Thursday, August 06, 2009

Is CNN in bed with Big Insurance?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

So you know how CNN's medical guru, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is a Big Pharma flack? Well, it looks like, at least when it comes to health-care reform, the whole network is in the pocket of Big Insurance as well.

As Greg Sargent reports at The Plum Line, CNN has refused to air an ad from Americans United for Change criticizing "insurance companies and Republicans."

The official excuse is that the ad targets a specific insurance CEO by name, Cigna's Ed Hanway, who makes over $12 million a year (with a $70 million retirement package).

But that, as Greg notes, is the point of the ad (which will run on MSNBC): "AUC maintains that the mention of Cigna's CEO was necessary to dramatize the enormous stake the insurance industry has in the health care wars."

Makes sense -- but, of course, the official excuse may not be the real reason, which is quite possibly that CNN, formally or not, is in cahoots with, or at least sympathetic to, Big Insurance, Big Pharma, and the various other opponents of reform.

There could be political and ideological reasons, but mightn't it also have to do with the fact that Big Insurance is a major advertiser itself? (One wouldn't want to risk one's bottom line, would one, even for the health and well-being of the American people?)

Here's the ad, which deserves to be widely viewed:

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