ABC's Stephanopoulos Highlights Obama Blaming Media For Muslim Myth

George Stephanopoulos, ABC Anchor; & Democratic Strategist James Carville | NewsBusters.orgOn Monday's Good Morning America, ABC's George Stephanopoulos played up how President Obama "blamed many in the media for perpetuating...myths" such as he was born outside the United States, isn't a Christian, and/or is a Muslim. "You can't blame the President for wanting this to go away."

Stephanopoulos raised the President's remarks about "these kind of myths," as he put it, near the end of a panel discussion with Democratic strategist James Carville and Charles Schwab chief investment strategist Liz Ann Sonders eight minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. He noted how "a third of Americans believe- question whether he is Christian- a fifth now believe he's Muslim" before playing a clip of Mr. Obama from his recent interview with NBC's Brian Williams, where the Democrat gave a light reply to Williams's statement referencing these poll numbers: "Mr. President, you're an American-born Christian, and yet, increasing and now significant numbers of American in polls...are claiming you are neither." The President answered, in part, "I would say that I can't spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead."

Moments earlier in the interview, Obama stated that "there is a mechanism, a network of misinformation, that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly," and this is the remark that the ABC anchor zeroed-in on: "You can't blame the President for wanting this to go away. He also blamed many in the media for perpetuating these kind of myths. But is there anything more he has to do affirmatively to address this, or just hope that it goes away?"

Somewhat predictably, Carville lashed out against those who believed in any of those: "That people are willing to go out and promote this kind of thing- it's unfortunate. But the most unfortunate thing is that people are stupid enough to believe that out there."

Exactly two months earlier, on June 30, Stephanopoulos brought on liberal columnist Maureen Dowd who bashed the President as "thin-skinned" and unhappy with his media coverage. This prompted the anchor to acknowledge, "And his press hasn't been nearly as bad as he thinks." One wonders if the former Clinton communications director would still admit that.

The transcript of the relevant portion of the segment from Monday's Good Morning America, starting at the 12 minutes into the 7 am hour mark:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring James Carville back in here. James, before we go, the President did get those questions from Brian Williams about how- you know, a third of Americans believe- question whether he is Christian- a fifth now believe he's Muslim. Let's show again what the President said.

OBAMA (from NBC News interview): Well- look, Brian, I would say that I can't spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead. (laughs) It is what- the facts are the facts. And so, it's not something that I can, I think, spend all my time worrying about.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You can't blame the President for wanting this to go away. He also blamed many in the media for perpetuating these kind of myths. But is there anything more he has to do affirmatively to address this, or just hope that it goes away?

CARVILLE: I think Abraham Lincoln said something to the effect that we know that the Lord loves poor people because he made so many of them. I think the President should have said we know the Lord loves stupid people because he made so many of them. (laughs) I mean, what can you do, if somebody like- contrary to every piece of evidence known to man, doesn't think that he was born in the United States, or, contrary to all the evidence known, that he's not a Christian. There's nothing that can be done, and I think he was saying as much to that. That people are willing to go out and promote this kind of thing- it's unfortunate. But the most unfortunate thing is that people are stupid enough to believe that out there.

STEPHANOPOULOS: All right. James Carville, Liz Ann Sonders, thanks very much.
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center