Not every reporter covering Barack Obama's world tour is entranced by the words and imagery of the Democratic candidate. On Thursday's "Good Morning America," political correspondent Jake Tapper jabbed at Obama's overconfidence, describing the senator's July 24 speech in Berlin as "one the Obama campaign is billing at almost presidential. Even though he is not the president."
Reporting from inside the Obama plane, Tapper complained in a snarky tone, "Inside, the plane has been redesigned to separate the senator and his staff from us lowly reporters." He added that Obama officials told journalists that they could brief reporters as anonymous officials. Tapper grumbled, "One of them said that's what we did at the White House during the Clinton years. We pointed out they don't work at the White House." Regarding the Obama plane, the ABC journalist also pointed out: "The American flag on the tail wing has been replaced by an enormous Obama O."
"Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo launched an unlikely attack on liberal comedian Jon Stewart during Thursday's show. After discussing possible media bias against John McCain, and playing a clip of the "Daily Show" host mocking the senator, Cuomo warned, "I'll offer you the other side. You gotta be careful of friends like these with Stewart. Clearly a lefty. Clearly pro-Obama."
Referring, presumably, to McCain's nearly even status in many polls, Cuomo continued, "A lot of this country may not feel the same way. May be a little bit of a reflection. You know? Kind of trying to come to McCain's aide 'cause everyone else seems to be for the other guy." Co-host Diane Sawyer concurred, noting the tightness of the race. She also casually admitted to the media's obsession with Obama: "...They keep pointing out in the McCain camp that he's taken three foreign trips in the past four months and not one network anchor joined him and all three show up for Obama." Of course, the GMA anchor didn't continue that thought any further, examine the significance of her admission or even Cuomo's comment that "everyone else seems to be for the other guy."
"Good Morning America" on Wednesday continued to aggressively promote the story of the pregnant "man," featuring the show's sixth story since March 26. Once again, GMA co-host Chris Cuomo confusingly described the story of Thomas Beatie, a woman who took testosterone and had her breasts removed in a gender reassignment surgery in order to become a man.
On Wednesday, Cuomo explained, "The pregnant man, Thomas Beatie. He made headlines across the globe. Well, now, Beatie, who is biologically still a woman, has delivered a healthy baby." So, in other words, a woman gave birth to a baby? Perhaps describing the situation that way wouldn't have allowed GMA to devote six stories (thus far) to the topic. The segment was full of such puzzling statements. An ABC graphic screamed, "Pregnant Man's Baby: First Pictures of Susan Juliette." At one point, reporter Andrea Canning stated that Beatie, born Tracy LaGondino, had her breasts surgically removed and then, "...Still hoping to one day have a child, Thomas kept his female reproductive organs." His female reproductive organs?
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman appeared on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" to gush that the very act of Barack Obama going on his Middle East trip makes one think "he comes back a little wiser, a little smarter." Friedman also asserted that the candidate's middle name, Hussein, would be a plus for him as president. He opined, "I was in Cairo a few weeks ago. And one of things that was so striking is how impressed Egyptians were, simply with the prospect that after 9/11, Americans might actually elect a man whose middle name was Hussein."
(Of course, members of the media became apoplectic when radio talk show host Bill Cunningham used Obama's middle name at a campaign rally for John McCain. In this case, apparently, it's okay.) GMA co host Diane Sawyer set up the Friedman critique by very carefully offering qualifiers about how "we know [Obama] is absolutely American. Absolutely a Christian." She then offered up the new spin that Obama's heritage could be a presidential positive: " ...But in the greater Arab world, does his parental history, his father's history, mean he can move the Arabs more than someone else might be able to?"
Journalist George Stephanopoulos and ABC's Diane Sawyer rhapsodized over Barack Obama's Middle East trip on Tuesday's "Good Morning America." Stephanopoulos swooned that the visit to the region was going "better than they could have imagined in the Obama campaign." He then proceeded to narrate footage of the Democratic candidate.
