ABC Misleadingly Claims Huckabee Pardoned Rapist

On Wednesday's "Good Morning America," reporter Brian Ross's story on Mike Huckabee featured a misleading onscreen graphic that claimed the then-Arkansas governor pardoned a rapist who went on to murder two women in Missouri. In fact, Huckabee didn't pardon Wayne Dumond, the man in question. The ABC graphic read, "Huckabee's Pardon: Rapist Struck Again After Release." The inaccurate information appeared beneath the December 5 segment for two minutes and 50 seconds of a three minute plus segment. (Hat tip to NewsBusters reader TE.)

On "Fox and Friends," which got the story right, co-host Steve Doocy explained that the governor lobbied the Arkansas parole board to release Dumond. They did so. He then played a clip of Huckabee on FNC in November in which the governor pointed out, "I did originally support parole, but governors don't parole anybody." "The Early Show" on CBS also refrained from using the term "pardon." NBC's "Today" ignored the story completely.

The real issue in this case is what role Huckabee had in encouraging the parole board to make the decision to release Dumond. ABC and "Good Morning America" should apologize for misleading viewers into believing that Huckabee himself pardoned and released a convicted rapist.

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