May 26, 2017

Disney’s Response to Fake News: Deny, Deny, Deny

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

National Center for Public Policy Research Takes President Trump’s Fight Against “Enemy of the People” Media to Disney Shareholder Meeting

Disney CEO Robert Iger Claims ABC News “Extremely Fair” – Despite Wikileaks Exposure of Documents Showing Hillary Clinton Campaign Coordinated Coverage with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos

Claims ESPN On-Air Staff’s Criticism of ESPN Bias is “Completely Exaggerated”

Iger Claims ABC News Skepticism of Trump is Similar to its Skepticism of Obama

In Other Meeting News, National Center Ushers Defeat of Liberal Shareholder Proposal Designed to Stop Disney from Working with Pro-Business Organizations Such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Denver, CO/Washington, D.C. – Taken to task once again by the conservative shareholder activist organization National Center for Public Policy Research about political bias, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger dug in his heels so much at his company’s annual shareholder meeting today he claimed ABC News’ treatment of Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama is similar.

“I don’t think that Mr. Iger has turned on ABC News or ESPN in a very long time,” said National Center General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who attended today’s meeting and questioned Iger.  “If he bothered to watch his networks, he would realize what President Donald Trump and millions of Americans do – that Disney’s media platforms are purveyors of fake news.”

“When we presented Mr. Iger with very specific examples of bias and failures of basic journalistic ethics, he dismissed these concerns as being exaggerated.  Even when we asked him about a top ABC journalist colluding with a political campaign to smear a perceived political opponent, he claimed he was proud of ABC’s efforts and that the network operates in an extremely fair way,” added Danhof.

In his prepared remarks, Danhof stated:

WikiLeaks has provided plenty of evidence that you are not requiring your news organizations to be politically-neutral. After ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interviewed Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer, WikiLeaks exposed communications appearing to show operatives for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign working with Stephanopoulos to delegitimize Schweizer and his work.

WikiLeaks also exposed an email from a top liberal donor to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman in which it was alleged you wanted “to be helpful” to the campaign.

Danhof also noted the Disney-owned ESPN is increasingly focusing on liberal social causes rather than sports.  Danhof said:
It is not just outsiders who have these concerns.  An ESPN host claims the network is obsessed with bashing conservatives.  He recently said, “I feel like there’s so many people that I work with that every show, every topic, every angle on it, is hoping to be… destroying the [political] right on every single thing that comes up… I hear it every single day.”  Agreeing, his cohost asked: “Can you imagine if I teased this show and said: ‘coming up, why all of you are wrong about Trump and why he’s awesome?’”  The host replied: “We wouldn’t make it through the commercial.”
Danhof’s entire question, as prepared for delivery, is available here.

Iger responded that he is “proud of the efforts of ABC News,” claiming that Disney-owned news organizations act in an “extremely fair way.”  He claimed comments about ESPN bias made by Danhof and ESPN’s own staff are “completely exaggerated.”  He justified negative news coverage of President Trump because “news can be an adversary.”

Danhof responded to Iger that coverage of Presidents Trump and Obama by ABC News and ESPN were not similarly adversarial.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project also brought up the issue of media bias at Disney shareholder meetings in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

In other meeting business, Danhof urged Disney investors to reject an anti-free speech proposal presented by Zevin Asset Management – a proposal that then was defeated.  The proposal took issue with Disney’s association, and even any potential association, with pro-business organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Rebutting Zevin’s attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association in particular, Danhof stated:

Concerning Disney’s relationship with the National Restaurant Association, the proponent claims: “No doubt Disney’s membership dues to the association known (for their lobbying muscle) as ‘the other NRA’ go to lobbying against fair pay and working conditions.”  This is a baseless claim.  The National Restaurant Association works to expand employee freedoms in ways that positively impact millions of Americans and combats onerous state and federal regulations.  Concerning Disney’s relationship with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Zevin fully admits that it doesn’t even know “if Disney currently belongs to the Chamber” but still wants the company’s investors to reject the Chamber based on the Chamber’s opposition to unnecessary and costly Environmental Protection Agency plans to curb power plants.

Zevin’s guilt-by-association tactic harkens back to an era when folks were asked “are you now or have you ever been…”  That’s an issue Disney knows something about.

Danhof’s full statement against Zevin Asset Management’s proposal, as prepared for delivery, is available for download here.

The National Center issued a press release on March 7 advising Disney shareholders to reject Zevin Asset Management’s proposal.  The proposal, and Disney’s response to it, are available on pages 61-63 of the company’s proxy statement, which is available for download here.  In preliminary results announced at the meeting, the proposal was defeated after receiving less than a third of shareholders’ votes.

