CBS Early Show Uses Obama Volunteer to Promote Health Care Reform

Maggie Rodriguez and Jill Schlesinger, CBS While reporting on President Obama’s efforts to pass health care reform legislation on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez cited one person who would benefit from the plan: "Debby Smith from Virginia...lost her job back in 2006, and lost her health care benefits, and says that she can't afford the $700 a month that it would cost take to pay for her own insurance."

What Rodriguez failed to mention was that Smith was an Obama volunteer. During a July 1 health care town hall meeting, the President singled out Smith, giving her a hug as she tearfully told her story of lacking health insurance for cancer treatments. That night, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric reported: "Debby Smith is a volunteer for Mr. Obama's political operation Organizing for America. The White House invited her to attend. The President called her exhibit A in a system that's too expensive and too complicated."

On Wednesday, Rodriguez took no note of Smith’s activism on behalf of Obama but did describe her as "the prototypical person that this [health care] proposal would help." CBS News MoneyWatch.com editor at large Jill Schlesinger joined Rodriguez for the segment and observed: "I think Debby really ends up benefitting quite beautifully from the new health care plan."

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC