ABC Gushed Over Edwards 30th Wedding Anniversary; Skips Bush's

ABC's "Good Morning America," which aired two gushing profiles this summer on the 30th wedding anniversary of John and Elizabeth Edwards, has found no time to air a similar story on the 30th anniversary of George and Laura Bush. The presidential couple celebrated three decades together on November 5, 2007, but GMA made no mention of it on Monday or Tuesday.

In contrast, on July 31, 2007, the ABC program fawned over the well known story of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife celebrating their 30th anniversary at the restaurant Wendy's. As pictures of the couple at the fast food outlet appeared onscreen, "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer lauded, "And they are going to renew their vows. Happy anniversary." Less then two weeks later, GMA reported on the story again. Sawyer crowed over the fact ABC would be showing photos of the  vows ceremony, what she called, "the very first pictures of a very personal backyard ceremony." Reporter David Muir described the pictures, which also appeared in People magazine, as "incredibly personal." Again, there was no such gushing, or even a mention, of the Bush's anniversary on Monday or Tuesday's show.

Now, it is true that President Bush refrained from playing up the 30th wedding anniversary media angle, unlike the Edwards campaign. (A Google search reveals no articles and there isn't any mention on WhiteHouse.gov.) But don't members of the media like to tout their ability to speak "truth to power?" Is taking Edwards campaign talking points an example of that?

Below is a transcript of the August 9, 2007 GMA coverage on the Edwards wedding anniversary:

7:01am tease

DIANE SAWYER: And also in the news this morning, we have the very first pictures of a very personal backyard ceremony for John Edwards and his wife. Elizabeth Edwards is talking in a new chapter for her memoirs ‘Saving Graces’ about her life right now and the renewal of their vows. And we’ll show you those pictures, walking down the aisle again.

7:19am

DIANE SAWYER: Let's turn now to our picture of the morning. And they are new pictures and David Muir is bringing them to us. You've been covering the Edwards campaign.

[During segment, a montage of photos of the Edwards renewal of vows can be seen onscreen.]

DAVID MUIR: Yeah and this is an incredibly personal photograph that we’ve now gotten a chance to see. It’s the renewal of the vows, the backyard in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The former senator and his wife Elizabeth there with their children Kate and the two little ones, Emma Claire and Jack. Apparently this was an idea that they decided to do while they were back at the doctor's office in the spring when they suspected the cancer had come back for Elizabeth. John Edwards asking her, turning to her in the doctor’s office and saying, ‘Will you marry me again?’ And Elizabeth actually told him, she said, she asked back, ‘Will you take another 30 years?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely.’

SAWYER: Bless her. And you know, she's written a new chapter as well for her book, ‘Saving Graces.’ And she talks a little more about talking to her children about her cancer and what she's going through. It's a beautiful moment. And we should say, however, they did also have their ritual anniversary Wendy's burger.

MUIR: Yes. The fast food. Yeah, which we all can relate to.

SAWYER: They did that as well.

MUIR: More of the pictures in People magazine, too.

SAWYER: Right. We thank People magazine for those photos.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org