“Corporate America is under assault from a twisted web of coordinated, liberal activists that pose as good governance proponents,” said Danhof.  “From Zevin Asset Management, to As You Sow, to Ceres, to the SEIU, to the Center for Media & Democracy and many dozens more, liberal activist groups are seeking to use corporations as tools to advance far-left policies on issues such as health care and the environment.  But more than anything, this movement is about ending one thing that many liberals simply abhor – free speech.  Disney’s investors should be proud that they saw through Zevin’s false good government guise and rejected its anti-free speech agenda.”

“Today’s meeting was hijacked by anti-free speech leftists from beginning to end,” noted Danhof.  “Using the Zevin proposal as a launching point, activists representing numerous liberal organizations demanded that Mr. Iger quit his role on President Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.  These activists proved our point that the Zevin proposal – and the left’s overall corporate activist mission – has nothing to do with good governance.  Rather, the left is in the business of creating enemy lists and dictating which politicians and organizations businesses can engage with.  As the left fails to win the hearts and minds of the American people, they are now simply trying to silence those with whom they disagree.  How sad.”

Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group, focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business.  Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues.  Disney’s meeting will mark its third shareholder meeting so far in 2017.
In 2016, the Free Enterprise Project was featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the Quad City Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune among many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kim Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank.  Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations.  It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.  Subscribe to The National Center here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.
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Liberals Attack Disney’s Free Speech and Freedom of Association

*Editor’s Note* – Open your eyes for a second to understand what is going on. This should further substantiate that we are living in a “Post-Normal” world, i.e. white is black, black is white, good is bad, bad is good, etc. “Liberals” are looking to censor and destroy rights. A liberal would not do that. A liberal would be fighting to protect all rights and destroy all laws and regulations that destroy those rights. So, then who are these people that call themselves Liberals?

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

National Center for Public Policy Research Urges Shareholders to Reject Proposal to Restrict Disney’s Ability to Associate With U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Other Pro-Business Groups

National Center’s Free Enterprise Project Says Left-Wing Shareholder Proposal Would Censor Disney’s Speech and Harmfully Dictate Business Relationships

Denver, CO/Washington, D.C. – The nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism is urging Walt Disney Company shareholders to reject a proposal under consideration this week that would harm the company’s ability to speak and associate freely.

At the annual meeting of Disney shareholders being held in Denver, Colorado on March 8, National Center for Public Policy Research General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. plans to speak out against a shareholder proposal about lobbying disclosure being offered by Zevin Asset Management. The National Center is warning shareholders that the Zevin proposal, designated as proposal #1, could restrict Disney’s ability to engage in relationships beneficial to its business.
The National Center also notes left-wing political activists are hypocritical, because they oppose businesses having relationships with free-market advocates and groups but say nothing about corporate spending favoring liberal political issues.

Zevin’s proposal demands Disney reveal details about and the motivation for its spending on lobbying as well as Disney’s memberships and support for non-profits involved in creating model legislation.

Zevin’s proposal, and Disney’s response to it, are available on pages 61-63 of the company’s proxy statement, which is available for download here.
In the National Center’s prepared statement to be read at the Disney shareholder meeting in opposition to proposal #1, Danhof says:
Zevin is attempting to conscript Disney’s shareholders into its efforts to defund and silence the National Restaurant Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, groups that seek to improve America’s business environment.
Danhof adds:
[G]roups such as Zevin never – and I mean never – express concern about the billions of corporate dollars that go to fund liberal causes and politicians.  Herein lies the hypocrisy of its proposal.  Zevin abhors corporate speech when it is perceived to skew to the political right.  It remains silent when speech supports leftist causes they favor.
This will be the second time the National Center has challenged Zevin Asset Management on the issue of lobbying disclosure and business relationships at a Walt Disney Company shareholder meeting.  After the National Center spoke out against a similar proposal in 2016, Zevin’s proposal was defeated by Disney shareholders by a more than 2-1 margin.
The National Center has also been critical of Disney, questioning Disney CEO Bob Iger on issues such as the need for political protections for its employees and bias in the reporting of company-owned news organizations at shareholder meetings as far back as 2009.  After being questioned about media bias in 2013, Iger conceded to the National Center’s Justin Danhof, “we have, at times, either presented the news in… a slightly inaccurate way through mistakes or in ways we weren’t necessarily proud of.”  Disney owns ABC and ESPN.
Danhof may question Disney executives on a topic not related to proposal #1 at the March 8 meeting.
Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group, focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business.  Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues.  Disney’s meeting will mark its third shareholder meeting so far in 2017.
In 2016, the Free Enterprise Project was featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the Quad City Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune among many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kim Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank.  Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations.  It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.  Subscribe to The National Center here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.
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Sparks at Disney Shareholder Meeting Over ABC News Bias

