NBC Offers Additional 35 Seconds to Story of Controversial Medicare Appointment, ABC, CBS Still Silent

NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams on Thursday became the first evening news broadcast to cover the recess appointment of Donald Berwick to run Medicare. Anchor Brian Williams asserted that "Republicans are angry, claiming it's antagonistic."

He also observed, "Berwick has spoken about the need to ration medical care to control costs."

NBC has offered the most reporting on Berwick: 20 seconds during the Today show on Wednesday and 35 seconds on Nightly News. Those 55 seconds are still more than ABC and CBS's morning and evening news programs. Their total remains at zero.

Yet, the same morning shows (on July 7 and 8) devoted 52 minutes to the important topic of Lindsay Lohan's sentencing.

Although Williams blandly explained that Berwick has "spoken about the need to ration medical care," he offered no quotes.

While talking to a British audience in 2008, he promised, "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care, the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."

For more, see CNSNews.com.

A transcript of the July 8 segment, which aired at 7:17pm EDT, follows:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: In this country, a new political skirmish in Washington over health care. It's about an appointment President Obama made while Congress was out for the July Fourth break, a so-called recess appointment naming Harvard professor Dr. Donald Berwick to manage Medicare and Medicaid, skipping the usual Senate confirmation process.

Republicans are angry, claiming it's antagonistic. One top Democrat called the recess appointment troubling, but the administration fired back, saying this was one of many appointments being blocked by the Senate. Berwick has spoken about the need to ration medical care to control costs.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org