Morning Shows Skip Sexual Assault Charge Against Al Gore
All three morning shows on Thursday ignored allegations of "unwanted sexual contact" by Al Gore against a woman in 2006. This is despite the fact that the claim was reported by the AP, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
CBS's Early Show, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America failed to mention the charges made by an Oregon massage therapist that Gore tried to have sex with her.
Yet, on June 2, after Al and Tipper Gore announced their divorce, ABC reporter Claire Shipman wondered if the separation meant that "storybook endings" aren't possible. Logically, wouldn't the morning show want to follow up with this new development?
When Republican Nikki Haley was accused of having an affair with two different men, GMA had no trouble covering the story. On June 9, host George Stephanopoulos interviewed the South Carolina gubernatorial candidate about the allegations and demanded, "Can you assure South Carolina voters that they're not going to be embarrassed if they elect you?"
On June 7, he marveled, "And down in South Carolina, they can't just seem to get enough of it. In the gubernatorial primary, the leading candidate embroiled in a bit of a sex scandal." The program noted the story again on June 10.
Now, obviously, there are differences. Gore is a private citizen. Haley is running for office. However, there is an actual police report in the Gore case. Additionally, journalists were quite taken with the then-Vice President when he famously kissed his wife at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.
Those same reporters have a responsibility to cover unflattering allegations about Gore. ABC, although unable to mention the charges on GMA, did note them on the network's website. A sympathetic headline proclaimed, "Al Gore Sex Abuse Allegations Lack Sufficient Evidence, Say Portland Police."