Claire Shipman's Husband Named New Obama Press Secretary; Conflict of Interest for ABC?

The White House on Thursday named Jay Carney, the husband of ABC News reporter Claire Shipman, to be the new White House Press secretary. Carney is also an ex-journalist, formally of Time magazine.

Will this appointment prove to be a conflict of interest for Shipman? Will she continue to report on the Obama administration? Shipman whose title is senior national correspondent, often covers political stories and has a reputation as an activist liberal. In 2008, she hailed Barack Obama, the now-boss of her husband, as "brave" for a speech disassociating himself with radical preacher Jeremiah Wright. In 2007, she fawned over Obama's "fluid poetry."

In 2000, she lauded Al Gore as a "pretty conservative Democrat." In 2004, discussing former Communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev, she ltouted him as "generally regarded" for being "the man who broke down the ‘Iron Curtain.'"

A sampling of some of Shipman's reporting can be found below:

"Hot" Hillary, Obama the Poet

"Call it, ‘Obama Wave collides with Clinton Juggernaut.’... Next to [Senator Barack] Obama’s fluid poetry, Hillary Clinton's delivery can seem overly cautious....In the glamour game? It would have to be a draw right now. Hillary Clinton has been the unparalleled star of the Democratic Party — her power hard-earned and palpable, her ‘hot factor’ given a substantial boost by her ever-popular husband. But Barack Obama, with his fairy tale family, has personal charisma to spare....As you can see, there will be a lot of jostling between these two white hot, likely presidential candidates."

— ABC national correspondent Claire Shipman on Good Morning America, January 18, 2007.

Disguising Liberal Activist as Victim of Mean Republicans

Correspondent Claire Shipman: "Democrats say that millions of Americans are going to be affected in the next few weeks, and that not extending those benefits will hurt the economy. Republicans say those extended benefits are just too expensive unless they’re paid for. Edrie Irvine never thought her very livelihood would depend on a political debate in Congress."

Edrie Irvine, identified on-screen merely as "unemployed": "They are talking about tax cuts for the rich and are holding people like me hostage."

Shipman: "But she and about two million other unemployed Americans are caught up in a Capitol Hill showdown."

— ABC’s Good Morning America, December 2, 2010. Shipman failed to disclose that Irvine is a liberal activist who participated the previous day at a press conference by Nancy Pelosi and was a speaker at left-wing election rallies this fall.

"Right-Wing" Beck vs. Non-Ideological Sharpton?

"The right-wing radio show host insists the timing was an oversight, but he seized on the King legacy as compatible with his message....The Reverend Al Sharpton, among others, worries that their day and King’s legacy has been hijacked."

— ABC’s Claire Shipman on Good Morning America, August 28.

"One rally will be hosted by civil rights leaders, one by controversial conservative talk show host Glenn Beck."

— Correspondent Whit Johnson on CBS’s Early Show, August 27, 2010.

 


Lauding Kagan: Intellectual, Full of Charm and Irresistible

"She was intellectual, yes, but also full of personal charm, say colleagues, and a determination to be open-minded. It [Harvard Law School] is an institution usually resistant to change, some might say an immovable object, until it was confronted with the irresistible force of Dean Elena Kagan....Colleagues argue Kagan’s style is just what the Court needs."

— ABC’s Claire Shipman on Good Morning America, June 28.

Sotomayor’s No Liberal — Even If She Says She Is

ABC national correspondent Claire Shipman: "I think it’s also hard when you look at [Supreme Court nominee Sonia] Sotomayor’s record and look at the cases, it’s very hard for people to make the case that she’s a typical, you know, elite liberal judicial philosopher. I mean, really, she’s not...."

Liberal Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Cynthia Tucker: "As Claire just said, her opinions don’t show — she is certainly liberal, she’s called herself ‘liberal’ — but she’s nobody’s knee-jerk radical."

— ABC’s This Week, June 7, 2009. [Audio/video (0:20): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Touting Obama’s "Latina Powerhouse"

Co-host Diane Sawyer: "The battle begins: How will President Obama’s Latina powerhouse handle the opposition?"...

Correspondent Claire Shipman: "Even as a little girl, growing up in a drug-ridden South Bronx housing project, stricken with juvenile diabetes, she had that trademark knack: instead of seeing dead ends, young Sonia saw possibilities; instead of giving up, she investigated every angle....She’s also an avid Yankees fan, a mean guacamole maker, and a fierce biker."

— ABC’s Good Morning America, May 27, 2009.

"Welcome to World News. Tonight, Barack Obama delivers a major speech confronting the race issue head on....It may turn out to be the seminal speech of his presidential campaign....Obama challenged Americans to confront the country’s racial divide. An extraordinary speech."

— Charles Gibson opening ABC’s World News, March 18.

"He gave a great speech. I think it was a brave speech."

— ABC’s Claire Shipman on This Week, March 23, 2008.

"It was inevitable, really, that the ‘Bill Factor’ would come into play. Is it a new strategy, or just the chivalry of a former president and spouse who can’t help himself?...Her husband’s support could muddle her so far successful image of independent strength....Obviously, he is a brilliant strategist for her campaign, but everybody knows that Bill Clinton can’t always be scripted."

— ABC’s Claire Shipman on Bill Clinton defending Hillary Clinton, November 13, 2007 Good Morning America.

Mikhail Gorbachev is generally regarded as the man who broke down the ‘Iron Curtain’ that separated the communist world from the West and thawed the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union."

— ABC’s Claire Shipman beginning a report summarizing Gorbachev’s criticisms of current U.S. foreign policy, posted on ABCNews.com July 12, 2004.

"Labor might not be happy. He is a conservative Democrat and they probably don’t agree with everything he supports, but, you know, Gore is a pretty conservative Democrat."

-- NBC’s Claire Shipman on MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning, August 7, 2000.

— 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