The Press: NBC v. A.M.A.

Television news is often accused of turning a bland eye on controversy, and activist critics yearn for the days when the late Edward R. Murrow savaged Joseph McCarthy and crusaded for migrant farm workers. No such criticism could be lodged against the NBC documentary What Price Health. Broadcast last December, the program attacked the high cost of medical care in the U.S., portrayed individual victims of the system in dramatic terms, and lobbied for adoption of a broad national health-insurance scheme.

NBC's show was so tough that it gave the American Medical Association a severe case of outrage. Persuaded that NBC was...

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