ABC’s newly hired senior medical editor is also an Obama donor, having contributed $400 to the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008. TV Newser reported on Thursday that Dr. Richard Besser, the director of the Centers for Disease Control, would assume the position in September. A search on the website Open Secrets finds two donations by Dr. Besser on August 22, 2008.
As senior health correspondent, Dr. Besser can be expected to play a major role in ABC's coverage of the health care debate this fall.
Dr. Tim Johnson, who currently holds the position for ABC, has long been an advocate for government-run solutions to the health care problem in America. Going back to the last big push in the early '90s, he told then-First Lady Hillary Clinton on July 19, 1994: "So at least from the physicians represented here, you get a 100 percent vote, including mine, for universal coverage." Johnson will become the "chief medical editor" for ABC News.
Besser was the acting Director of the CDC for the first five months of the Obama administration, but had a long professional career there as an expert on foodborne illnesses and epidemics.
Here's a screen capture of the OpenSecrets search result:
On a related topic, the MRC’s Brent Baker observed on July 29, 2009 that, so far, 12 journalists have made the jump from reporting to actually working for the Obama administration, including former ABC News reporter Linda Douglass and ABC News Justice correspondent Beverly Lumpkin.