ABC Manages Entire Segment on 'White House Response' to Egypt Without Mentioning Obama
Good Morning America devoted a segment on Tuesday to the "White House response" on the growing crisis in Egypt without ever mentioning Barack Obama's name. George Stephanopoulos simply informed viewers that "members of Congress continue to debate whether to cut off U.S. aid to Egypt."
Stephanopoulos later told reporter Martha Raddatz that "the United States [is] saying that for now, at least, they will not be suspending military aid to the government in Egypt." Yet, despite the ABC graphic declaring, "White House Response on Egypt Crisis," no GMA journalist in that segment actually mentioned the President who works in the "White House."
It wasn't until a 20 second story airing in the 8am hour that guest news anchor Elizabeth Vargas noted, "The Obama administration tells us that no change has been made when it comes to provides more than $1 billion a year in aid to Egypt."
GMA has also avoided highlighting the plight of Christians in Egypt. In contrast, the network's evening news program, World News, covered this angle. On Sunday, David Muir intoned, "And to Egypt now where this Sunday, for Christians there, it was a day of fear, as they headed to services.
On August 15, World News correspondent Muhammad Lila explained, "[The violence is] striking terror into the heart of Egypt's Christian community. By some accounts, dozens of churches attacked, some accusing Christians of siding with the military. An angry mob burst through the gates, others looted, stories of nuns escaping out the back door. We spoke to one woman, her church doused in gasoline."
The correspondents at GMA are mimicking NBC's Today. Last week, co-host Savannah Guthrie and Meet the Press's David Gregory discussed America's policy in regard to Egypt. Barack Obama was never mentioned by name.
A transcript of the August 20 GMA segment, which aired at 7:07am ET, follows:
ABC GRAPHIC: White House Response on Egypt Crisis: Court Orders Release of Mubarak
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to turn now to the crisis in Egypt and America's response. While members of Congress continue to debate whether to cut off U.S. aid to Egypt, the military regime is escalating the crackdown by arresting a a leader of the opposition. ABC's Martha Raddatz is on the ground in Cairo this morning with all the latest. Good morning, Martha.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Good morning, George. Egyptian security forces overnight arrested the spiritual head of the Muslim brotherhood, took him away. They have detained him. All those Egyptian security force wearing bulletproof vests. This is almost all of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership who have now been arrested. This certainly adds to the tension here, although, they have put in a replacement to the spiritual head right now. We are actually over Tahrir Square. It seems fairly calm here this morning. There's still a few tents set up, but fairly peaceful. But we just don't know what's coming next.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And Martha, talk about turnabouts. Some reports now that the former president, Mubarak, who has been under arrest for much of the last year, might actually be released?
RADDATZ: There are a lot of headlines here this morning that he could be released. But there's so many legal maneuvers they have to go through. It's seen as doubtful. But even though headlines create tension, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I would imagine so. And meanwhile, the United States saying that for now, at least, they will not be suspending military aid to the government in Egypt.
RADDATZ: That is right. They are not suspending it. They are still looking at it. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is sending in billions of dollars.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, Martha Raddatz. Thanks very much.
ELIZABETH VARGAS: Overseas, now, to Egypt, where uncertainty reigns amid the threat of further deadly violence. Overnight, security forces detained the head of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the party of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi. The Obama administration tells us that no change has been made when it comes to provides more than $1 billion a year in aid to Egypt.