Despite promises from ABC to the contrary, Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts appears to have been almost completely shut out from political and policy interviews since George Stephanopoulos joined the show on December 14. The former Democratic operative has now anchored 11 mornings and conducted all but one of the big interviews.
Back on December 10, GMA executive producer Jim Murphy told TV Newser, "We believe in supporting everyone fully." He also added, "Everyone will get their fair share." And yet, Stephanopoulos has talked to such heavyweights as Senator John McCain, author Bob Woodward, Representative Pete King, former counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke, Howard Dean, David Axelrod and others.
(The single exception occurred on December 22 when Roberts and Stephanopoulos both quizzed Dr. Tim Johnson about the health care bill.) This is a break from how the show operated prior to the exit of Diane Sawyer in December. On March 26, 2007, Roberts was the solitary host of an episode-long town hall GMA with then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. On September 9, 2009, she scored an exclusive interview with President Obama. These are but a few examples.
In the same December 10 TV Newser piece, Roberts seemed taken aback at the idea that her policy role on the program might be limited:
Asked whether she's concerned that Stephanopoulos' deep DC roots would leave her out of the mix when it comes to hard-hitting interviews, she threw one back at us: "Who from ABC News was invited to the state dinner?" Roberts was.
"I'm not worried one bit," says Roberts.
Roberts has handled other news interviews outside of D.C. policy, including talking with the father of convicted murder Amanda Knox, for example. On Monday, she chatted with Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher.