ABC's Shipman Gushes Over Hillary the 'Political Celebrity'

Claire Shipman, ABC Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgABC's Claire Shipman waxed ecstatic over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday's Good Morning America, as she reported on Mrs. Clinton's efforts in the Middle Eastern peace process. Shipman exclaimed how the Secretary had a "distinct, quite public moment of triumph" in her meetings with leaders from both sides, and noted how Clinton has become an "international political celebrity."

Anchor George Stephanopoulos, former communications director for President Bill Clinton, introduced the correspondent's report, which aired 44 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. Stephanopoulos noted past administrations' failure "to broker a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians" and then proclaimed how it was Mrs. Clinton's "turn to try to make diplomatic history." Shipman began by highlighting how Hillary "remains one of the most popular members of the administration" and how she was now "squarely center stage" with the possibility of bringing "something different to this Middle East process."

After using her "moment of triumph" line, the ABC correspondent emphasized how Secretary Clinton was apparently "hard on the trail of a dream that has eluded so many before her, and those who know her well say she brings a special touch to wooing both sides back to the table." She also underlined Clinton's reported modus operandi in the peace process: "It's a trademark recipe of pragmatism and discipline over ego- no high-profile shuttle diplomacy for her, for example."

Shipman used three sound bites from the liberal Brooking Institution's Michael O'Hanlon, and one from former Clinton administration official and current Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P. J. Crowley, to heap praise on Mrs. Clinton. After O'Hanlon highlighted how the Secretary apparently "chose to really marshal her resources and guard them jealously, and wait for the right moment," the correspondent added her own lauds: "The other asset she wields: a bit of female EQ, and an astute political instinct."

The high point of the gushing language over the senior diplomat came near the end of the report:
SHIPMAN: It doesn't hurt, of course, that over the years, she's perfected her ability to shift gears in an instant. Hard-working Hillary, suddenly transforms once again into international political celebrity.

O'HANLON: She's a multi-dimensional public figure. She's part global rock star, part everybody's friend, because she goes by Hillary more than Secretary Clinton.

Shipman even remarked about the Secretary's new hairdo: "Her hair is even back in the headlines. She's getting rave reviews on her longer, cool, new do."

Earlier this year, on the June 9 edition of GMA, ABC's Elizabeth Vargas credited Mrs. Clinton for the primary victories of Republican women candidates: "So many women saying- doing so well, and many saying perhaps Hillary Clinton helped by running for president. All these other women about to possibly take office, high office, in those states."

The full transcript of Claire Shipman's report from Friday's Good Morning America:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Henry Kissinger got the two sides of the Middle East conflict to stop fighting for a time. Jimmy Carter forged the Camp David agreements. But every administration since then has tried and failed to broker a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Now, it's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's turn to try to make diplomatic history. And Claire Shipman joins us from Washington with more. Hey, Claire.

CLAIRE SHIPMAN: Hey, George. This is a big moment for Hillary Clinton. Her poll numbers show she remains one of the most popular members of the administration, but she's tended to avoid the spotlight. Now, she's back, squarely center stage, and we took a look at how she may bring something different to this Middle East process.

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: Want us to stand here?

SHIPMAN (voice-over): For a secretary of state whose style has been very much head down, nose to the grindstone, it was a distinct, quite public moment of triumph.

CLINTON: I fervently believe that the two men sitting on either side of me- that you are the leaders who can make this long-cherished dream a reality.

SHIPMAN: Peace talks back on track, she's hard on the trail of a dream that has eluded so many before her, and those who know her well say she brings a special touch to wooing both sides back to the table.

ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: The people of Israel, and I, as their prime minister, are prepared to walk this road.

PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS (through translator): The road is clear, in front of us, in order to reach peace.

SHIPMAN: It's a trademark recipe of pragmatism and discipline over ego- no high-profile shuttle diplomacy for her, for example.

MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Secretary Clinton, unlike some of her predecessors and unlike some previous presidents, chose to really marshal her resources and guard them jealously, and wait for the right moment.

SHIPMAN: The other asset she wields: a bit of female EQ, and an astute political instinct.

P. J. CROWLEY, STATE DEPARTMENT: She's been in the arena. She's been bruised- you know, in that arena. And this gives her a credibility that helps relate to leaders.

SHIPMAN: And it doesn't hurt, of course, that over the years, she's perfected her ability to shift gears in an instant. Hard-working Hillary, suddenly transforms once again into international political celebrity.

O'HANLON: She's a multi-dimensional public figure. She's part global rock star, part everybody's friend, because she goes by Hillary more than Secretary Clinton.

SHIPMAN: And her hair is even back in the headlines. She's getting rave reviews on her longer, cool, new do.

CLINTON: And now, it's time to get to work.

SHIPMAN (live): Well, George, not the hair again- but, of course, ultimately, she will be judged not by her appearance, but by results in this process. There is a lot of hard work to be done. The two sides are hoping to talk to each other as frequently as every week, and Hillary Clinton is hoping to have another high-profile meeting in the Middle East as early as September, but we'll see.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And they're facing a real deadline at the end of September on whether or not to continue- to start building those settlements again.

SHIPMAN: Exactly, and a lot of people worry that that could put this process, so new, in jeopardy again.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay. Claire Shipman, thanks a lot. 

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center