ABC Offers Four Days and Almost 20 Minutes of Fawning 'Angels & Demons' Hype

"Good Morning America" on Thursday capped off four days and nearly 20 minutes of fawning coverage of "Angels & Demons," the just-released film that features the Catholic Church participating in a brutal massacre. On Thursday, co-star Ayelet Zurer appeared to promote the movie, whose main villain turns out to be a priest who murdered the previous Pope and is also his son. And just like with the interviews of director Ron Howard and stars Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor, the film's controversial, anti-Christian elements were completely ignored.

Instead, Sawyer focused on the number of languages the Israeli Zurer could speak and how she prepared for the role. The GMA host never mentioned how the film's storyline, involving the Catholic Church wiping out a secret society called the Illuminati, is false. And, just as with fellow co-star McGregor, she ignored the fact that the movie's big surprise turns out to be that the priest (McGregor's character) is a murderer and the son of the late Pope. On Wednesday, McGregor absurdly claimed, "However, I would stress there is, really, no controversy. There's no anti-Catholicism or anti-Christianity in the movie at all." Sawyer didn't challenge the point.

GMA featured a cast or crew member of "Angels & Demons" for four straight days, totaling 19 minutes and 22 seconds of air time. This isn't the first time that the ABC morning show has heavily promoted a left-leaning film. Over the span of three days in 2007, from November 6-8, Sawyer interviewed Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and director Robert Redford about their anti-war movie "Lions For Lambs." Those segments, which also featured softball questions, totaled 18 minutes and 45 seconds, falling just shy of the amount of time given to "Angels & Demons."

A transcript of the May 14 segment, which aired at 8:31am, follows:

DIANE SAWYER: I want to introduce you to somebody.

CHRIS CUOMO: Please.

SAWYER: I have seen her already in this movie, which is about to come out. Her name is Ayelet Zurer. She's in "Angels & Demons," which comes out this Friday. A phenomenal actress from Israel.

AYELET ZURER (Actress): Yes.

SAWYER: How many languages can you act in? I'm sitting there the whole time thinking her English is perfect. The Italian is perfect. Presumably, you speak Hebrew. What else?

ZURER: I do. I do. English, Hebrew, and I pretend to speak other languages pretty well.

SAWYER: If you do the hands and the movement.

ZURER: Or the movement.

SAWYER: Or the French thing. And you have to do- [Pretends to sneer in French.] You're so very French. You play a physicist in this film. I want to just let a little B-roll of it go by. You have an amazing intensity. And a serious grasp of quantum physics, which we learn from you. You went and studied with a physicist for the part?

ZURER: I met a couple of interesting people from California, from the department of physics and astronomy. And I met women and men and had many discussions. But really, my interest was- I really used the internet more than anything else. YouTube. I'm a visual person.

SAWYER: YouTube. Physics by YouTube.

ZURER: I know.

SAWYER: I love modern life.

ZURER: I'm modern in that way. Yeah. 'Cause I'm a visual person. It was easy for me to understand those things when you actually see, you know. You know, the ideas of particles moving.

SAWYER: And you have a 4-year-old little boy.

ZURER: I do.

SAWYER: You're about to see him today after a couple of days of travel.

ZURER: Yeah. Yeah.

SAWYER: All right. Well, I know that's hard when you're out.

ZURER: When you see other people's kids, you go- [Makes a grabbing motion.]

SAWYER: Your heart feels squeezed. I know that. Anyway, it's Ayelet Zurer. You may have seen her in "Munich," by the way. We've seen her in so many American films and going to see a lot more, in many languages, as far as I can tell. It's "Angels & Demons." It opens this- tomorrow.

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