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CBS Hypes 'Big Star Power' Promoting ObamaCare Exchanges

On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford boosted the latest pro-ObamaCare campaign from the President's supporters in Hollywood. Crawford played back-to-back soundbites from liberal comedian Will Ferrell's "Funny or Die" website, and highlighted the list of celebrities who have signed up for the campaign.

The correspondent did later acknowledge that the controversial law is still "deeply unpopular," and featured a clip from a recent anti-ObamaCare ad released by the Crossroads GPS super PAC [MP3 audio available here; video below].

During his lead-in for Crawford's report, anchor Charlie Rose trumpeted how "the White House is launching a major push, with some big star power, to get the word out about the President's health care law." The CBS journalist then outlined that "these exchanges are, really, the main way that nearly 50 million Americans, who now are uninsured, are going to get coverage. So, if they don't sign up, this whole new health care system could be doomed. And that is why the Obama administration is turning to a traditional ally – Hollywood – for some help."

Crawford continued with the two clips from two of "Funny or Die's" pro-ObamaCare ads:

JAN CRAWFORD (voice-over): During the health care debate, a cast of celebrities from the website 'Funny or Die' turned out edgy videos supporting the President's initiative. One took on big insurers.

WILL FERRELL (from "Funny or Die" online video): Why is Obama trying to reform health care, when insurance companies are doing just fine making billions of dollars of profit?

CRAWFORD: Other videos lampooned opponents of the President's health care plan.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 2: I can't afford insurance, but that doesn't mean I want the government to make it affordable.

CRAWFORD: Now, the Obama administration is asking 'Funny or Die', started by comedian Will Ferrell, to create videos to help build support for a law many polls show is deeply unpopular. More than half of uninsured Americans are young people under 35, a prime demographic for 'Funny or Die', and the insurance exchanges.

Moments later, the correspondent pointed out that "President Obama has enlisted other celebrities. In recent weeks, Amy Poehler, Jennifer Hudson, and Oprah Winfrey have been briefed at the White House. Singer Katy Perry re-Tweeted a Barack Obama Tweet to her 42 million followers. Even the Super Bowl champs, the Baltimore Ravens, will lend their support."

Crawford played the clip from the Crossroads GPS ad near the end of the segment.  But she soon added that "celebrities aren't the only ones getting involved to push the insurance exchanges....that master campaigner, President Clinton – he's kicking it all off with a health care speech in Little Rock, Arkansas."

It should be pointed out that CBS This Morning did report on August 22, 2013 that delivery company UPS was cutting health insurance to 15,000 spouses of employees due to the rising costs related to ObamaCare. The same morning, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today failed to cover this development related to the law.

The full transcript of Jan Crawford's report from Wednesday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: The White House is launching a major push, with some big star power, to get the word out about the President's health care law. Next month, Americans without health care coverage will be able to buy it through insurance exchanges.

Jan Crawford is in Washington. Jan, good morning.

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, good morning, Charlie; good morning, Norah. You know, these exchanges are, really, the main way that nearly 50 million Americans, who now are uninsured, are going to get coverage. So, if they don't sign up, this whole new health care system could be doomed. And that is why the Obama administration is turning to a traditional ally – Hollywood – for some help.

[CBS News Graphic: "Help From Hollywood: White House Enlists Stars To Push Health Care Law"]

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1 (voice-over, from "Funny or Die" online video): Exclusive-

CRAWFORD (voice-over): During the health care debate, a cast of celebrities from the website 'Funny or Die' turned out edgy videos supporting the President's initiative. One took on big insurers.

WILL FERRELL (from "Funny or Die" online video): Why is Obama trying to reform health care, when insurance companies are doing just fine making billions of dollars of profit?

CRAWFORD: Other videos lampooned opponents of the President's health care plan.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 2: I can't afford insurance, but that doesn't mean I want the government to make it affordable.

CRAWFORD: Now, the Obama administration is asking 'Funny or Die', started by comedian Will Ferrell, to create videos to help build support for a law many polls show is deeply unpopular. More than half of uninsured Americans are young people under 35, a prime demographic for 'Funny or Die', and the insurance exchanges.

[CBS News Graphic: "Uninsured Americans By Age: 0-18, 16%; 19-25, 17%; 26-34, 21%; 35-54, 34%; 55-64, 12%; Source: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation"]

PETER COY, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK ECONOMIC EDITOR: They need these people. They need their premiums to cover those who are sicker and have higher costs.

CRAWFORD: President Obama has enlisted other celebrities. In recent weeks, Amy Poehler, Jennifer Hudson, and Oprah Winfrey have been briefed at the White House. Singer Katy Perry re-Tweeted a Barack Obama Tweet to her 42 million followers. Even the Super Bowl champs, the Baltimore Ravens, will lend their support.

COY: This is highly unusual for an act of the federal government. It's not at all unusual for a political campaign. President Obama and the White House know that they have a major selling job ahead of them.

CRAWFORD: Republicans, who are trying to stall the law's roll-out, are fighting back. Karl Rove's super PAC released its own video aimed at young people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ANNOUNCER (from Crossroads GPS ad): At ObamaCare, we believe in saying the words 'affordable health care'-

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Affordable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ANNOUNCER: So that young people will love us and sign up like lemmings.

CRAWFORD (on-camera): But celebrities aren't the only ones getting involved to push the insurance exchanges. President Obama, the First Lady, the Vice President, Jill Biden – they're all going to be hitting the road in coming weeks. And today, that master campaigner, President Clinton – he's kicking it all off with a health care speech in Little Rock, Arkansas. Charlie and Norah?

NORAH O'DONNELL: Jan, thank you.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.