Disney’s Robert Iger Denies ABC News is Biased at Disney Shareholder Meeting

Tells National Center for Public Policy Research That Media Bias at ABC is “Very Very Rare”

Also Denies That Former Clinton Administration Official and Clinton Foundation Donor George Stephanopoulos Has Bias in Covering Presidential Race

In Other Meeting Business, Liberal Group’s Effort to Separate Disney from the National Restaurant Association Fails after Exposure by National Center

Liberals are Attacking the Food Service Industry Through Shareholder Proposals

 

Chicago, IL / Washington, D.C.  – At today’s annual meeting of the Disney shareholder meeting , in response to a question by the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Justin Danhof, Disney CEO Robert Iger claimed bias at ABC News, which is owned by Disney, is “very very rare.”

The exchange came after Danhof noted that Iger told Danhof in 2013 that “we have been guilty of making mistakes” and further said, “we have, at times, either presented the news in… a slightly inaccurate way through mistakes or in ways we weren’t necessarily proud of.”

Danhof asked Iger today what had been done to reduce bias and inaccuracies since 2013.

In response, Iger claimed Danhof misunderstood Iger’s 2013 statement and implied Disney’s news operations are already unbiased and do not require improvement.

“Mr. Iger’s statement is unbelievable,” said Danhof. “In 2013, Mr. Iger conceded that ABC News wasn’t perfect. His words were very clear. Now he apparently believes ABC News is perfect, or nearly so – so close to perfect, he apparently has no interest in working to make it better.”

“Apparently,” Danhof said, “when Iger conceded ‘mistakes’ in 2013, he was defining the word “mistakes’ differently than everyone else.”

“My question to Mr. Iger today was very innocuous,” Danhof continued. “I just asked what he had done since 2013 to reduce bias. Reducing bias is something all news companies should strive for, so my question was hardly controversial. Mr. Iger’s response should be controversial. Although the American people believe the media is biased by a 3-1 margin, Mr. Iger doesn’t see it. He told me today that media bias at ABC News is ‘very very rare.’ When I followed up and asked why so many Americans believe the bias is there, Mr. Iger basically disagreed with the premise. He just doesn’t see bias and he does not believe many others do. Poll data doesn’t back up his assertion. Media bias is real, and the population knows it, even if the CEO of Disney does not.”

Among other comments, Mr. Iger told Danhof, “I do not believe that overall that the American public in general perceives ABC News as biased.”

“It is unfortunate and even distressing,” said Danhof, “that Robert Iger thinks his company’s news product is already all-but-perfect. It must be nice to live in Robert Iger’s world, where problems with a product can be brushed away simply by denying they exist. It is a good thing Disney does not have such a cavalier attitude toward product quality when it comes to the safety of its theme park rides.”

Mr. Iger also told Danhof that presidential election coverage by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos is objective, although Stephanopoulos served in the Clinton Administration and recently donated to the Clinton Foundation. “If George Stephanopoulos were biased he would not be on our air,” Iger said.

“No media organization is perfect,” Danhof said, “because humans are never perfect. But Iger has just told ABC News employees they don’t have to try harder. They are already good enough. What kind of message is that for a CEO to send his workforce? He might as well hand out bumperstickers to employees with the words ‘we’re already good enough’ on them. How inspiring!”

In other shareholder meeting activities, the National Center for Public Policy Research successfully urged the entertainment giant’s stockholders to reject a shareholder proposal from Zevin Asset Management that attacked Disney’s engagement with free enterprise organizations such as the National Restaurant Association.

Justin Danhof, who spoke at the meeting in opposition to the Zevin proposal, said:

At today’s meeting of Disney shareholders, we stopped the left’s latest attack on free enterprise in its tracks. Zevin Asset Management, part of a broad network of liberal shareholder activists, asked Disney’s investors to help it pressure the company to end its affiliation with the liberty movement, specifically targeting the National Restaurant Association. Once I explained the truth about the National Restaurant Association and how it helps create and protect jobs and revitalizes local economies, Disney’s shareholders soundly rejected the proposal.

Today’s vote was a big win for the free enterprise movement. Liberals have been successfully using corporate America in its attacks on the freedom movement for years. Corporate America has often been a willing pawn in the defunding of the free enterprise movement and the suppression of free speech.

