ABC and NBC Ignore Gruber’s Numerous W.H. Visits, CBS Barely Covers
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of ObamaCare, made more than a dozen visits to visit the White House since “Democrats began drafting the law in 2009.”
Despite the latest developments in the Gruber controversy, which contradicts President Obama’s line that Gruber was “some advisor who never worked on our staff,” CBS This Morning was the only network morning show to mention the report, giving it a mere 24 seconds during its Tuesday morning broadcast. ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the Journal’s report altogether.
Since the story broke November 10, the “Big Three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) network morning and evening news shows (excluding the Sunday political talk shows) have provided less than 9 minutes of coverage to Jonathan Gruber. CBS News has provided two full reports and two news briefs totaling 5 minutes 51 seconds. NBC News has offered just one story on Jonathan Gruber totaling 2 minutes 25 seconds during its Today broadcast on Monday, November 19. ABC News has so far completely ignored Jonathan Gruber on both Good Morning America and on ABC World News Tonight.
In her Tuesday morning news brief, CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King detailed how “an outspoken economist who helped draft the Affordable Care Act was a regular visitor to the White House.” She continued:
The records show that Jonathan Gruber had more than a dozen appointments since Democrats began drafting the law. Those visits included at least one group meeting with President Obama. The White House tried to distance itself from Gruber after video surfaced of him referring to the “stupidity of the American voter.”
What King failed to mention in CBS’s miniscule coverage was the full extent of Gruber’s relationship with the White House:
In March 2009, Mr. Gruber was awarded a $95,000 contract by HHS, according to a June 2010 letter to Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.) from Kathleen Sebelius, former secretary of Health and Human Services…Mr. Gruber got a second contact for $297,600 to continue his work in 2010, the letter said.
Mr. Gruber went to the White House at least six times in 2009, according to a review of visitor logs. He met with the president on July 20, 2009, and was joined by other economists. Some of the other meetings were held with Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy, and Peter Orszag, former director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Mr. Gruber wrote a 2011 carton book called “Health Care Reform” that aimed to explain the federal law. A note about the author says Mr. Gruber “consulted extensively with the Obama administration and Congress during the development” of the law.
See relevant transcript below.
CBS This Morning
November 18, 2014
GAYLE KING: The Wall Street Journal also says an outspoken economist who helped draft the Affordable Care Act was a regular visitor to the White House. The records show that Jonathan Gruber had more than a dozen appointments since Democrats began drafting the law. Those visits included at least one group meeting with President Obama. The White House tried to distance itself from Gruber after video surfaced of him referring to the “stupidity of the American voter.”
— Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Jeffrey Meyer on Twitter.