ABC Spikes Democrats Forced to Make Embarrassing Platform Fixes, Celebrates Michelle Obama’s Twitter Popularity

“You don’t want to put delegates in a position where they’re booing God and Jerusalem, especially on videotape,” the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes observed on FNC’s Special Report in citing a “basic rule” for conventions, calling it “a bad moment for Democrats” since “it has to be included in all the coverage of the convention.” Hayes, it turns out, was far too generous in his presumption about media professionalism – at least at ABC News.

World News on Wednesday evening devoted 12 minutes – more than half the newscast – to the Democratic conclave, yet spiked the embarrassing decision by Democrats, which drew boos from the floor (earlier NB item with video of booing), to revise their platform to add a reference to God and identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

ABC did, however, devote three minutes to fill-in anchor David Muir talking to Caroline Kennedy about the tribute to Ted Kennedy, and:

> I wanted to take you back to something you wrote. You wrote that “I have never had a President who inspired me the way people tell me my father  inspired them. But for the first time, I believe, I have found the man who could be that President.” Do you still feel just as inspired by President Obama?

> We remember the image of you and Oprah on the stage four years ago and I’m curious, four years later, have you checked in with her?

Muir also gushed about First Lady Michelle Obama “electrifying the crowd here and, apparently, someplace else: Twitter. Nearly twice as many tweets per minute as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. 28,000 tweets per minute for the First Lady, in fact, and, apparently, it wasn’t just her speech, it was also her dress...”

From July: “ABC Spikes ‘Dismal’ 1.5% 2nd Quarter GDP, Instead Touts ‘Giant Rally on Wall Street’

NBC Nightly News gave the platform mess a few seconds, but Chuck Todd quickly pivoted to how delegates spent “most of the day basking in the afterglow of last night’s rousing convention kickoff.” Todd:

Late this afternoon delegates reacted angrily when the Obama campaign forced the convention to restore an endorsement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and add references to God back in the party’s platform – omissions which Republicans had seized on and attacked overnight. Still, delegates did spend most of the day basking in the afterglow of last night’s rousing convention kickoff.

The September 5 CBS Evening News gave the platform a little more time:

SCOTT PELLEY: One of the things that these conventions do is write the party platform -- a symbolic document that is immediately forgotten. But today the Democrats made a change in their platform to make a point and Nancy Cordes has been following that.

NANCY CORDES: Scott, it was the result of criticism from Republicans who noticed that there was no mention of the word “God” in the Democratic Party platform and no mention of Jerusalem being recognized as the capital of Israel. And so just a short time ago, in a very unusual move, the convention chairman came out here and announced that they were adding those two items to the platform despite some pretty loud boos from some of the delegates in this room. Campaign officials say the President personally intervened here. They say he has always believed that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, but obviously, Scott, this was kind of an embarrassing episode that they’re just trying to put behind them now.

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