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All Barack Channel wasn't the first to pimp socialized medicine

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 17, 2009 10:15 AM

Tim Graham at Newsbusters reminds us that ABC (The All Barack Channel) wasn’t the first left-wing TV network to host a government infomercial pushing government-run healthcare. NBC became Nothing But Clinton in 1994 — commercial-free and subsidized by the far Left Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to boot. Flashback July 1994:

NBC raised a lot of eyebrows by accepting $3.5 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for its two-hour, commercial-free June 21 health care special, To Your Health. Five foundation fellows served on Hillary Clinton’s secret task force, and when that secrecy became an issue, the foundation spent $500,000 for four town meetings featuring the First Lady.

In 1991, foundation president Dr. Steven Schroeder told The Chronicle of Philanthropy: “We are very conscious that fundamental change [in health] is not going to happen without government…Many of our recent grants have been predicated on the idea that we would get government involved.”

On CNBC’s Tim Russert May 9, Tom Brokaw said: “I can assure you that I wouldn’t be involved with that program in any fashion if it were being directed or if it were being engineered by a special interest group.”

Several conservatives (including MediaWatch publisher L. Brent Bozell) wrote to NBC President Robert Wright charging the grant “constitutes an appearance of partisanship.” In a phone conversation, David Bohrman, the show’s Executive Producer, gave Bozell his word the show would be balanced and pursue all aspects of the debate. But NBC earned the Janet Cooke Award.

The special, a series of pre-taped segments followed by discussions with on-stage panels and an audience at Washington’s Warner Theater, tilted in favor of pro-government spokesmen and failed to explore conservative policy options. Hillary Clinton was the sole guest for the first half-hour, referring to NBC’s anecdotes as proof of the need for the Clinton plan. On-stage panelists leaned two-to-one in favor of the Clinton plan or single-payer. Speakers from the audience also leaned to the liberal side by two to one.

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Instapunk notes that CNBC and NBC — now the Nuzzling Barack Channel — goaded Obama into dissing Fox News — and created an appropriate new logo for the network. Click here.

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