In less than three days, over three programs, ABC devoted 24 minutes to the not-exactly pressing topic of a transgendered beauty contestant. Jenna Talackova appeared on Friday's 20/20, Monday's Good Morning America and The View. GMA's George Stephanopoulos talked to Talackova and her left-wing lawyer Gloria Allred, offering no tough questions. On The View, Barbara Walters introduced Allred as "the great women's rights lawyer."
Despite insisting that the story created a "firestorm," Stephanopoulos fawned, "What is it like, all of a sudden, to be seen not simply as a contestant for Ms. Universe...but also as a spokesperson for the trangendered community?" Stephanopoulos gushed, "It's gotta be something you welcome, because you know you're going to help an awful lot of people who have been maybe struggling in the shadows."
Rather than ask any serious questions, the former Democratic operative turned journalist gossiped, "And you've got a boyfriend now?...How does that work at the beginning?"
On The View, Walters made no mention of Allred's liberal leanings. Instead, she enthused, "And with Jenna is the great women's rights lawyer, whom I hope I never need because I don't want that kind of a case, Gloria Allred."
Comedienne Whoopi Goldberg proved tougher than Stephanopoulos, noting that if the rule calling for only "natural born" women to be allowed is removed, "...How do you make sure you don't have folks that shouldn't be competing? You know, drag queens, for instance?"
Walters did announce she would "stick up" for her friend, Miss Universe pageant owner Donald Trump, who initially banned Talackova, but then reversed himself. On Friday's 20/20, she interviewed Trump, as well as Talackova and Allred.
In 2008, ABC devoted 64 minutes to hyping a so-called "pregnant man."
A sampling of George Stephanopoulos' questions from Monday's GMA can be found below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Now to the story behind the firestorm that rocked the Ms. Universe pageant. Jenn Talackova was kicked out of the contest in Canada because she was born a boy. But pageant owner Donald Trump reversed the decision and will let her go for the global crown.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And I can only imagine the pressure you're under. Your story has just exploded, become a global story. You couldn't have been ready for that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What is it like, all of a sudden, to be seen not simply as a contestant for Ms. Universe- when you'll be competing in Canada on May 19th, but also as a spokesperson for the trangendered community?
STEPHANOPOULOS: It's gotta be something you welcome, because you know you're going to help an awful lot of people who have been maybe struggling in the shadows.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Take us back to your young life. You said you knew from the very beginning, as soon as you were conscious that you were meant to be a woman. But in school, you had to face a fair amount of bullying, a fair amount of trouble.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And how have your fellow contestants been treating you? Are they encouraging you? Have they been nice? Anything happening behind the scenes?
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you've got a boyfriend now?
STEPHANOPOULOS: How does that work at the beginning? When you meet someone, is it something you talk about right away? As time?
STEPHANOPOULOS: And one day you want to have children?