Monday, September 22, 2008

ABC-TV: Another Day, Another Bailout

Monique Ozanne

With just six weeks left until the 2008 Presidential election, ABC News was focused on the state of the economy rather than the candidates. ABC News highlighted how Congress reacted to the proposed government bailouts, emphasizing the negativity coming from Capitol Hill. What is so interesting about ABC's coverage is when the first crises arose, ABC managed to keep coverage just to the facts, and questioning the outcome. Now that there are outcries of disdain and anger about the bailouts, ABC has a new focus for this story. They are also sparking discussions about how Obama and McCain are going to vote on this bailout bill and what the risk factors are involving which way these candidates vote.

But despite the economic crisis, ABC has allowed its separate shows to divert their attention to more hot button issues. Their new initiative for the next few weeks 50 states in 50 days will highlight where the candidates are going and where they will have their big battles. On World News Tonight, Charles Gibson will be busy with the candidates on the campaign trail. Monday night focused on Virginia, an important battleground state, especially for the Obama/Biden ticket, which ABC says is working very hard to make it a Democratic victory.

Senator Joe Biden in Woodbridge, VA

But what about Nightline and 20/20, shows that attract the prime time and late night audience. For some reason these programs still manage to be focused on news that might not be on people's minds. The 20/20 show that aired Friday centered around Diane Sawyer's interview with Alec Baldwin regarding his divorce and child custody battle.

In all fairness however, ABC has found ways to personalize a lot of stories regarding the disaster on Wall Street. Another story on 20/20 talked about who exactly this economic downfall was affecting, and how CEO's may not feel as much pain as some of the middle men.

ABC's Good Morning American anchor Robin Roberts interviewed FOX's Bill O'Reilly this morning and discussed his new book entitled "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity." O'Reilly was prompted by Roberts to talk about the current "economic mess" and bailout, and O'Reilly said that we need new people in Washington. He said the government's job is to protect citizens such as when there is a food recall, the government orders that food to be taken off the shelves. But when it comes to financial problems, the government is no help. He said the big companies, such as AIG and Lehman Brothers had no idea that they were being given "bogus paper", and people have a right to be furious.

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