ABC’s Tahman Bradley: Beck Rally’s ‘Crowd Was Almost All White, Giving Critics an Open Door’

On Sunday’s Good Morning America, during a report which focused on FNC host Glenn Beck’s "Restoring Honor" rally and the negative reaction from civil rights activists like the Reverend Al Sharpton, ABC correspondent Tahman Bradley declared that "the crowd was almost all white, giving critics an open door."

It was after recounting that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece – Dr. Alveda King – was a speaker at the rally, Bradley noted the racial makeup of Beck’s event:

TAHMAN BRADLEY: Dr. King's own niece, Alveda King, spoke.

DR. ALVEDA KING, NIECE OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: We need to rebuild America.

BRADLEY: An obvious effort to try to show inclusion on this historic day, but the crowd was almost all white, giving critics an open door.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: We're not giving them this day. This is our day, and we ain't giving it away.

And similar to reports on the rally that aired on GMA on Friday and Saturday, ABC used such labels as "controversial" and "conservative" to label Beck or his followers, but did not use ideological labels to refer to Sharpton, nor was the left-wing activist’s own controversial history mentioned.  For example, in the opening teaser, substitute host Ron Claiborne asserted that the rally was "led by controversial conservatives Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin."

Below is a complete transcript of Bradley’s report from the Sunday, August 29, Good Morning America on ABC, with critical portions in bold:

RON CLAIBORNE, IN OPENING TEASER: And rallying cry: Thousands descend on the Washington Mall for a rally led by controversial conservatives Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. Is this new conservative movement gaining new momentum?

...

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Turning to politics now and the competing rallies in Washington, D.C., on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech Saturday. At one, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. At the other, the Reverend Al Sharpton. Tahman Bradley was there.

TAHMAN BRADLEY: Conservatives and Tea Party supporters came to the National Mall in droves, a rally cry from Fox News commentator Glenn Beck.

GLENN BECK, FNC: For too long this country has wandered in darkness.

BRADLEY: Just steps below where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his most famous speech 47 years ago-

BECK: -faith, hope and charity-

BRADLEY: -Beck called not for civil rights but restoration and a renewal of faith.

BECK: Something beyond imagination is happening. America today begins to turn back to God.

BRADLEY: The event was mostly free of political rhetoric, even with remarks by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

BECK: Let's stand together, let's stand with honor, let's restore America.

BRADLEY: Beck called it a coincidence that he picked the 47 th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech to hold his rally. Reverend Al Sharpton and civil rights leaders said Beck had the right to hold the rally – just not a right to distort Dr. King's message. Dr. King's own niece, Alveda King, spoke.

DR. ALVEDA KING, NIECE OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: We need to rebuild America.

BRADLEY: An obvious effort to try to show inclusion on this historic day, but the crowd was almost all white, giving critics an open door.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: We're not giving them this day. This is our day, and we ain't giving it away.

BRADLEY: Even with Republican leadership steering clear of the rally, Beck's critics admit it was a strong show of force for the Tea Party movement.

JOHN AVLON, THE DAILY BEAST: It's remarkable that a broadcaster was able to bring a couple of hundred thousand people to the Washington Mall.

BRADLEY: Beck had a dream – different from Dr. King's, but strong enough to rally conservative masses. For Good Morning America, Tahman Bradley, ABC News, Washington.