The ABC television network gave President Obama an hour to sell his health care plan in an extraordinary broadcast from the White House this summer.
But the network won't air paid advertisements opposing the plan.
What's up with that?
The network says it won't air the ads from the League of American Voters because it doesn't sell air time for "partisan" or "controversial" causes.
For one thing, the ads aren't partisan in any way -- either in content or in origin. The league is open to voters of all parties. And the ad addresses the issue of health care reform from a completely nonpartisan viewpoint.
For another thing, the subject matter -- health care -- is not intrinsically controversial. It's universally popular. It's just that we disagree on what to do about it.
Isn't that a good argument for more debate, rather than less? How sad that ABC-TV is willing to feature the case for Obama's health care proposal -- for free -- while turning down cold, hard cash to present the other side.
Well, we've seen the ad, and it's an important addition to the debate. A neurosurgeon in the ad simply asks how Obama can cover nearly 50 million new patients without any new doctors.
"He can't," the doctor says.
The result? Rationing -- and denial of care to Medicare patients.
We can understand why the White House wouldn't want you to see this ad.
But why wouldn't the media?