Zevin’s proposal used the same types of tactics that the left has used to attack and harm the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Chamber of Commerce and Charles and David Koch. However, once I explained the work of the National Restaurant Association – creating community value, good jobs and investment opportunities – the folks at Disney sided with the free enterprise movement.

The restaurant industry provides many Americans with their first work experience instilling in them invaluable lessons that they carry for life. Zevin and its associates would see those entry level jobs regulated out of existence and limit the upward mobility of millions of Americans. Today, they failed and liberty won.

More on the National Center’s opposition to Zevin’s attack on the food service industry is available here.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. In 2014-15, National Center representatives participated in 69 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues. Today’s Disney meeting marks its third shareholder meeting of 2016.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.

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Free Market Leader Questions Walt Disney on Worker Freedoms

National Center for Public Policy Research Tells Disney CEO Bob Iger That Many Disney “Cast Members” Remain Subject to Potential Workplace Discrimination for Private Political and Civic Activities

Iger Agrees to Personally Review Company Policies

National Center for Public Policy Research’s Employee Conscience Protection Project Continues to Fight for Americans Who May Face Workplace Discipline for Private Political Actions and Beliefs

San Francisco, CA/Washington, DC – At yesterday’s annual meeting of Walt Disney shareholders in San Francisco, California, in response to the National Center for Public Policy Research’s questioning of the entertainment leader for refusing to protect its employees from retribution for engaging in civic and political activities on their own time with their own resources, Disney CEO Bob Iger agreed to personally review the company’s employee policies.

Yesterday’s exchange follows a legal battle in which Disney’s legal team petitioned the federal government for the right to remove a National Center shareholder proposal that would have allowed shareholders to vote on a non-binding resolution that asked management to offer Disney workers employee conscience protections.

“Many Disney employees remain subject to potential on-the-job retribution simply for engaging in private, legal off-the-job First Amendment-related activities,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. , who attended yesterday’s meeting and discussed worker freedoms with Mr. Iger. “I am pleased that Iger vowed to personally review Disney’s current policies. While he feels that his cast members (Disney’s term for its employees) already have these protections, I pointed out that many Disney employees operate in jurisdictions where it is perfectly legal for an employer or supervisor to terminate or otherwise take adverse action against an employee simply for having differing political beliefs. If he takes an earnest assessment of the company’s policies, as we have, I am hopeful that he will see this void and add a clear employee conscience protection policy that covers all Disney employees.”

At the meeting, Danhof made it clear that by resisting the National Center’s shareholder proposal, Disney was an outlier, by stating:

Most of the corporations were very willing to give their employees this protection, and made formal changes to give their workplace policies. This includes, but is not limited to, General Electric, PepsiCo and Time Warner.

Only a very small number of companies opposed even letting their shareholders vote on the idea. Unfortunately, Disney was among them… It is disappointing that the holder of one of the country’s most iconic brands would fight to maintain the ability to terminate or penalize its employees for off-the-job private political and civic activity, and to block us shareholders from even expressing a formal, but non-binding, opinion.

Danhof then asked:

Why does Disney’s management oppose granting its employees the same kind of freedom of conscience protection that General Electric, Pepsi, Time Warner have seen fit to do? And why did you spend shareholder resources asking the SEC to block shareholders from voting on a non-binding recommendation on this issue?

Iger responded that:

Your proposal was studied very carefully by our team and they concluded that it really would not have had a material impact on our existing policies. And so we made that argument to the SEC as to why the proposal should be excluded and they agreed with us.

In a follow-up comment, Danhof made it very clear that the National Center has thoroughly reviewed Disney’s policies and noted that they do not contain an employee conscience protection clause. Danhof implored Iger to personally take inventory of the company’s employee policies and fill this void, to which Iger replied, “I will do that.”

To read the full exchange between Danhof and Iger from yesterday’s meeting, click here. To hear the audio of the exchange, click here.

“Disney leadership and legal may claim that the company has policies in place that would protect its workers from this type of potential discrimination, but it has not provided any evidence to this effect. In fact, the policy that it has offered as proof that it protects its employees is entirely void of these protections. Disney’s current Standards of Business Conduct merely encourages employees to participate in local activities and the political process. This is a far cry from actually protecting employees from potential retribution for those activities,” added Danhof.

To read the full legal exchanges between the National Center and Disney regarding exclusion of the shareholder proposal, click here and here.

Not only did Disney employ an outside law firm in its efforts to block the National Canter’s non-binding resolution, the company retained the services of Lillian Brown of the firm WilmerHale to do so. Prior to joining WilmerHale, Brown worked for 14-years at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the division that decides no-action contests between companies and shareholder proponents.

