Flashback: ABC Tossed Softballs to bin Laden's Son and Touted His 'Glamorous' Wife
While Good Morning America covered the news that Omar bin Laden, the son of the terrorist mastermind, has condemned the U.S. for his father's killing, no mention was made of GMA's January 22, 2008 friendly interview with the young man.
On Wednesday, reporter Jim Sciutto explained, "Another of bin Laden's son, Omar, who is living in Saudi Arabia and other family members have condemned the raid, calling it an illegal assassination of an unarmed man."
Yet, in 2008, correspondent Nick Watt tossed softballs to Omar bin Laden, parroting, "[Omar] wants to be an ambassador for peace. First up, he wants to meet with President George Bush to explain to him what his father is all about." Watt failed to press the offspring of the mass murderer on comments such as this: "My father is a very kind man...He's very sorry when he does something like 11 September."
[See the 2008 video below. MP3 audio here.]
Watt couldn't even come up with a good response to Omar's assertion that he would "hide" his father if aware of the terrorist's location. (The journalist simply added, "You would?")
Instead, he played up the love affair between bin Laden and his much older English wife: "Omar has now married an English woman who he met while horseback riding in sight of the pyramids...He's 26. She's a 52-year-old grandmother. That didn't matter. And neither did Omar's name."
NBC's Today also interviewed the younger bin Laden in 2008, but offered no coverage on Wednesday.
A transcript of the brief mention of Omar bin Laden on the May 11 show can be found below:
JIM SCIUTTO: Another of bin Laden's son, Omar, who is living in Saudi Arabia and other family members have condemned the raid, calling it an illegal assassination of an unarmed man. And, Robin, those family members are also now calling for the release of bin Laden's wives and children, saying they've done nothing wrong.