ABC's Diane Sawyer Promotes 'Change Agent' Arianna Huffington and Her 'Innovative Solutions'

ABC’s Diane Sawyer gave Arianna Huffington a rare gift on Tuesday night: An entire World News segment devoted to promoting the left-winger’s new book, Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream, and her Huffington Post site. Though a matching ABCNews.com posting described Huffington as a “liberal commentator,” no iteration of liberal passed Sawyer’s lips.

As if Huffington’s book does any such thing, Sawyer wondered: “What if we pulled together in one place all the innovative ideas for creating jobs?” The generous on-screen heading beneath Huffington’s picture: “Change Agent.” After highlighting Huffington’s wish to absolve troubled mortgage-holders of much of their responsibility, Sawyer trumpeted:
Arianna Huffington's new book is called Third World America, and on her Web site, she's been gathering innovative solutions to keep that Third World from happening.
The articles posted on the Huffington Post page with “innovative solutions,” a page the ABC segment displayed, sound more like the usual liberal carping: “Work Until You're Dead? That May Be the Only Option for Many Americans,” “Thousands Crowd Atlanta Area Housing Authority for Section 8 WAITING LIST, Fights Break Out,” “The 10 Highest-Paid CEOs Who Laid Off the Most Workers: Institute for Policy Studies” and “Income Inequality: ‘The Most Profound Change In American Society In Your Lifetime.’”

Huffington hailed: “It's one person's idea, like, that's what I love. It's like, somebody imagined that, and is making it happen.” Sawyer then showcased an idea that’s failed: “One solution we heard about, Gene Epstein, a self-made millionaire who's going door to door in Philadelphia, asking every small business to hire one more employee, just for six months. He says if ten percent of businesses do that, one half million people will be employed.” She had to acknowledge, however, he’s “got only one signature.”

Not raised by Sawyer in her friendly session with Huffington – the title's racial overtones. Imagine if a conservative had written a book warning President Obaam’s policies could turn the U.S. into a “Third World” nation?

From the Tuesday, September 7 ABC World News:
DIANE SAWYER: And finally tonight, what if we pulled together in one place all the innovative ideas for creating jobs? Arianna Huffington has just written a book which begins with some tough statistics about Americans faltering in this economy.

SAWYER TO HUFFINGTON, IN MOCK DISBELIEF: Every 30 seconds, someone goes bankrupt in America. Every 30 seconds?

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: Every 30 seconds. And almost three million homes were lost in the last year and about three million or more are expected to be foreclosed in 2010.

SAWYER: Foreclosures on mortgages. You think it should be required that every one be negotiated?

HUFFINGTON: We need to help people in the middle class who are losing their homes.

SAWYER: You don't think there will be a wave of people shouting, “it's just not fair, I scraped and saved to make my mortgage payment”?

HUFFINGTON: There's an awful lot that's happening that's not fair. But I feel that's something that, in the end, is going to have a positive impact on every community in the whole country.

SAWYER: Arianna Huffington's new book is called Third World America, and on her Web site, she's been gathering innovative solutions to keep that Third World from happening.

HUFFINGTON: It's one person's idea, like, that's what I love. It's like, somebody imagined that, and is making it happen.

SAWYER: One solution we heard about, Gene Epstein, a self-made millionaire who's going door to door in Philadelphia, asking every small business to hire one more employee, just for six months. He says if ten percent of businesses do that, one half million people will be employed.

GENE EPSTEIN, BUSINESSMAN: People will be buying, stocks will be moving, people will start spending the cash that they've had in hand, waiting to spend.

SAWYER: So far, he's undaunted, though he's got only one signature, a carpet company.

EPSTEIN: Businesses have created what we are in the United States. Why can't they be the salvation for what we are in the United States?

SAWYER: Just one person, six months. You think you can pay it forward that way?

HUFFINGTON: Yes, I totally believe you can pay it forward. Truth is that democracy's not a spectator sport. When people take action, it's the greatest antidote to despair.

SAWYER: The rest of the interview's on ABCNews.com, and give us your innovative ideas.
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