ABC's David Wright Rages at 'Full-bore Attack on Obama's Character'

ABC reporter David Wright continued to rail against John McCain's "full-bore attack on [Senator Barack] Obama's character" during Thursday's "Good Morning America." Speaking of the McCain/Palin campaign's references to Obama's relationship with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, the network journalist complained that the Republicans were suggesting Obama is "yellow, disloyal and doesn't belong." [audio excerpts here]

After asserting that the strategy of talking about an opponent's character has "been around more than 2,000 years" Wright darkly intoned, "But in the past couple of days, the Republicans have been laying it on thick. Chumming the waters. And, not surprisingly, ugly reactions are beginning to surface." Of course, no where in Wright's segment did he mention any of Obama's negative attacks, such as the nasty ad by the Illinois senator which implied that McCain is old and out of touch because he doesn't use the internet. (And Wright himself has made quite a habit of gushing over Obama, once comparing the candidate's rallies to "Springsteen concerts.")

Instead, Wright referenced "conservative" New York Times columnist David Brooks, someone who makes a habit out of bashing other right-wingers. Before playing a clip of Brooks calling Governor Sarah Palin a "cancer," Wright recited that the columnist is "troubled by Sarah Palin's anti-intellectualism, which he fears could embolden the know-nothing wing of his party."

Perhaps previewing the media's next line of attack, Wright closed, "For now, the Obama campaign is pointedly not accusing the McCain team of racism. Though, they did cock an eyebrow when McCain referred to Obama as 'that one.'" For now?

On Tuesday's GMA, Wright compared McCain's attacks on Ayers to the Obama camp's new ads about the Arizona senator and the Keating 5 savings and loan scandal. He asked, "Which is worse, a radical terrorist who wanted to blow up the Pentagon 40 years ago or a crooked banker whose failed savings and loan had to be bailed out by the taxpayers 20 years ago?"

A transcript of the October 9 segment, which aired 7:08am, follows:

ROBIN ROBERTS: Now, we're going to move on to America votes and the presidential campaign that began with the candidates pledging to be respectful toward one another. Now that we're in the home stretch, are those promises falling by the wayside? Our David Wright in Washington with more. Good morning, David.

David Wright, ABC, DAVID WRIGHT: Good morning, Robin. Attacking your opponent's character, nothing new in politics. It's a strategy that's been around more than 2,000 years. But in the past couple of days, the Republicans have been laying it on thick. Chumming the waters. And, not surprisingly, ugly reactions are beginning to surface. Asked by Sean Hannity whether he believes Obama is prepared to be president, John McCain gave a blunt, two-word answer.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: I don't. But I'll let the American people make a judgment in just 28 days.

WRIGHT: McCain's running mate has been even harsher, accusing Obama of palling around with terrorists.

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN: Makes me question who he would associate himself with in the future.

WRIGHT: Now, even Cindy McCain is piling on, accusing Obama of waging the dirtiest campaign in American history and claiming he can't sympathize with military families.

CINDY MCCAIN: I would suggest that Senator Obama change shoes with me for just one day. And see what it means- and see what it means to have a loved one serving in the armed forces.

WRIGHT: It's a full-bore attack on Obama's character, suggesting he's yellow, disloyal and doesn't belong.

CROWD CHANTING: Nobama! Nobama!

WRIGHT: It sure works up the crowds. Yesterday, some in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, shouted, "He's a radical" And "Off with his head." Or how about this local sheriff, using Obama's middle name as a rallying cry?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: On November 4th, let's leave Barack Hussein Obama wondering what's happened.

WRIGHT: Joseph Biden isn't the only one crying foul.

SENATOR JOE BIDEN: And the stuff people are yelling from the crowd, if she hears it, she should at least be saying, whoa, whoa, whoa. That's overboard. I mean, you know, this is volatile stuff.

WRIGHT: Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks, in this video posted online, say he's troubled by Sarah Palin's anti-intellectualism, which he fears could embolden the know-nothing wing of his party.

DAVID BROOKS: I'm more Republican than not. She represents a fatal cancer to the Republican Party.

WRIGHT: For now, the Obama campaign is pointedly not accusing the McCain team of racism. Though, they did cock an eyebrow when McCain referred to Obama as "that one."

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: You know who voted for it? Might never know. That one. You know who voted against it? Me.

WRIGHT: The Obama campaign now has a new website. Thatone08.Com, selling T-shirts and other trinkets. The McCain campaign insists that all of this stuff is fair game. That they're simply making voters aware of who Barack Obama really is, raising questions about his credibility and his honesty. But in the primaries, John McCain insisted he wasn't going to run a campaign like this. And that's left some of his supporters to wonder why he's doing it now. Robin?

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