Douglass Joins Obama's Campaign, Reported from Left at ABC & CBS

As noted earlier by Brad Wilmouth, Marc Ambinder revealed today, on his blog for The Atlantic, that his colleague at National Journal, Linda Douglass, a long-time CBS News and then ABC News Washington bureau reporter until 2006, “will join Barack Obama's presidential campaign as a senior strategist and as a senior campaign spokesperson on the roadshow, a newly created position.” Ambinder, a colleague at National Journal, reported:
Douglass confirmed her new position when I walked up to the ninth floor, knocked on her door, and asked her about it. She informed National Journal President Suzanne Clark this morning of her impending departure. "I see this as a moment of transformational change in the country and I have spent my lifetime sitting on the sidelines watching people attempt to make change. I just decided that I can't sit on the sidelines anymore."
“Over 34 years in journalism,” Douglass told Ambinder, “she grew disillusioned with the partisanship she saw first-hand.” So, now she's joining a partisan campaign?

Douglass is the second on-air ABC News correspondent to join a Democratic presidential campaign. She follows ex-anchor Carole Simpson, who endorsed Hillary Clinton and makes public appearances for Clinton: hosting an infomercial for her and appearing on CNN on her behalf.

Ambinder summarized Douglass's career:
After serving as Justice Department correspondent for CBS News, DougIass moved to ABC News, where she covered Capitol Hill. A few years ago, she met Barack Obama and the two became friendly. Douglass retired from ABC News in 2006 to work on a project at New York University that was looking into how partisanship had paralyzed Congress. She joined the National Journal group as a contributing editor in 2007, writing for the magazine and hosting a weekly radio show on XM Satellite radio.
In recent months, Douglass has been a frequent guest on CNN's Reliable Sources and MSNBC's Hardball.

Some highlights of her reporting which reflects how she advanced Democratic/liberal causes when a journalist, as documented in the MRC's Notable Quotables gathered by the MRC's Rich Noyes:
Ruing Lack of Abortion Access

"In Pennsylvania, some patients must drive hundreds of miles to this clinic run by Jennifer Boulanger....Pennsylvania requires a woman seeking an abortion to wait for 24 hours. She must listen to a state-mandated speech and will be offered pictures of a developing fetus. The doctor, who does not want his face shown for fear of protesters, says it is not easy....More states are restricting abortion....The laws have driven some doctors out of the abortion business. Today 87 percent of U.S. counties have no abortion provider."
-- ABC's Linda Douglass on World News Tonight January 22, 2003, the 30th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Insisting Jeffords Is "Moderate"

"[Jeffords] is a maverick, he is an independent. This was really about having his own moderate views heard within what he thinks is an increasingly conservative Republican Party."
-- ABC's Linda Douglass on the May 23, 2001 Nightline.

Indicted Democrat = Republican

"Now [Congressman James] Traficant is a Democrat, but this indictment is actually an embarrassment to Republican leaders. They gave him $20 million last year for a project in his district in return for his support of the Republicans."
-- Linda Douglass, ABC's World News Tonight, May 4, 2001.

Hailing Hillary's Hundred Days

"Clinton was the new kid on the block while her colleagues were howling about her husband's last-minute pardons of questionable criminals. Then she learned her own brother Hugh was paid $400,000 to win pardons for a drug dealer and a swindler....Her friends tell ABC News Mrs. Clinton was devastated, angry at Hugh, yet frustrated that she could not protect him. They say she felt cut off from her family. She is rarely seen with Mr. Clinton, though sources say he often sneaks into Washington to stay with her. Back home in New York, the tabloids have raked her over the coals. Her husband dealt with the flap over his expensive office space, now it was her turn. Her critics never give up and she never gives in....
"All agree, Clinton has thrown herself into work, often putting in 16- to 18-hour days, immersing herself in details of legislation, almost never missing a committee hearing. She has been a sponsor on 20 pieces of legislation, twice that of other freshmen Senators – on education, job programs, consumer protection, health care and, ironically, tighter scrutiny of presidential pardons."
-- ABC's Linda Douglass marking Senator Clinton's first 100 days in office, April 12, 2001 Good Morning America.