While video of Obama playing basketball with troops in Kuwait appeared onscreen, Stephanopoulos fawned as Obama made a shot, "...How much better can you get than that? Look at that. Right in the hoop on the first try." Agreeing, Sawyer cooed, "How sweet." With no apparent sense of irony, Sawyer, the GMA co-host, also brought up the complaints that the media have uncritically covered the trip. After playing a clip of a McCain appearance with George H.W. Bush, in which the former president joked that the candidate is "a little jealous" of all the attention Obama is getting, Stephanopoulos agreed: "[McCain] is a little jealous."
"Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer on Monday quizzed John McCain on whether the media is gushing too much over Barack Obama's Middle East trip. She then proceeded to cite Obama talking points on the visit. First, Sawyer wondered, "A quick question about the press coverage, if I can. [Obama's] there with a lot of reporters and it's been widely reported--" At this point, the Arizona senator started chuckling to himself.
A surprised Sawyer continued, "You're laughing. Do you think the press coverage is unfair?" McCain wryly responded, "That's up to the American people to decide, Diane. It is what it is." A few seconds earlier, Sawyer appeared to preemptively answer her query on media bias. The ABC journalist prompted, "You have criticized Senator Obama in the past for not going to Iraq and getting a fresh assessment. He is in Iraq as we speak this morning. Does this take care of it?" The subtext of the question sounded very much like "He went to Iraq. Will you leave him alone now?" Never mind the fact that McCain has been to the area eight times and Obama only two.
"Good Morning America," in what is surely a sign of things to come, prepped for Barack Obama's first Middle East trip by focusing three stories on the subject, including one in which George Stephanopoulos admitted that John McCain is "frustrated" by the media attention given to the foreign excursion. GMA co-host Robin Roberts and the ex-Clinton aide discussed the media coverage briefly, in a passive voice.
Referring to Obama's visit next week to Iraq and Afghanistan, Roberts casually wondered, "And finally, how does McCain counter all of this attention that Obama is going to be receiving on this trip?" Stephanopoulos candidly responded, "The McCain campaign is very frustrated by this. As you know, all three evening news anchors going over to -- on this foreign soil with Barack Obama. They know he's going to get a lot of attention." Notice it's "all of this attention that Obama is going to be receiving" rather than "all the coverage we're giving him." And if the McCain camp is "frustrated" by the coverage, isn't that a subject that Roberts and Stephanopoulos should have explored? They didn't.
[Updated] "Good Morning America" reporter Claire Shipman on Friday worried that Al Gore's occasional kind word about John McCain might result in the election of the Republican. Interviewing the former vice president about his new energy proposals, the ABC correspondent fretted, "...And some Democratic eyebrows have been raised at your praise of John McCain. Democrats worried that maybe you're, you're going to help him get elected."
That question, which hit Gore from the left, was one of the few, even slightly challenging queries. Instead, Shipman tossed softballs, such as asking, "Do you think that, right now, climate change is as much a threat to our country as terror?" The ex-VP asserted that "the climate crisis is by far the most serious threat we have ever faced" and Shipman offered no follow-up. She failed to ask Gore for some sort of evidence to back up this claim or to point out that terrorism killed 3000 people on 9/11 alone. (How many have died from the "climate crisis?)
"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough slammed the "hacks" at "The Daily Show" on Wednesday for only making fun of Republicans and giving a free pass to Democrats. Discussing a July 15 New York Times piece that described how TV comics and talk show hosts are hesitant to make fun of Barack Obama, Scarborough mocked, "I never want to hear anybody from 'The Daily Show' or any of these other shows ever saying again, 'We speak truth to power.' 'Cause you know what they do? They speak truth to Republicans."
After admitting that Republicans have made many mistakes over the last seven years, the MSNBC host continued to eviscerate the crew at the "The Daily Show" and others: " But, please, don't be subversive, because you're not. Because you're a hack. You're a hack for the Democratic Party and you only tell jokes about one side." New York Times journalist John Harwood, appearing on the program as a guest, attempted to stick up for the comics by justifying, "I don't think they are hacks for the Democratic Party. People write about what's funny to them. And the stuff that's funny to them is, is the stuff that comes out of what they see that they want to make fun of from Republicans."
