Bill Weir, ABC's New Nightline Host: A Profile in Bias

ABC's Bill Weir, the former co-host of weekend Good Morning America, debuted on Monday as the new co-anchor of Nightline. ABC President David Westin lauded Weir in July for conducting "some of our most innovative reporting." But, he may be better known for standard liberal bias, such as hyperbolically asserting during Barack Obama's inauguration: "From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity."

More recently, during the debate over Arizona's new immigration law, Weir fretted, "There is a fear-driven exodus going on in Arizona tonight." In April, he interrogated Sheriff Joe Apraio: "With this new law, will you ramp it up? Will you, will you grab people on street corner?" Examples of Weir's bias, with video and audio, can be found below:

Illegal Immigrants: Just Victims of Angry Arizonans
Diane Sawyer: “Tonight, undocumented immigrants — many working in this country for decades — are fleeing the state, or hiding in fear....”
Bill Weir: “There is a fear-driven exodus going on in Arizona tonight. More vacant apartments, more empty shops, more kids disappearing from school.... Francisco has been in Phoenix without papers for 14 years, but says now he’s afraid to walk the streets. So he’ll take his family and leave as soon as he can.”
— ABC’s World News, July 27, 2010. [Audio/video (0:38): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Co-host George Stephanopoulos: “Unless the judge acts, the new law will take effect tonight. Nightline anchor Bill Weir is live in Phoenix, where he finds that it is already pitting neighbor against neighbor. Hey, Bill.”
ABC’s Bill Weir: “That is right, George....It is the lack of immigration reform that’s filled so many Arizonans with anger — and now, so many Latinos with fear.”
— Good Morning America, July 28. The on-screen headline: “Target: Immigrants; Arizona Law Set to Take Effect.”
Bill's Fear: Snatching People Off Street Corners
“With this new law, will you ramp it up? Will you, will you grab people on street corners? I mean, what will you do with this new law?”
— ABC’s Bill Weir to Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Good Morning America, April 25, 2010. [Audio/video (0:25): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Health Care Debate Threatens Obama’s Safety?

“We turn now to the contentious debate over President Obama’s health care agenda. The rising anger is now ramping up concerns over the President’s personal safety....”
— ABC’s Bill Weir introducing a story on Good Morning America, August 14, 2009. The on-screen headline: “Anxious Moments; Threats Growing In Health Care Debate?” [Audio/video (0:20): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

A Day When Even the Seagulls Were Awed

“We know that wind can make a cold day feel colder, but can national pride make a freezing day feel warmer? It seems to be the case because regardless of the final crowd number estimates, never have so many people shivered so long with such joy. From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity.”
— ABC’s Bill Weir on World News, January 20, 2009. [Audio/video (0:32): Windows Media (1.89 MB) and MP3 audio (135 kB)]

"Melting Pot of Communal Joy"
"When you work here in the crossroads of the world, you get used to group jubilation in various forms. But last night was transcendent. It was something else entirely....A melting pot of communal joy....Voices from around the world shouted of the greatness of America. And it really came in ebbs and flows. When the announcement was made, literal dancing in the streets and then, it calmed down. And people were locking in embraces."
— ABC’s Bill Weir on Good Morning America, Nov. 5, 2008.

ABC’s White House Secrets Expert

Co-host Bill Weir: "Before I let you go, I want to get your comment on the big story of the week, the Dick Cheney hunting accident. Your wife came out and said it was another example of this administration’s cloud of secrecy. Your friends Paul Begala and James Carville want more investigation. Do you agree?"
Former President Bill Clinton: "...I think the White House should have said something sooner, but I think it’s gotten a little more life than it would have because the administration has an enormous penchant for secrecy — for not telling anybody anything about anything."
— ABC’s Good Morning America, February 19, 2006.
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org