Is Obama Administration Using Hollywood to Push Health Care on TV?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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JUAN WILLIAMS, GUEST HOST: In the "Unresolved Problem" segment tonight: The federal government has teamed up with the entertainment industry foundation to promote "service" and "volunteerism" on network TV shows. But the Web site may have a smoking gun that some say shows evidence of a government propaganda movement. Here's a clip from CBS's "The New Adventures of Old Christine" from last week.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I went to the doctor and he would not see me. Get this. We are apparently no longer covered by Bloom's health insurance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably because we're no longer owned by Bloom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, what are we supposed to do? People can't go around without health insurance. This is America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And 45 million people don't have health insurance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What? Man, I missed reading the paper for two days. Why isn't anyone talking about this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe because you get all your news from the Nicole Richie blog.


WILLIAMS: Is the Obama administration using Hollywood to push health care reform? Joining from us now Los Angeles, Patrick Courrielche, a contributor to the aforementioned, and with us, New York Post TV critic Linda Stasi.

Linda, explain to me what is going on here? What do we see in terms of the administration trying to get the big Hollywood types to push their agenda on the prime-time shows?

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LINDA STASI, NEW YORK POST TV CRITIC: Well, I think, first of all, what you're talking about are apples and oranges. He was not telling them, this memo, went out and was about volunteerism, supporting the military families. It didn't — was not about health care. And this segment of "Old Christine" was done way after — way before September 11. And that is about their agenda. It's not about the agenda of the White House.

WILLIAMS: Now their agenda…

STASI: Meaning the…

WILLIAMS: You mean the Hollywood agenda.

STASI: Meaning the writers and the producers of that particular show wanted to do that. It had nothing to do with this memo, which talks about volunteerism, talks about wellness. It talks about community support. It talks about supporting military families. It doesn't talk about Obama's health care.

WILLIAMS: But, Patrick Courrielche, it does seem as if what they're saying is here's the way to go about just what we're talking about, supporting the administration's legislative agenda.

PATRICK COURRIELCHE, BIGGOVERNMENT.COM CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, Juan, this is a pattern that we've been seeing going on. This isn't the first time that we've seen this happen. There's been other policy advocacy that's come out of other initiatives from the White House and from the corporation.

Now to address the September 11 date, that wasn't when this initiative was first discussed. It was first discussed in June. So that's plenty of time between now and then to actually start to incorporate things. By giving issues to people to discuss and doing this backhandedly, behind closed doors, you've seen policy advocacy come out. You've seen this on this show. We've seen it in other videos that have come out, other posters that have come out. So to be naive and think that that's not what they're doing is, I think, is a naive assumption.

WILLIAMS: Well, now wait a second. Linda Stasi's sitting right here next to me, says you know what? Apples and oranges. What you've got here are people who are simply trying to help America talk about pro-military, support the military, volunteerism. How do you respond?

COURRIELCHE: Well, you know, that's how it comes in. It's a Trojan horse. I mean, this is the same initiative that the National Endowment for the Arts communication director resigned. This is the same initiative that the White House had to issue guidelines basically regarding appearance issues. You know, this is the same agency that this is coming out of, that fired their inspector general, Gerald Walton. So I mean, there's too much going on here at a coincidental time at this time in October when they're launching this campaign to say oh, OK, these people just…

WILLIAMS: Well, hold on, hold on. Linda, let Linda respond.

STASI: I think in a way this is very conspiracy theory, because in fact it has always come out of the White House. The little dictator, you know, that was a pro-war, anti-Hitler thing. The office of war information from under FDR was specifically formed to make movies that were pro-World War II. John Wayne, all of that. I mean, during the Iraq War, what about "Saving Jessica Lynch?" a whole movie that was basically made up out of whole cloth.

WILLIAMS: But is the White House telling people to make "Saving Jessica Lynch?"

STASI : Well, I don't know about that.


STASI: But they made up the story about…

WILLIAMS: Well, that's different.

STASI: But they made up the story about Jessica Lynch and...

WILLIAMS: No, but that's different.

COURRIELCHE: That's what the difference is. That's what the difference is.

STASI: The whole idea that they made up the story about Jessica Lynch.


STASI: Then — wait a minute.

WILLIAMS: You said apples and oranges. You're bringing apples and oranges to the table now.

STASI: No, no, no, I am not. I am not. They made up this story, and then they approved a movie script about something that was not even true.

WILLIAMS: Patrick, I'm going to let you take this on. Go right ahead, Patrick.

COURRIELCHE: No, I mean, there's — you have a memo here. I mean, show me a memo that directed people to talk about issues that are being vehemently debated.

STASI: But wait a minute.

COURRIELCHE: Show me a memo from some of these other shows.

STASI: Fox participated in this.

COURRIELCHE: This one was done, excuse me, this one was done — and did Fox create anything…

STASI: Yes, yes.

COURRIELCHE: …that has anything to do with policy?

STASI: Yes, there are six…

COURRIELCHE: Policy advocacy?

STASI: ...or seven messages on Fox. There's messages on the CW that are about volunteerism and advocacy. If it was such a smoking gun, why didn't Fox come out and say it?

COURRIELCHE: No, no, no. Not about policy.

STASI: We're directed to do this.

COURRIELCHE: No, we are talking about policy advocacy. They are talking about specific legislation.

STASI: This exactly what's in this memo.

COURRIELCHE: They're talking about specific legislation.

STASI: This is exactly what's in this memo, and it was done on Fox.

WILLIAMS: All right, all right. We've had a fair and honest and balanced debate. You decide. Linda, Patrick, thank you.

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