Alarmed At Bush's Madness

"The Sierra Club calls President Bush's latest moves on the environment ‘March Madness.' In the last two weeks, the administration has signaled that it may allow logging in pristine forests that had been declared off limits, has put off a decision to reduce arsenic in drinking water, has suspended a rule to protect the environment from damage caused by mining, has reversed a decision to limit carbon dioxide emissions, and the President also suggested drilling for oil in national parks and is pushing oil exploration in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Some in the President's own party are becoming alarmed."
-- ABC's Linda Douglass opening a story aired on the March 24, 2001 World News Tonight/Saturday and repeated by Jack Ford on the March 27, 2001 Good Morning America.

Where's the Squishy Bush?

"George W. Bush's rhetoric is very inclusive. He means to be inclusive, and he's used very soft rhetoric in trying to reach out to minorities. But the fact is he's proposed no federal programs for minorities. He hasn't talked about using the federal government to broaden the safety net."
-- ABC News reporter Linda Douglass during the This Week roundtable, December 23, 2000.

Can't Spend Enough for ABC

Anchor Kevin Newman: "Also ahead, ‘A Closer Look' at the two big plans in Washington to pay for prescription drugs: Will either one be enough?".....
Reporter Linda Douglass: "It is time for Frieda Hurlong's shot of insulin, one of five drugs she takes every day. Her HMO picks up a little of her drug bill. She has to figure out how to pay for the rest....Mrs. Hurlong needs help, but she and others may find that neither of the prescription drug plans being considered in Washington goes far enough....Under either plan roughly a quarter of seniors could still face high drug bills. So if Washington does anything this year, it probably will not be enough."
-- ABC's World News Tonight, June 29, 2000.

Promoting the Hot New Idea from Little "People's Republics"

"They call this the ‘People's Republic of Santa Monica,' a community that showers social services on the homeless, where renters have more power than landlords. These days city officials are focused on the widening gap between the people who live well here and those who serve them. Political leaders want to impose a living wage of nearly $11 an hour, plus benefits. The Reverend Sandie Richards says Santa Monica's bustling tourist industry has failed to share its bounty with its workers....The debate in Santa Monica is worlds away from the one in Washington, where even a small increase in the federal minimum wage can tie Congress in knots. But local governments will not wait for Washington. At least 40 more communities may adopt a living wage next year."
--ABC's Linda Douglass on World News Tonight, November 9, 1999.

The System Spoiled Boy Scout Gore

"There is no evidence that Gore knew about the reimbursement scheme. Plus, he insists he didn't know the event was a fundraiser in the first place. Still, an investigation into all of this could threaten one of Gore's most important political assets, his squeaky-clean image."
-- ABC's Linda Douglass concluding a September 4, 1997 World News Tonight story on the Buddhist temple event.

Linda Douglass Shakes Her Pom-Poms

"The President again has had sort of an amazing week. The Democratic Party, which used to function like a herd of cats, has now very tamely crafted a very centrist Democratic platform that emphasizes crime 20 fighting. It talks about stemming the tide of violence on TV that is influencing our children, talks about school uniforms, talks about the death penalty, talks about tolerance for people who oppose abortion, for example. So, the President who was being abandoned by 20 his party just two years ago now has managed to oversee a party that has crafted this platform very much in his centrist image. Even though the background noise of what is loosely being called Whitewater continues, 20 none of it seems to stick to the President."
-- CBS reporter Linda Douglass, July 14, 1996 Sunday Morning.

Rigid Far Right Ultra Conservative Extremists

"[Bob] Dornan's views are considered extreme, but in today's increasingly conservative Republican Party, he's not as far out as he used to be."
-- Linda Douglass, April 13, 1995 CBS Evening News.

Health Care Fantasies

"White House officials said today the plan will require almost no new taxes. Most of the funding will come from employers who will be required to pay into a state system."
-- CBS reporter Linda Douglass, September 1, 1993 Evening News.
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