On Sunday's "Good Morning America," after 14 "Recession Rescue" segments or teases in less than a month, weekend co-host Kate Snow asked an economic psychologist if "part of [the negative financial outlook of Americans is] our fault, the media's fault, for constantly talking about how bad things are?" Snow and psychologist Kit Yarrow were discussing how much of the nation's current financial state is emotional, in light of comments last week by John McCain advisor Phil Gramm that when it comes to the economy, "we've sort of become a nation of whiners." [audio available here]
Yarrow responded to Snow's query by saying the media are to blame and that when journalists cover the subject, "Everything is described as a crisis." She added, "And it's described in anecdotal terms as well, which causes consumers, I think, to feel especially fearful." This is certainly true of "Good Morning America." The program has featured frightening graphics such as "No More Retirement? Economy Holds Couple Back," a June 24 story on whether the elderly will still be able to retire. On June 25, a graphic screamed, "Paying the Bills: How to Survive Economic Crisis."
On Monday's "MSNBC News Live," journalist Andrea Mitchell and Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart discussed whether Americans are not "sophisticated" enough to understand the attempted satire in the cartoon featured on the cover of the current New Yorker magazine. According to Mitchell, "...The only question there is whether [the cover] is too sophisticated to actually be perceived the way it is intended."
The image in question features Barack Obama in Muslim clothing with a flag burning in the background and is an obvious parody and an example of the liberal contention that conservatives are questioning the patriotism of the Democratic presidential contender. The Post's Capehart suggested that the uneducated voters in Middle America might not comprehend the high minded satire: "...The folks at the New Yorker are very smart, very learned, learned people, but once you get outside of the confines of Manhattan and the Upper West Side, you sort of begin to wonder if anyone-- if there was a conversation around the table about how will this be viewed by people who won't necessarily get the joke."
On Monday's "Good Morning America," the show's co-hosts appeared quite bothered by the "supposed satire" of a New Yorker magazine cover that features a cartoon Michelle Obama as a black militant and Barack Obama in Muslim garb with a picture of Osama bin Laden in the background. And although the issue is obviously meant as a parody and a representation of the liberal view that conservatives are attacking the Illinois senator's patriotism, Cuomo fretted, "Is that the way people see him?"
An ABC graphic for the second segment on the topic, a discussion with Democratic strategist James Carville, featured this warning: "Cover Controversy: Does New Yorker Cover Go Too Far?" In a tease for the subject, co-host Robin Roberts asked, "Did the New Yorker go too far with this week's cover?" Cuomo, making clear his belief that, whatever the satirical intent, the cover wasn't appreciated, opined, "The New Yorker is not even on the stands yet, but this supposed satire has a lot of people talking."
It's now been widely reported that during what Jesse Jackson thought was an off-mic moment from Sunday's "Fox and Friends," the reverend stated he would like "to cut [Senator Barack Obama's] nuts off." However, a look at the on-air conversation shows that the FNC hosts had to prompt Jackson to say anything positive about Barack Obama's plans for faith based initiatives, the subject that drew his wrath in the first place.
During the July 6 segment, Jackson was discussing health screenings for African Americans and the need to have a low blood pressure. Quite unprompted, during an unrelated question, he suddenly shifted topics from screenings and blurted, "And so, while I'm very concerned about the focus now on faith-based, I'm concerned about a government-based commitment to give us structure and equality whether it is education or health care, because we know unemployment is a factor in people's health." Co-host Ainsley Earhardt later brought the subject up again and queried, "Barack Obama thinks that the government should oversee how these faith-based organizations are using their money, who they are hiring. Do you agree with him on that?" Jackson replied "yeah," but then immediately shifted towards listing all the limitations of faith-based initiatives.
Various media outlets have jumped on the comments of Phil Gramm, an advisor to John McCain's presidential campaign, that when it comes to the economy, "we've sort of become a nation of whiners." However, these same organizations, such as ABC News, have done their part to promote such things as fretting over no more Christmas presents. For instance, on the November 12, 2007 "Good Morning America," reporter Bianna Golodryga hyperbolically warned that "some people are foregoing routine visits to the doctor and are opting for cheaper foods, like pasta and peanut butter, as opposed to protein, fruits and vegetables, in order that they can save as much money as possible." She added that for certain individuals, "Even holiday gift shopping won't be the same."
Now, this is the same program that on Friday's show observed that "conservative icon" Phil Gramm's "words have been damaging at a time when McCain is trying to convince voters he feels their pain." Certainly, GMA has done everything possible to assure viewers that the economic situation, which isn't a recession, is destroying their lives. On April 22, 2008, Ms. Golodryga (see file photo above) showcased a man who had been forced to skip church because of gas prices.She then intoned, "Some people even say that they are changing their diets, cutting down on costly prescription drugs or walking instead of driving to the local grocery store."
Over the course of three segments, various "Good Morning America" reporters and hosts attempted to understand and explain away Reverend Jesse Jackson's vulgar assertion that he would like "to cut [Senator Barack Obama's] nuts off." During the show open, co-host Diane Sawyer referred to the comments, made while Jackson was prepping to do an interview on Sunday and not aware his mic was on, as "colorful and cutting remarks."
Co-host Chris Cuomo interviewed the reverend and bizarrely insisted, "Clearly, you're a big supporter of Barack Obama..."Clearly? Again, Jackson's assertion was that he would enjoy cutting the "nuts" off the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Would a conservative be given such leeway in dismissing any consideration of real anger? The ABC program acted as though Jackson's meaning and intent were unclear. During a second segment, which featured "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos discussing the issue, an ABC graphic read, "Jackson vs. Obama: What Did Jesse Jackson Mean?"
On Wednesday's "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer interviewed Barack Obama and seemed most concerned with whether or not the senator was hedging on his promise to pull U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months. Approaching from the left, she wondered, "This is the question this morning: You have said previously, we will be out-- we will be out of Iraq in 16 months. Are you now saying it's your goal or that you might refine that or do you still repeat, we will be out in 16 months?"
And although Sawyer did ask Obama about the breaking news of Iran test firing missiles and threatening Israel, she didn't press him and mostly stuck to safe topics such as who his VP would be or discussing the appearance of the Obama children on "Access Hollywood" (which GMA gushingly replayed on Tuesday). In contrast, when John McCain appeared on GMA on July 2, various hosts and reporters speculated five times that his trip to South America during such tough financial times might indicate a lack of caring about the economic situation of Americans.
When it comes to fawning over Barack Obama, it seems that no media outlet is too obscure for bias. The Old Bridge Observer, a small, weekly newspaper published in Northern Virginia, printed a gushing account of Barack Obama's recent swing through Virginia and the candidate's desire to "bring his message of change to the voters in the traditionally red state."
The article, which appeared in the June 14 edition and read like it was pasted from an Obama press release, dutifully touted Obama's message of "change." Observer staff writer Gretchen L.H. O'Brien recounted on page one of the paper: "In his speech, [Obama] spoke of change. Change to make everyday people's lives better included making it easier for middle-class people to make ends meet, caring for the environment, improving schools and bringing troops home from Iraq."
Summarizing Obama talking points, Ms. O'Brien spun, "Now is the time, Obama said, for Virginians to vote for change and unite to elect him with Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'fierce urgency of now.'"
"Good Morning America" on Wednesday attempted to guilt trip John McCain for taking a foreign trip while "Americans wrestle with a tough economy." Five times over the course of two segments, various GMA hosts, reporters and analysts insinuated that McCain's trip to Colombia and Mexico might result in voters thinking he doesn't care about the economic situation of Americans.
