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Posts Tagged ‘Linda Douglass’

Former ABC News Correspondent Linda Douglass Leaves White House

Douglass_4.8.jpgLinda Douglass, a former ABC News correspondent who joined Barack Obama‘s campaign for president and was later named to his health care team, is leaving the White House.

WaPo’s Howard Kurtz reports Douglass is leaving the post to take a break. “After nearly 2 years of work that has been exhilarating and grueling in equal measure, I am going to step off the treadmill for awhile and rediscover the experience of dining with my husband on a regular basis,” Douglass said in a statement.

Douglass joined the Obama campaign in May, 2008 from her work at National Journal. Before that she was Capitol Hill correspondent for ABC News. Douglass joined ABC in 1998.

Douglass made countless appearances on cable and broadcast news shows pushing the reform bill. She says she will be “cheering with pride from the sidelines as this historic law takes effect.”

Earlier on TVNewser: Linda Douglass on Obama Job: “I’ve Seen Something I Believe In”

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GOP Charge to ABC: “It All Gives the Appearance of a State-Run Television Network”

Westin_6.23.jpgNow some GOP members of Congress, part of a newly-formed caucus, are raising concerns about tomorrow night’s ABC News special on the president’s health care reform plan. The Media Fairness Caucus sent a letter, signed by 40 members of Congress, to ABC News president David Westin which, in part, reads:

The Director of Communications for the White House Office of Health Reform Linda Douglass, left her job with ABC News last year to join the Obama campaign. This does little to alleviate concerns about the objectivity of this event. Furthermore, ABC News’ in-house medical expert Dr. Timothy Johnson, has a long history of promoting government-managed universal health care. It all gives the appearance of a state-run television network.

It’s actually a world-run TV network… Walt Disney World. Anyway, Westin responded: “Contrary to your assertions, this will not be ‘slanted’ in any way – much less a ‘day-long infomercial’ or ‘in-kind free advertising’ as you allege.

Then, this:

Finally, on a note of personal privilege, I entirely reject your attack on my colleague, Dr. Timothy Johnson. Dr. Johnson has established himself over many years as the foremost medial editor on television. His knowledge about health care reform is surpassed only by his commitment to the truth and to fairness.

Westin also corrects the record on Douglass.

Click here to read the letter from the caucus.

Click here to read Westin’s response.

Reviewing Obama’s “High-Wire Act”

USA Today‘s Kathy Kiely: “In what Obama aide Linda Douglass described as ‘a bit of a high-wire act,’ the campaign cut from the pre-taped ad with a live feed from the rally. Obama’s ad ran simultaneously on several broadcast and cable networks at a cost of more than $3 million

WaPo‘s Howard Kurtz describes the Barack Obama infomercial as “a well-produced ’60 Minutes’ report on the struggling middle class…” We disagree with that characterization, since there was no journalism in the half hour.

• Canada’s Globe & Mail (didn’t they already have their election?) live blogged the commercial, including this entry:

8:15 The informercial is promising ‘Live Obama later in the program.’ I wonder if he’ll be in that same office. Or maybe sitting on the lap of the Lincoln Memorial.

• From the LATimes’ Top of the Ticket blog: “Chances are, [the] infomercial will have minimal effect on the final outcome of the 2008 presidential election. Those leaning against the freshman Illinois senator were unlikely to be swayed by it (or even watch it).”

Also, yesterday we asked where you will be watching the commercial, or whether you’ll be watching at all. Here are the results:

I Won’t Be Watching — 51%
MSNBC — 25%
NBC — 13%
FOX — 6%
CBS — 4%
BET — 1%
TVOne — <1%
Univision — Update: Brian Stelter has the early ratings information: “More than 20 percent of American households watched the commercial…In the top 56 local TV markets, the household rating for Mr. Obama’s message was 21.7.”