ABC Uniquely Notes Jindal Inauguration, Iraqi 'Political Breakthrough'

ABC on Monday night, unlike the CBS and NBC evening newscasts, noted two political developments which conservatives cheer: Anchor Charles Gibson highlighted the inauguration in Baton Rouge of Republican Bobby Jindal as Governor of Louisiana, the first non-white Governor since Reconstruction in the state dominated by Democrats -- though Gibson didn't emphasize Jindal's party affiliation -- and “a significant political breakthrough in Iraq.” On Jindal, Gibson relayed on World News, over video of the inauguration:
History was made in Louisiana today. Bobby Jindal took office as the state's new Governor. Jindal is 36, the son of Indian immigrants. He's Louisiana's first non-white Governor since Reconstruction, and the nation's first elected Indian-American Governor. Jindal, a former Republican Congressman, vowed to clean up Louisiana politics and speed hurricane recovery.
Just as ABC's World News was ahead of CBS and NBC in October and November with news of improving conditions and decreased violence in Iraq, on Monday night ABC alerted weekday viewers to a positive development on the political front over the weekend. Gibson introduced a January 14 World News story from Hilary Brown in Baghdad:
Overseas next, a significant political breakthrough in Iraq. Security has been improved there, but critics have wondered when political progress would come. Well, now Iraqi lawmakers have put their differences aside and agreed to allow some members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party to take government jobs. It's a key benchmark sought by the United States. ABC's Hillary Brown reports...
The MRC's early December Media Reality Check by Rich Noyes, “Good News = Less News on Iraq War; MRC Study: As Surge Succeeds and Casualty Rates Fall, ABC, CBS and NBC Lose Interest In Iraq War,” discovered:
Of the three evening newscasts, ABC’s World News was the first to take serious note of the improving situation (back on October 1), and has offered the most stories (9 field reports, 7 from Iraq) detailing the progress. “Not only is there a huge increase in Iraqi citizens groups who are coming forward to help the Americans, but overall levels of violence have gone way down,” Terry McCarthy enthused on November 22. In a Thanksgiving week interview with President Bush, anchor Charles Gibson was congratulatory: “You took a lot of doubting and rather skeptical questions about the surge. I'll give you a chance to crow. Do you want to say I told you so?”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center