Correspondent Bianna Golodryga pointedly wondered, "But at a time when polls show Obama ahead of McCain by 16 points on the economy, should McCain be staying closer to home?" GMA co-host Robin Roberts, in an interview with Senator McCain, questioned, "So, why is Senator McCain abroad when Americans are focused on the economy here at home and losing jobs, more and more jobs, as Bianna just reported?" The candidate replied by mentioning the fight against the Colombian drug trade as one reason for his South American trip. Undeterred, Roberts continued her theme. She repeated, " We've seen that over and over again, so many want to know, other than what you just said, why are you in Colombia this morning?" This prompted an irritated McCain to reply, "Well, I'd be glad to repeat myself."
ABC correspondent John Berman used a report on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" to whine about the fact that Barack Obama has had to defend himself against serious charges. He opened the segment by commenting on a series of speeches the Democrat is giving that tout patriotism and lamented, "Well, you would think a man elected to the U.S. Senate, who is the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, would not feel a need to defend his love for America."
Berman's colleague, GMA co-host Robin Roberts, interviewed Obama surrogate General Wesley Clark and actually grilled him about his assertion that John McCain's Vietnam-era military service isn't a credential to be president. However, she credulously accepted the attempts by the Democratic nominee to disavow himself from the attack, saying, "...The McCain and Obama camps are divided on most things but they have agreed on one, that the comment by retired General Wesley Clark was out of line..."
On June 24, however, Roberts discussed remarks made by Charlie Black, an aide to Senator McCain, in which Mr. Black claimed that a terrorist attack would help the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. In this instance, she was far more cynical. Roberts speculated, "Almost immediately, we had apologies from McCain and Charlie Black, but is this the kind of thing that a campaign puts out there on purpose and then retracts?"
Despite the "historic" nature of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment is an individual right, all three morning shows virtually ignored the decision, devoting a combined total of three minutes and 33 seconds to the story. And between CBS's "Early Show," NBC's "Today" and ABC's "Good Morning America," that's out of eight hours of programming.
In fact, the three and a half minutes of story time does not even equal the over four minutes that Wednesday's "Early Show" alone gave to the critically important subject of how to Feng Shui your house for pets. On Friday, however, the CBS program could only find a mere 30 seconds for the most definitive gun ruling the Supreme Court has ever made. And while "Good Morning America" spent almost three minutes on Madonna and whether or not she's getting divorced, the show only allowed 93 seconds of air time for the D.C. gun case. Similarly, the "Today" show devoted 90 seconds to the topic, despite admitting that it was "the most important ruling ever on gun rights." Now, what could the cause for all this be? Could it have something to do with the fact that presidential candidate Barack Obama has repeatedly flip-flopped about his position on the case? Or maybe it's because Democrats in general don't seem eager to see gun control become a major issue in the 2008 presidential race and liberals in the media are helpfully playing along.
"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts treated Father Michael Pfleger to a fawning interview on Thursday in which she mostly ignored his radical comments and lauded the "maverick priest," describing him as "not someone to be silenced."
Although, a previous segment featured a single clip of Pfleger's sermon at the former church of Barack Obama where he viciously attacked Senator Hillary Clinton, Roberts ignored other, more inflammatory remarks by the priest, such as his assertion, made during the same sermon as the Clinton attack, that "America has been raping people of color and America has to pay the price for the rape!" Of course, Roberts didn't mention this quote. Instead, she spun Pfleger as someone who is "passionate about the Word" and cheered the anti-crime and poverty work he's done.
The U.S. is not in a recession, but viewers wouldn't know it from watching "Good Morning America." In the span of three days, the ABC program has eight times proposed cures in its "Recession Rescue" segment. On June 24 alone, GMA fretted about the "recession" five times. This is despite the fact that America hasn't had one quarter of negative growth, let alone the two necessary for there to be a recession.
