ABC Knocks 'Weeping' Boehner as 'Harshly Partisan,' Gushed Over Pelosi as 'Galvanized Steel With a Smile'

Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Tuesday derided the incoming Republican Speaker of the House as "harshly partisan." The ABC correspondent joked that John Boehner can look "like the weeper of the House." In contrast, then-GMA co-host Diane Sawyer in 2007 lauded Speaker Nancy Pelosi's ascension, praising, "But her fellow politicians say she's galvanized steel with a smile."

While Karl dismissed Boehner as a "weeper," Sawyer, on January 19, 2007, rhapsodized over Pelosi as a sweeper, glowingly recounting how the first female Speaker picked up garbage: "We're walking along with the camera, [Pelosi] looks at the carpet. It has lint on it, little scraps of paper. She can't stand it. She gets down and cleans the carpet so we could walk."

Sawyer described this fairly mundane act as something "no Speaker of the House has ever done in the entire history of the United States of America."

[See video contrast below. Audio can be found here.]

GMA, which hit Boehner as "harshly partisan," didn't use that phrase with the highly partisan Pelosi. The word came up once in January of 2007, but as a compliment.

On January 5 of that year, reporter Claire Shipman hyped, "You could actually feel the history of the moment, especially in an era of such partisan politics, when Nancy Pelosi received a standing ovation not just from the Democrats, but from Republicans too. She has barely started her job but her election is already having an impact on a lot of Americans."

A transcript of the January 4 segment, which aired at 7:04am EST, follows:


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to turn now to Capitol Hill. The new GOP majority formally takes control of the House of Representatives tomorrow and Republicans are painting a big target on one of President Obama's biggest and most controversial accomplishments. Jon Karl has that story. And, Jon, the Republicans say they're keeping their number one campaign promise.

JON KARL: That's right. They've already unveiled their first major piece of legislation, George. And here it is. Short and to the point. This would repeal the entire health care reform law, replace it with nothing and set the stage for the first battle of the new Congress. The vote is a clear sign of the new Republican Congress' determination to roll back the Obama agenda. An effort led by the man soon to become a household name, John Boehner.

JOHN BOEHNER: Nancy Pelosi.

KARL: Just four years ago, he handed the Speaker's gavel to Nancy Pelosi. He'll get it back tomorrow. Boehner is a man with many sides. He can be harshly partisan.

JOHN BOEHNER: Hell no you can't!

KARL: And, at times, looks like the weeper of the House.

BOEHNER: I spent my whole life, chasing the American dream.

KARL: He has worked with Democrats, joining Ted Kennedy, for example, in crafting the No Child Left Behind education bill. Boehner says he will use his first speech as Speaker of the House to talk about making tough choices to deal with the $14 trillion debt. And unlike the vast majority of his congressional colleagues, he says he has never once put an earmark in a bill for a pet project. Keeping a close eye on Boehner, a new crop of Republicans, many of them new to politics, who may want even deeper cuts to spending. People like Bobby Schilling, who, until yesterday, ran a pizzaria in Moline, Illinois.

REP-ELECT BOBBY SCHILLING (R-IL): We're here to fight. We need to go to get this thing back on track where it needs to be so that our kids and grand kids have the same opportunities that were afforded to us.

KARL: There will be 85 of those new freshman Republicans sworn in tomorrow. Now, George, every, single one of them supported Boehner for Speaker of the House. But this group has a willingness to challenge their leadership when they disagree. Robin?

— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

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