CNN on Thursday twice ran a glowing documentary-style report about a left-wing Capitol Hill rally in favor of ObamaCare. (Video available here .) Newsroom anchor Heidi Collins introduced the 10am ET version by praising the "work and determination of volunteers hoping to make a difference." The piece was the work of CNN photojournalist Jeremy Moorhead, and consisted of video of the young activists at work and soundbites from organizers and speakers, such as liberal Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski.
One soundbite came from David Hopkins, of the liberal "Grassroots4Change" organization, slamming the inferiority of American health care:
When you go to Europe, you get health care from cradle to grave, and here in America, the richest country in the world - and you got millions of people who don't have health care. If they lose their job, they lose their health care. If they get divorced, they lose their health care. It's basic stuff - why can't we have health care?
The rally CNN highlighted was organized by, among other groups, the left-wing ACORN, MoveOn.org and SEIU. There was no suggestion that a later piece will offer a similarly soft look at a conservative anti-ObamaCare event.
MRC news analyst Matthew Balan transcribed the piece and posted his own take over on our NewsBusters.org blog :
HEIDI COLLINS: Despite the summer heat, thousands of activists have turned out on Capitol Hill to rally for health care reform. In today's 'Health Care in Focus,' photojournalist Jeremy Moorhead gives us an inside look at the work and determination of volunteers hoping to make a difference.
(CNN Graphic: "Rallying for Health Care Reform")
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ANNOUNCER: Here we are for 'Health Care for America.'
JULIE (no last name given): This is a huge undertaking. Right now, we are in Upper Senate Park in front of [points to the U.S. Capitol]- I'm the marshals' captain- my name is Julie, and we're going to be positioning you folks throughout this Upper Senate Park. It's going to be a great rally.
MUSIC OVER PA (to Queen's "We Will Rock You"): We want, we want health care!
JULIE: We've got many, many groups who are volunteering their folks. The main responsibility will be to keep the sidewalks clear. Why am I doing this? Because I support health care for all. I think health care is a right, and I think that this is a pivotal time in our history to make sure that we guarantee that. We've got almost 65 buses that are coming in the next two to three hours. I think that people [are] coming as far as Hawaii.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: Three bus loads from West Virginia.
JULIE: Some of them will be going to town halls to meet with senators. There's going to be a lot of people.
MUSIC OVER PA (to Queen's "We Will Rock You"): Come senators and congresspeople 'round this land. It's time to listen to the voters' demands.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 1: Health care now!
MUSIC OVER PA (to Queen's "We Will Rock You"): Singing! We want, we want health care!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: You are- there's more of you than we expected, which is what a movement's about.
DAVID HOPKINS, GRASSROOTS-4-CHANGE: When you go to Europe, you get health care from cradle to grave, and here in America, the richest country in the world- and you got millions of people who don't have health care. If they lose their job, they lose their health care. If they get divorced, they lose their health care. It's basic stuff- why can't we have health care?
SENATOR BARBARA MIKULSKI: We need to work together to pass universal health care. There is no option but a public option.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ANNOUNCER: Thank you. Thank you.
The same effusive piece ran again during the 12pm ET hour, though anchor Don Lemon had a neutral introduction: "CNN's photojournalists have been bringing us an in-focus series report on health care. This one from Jeremy Moorhead. It looks at the heated lobbying effort on Capitol Hill. Take a look."
- Rich Noyes is research director at the Media Research Center.