On Tuesday, teasing a story on how bad credit can keep people from getting a job, co-host Robin Roberts previewed "important tips in our Recession Rescue." At the top of 7:30 half hour, she again told audiences to stay tuned for "important tips in this morning's Recession Rescue." Ten minutes later, news anchor Chris Cuomo promised "our Recession Rescue" would give credit advice designed to keep viewers from not missing out on a job. Later in the show, he touted another story on how to save for retirement and labeled it as, that's right, "a good Recession Rescue." Now, certainly, the economy has been struggling and many people are having difficulty, but do words not mean things to the reporters and producers at GMA? Or would they simply shrug their shoulders and say, "Close enough?"
Former top Democratic aide-turned ABC journalist George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday spun Barack Obama's repeated exclusions of Muslims as a way to "combat this issue" that he is a follower of Islam. Reacting to a question by "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts about Muslim voters feeling snubbed by the Democratic presidential candidate, Stephanopoulos admitted that the campaign is distancing itself from anything Islamic.
He then justified, "What the Obama campaign makes no apologies for, though, is trying to combat this issue that's really running around e-mail chains all across the country that Barack Obama is a Muslim. He is not." Stephanopoulos continued, "And they feel that they have to take every possible step they can to combat these rumors." In other words, the fact that the Obama campaign excluded two Muslim women from a campaign rally last week is an understandable reaction for someone trying to "combat rumors?"
On Monday's "Good Morning America," co-host Robin Roberts again interviewed Elizabeth Edwards and lauded her as a "powerful voice" on the issue of health care. The journalist never identified Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, as a "liberal voice" on the subject or questioned the rightness of government run health care. Roberts also failed to ask just where the money to fund universal health care would come from.
In an intro, Roberts announced, "[Elizabeth Edwards] has, of course, emerged as a powerful voice in her own right, particularly on the issue of health care." During an April segment, the co-host applauded the "passionate voice" the then-candidate's wife brought to the debate over the issue. On Monday's segment, Roberts only challenged Edwards from the left. Referencing earlier support for Senator Hillary Clinton's universal health care plan, the journalist quizzed, "...You indicated [during the April interview] that you considered Senator Clinton's health care plan a better plan. That you had some concerns about Senator Obama's health care plan. Are you going to partner with him and do you still have those same concerns?"
For the second time in eight months, "Good Morning America" has featured an extremely liberal sexuality author, who blogs on a condom website and touts Democrats, as a neutral expert. On Friday's program, Logan Levkoff, the author of "Third Base Ain't What it Used to be," and a woman who has previously stated she wouldn't rule out giving birth control to elementary school students, appeared to discuss the epidemic of teen pregnancies in Gloucester, Massachusetts. However, GMA never identified the leftist positions of this woman who once wrote a sex column titled "Ask Mistress Lola."
Levkoff explained to co-host Robin Roberts that "our policies are not helping our children." Running down abstinence education, she argued, "And the fact is, we as parents need to get involved and we as schools need to advocate for healthy sexuality education. And that means talking about everything, not just abstinence, because, clearly, even if that's what they're getting that's not what these kids are doing." Levkoff is no moderate voice. She blogs on the Trojan Elexa website and her topics have included celebrating "Blog for Choice Day," bashing President Bush and being "psyched" when the Democrats won back Congress in 2006. Shouldn't it be the responsibility of ABC to identify the extremely liberal perspective that Levkoff operates from?
"Good Morning America" reporter Kate Snow resorted to typical liberal terminology while asking Cindy McCain on Thursday about abortion and "women's rights groups." After observing that her husband, Senator John McCain, has been courting females, Snow simplistically asserted, "...But women's rights groups say once [women voters] discover he's anti-abortion, they may change their minds." So, pro-abortion organizations equal "women's rights groups?"
The interview, which took place in Vietnam where Mrs. McCain has been working with a charity organization, did feature friendly subjects, such as the children of the politician's wife and other topics. But Snow also offered questions that appeared designed to trap McCain. Speaking of Barack Obama, Snow queried, "Would you feel safe with Barack Obama as your president?" After mentioning the lack of interviews Cindy McCain has participated in, the ABC correspondent blurted, "And if [people] say, oh, she's just sort of up there and posing, what would you say to people who think that?" In contrast, "Good Morning America" has delivered numerous softball pieces on the spouses of Democratic presidential candidates.
