ABC’s Sawyer Makes Time to Tout: ‘You Heard It Here First, the President Is Going with Kansas!’

Diane Sawyer allocated all but 1:37 of World News to Japan on Wednesday night, committing 33 seconds of that limited time to touting President Obama’s NCAA basketball picks provided to ABC corporate cousin ESPN.

“Despite all the troubles around the world” Sawyer rationalized – as if there’s much evidence Obama, who’s hardly been engaged in the Libyan or Japanese situations and who went golfing last weekend, is devoting much time to any of it – “the President kept his annual appointment to fill out his bracket for college basketball's March Madness. The basketball Fan-in-Chief got together with our sister network ESPN's Andy Katz.”

Following a clip of Obama revealing a couple of his selections, Sawyer trumpeted: “You heard it here first. The President is going with Kansas!” Then, with “BARACK-ETOLOGY” at the top of the screen above ESPN graphics, Sawyer plugged: “And you can see all of his picks on ESPN’s Sports Center and at ESPN.com.”

A year ago, Sawyer devoted nearly two minutes of World News (1:50) to Obama's college basketball tournament choices. She teased at the start of the March 17, 2010 newscast: ‘Top picks: Stream of consciousness as the Fan-in-Chief completes his college basketball bracket.’”

From the Wednesday, March 16 ABC World News:

DIANE SAWYER: And, despite all the troubles around the world, the President kept his annual appointment to fill out his bracket for college basketball's March Madness. The basketball Fan-in-Chief got together with our sister network ESPN's Andy Katz.

ANDY KATZ: All right, so Kansas versus Pittsburgh semifinal, who wins?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA CLIP #1: That's Kansas.
 
OBAMA CLIP #2: And I'm going to pick Ohio State.

KATZ: Ohio State versus Kansas?

OBAMA: And I'm picking Kansas.

SAWYER: You heard it here first. The President is going with Kansas! And you can see all of his picks on ESPN's Sports Center and at ESPN.com.

 

— Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

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