ABC Fawns: 'Amazing,' 'Ground-Breaking,' 'Historic' Clinton
With Hillary Clinton's presidential run apparently over, ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday offered a love letter to the New York Senator. Well known Clinton fan Kate Snow and co-host Diane Sawyer rhapsodized about Clinton's "ground-breaking," "historic" campaign. The segment also featured Hillary poetry from author Maya Angelou. Splicing Snow's audio with Angelou's voice, the GMA reporter enthused, "Maya Angelou once wrote a poem about Clinton. 'She needs to rise. Don't give up on Hillary.'" Angelou then instructed, "Rise. Rise." [audio available here]
Sawyer's introduction to the segment sounded itself like a poem. She extolled the "ground-breaking, crossroads" in which the candidate found herself. After lauding the presidential contender "who ran her campaign on her own terms," Sawyer raved, "This woman, as we said, forged into determination and purpose her whole life. As someone said, no thorns, no throne. No gall, no glory. No cross, no crown." The ABC graphic accompanying the story fawned, "Senator Clinton's Amazing Journey: How She Changed the Face of U.S. Politics." Snow gushed that the presidential bid was the "culmination of a life-long journey." Speaking of the relationship between Bill and Hillary Clinton, she credulously repeated, "But it was a love story that would change the course of [Hillary's] life."
The segment, which featured no interviews with anyone critical of Clinton, only fans such as Angelou and actor Mary Steenburgen, also attempted to turn the fact that the ex-first lady moved to New York solely to run for the senate into a positive. Speaking of the politician's supposed early shyness, Snow spun, "But the shy girl turned adversity around, running for Senate in a state she never even lived in." Snow closed the segment by speculating on what Clinton would do now that she's no longer running for president. Putting the best possible light on the situation, Sawyer responded, "Yes, but as you said, Kate, all of her friends would say to you, whatever ended, something new has also begun for her."
A November 30, 2007 NewsBusters post recounted Kate Snow's constant pro-Clinton reporting. She once famously lauded the candidate's much derided laugh as an example of "disarming her critics with a gleam in her eye and a roar straight from the belly."
(Special thanks to MRC intern Peter Sasso for transcribing the segment.)
A transcript of the June 4 segment, which aired at 7:44am, follows:
DIANE SAWYER: And as we know this morning, there is another ground-breaking, crossroads moment. That is for Senator Hillary Clinton, who ran her campaign on her own terms. This woman, as we said, forged into determination and purpose her whole life. As someone said, no thorns, no throne. no gall, no glory. No cross, no crown. What will she do next? And what brought her to this moment. Kate Snow is back. Because she's been with Senator Clinton on the long road and we asked for her take this morning. Kate?
ABC GRAPHIC: Senator Clinton's Amazing Journey: How She Changed the Face of U.S. Politics
KATE SNOW: Diane, you know we've been covering Senator Clinton’s historic campaign now for 17 months. But hers is a story really written out over a lifetime.
SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON: I'm in it to win it.
SNOW: Airplanes, buses, flatbed trucks, slogging through 40 states.
HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you all, so much.
SNOW: No food, no sleep and lots of smiling. Always having to smile. But more than the physical drain, it's the culmination of a life-long journey. The mid-western girl with big dreams wrote to NASA when she was 14 and said she wanted to be am astronaut.
HILLARY CLINTON: They said they were not accepting girls and I was crushed. I couldn’t believe it. I had never had anybody tell me I couldn't do something because I was a girl.
SNOW: She has always been enormously ambitious, president of the high school. The first student ever to give a commencement address at Wellesley College. But it was a love story that would change the course of her life.
HILLARY CLINTON: He was a force of nature. He was the center of most of the attention. I had never known anybody like him. But I knew I was getting into something really big.
SNOW: Her years as first lady gave her a taste of something she always craved and she learned some deep lessons, about policy--
HILLARY CLINTON: No American has health security.
SNOW: --bout scandal. In her autobiography she recalls the night her husband told her about Monica Lewinsky.
HILLARY CLINTON: I could hardly breathe, gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him. What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me? I was dumbfounded, heartbroken and outraged that I’d believed him at all.
LISA CAPUTO (Former Clinton press secretary): That period of time was a very painful time for the entire Clinton family. She dealt with that time by finding solace in her faith and finding strength in her inner self.
SNOW: Actress Mary Steenburgen has been friends with Clinton more than 30 years.
MARY STEENBURGEN: One of the sorrows for me is that more people don't get to know who she really is. And I suppose it is partly her fault. I think there's an innate shyness, believe it or not to her.
SNOW: But the shy girl turned adversity around, running for Senate in a state she never even lived in.
GAIL SHEEHY (Author, "Hillary's Choice"): And once she got a chance to run for president, she wasn't going to take any prisoners and she was going to use every weapon known.
SNOW: In that race for the White House, she won nearly 17 million votes and 18 states. She laughed--
HILLARY CLINTON ["Saturday Night Live" clip]: Well, I love your outfit.
SNOW: --she danced and she cried.
HILLARY CLINTON: I just don't want to see us fall backward.
CONGRESSWOMAN STEPHANIE TUBBS-JONES (D-Ohio): The thing that I love most about Hillary Clinton is her tenacity and her willingness to just keep going.
SNOW: But her dogged determination wasn't enough and her staunchest ally may get some of the blame.
BILL CLINTON: This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen.
SNOW: Senator Clinton was left apologizing.
HILLARY CLINTON: If anybody was offended by anything that was said then obviously I regret that.
SHEEHY: She was running for Bill Clinton’s third term but he is the one that lost it for her.
SNOW: Friends say Clinton will persevere wherever she lands.
STEENBURGEN: She looked at me and said I want you to know something. I am going to be okay no matter what happens.
SNOW: Maya Angelou once wrote a poem about Clinton. [Snow and Angelou's voice superimposed.] She needs to rise. Don't give up on Hillary.
MAYA ANGELOU: Rise. Rise.
SNOW: Of all of the challenges though, of all the moments that she has faced in her lifetime this is surely got to be one of the biggest challenges she has ever faced, over the next few days, making this big decision. And Diane and Chris everyone who has been through having to end a campaign, says it's that final moment, that moment when you finally admit to yourself that the dream is over, that is the hardest.
SAWYER: Yes, but as you said, Kate, all of her friends would say to you, whatever ended, something new has also begun for her.
SNOW: That's right. That's right.
SAWYER: Okay, thanks a lot, Kate, we’ll be back.