CBS Spotlights House GOP Hammering ObamaCare Managers; ABC, NBC Minimize

On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Nancy Cordes zeroed in on the three Republican congressmen who grilled top administration officials during a hearing on ObamaCare, ballyhooing that "none of them were really able to explain why this product they worked on for years was so flawed". Cordes played extended clips from the hearing totaling 51 seconds – nearly twice the combined number of ABC's World News and NBC Nightly News, which each played 13 seconds from it.

The correspondent played up one clip in particular from White House chief technology officer Todd Park, who gave indications that HealthCare.gov might not be fixed by the target date of November 30 [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]:

NANCY CORDES: Todd Park is the chief technology officer for the White House. He's now working full time on fixing the website. South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy wanted a timeline.

REP. TREY GOWDY, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA (from congressional hearing): When will it be operational to your satisfaction?

PARK: Well, we have a goal that the team is pursuing with tremendous intensity.

GOWDY: How many more weeks? I'm looking for a number.

PARK: We're working hard to have the site functioning by the end of this month.

CORDES (on-camera): That carefully-crafted answer, which was repeated more than once, led some lawmakers to believe that the administration's confidence that it can really get all these bugs fixed by November 30 may be slipping.

Besides Park's testimony, Cordes played soundbites from Representatives Scott DesJarlais and Jason Chaffetz, went after Henry Chao of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

By contrast, on NBC Nightly News, journalist Chuck Todd featured an individual clip of Rep. Darrell Issa giving the ObamaCare website an "F" rating, and another excerpt where the California Republican questioned Park.

REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA, (R), CALIFORNIA (from congressional hearing): Will it work on November 30 – properly; fully?

PARK: The team set a goal of having HealthCare.gov function smoothly for the vast majority of Americans. The team is working incredibly hard to meet that goal.

On World News, ABC's Jonathan Karl focused on a different revelation from the congressional hearing: the hundreds of millions of dollars that the Obama administration spent on a beyond flawed website:


JONATHAN KARL: ..[T]he most eye-popping revelation came from one of the government's top accountants: the first official estimate of how much the website has cost so far.

DAVID POWNER, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE (from congressional hearing): By the end of September, it was north of 600 million [dollars] spent.

KARL: $600 million – to put that in context, that's more than four times what Apple spent to develop the iPhone.

REP. JOHN DUNCAN, (R), TENNESSEE (from congressional hearing): If we've spent 600 million already and it's not working, does anybody have any idea how much all this is going to cost us in the end?

KARL: The answer: nobody knows.

[Update: the transcripts of the ObamaCare reports from Tuesday's World News on ABC, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News are available on MRC.org.]

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center