GMA Features Partisan Labeling McCain Ad 'Anti-Christ'

Kate Snow on the August 13, 2008 GMA | NewsBusters.orgJohn McCain implies Obama is the anti-Christ as ABC’s Kate Snow reports. On the August 13 edition of "Good Morning America," Snow followed "Time" magazine’s cue, featuring a Democratic hack, Obama supporter Eric Sapp, finding the "anti-Christ" message in McCain’s "The One" ad.

On a story on subliminal message in advertising, Snow did not feature McCain supporters responding to the ludicrous charge. She did, however, play sound bites of "Left Behind" fans who did not see any "Anti-Christ" message.

Additionally, Snow suggested racial overtones existed in McCain’s "Fan Club" ad, observing all of the women praising Obama were white.

The entire transcript is below.

DIANE SAWYER: Now to the race for '08, and new questions about all those campaign ads, the subliminal messages which are the specialty of advertising like the Da Vinci code buried inside the ads. But what are they saying and are they part of a plan? Kate is back, she has been looking into that.

KATE SNOW: Well Diane, since the primary season ended, both Senators McCain and Obama have spent more than $50 million to run 100 thousand ads on your televisions. In a new interview airing on NPR this morning, McCain says he's not sending negative messages but with both sides churning out TV and internet ads, do some of these messages have deeper meaning?

VOICE OVER: We know he doesn't have much experience and isn't ready to lead but that doesn't mean he isn't dreamy.

KATE SNOW: Here's the latest web ad from John McCain making fun of Barack Obama's celebrity.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He's at the level of Bono.

SNOW: Notice anything? The women praising Obama are all white.

VOICE OVER: He's the biggest celebrity in the world.

SNOW: Some ad watchers saw the same thing in the Britney-Paris McCain ad. Are the images an accident? Not usually.

MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: By and large, the stakes are so high, and people know that the strength of an ad is not only the airing of it, but discussion of the ad. If you're doing it right, then every image and every word is going to have some purpose.

SNOW: Call it subliminal politics. Look at the images Obama's ads use of McCain never smiling looking older than he does in his own commercials. And who's always with him in Obama's ads?

DOWD: Many times they just show how close George W. Bush and John McCain are so the American public can take away from that something that they don't want.

SNOW: Campaigns often deny sticking symbols in their ads. Mike Huckabee said that wasn't a cross at behind him at Christmas time. Some times all campaigns say people read a little too much into their work.

VOICE OVER: In 2008, the world will be blessed. They will call him "the one."

SNOW: The McCain campaign says this ad is a parody of, in their words, the cult-like devotion of Obama's followers. But a divinity student turned political consultant who supports Obama says he sees more, much more.

ERIC SAPP: From the earliest parts I was seeing image after image that was tying Obama to the anti-Christ.

SNOW: Yes, that's right, the anti-Christ. Sapp thinks the images and type face evoke the popular Christian series "Left Behind," but when we showed the ad to a group of "Left Behind" fans in North Carolina without telling them why, they didn't see it at all.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: It's just not there. I'm not getting the connection on that one at all.

SNOW: On the other hand, sometimes viewers see things that the campaign didn't even know about. You remember this campaign ad against George Bush in 2000? Some people think there was that word "rats" that was in there. That turns out that, that was a young kid that put it in there in the edit bay. The campaign didn't even know. It was a joke.