ABC Puffs Up Elizabeth Warren: 'On The Front Lines' of 'the Fight to Save the Middle Class'

Monday's edition of ABC's World News did liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren a huge favor by touting her "fight to save the middle class," with no label of her as "liberal" and no question of her political motivations in the segment promoting the Massachusetts Senator's new book.

The segment was over four minutes long, a huge chunk of the World News, and was full of admiration for Warren's efforts. Correspondent David Muir began his report hailing her as "the woman on the front lines" of "the fight to save the middle class." [Audio excerpt here.]

Perhaps the most fluffy moment came when Muir told Warren that according to the President, the banks wanted to kill Warren's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau "because you make them nervous." That enabled Warren to brag, "I think he's right. I think I did make them nervous. Probably still do."

Muir wouldn't stop the puffery. "I have read a number of articles just within the last week. And one of them is titled 'Hillary's Nightmare,' and they're talking about you," he told Warren.

And ABC clearly profiled Warren as a crusader for the middle class. "She [Warren] says she's not running for President, Diane, but she's clearly campaigning for the middle class tonight.," Muir ended his report.

Below is a transcript of the lenghthy segment from the April 21 World News on ABC:

DIANE SAWYER: And back here at home, a firebrand is back in the news with a big alert for middle class Americans, the bedrock of the nation. It is now more than 5 1/2 years since the recession began and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has a bold claim that Wall Street bankers have made a disproportionate share of the money because the system is still rigged. ABC's David Muir sat down with her. David?

DAVID MUIR: Diane, good evening. As you know, we have been reporting here on the fight to save the middle class for years on World News. Tonight the woman on the front lines of that battle clearly not worried about who she's upsetting in her newest role.

(Video Clip)

MUIR: (voice over) It's long been part of the American dream. Families hoping to secure their spot in America's cherished middle class. And she is the firebrand who's made a name fighting for them.

Sen. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-Mass.): There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.

MUIR: (on camera) A lot has changed since the last time we sat down with you.

WARREN: Yeah.

MUIR: (voice over) Elizabeth Warren is now a senator, and she's not worried about being a Washington insider.

WARREN: The game is rigged to work for those who already have money and power. Working families, they're not looking for a handout. They just want a level playing field.

MUIR: In fact, a new study shows the rich in this country getting richer since the recession. The top one percent taking in 22 percent of income in this country. Warren knows those families slipping, because growing up in Oklahoma, hers was one of them.

(On camera) You write that "my mother usually picked me up from school in our bronze-toned station wagon."

(Voice over) Instead, she writes that "one day she showed up driving the old off-white Studebaker that dad had been driving back and forth to work. As she climbed into the car, she asked where the station wagon was.

(On camera) And she said?

WARREN: And she said, it's gone. And I just didn't understand. I said, gone where? And she said it's gone. And I remember her hands on the steering wheel getting tighter and tighter.

MUIR: Her father had a heart attack. Her mother at 50 getting her first job. A telephone operator at Sears. Saving the house, but not the car. Those early fears driving Warren's fight years later in Washington to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect families from the big banks. On the eve of her new book "A Fighting Chance," tonight she's revealing a meeting with President Obama after learning she would not leave the agency that was her brain child.

MUIR: Most people, when they describe a White House setting as a version of hell, you would assume would be members of the other party. You wanted to leave this agency.

WARREN: I never made any secret out of the fact that I would have loved to have stayed. The big banks had said from the very beginning they would kill this agency.

MUIR: And the President said to you it's because you make them nervous.

WARREN: That's it. That was his line.

MUIR: And did you buy it?

WARREN: I think he's right. I think I did make them nervous. Probably still do.

MUIR: She didn't leave the agency. Instead, she ran for Senate and won. And this was her first appearance before the Banking Committee.

WARREN: What I would like to know is tell me a little bit about the last few times you have taken the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street all the way to a trial.

(Smattering of Applause)

WARREN: Anybody?

ELISSE WALTER, SEC chairman: I will have to get back to you with the specific information.

MUIR: I have read a number of articles just within the last week. And one of them is titled "Hillary's Nightmare," and they're talking about you.

WARREN: You know, I don't get who writes these headlines or what they're about. I think there's just kind of a pundit world out there.

MUIR: Are you going to run for president?

WARREN: I'm not running for president.

MUIR: There's nothing that could change your mind?

WARREN: David, like I said, I'm not running for president.

MUIR: And do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good president?

WARREN: I think Hillary Clinton is terrific. We have got to stay focused on these issues right now.

(End Video Clip)

MUIR: And new numbers tonight. At the depth of the recession, 25 percent of families in this country said they couldn't break into the middle class. Tonight that number up to 40 percent who say they can't find their place. She says she's not running for president, Diane, but she's clearly campaigning for the middle class tonight.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014