ABC Touts ObamaCare’s Popularity, While NBC Reports Website Problems

By Matt Hadro

ABC's Jonathan Karl

ABC’s Jonathan Karl

For the second straight morning, ABC’s Jonathan Karl was merely a White House stenographer when reporting on ObamaCare’s year-end deadline, touting enrollment numbers and parroting White House talking points.

Tuesday’s Good Morning America framed the latest ObamaCare delay as a result of the law’s popularity, as opposed to NBC reporting that it was, at least in part, due to website issues. “A crush of visitors to the website yesterday caused the White House to expand this year’s deadline for signing up through the end of today,” co-host George Stephanopoulos reported.

And Karl as well blamed the law’s popularity: “That one-day grace period was granted because people faced long wait times on the website, as there was a crush of visitors trying to get in before the deadline.”

However, over at the Today show Natalie Morales cited a different reason for the delay: “Officials acknowledged the government website was still having problems signing people up. The site has been plagued by computer glitches since they it went live earlier this year.”

Karl relayed the administration’s spin that the delay was like a benevolent extension of voting hours: “Officials compare this to keeping the polls open on election day for a few extra hours because of long lines. They say that yesterday, there were well over one million visitors going to that website. That was a record.”

And unlike ABC, NBC gave a voice to critics of the delay. Today fill-in host Willie Geist noted, “The President’s critics, critics of the Affordable Care Act, saying here’s another delay that shows this law is not ready for prime time.”

Editor’s note. A transcript of the two segments, which aired on December 24, can be found at newsbusters.org.