This gives me an uneasy feeling.
Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but it somehow feels like the beginnings of state run media. Something we would expect to occur in Venezuela, not the United States.
"ABCNEWS 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. ABCNEWS is looking for the most thoughtful and diverse voices on this issue.
"ABCNEWS 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."
I nearly choked on my beer when I read that. Bullshit!
If the man wants to give a speech, then why not give one, and encourage it to be aired on all the major stations. Why cozy up to ABC, at the exclusion of others? And, will ABC permit any rebuttal speeches? Somehow I doubt it.
ABC will no longer be able to feign an air of impartiality. Of course, those of us who have been paying attention have long ago realized where the loyalty of the main stream media lies. What worries me the most is a gnawing fear that the average citizen will not take notice of this impropriety. Too many people choose to be ignorant, stupid, or uniformed. Those who speak up against it are quickly shouted down.
If this proves to be an isolated occurence, then I will have gotten my knickers in a twist over nothing. I hope I am wrong, truly I do.