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ABC ObamaCare Special Turns Into Presidential Filibuster
While Obama had to field some difficult questions -- from the audience and ABC -- he faced no Republican critics of his proposals. The network also allowed him to dominate the program with long-winded and vague answers. Out of the 75 minutes the network dedicated over the two programs (commercials excluded), the president managed to take 60 percent of that time: 45 minutes to give 19 vague responses – not exactly the “dialogue” advertised by ABC:
In fact, at one point, the president went on for four minutes and 33 seconds to answer a question about government interference, the “Big Brother fear” as the questioner put it and how it would be paid for. In the next segment Gibson pleaded with the president to keep his response to the next question shorter.
Obama was also granted the opportunity to deliberate over two of the audience questions during the commercial breaks. And the initial hour-long program never even addressed some of the most debated aspects of health care because Obama consistently ran long and was unchecked by the hosts. And while some of the members of the audience asked challenging questions, not one Republican critic of Obamacare was given a chance to be heard. Gibson did attempt to question the president about such critics, but no Republican voices were allowed to speak for themselves.
And don't forget that ABC refused to air any opposition commercials during the whole thing.
Talk about fair and balanced, impartial, unbiased, non-partisan. Talk about following the "fairness doctrine". Talk about openness and transparency (that's Obama's part, which he isn't upholding with respect to anything).
All in all, it was bad for democracy.