Chief foreign correspondent for CBS News Lara Logan appeared on Tuesday's "Daily Show With Jon Stewart" to declare that she doesn't watch American news (that would presumably include her own network). She also decried, "If I were to watch the news that you're hearing in the United States, I'd just blow my brains out. 'Cause it would drive me nuts." (How does CBS feel about this?)
What became apparent in the segment was the journalist's distaste for both American journalism, which she is a part of, and her belief that Americans don't really care about Iraq. In addition to answering "no" when asked if she watches the news, host Jon Stewart proceeded to question her about Iraqi violence not getting enough media coverage. The Comedy Central anchor queried, "Have we lost our humanity with this entire situation?" "Yeah, we have," Logan agreed.
On Monday's "Nightline," ABC reporter Jake Tapper challenged Barack Obama over the fact that "there has not been a terrorist attack within the U.S. since 9/11." He pointedly asked Obama to provide an example of when he has actually reached across the aisle to break from Democratic orthodoxy and generally proved that it is possible for the Obama-friendly program to ask tough questions of the Democratic candidate.
After bringing up the Supreme Court's ruling last week that gave legal benefits to enemy combatants, Tapper reminded Obama that there has been no terrorist attack since 9/11. He then quizzed, "...And [the Bush White House says] the reason that is, is because of the domestic programs, many of which you oppose. How do you know that they're wrong?" Tapper also mentioned examples of Senator McCain bucking his own party and challenged, "Have you ever worked across the aisle in such a way that entailed a political risk for yourself?" In contrast, frequent "Nightline" contributor David Wright has previously rhapsodized that Obama rallies are like "Springsteen concerts."
Ex-journalist Linda Douglass, now a spokesman for Barack Obama, admitted in a piece in Monday's Washington Post that she "always" had "fundamental differences" with Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The former reporter, whose long history of liberal bias has been chronicled by NewsBusters, also announced to the Post's Howard Kurtz that she believes "reporters are constantly struggling with themselves to suppress their own opinions," but Douglass personally finds working for Obama to be "really liberating."
The former correspondent for both CBS and ABC denied claims of media bias by oddly citing other journalists as proof she was objective: "It was no secret to the reporters around me that I have Democratic-leaning views. But they said I was always fair." Despite the vouching of other reporters, it should be pointed out that this is the same person who insisted on calling liberal Senator Jim Jeffords a "moderate," knocked President Bush for not being inclusive and opined that although (then) Congressman Bob Dornan was "extreme," he fit in well with the "increasingly conservative Republican Party:"
On Friday's "Good Morning America," former top Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos attacked criticism of Barack Obama as comparable to "the experience of the Michael Dukakis Democratic campaign in 1988, of John Kerry's campaign in 2004." In an apparent dig at the Swift Boat veterans and their criticism of John Kerry, the ex-Democratic official-turned journalist maligned, "In both those cases, the Democratic candidates were attacked by unfair and untrue charges but failed to respond and lost the election." Stephanopoulos, who worked on the Dukakis campaign, didn't mention what "unfair and untrue" changes he was referring to regarding the '88 election.
Both the Stephanopoulos segment and a previous piece by ABC reporter Jake Tapper discussed attacks and "unflattering and untrue" criticism of both Barack and Michelle Obama. Tapper observed that the candidate's wife has made some "controversial comments." However, the GMA reporter, and later Stephanopoulos and news anchor Chris Cuomo, failed to mention what those statements might be. To be fair, Tapper has previously highlighted Mrs. Obama's utterance that, with the 2008 campaign, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country." But it would have been helpful to have played the clip on Friday's segment. After all, is there not a difference between internet smears that the Illinois senator is a secret Muslim and criticism of actual statements made on the campaign trail?