanced” In Response to Media Bias Question at Shareholder Meeting Today
But that’s the Fox News Slogan….?
Iger Declines to Apologize for ABC News’ Role in Empowering President Obama’s “If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep your Health Care Plan” Lie
Portland, OR / Washington, D.C. – Responding to a question about bias at Disney-owned ABC News at today’s Disney shareholder meeting, Disney chief Robert Iger channeled the slogan of the Fox News Channel, calling ABC News “fair and balanced.”
Iger was responding to a question from Justin Danhof of the National Center for Public Policy Research, who asked Iger, in part:
A September Rasmussen poll found 53 percent of Americans believe the IRS broke the law and 23 percent aren’t sure. A Quinnipiac University poll found Americans 76 percent to 17 percent want a special prosecutor appointed. Even Democrats want a special prosecutor by a 2-1 margin.
Yet from July 2013 through January 2014, a period with over two-dozen breaking stories on this matter, including the Justice Department’s appointment of an Obama donor to head its investigation, ABC News devoted a mere eight words to this story. Seven months, eight words.
A second example, and then I will stop. In 2009, before the Affordable Care Act became law, Charlie Gibson did an ABC News “Fact Check” segment on President Obama’s “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” promise. ABC reported that critics questioning the President’s pledge were wrong to do so.
That’s the pledge that later was awarded PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” – but by then ObamaCare was already law of the land.
President Obama has apologized and said he is “sorry” to those who thought they could keep their health insurance “based on assurances” they got from him. Do you wish to say anything right now to the millions of people who unexpectedly lost their insurance – perhaps apologize for the role ABC News played in causing that harm?
Iger declined to apologize for the role his news organizations played in letting the White House mislead the American people, and spoke up for ABC News, saying in part:
I actually stand by ABC News, who I believe not only presents the news in a fair and balanced manner, but behaves in a high integrity kind of way.
While there are times that critics have come forward and pointed out mistakes they have made, overall, the quality of our news is something we should be proud of.
Iger did twice say he would pass the National Center’s concerns on to ABC News.
An audio recording of the entire Danhof-Iger exchange is on YouTube here.
At 2013’s Disney shareholder meeting, Iger told Danhof, who directs the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project, that ABC News has been “guilty of making mistakes.”
“If ABC News is going to become ‘fair & balanced’ in the manner of the Fox News Channel in the coming year, we very much look forward to congratulating Mr. Iger at the 2015 shareholder meeting,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Unlike people who rely on ABC for news, Fox News viewers know what’s going on with the IRS scandal story, and no one who watches Fox News has been surprised to lose their health insurance plan under ObamaCare.”
“In the meantime,” Ridenour added, “it is interesting that the phrase ‘fair and balanced’ came off Mr. Iger’s tongue so easily. One gets the impression he hears it a lot – perhaps he watches Fox News regularly?”
The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is a leading free-market corporate activist group. In 2013, Free Enterprise Project representatives attended 33 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, media bias, gun rights and many other important public policy issues. Today’s Apple meeting was the National Center’s fourth attendance at a shareholder meeting so far in 2014.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is a Disney shareholder.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.
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