An advertisement by a group called Conservatives for Patients Rights opposing President Obama's health-care plan and proposing an alternative plan was rejected by ABC prior to next Wednesday night's "Town Hall" telecast on health care, featuring the president. "The American people deserve a healthy, robust debate on this issue and ABC's decision--as of now--to exclude even paid advertisements that present an alternative view does a disservice to the public," Rick Scott, chairman of CPR, said in a statement. But CNSNews.com, a unit of the conservative Media Research Center, quoted an ABC spokesperson as saying that the network "has a long-standing policy that we do not accept advocacy advertising. It's just something that has been in place forever." In advance of the telecast, Republicans have been calling it "a glorified infomercial." But ABC maintains that numerous critics of the president's plan will be able to offer their own opinions and question the president about his during the telecast. "We're going to be producing a fair and open and honest debate about health care, which is vitally important to the country" ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider told FoxNews.com. "The point of the debate is to hear from all sides."

18/06/2009