New ABC World News Anchor Diane Sawyer: A Profile in Bias
ABC News has just announced that Good Morning America co-anchor Diane Sawyer is taking over as the anchor of World News when the current anchor, Charlie Gibson, retires in January. Coincidentally, the MRC has just finished a new report, “Good Morning, Bias,” on the liberal spin Sawyer brought to Good Morning America (and previously as co-anchor of the network’s 20/20 and Primetime Live newsmagazines).
As our ABC analyst Scott Whitlock uncovered, Sawyer has repeatedly lauded high-profile liberals, including Nancy Pelosi (“galvanized steel with a smile”) and Hillary Clinton (“political mastery,” “dazzling”), while in her infamous 20/20 interview, Sawyer targeted Ken Starr’s report on Bill Clinton as “demented pornography, pornography for Puritans.” Here are some of the highlights of what Scott uncovered in his research; for the full package, including eight video clips, visit www.MRC.org.
Lauding Liberal Icons
“Like a freight train, she’s already moved six major pieces of legislation through the House — everything from stem cells to minimum wage. And whatever side you’re on, when this new Speaker moves, she moves fast. Nancy Pelosi says power is not handed to you, you have to know how to win it. When she walks into a room, she is quiet, polite. But her fellow politicians say she’s galvanized steel with a smile.”
— ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, January 19, 2007.
“Today is the day the Senate may pass that patients’ bill of rights, which would guarantee your right to sue your HMO. When that happens, one big winner out of Washington will be one of the bill’s key Democratic backers, North Carolina’s newcomer John Edwards. He is said to have the combined political skills — are you ready for this? — of Clinton and Kennedy, Kennedy and Clinton together, and also to have a very good shot at the White House.”
— Sawyer on Good Morning America, June 29, 2001.
Giving Ken Starr the 3rd Degree
“People see a young girl [Monica Lewinsky] who was in tears, who was threatened with 27 years in prison possibly, who was told that her mother might be prosecuted based on things she had said about her mother, who was to wire herself or tape the President or Vernon Jordan. And they say this isn’t John Gotti. This isn’t Timothy McVeigh....”
“Are you part of a right-wing conspiracy?”
“Driving to the White House that day [to interview President Clinton], for what was — for all intents and purposes, a lot of people think — your trial, the only trial you were going to get. Did you think to yourself, here is a man who has to deal with Saddam Hussein and bin Laden and what’s going on in Russia, and we’re putting him through this?”
— Some of Diane Sawyer’s questions to Starr on 20/20, November 25, 1998. [Audio/video (2:35): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Boosting Morale on the Front Lines
Diane Sawyer: “How long have you been here?...How do you make it through 15 months out here?...How many times a month do you say, ‘I don’t know that I can do another month of this? A day?’”
Unidentified U.S. Army Captain: “No, I don’t. It doesn’t ever occur to me that way.”
— Sawyer in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, April 10, 2007, Good Morning America.
Putting a Soft Focus on World’s Worst Thugs
Co-host Diane Sawyer: “A number of people have already said, ‘Is there anything surprising, personal about [Iranian] President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad that we didn’t know?’ Well, it turns out, someone told me he cries a lot. That he is dramatically sentimental and sympathetic if someone comes up and expresses a personal plight. So I just asked him, are you often in tears?”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “Yes, that’s true. Not only for Iranians, of course, they are very close to me and I love all Iranians. And anywhere, when I see people suffering, I have the same reaction....Even when I see on TV that, for example, some Americans, because of tornadoes or a hurricane, they have lost their homes, I become sad.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, February 13, 2007.
Dreaming of Bill Clinton
“After pepperoni pizza and banana milkshakes once, I dreamed about Bill Clinton.”
— Sawyer talking with her Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson about a study which claimed sleeping Republicans have three times as many nightmares as sleeping Democrats, July 10, 2001.
Great Minds Think Alike
Diane Sawyer: “I’ve always thought the theological, the one theological question I’d like to ask [Pope John Paul II], and it’s a serious question, is ‘What do you think Jesus would think of the way you dress?’”
Oprah Winfrey: “Ohhh! That’s a great question!”
— Exchange on Oprah, February 19, 1997.