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Promoting the Prescription Drug Entitlement
Networks Use Biased Sources to Push for Expanded Coverage

Over the past two months, the networks have passed off political activists as “typical” senior citizens in several prescription drug stories. At least one network has shown a penchant for interviewing the same expert over and over and, in a rather embarrassing mistake, CBS and ABC actually interviewed the same “victim.”

Two Years Apart, CBS & ABC Highlight Same Victim
The MRC discovered that the same woman had been portrayed as a “typical” victim of high prescription drug costs by CBS and ABC in stories that ran two years apart.
(CyberAlert, June 19, 2003)

Limbaugh and Best of the Web Highlight Networks Use of Same Woman
The Rush Limbaugh Show and OpinionJournal.com’s Best of the Web picked up the June 19 Cyber item that exposed CBS and ABC’s use of the same “victim.”
(CyberAlert, June 25, 2003)

NBC Uses AARP Official But Doesn’t Tell Viewers
NBC’s Norah O’Donnell interviewed 77-year-old Pat Roussos about the need for expanding Medicare’s prescription drug coverage but didn’t mention that Roussos was an AARP official.
(CyberAlert, June 27, 2003)

Networks Use Political Activists As Repeat Experts
The MRC’s CNSNews.com ran a story that detailed how the networks had repeatedly used unidentified senior activists for stories on prescription drug issues. 
(CyberAlert, July 15, 2003)

CBS & ABC Again Portray Senior Activists as “Typical”
In stories on a House measure designed to allow the re-importation of prescription drugs, CBS and ABC once again passed off political activists as typical senior citizens. It marked the fourth time since 1999 that CBS had interviewed Viola Quirion, a member of the Maine Council of Senior Citizens who has lobbied for the Alliance for Retired Persons, without identifying her as a political activist.
(CyberAlert, July 28, 2003)

Senior Calls ABC Misleading for Not Noting Activist Role
A new CNSNews.com story on the misleading ABC and CBS interviews found that both senior activists felt they should have been identified as such. Barbara Kaufman, a Minnesota senior activist interviewed by ABC, called the network “misleading” for failing to note her official role in an advocacy group. 
(CyberAlert, July 30, 2003)


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