Mr. Ken McKayChief of StaffRepublican National Committee310 First Street SEWashington, D.C. 20003
Dear Mr. McKay:
I am in receipt of your letter of June 15, 2009 and wanted to respond to a number of false premises you raise regarding our ongoing and upcoming coverage of health care.
I hope we can all agree that a robust debate of health care issues and potential policies is in order.
To that end, ABC News announced plans to broadcast a primetime hour from the White House devoted to exploring and probing the President's position and giving voice to questions and criticisms of that position. We hope that any American concerned about health care will find our efforts to be informative, fair and civil. Second, ABC News 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. ABC News is looking for the most thoughtful and diverse voices on this issue. ABC News 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.Third, there already has been extensive coverage of the upcoming health care debates, on ABC and elsewhere, and there will be much, much more. Indeed, we've already had many critics of the President's health care proposals on the air – and that’s before a real plan has even been put before the country. In the end, no one watching, listening to, or reading ABC News will lack for an understanding of all sides of these important questions.
Thank you for your interest.
Kerry SmithSenior Vice President, ABC News