“In Iger’s response to my question, he was slightly imprecise,” added Danhof. “The SEC ruled that Disney could exclude the National Center’s proposal from its proxy statement because setting employee policies is the purview of management, not shareholders. The SEC did not rule that Disney actually had employee conscience protections in its current policies.”

The genesis for the National Center’s Employee Conscience Protection Project occurred in April 2014 when the CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, was forced out of his job simply because he had donated to a 2008 California referendum that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Since last April, the National Center has approached dozens of major American corporations asking each to voluntarily add an employee conscience protection policy for its workers.

Through corporate activism, the National Center’s Employee Conscience Protection Project has protected hundreds of thousands of American workers from potential political discrimination. And since it was announced last month, the project has received significant media attention, including coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle, Politico and the Daily Caller. Danhof has also appeared multiple times as a featured guest on One America News Network’s “The Rick Amato Show” to discuss various aspects of the project.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market corporate activist group. In 2014, Free Enterprise Project representatives participated in 52 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers rights and many other important public policy issues.

Yesterday’s Walt Disney meeting marks the fifth shareholder meeting for the National Center in 2015.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Sign up for free issue alerts here and go here to make a tax-deductible contribution to help us fight for liberty.

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Disney’s Iger Calls ABC News “Fair and Balanced”

Disney Chief Robert Iger Calls ABC News “Fair and Balanced” In Response to Media Bias Question at Shareholder Meeting Today

But that’s the Fox News Slogan….?

Iger Declines to Apologize for ABC News’ Role in Empowering President Obama’s “If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep your Health Care Plan” Lie

Portland, OR / Washington DC – Responding to a question about bias at Disney-owned ABC News at today’s Disney shareholder meeting, Disney chief Robert Iger channeled the slogan of the Fox News Channel, calling ABC News “fair and balanced.”

Iger was responding to a question from Justin Danhof of the National Center for Public Policy Research, who asked Iger, in part:

A September Rasmussen poll found 53 percent of Americans believe the IRS broke the law and 23 percent aren’t sure. A Quinnipiac University poll found Americans 76 percent to 17 percent want a special prosecutor appointed. Even Democrats want a special prosecutor by a 2-1 margin.

Yet from July 2013 through January 2014, a period with over two-dozen breaking stories on this matter, including the Justice Department’s appointment of an Obama donor to head its investigation, ABC News devoted a mere eight words to this story. Seven months, eight words.

A second example, and then I will stop. In 2009, before the Affordable Care Act became law, Charlie Gibson did an ABC News “Fact Check” segment on President Obama’s “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” promise. ABC reported that critics questioning the President’s pledge were wrong to do so.

That’s the pledge that later was awarded PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” – but by then ObamaCare was already law of the land.

President Obama has apologized and said he is “sorry” to those who thought they could keep their health insurance “based on assurances” they got from him. Do you wish to say anything right now to the millions of people who unexpectedly lost their insurance – perhaps apologize for the role ABC News played in causing that harm?

Iger declined to apologize for the role his news organizations played in letting the White House mislead the American people, and spoke up for ABC News, saying in part:

I actually stand by ABC News, who I believe not only presents the news in a fair and balanced manner, but behaves in a high integrity kind of way.

While there are times that critics have come forward and pointed out mistakes they have made, overall, the quality of our news is something we should be proud of.

Iger did twice say he would pass the National Center’s concerns on to ABC News.

An audio recording of the entire Danhof-Iger exchange is on YouTube here.

At 2013’s Disney shareholder meeting, Iger told Danhof, who directs the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project, that ABC News has been “guilty of making mistakes.”

“If ABC News is going to become ‘fair & balanced’ in the manner of the Fox News Channel in the coming year, we very much look forward to congratulating Mr. Iger at the 2015 shareholder meeting,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Unlike people who rely on ABC for news, Fox News viewers know what’s going in with the IRS scandal story, and no one who watches Fox News has been surprised to lose their health insurance plan under ObamaCare.”

“In the meantime,” Ridenour added, “it is interesting that the phrase ‘fair and balanced’ came off Mr. Iger’s tongue so easily. One gets the impression he hears it a lot – perhaps he watches Fox News regularly?”

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is a leading free-market corporate activist group. In 2013, Free Enterprise Project representatives attended 33 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, media bias, gun rights and many more important public policy issues. Today’s Apple meeting was the National Center’s fourth attendance at a shareholder meeting so far in 2014.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a Disney shareholder, as are National Center executives.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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