The "Good Morning America" "hot seat" series concluded on Monday with co-host Diane Sawyer answering silly viewer questions, such as "Which of the seven deadly sins do you do most?" But the segment, which was designed as a way for the ABC morning show hosts to be forced to answer tough queries, never featured any questions related to media bias or other difficult topics. Most of the "hardballs" were closer to this audience e-mail: "What color do you use for your hair? I love your shade of blond."
At one point, co-host Robin Roberts wondered, "Okay, Jill from New Jersey wants to know what is your favorite quote and why?" She then proceeded to play a montage of Sawyer citing various sayings or poems during her GMA segments. One quote that somehow missed being repeated was when the anchor seemingly compared Senator Clinton to Jesus on June 4, 2008: "This woman, as we said, forged into determination and purpose her whole life. As someone said, 'no thorns, no throne. No gall, no glory. No cross, no crown.'"
Various "Good Morning America" anchors and guests on Monday gushed at the sheer brilliance of Barack Obama's incoming cabinet, including his "team of economic gladiators." Former top Bill Clinton aide-turned journalist George Stephanopoulos rhapsodized, "We have not seen this kind of combination of star power and brain power and political muscle this early in a cabinet in our lifetimes." (What does that say about Stephanopoulos' friends in the Clinton administration?) [audio clip available here]
Co-host Robin Roberts was equally enthusiastic. Speaking with Stephanopoulos, she cooed, "Some would say it's a team of rivals, a la President Lincoln, or is a better comparison a team of geniuses as FDR did?" Continuing the fawning, Stephanopoulos readily agreed: "Well, one Obama advisor told me what they like is a combination of 'Team of Rivals' and 'the Best and the Brightest,' which was the David Halberstam book about the incoming Kennedy administration. I think there are parallels to all three." (This is somewhat of an odd comparison. Halberstam's 1972 book explores the origins of the Vietnam War and the mistakes made leading up to it.)
Day three of "Good Morning America's" "hot seat" series featured softball viewer questions for co-host Robin Roberts, including subjects such as her iPod and whether she'd ever consider appearing on "Dancing With the Stars." The purpose of the daily segment, which concludes on Monday, is to have the tables turned on the GMA hosts and force the journalists to ask tough questions. More typical were the type of queries that people like Regina from Arkansas posed. Via video, she offered this expose: "Your jewelry is so pretty. I would like to know where you get it."
Just as with past "hot seat" segments, there was one truly interesting question. Meteorologist Sam Champion read a viewer e-mail that probed, "With all of the interviews you have done, is there one you wish you could do over?" Roberts responded by claiming, "There are times I wished I had asked different questions...especially this past political season." Perhaps one such example would be on March 26, 2007. That's when the GMA journalist conducted an episode-long "town hall" meeting with (then) presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in which she allowed the New York senator to talk, uninterrupted or unchallenged, for 18 of 26 minutes.
In an odd, non-sequitur of a segment, co-host Diane Sawyer kicked off the 8:30 hour of Friday's "Good Morning America" by reading aloud from an essay that President-elect Barack Obama wrote about Abraham Lincoln for a 2005 issue of Time magazine. Stopping the show cold for a minute and 22 seconds, she solemnly began, "...There was something that made us all stop and think. And you know, it's 60 days now. 60 days until the inauguration of a new president." [audio available here]
Then, Sawyer gravely announced that Obama had, in fact, written an essay: "And we saw that President-elect Obama has a favorite photograph, which he looks at. And here are the words that he wrote in Time magazine. An essay." To music that seemed reminiscent of the Ken Burns "Civil War" documentary, with images of Lincoln appearing on screen, the GMA host recited the words of the President-elect's Time article.
For the second day in a row, ABC's "hot seat" segment on "Good Morning America" turned into a cringe-inducing display of gushing questions, including a query about Chris Cuomo's underwear habits. The network promoted the series, which kicked off on Wednesday, as a time when GMA's hard-charging hosts would be forced to ask tough viewer questions. An ad touted how weatherman Sam Champion "bravely" went first and exclaimed, "Every morning, they ask the tough questions...So, who will go next and what will they reveal?"
Apparently, the answer is they will reveal things that few want to know. Cuomo received this video question from twenty-something Tara of Pennsylvania: "So, Chris, boxers or briefs?" She then proceeded to suggestively wink. An apparently-not-too embarrassed Cuomo began, "Assuming I have anything on-" before being stopped by co-host Diane Sawyer. [Audio available here.]
On Wednesday's "Good Morning America," ABC weatherman and global warming alarmist Sam Champion went on the "hot seat," a week-long segment on the show designed to force the hosts to answer supposedly tough questions sent from viewer e-mail. However, he ended up fielding softballs such as "Sam, are you really a morning person?" Co-host Diane Sawyer did read one challenging question: "We know you're Mr. Eco-Friendly and you do everything right in the green way. But Anita from upstate New York wants to know what's your biggest offense? Anti-green offense?"
After denying being an eco-elitist and asserting, "There's no perfect," Champion admitted, "My biggest offense?...I'm trying to quit using the plastic water bottle. But I don't always have that reusable water bottle with me." Of course, considering that the segment was designed as a "secrets revealed" piece, there were a number of tough questions that Sam Champion could have been asked, but wasn't. For instance, on January 31, 2007, the liberal meteorologist hyperventilated about global warming next to a graphic that screamed, "Will Billions Die from Global Warming? New Details on Thirst and Hunger." Maybe someone could have suggested that was a slight exaggeration?
Since March 26, 2008, the ABC network has devoted nine segments or 64 minutes and 48 seconds to the "pregnant man" Thomas Beatie, including three stories in the last four days on either "20/20" or "Good Morning America." On Monday, GMA weekend anchor Kate Snow invited Beatie, who was born a woman but kept her reproductive organs after having transgender surgery, to discuss the autobiography "Labor of Love," which recounts the author's first pregnancy and now another. Snow announced that Beatie would be appearing "to tell us what his definition of family and fatherhood is all about."
Since GMA first discussed the story on March 26, the program has gone back to the subject again and again. Despite hyping the transgendered birth, most stories acted as though there was nothing at all controversial about the topic. News anchor Chris Cuomo told a doctor in March, "Oddity aside, biology aside, it is all about love of this child and as long as that's present, everything else is really going to be normal."
In part two of "Good Morning America's" Friday interview with former bomber William Ayers, news anchor Chris Cuomo did challenge the ex-'60s radical on whether or not he was a terrorist. But after Ayers contended, "It's not terrorism because it doesn't target people. It doesn't target people to either kill or injure," the journalist failed to offer specifics that would refute that point. Cuomo could have easily cited the example of John Murtagh. He was a child in 1970 when the Weather Underground, founded by Mr. Ayers, placed multiple bombs, one underneath the gas tank of the family car, at the home of his New York judge father.
In a New York Daily News op-ed on April 30, 2008, Murtagh wrote, "I was only 9 then, the year Ayers' Weathermen tried to murder me." However, while not pressing Ayers on specific victims, he did skeptically wonder, "How can a sophisticated academic like yourself believe that the inherent recklessness of exploding bombs that you know too well killed three of your own- you know the potential for deadliness there."
"Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo on Friday conducted an interview with former bomber William Ayers that qualified as neither a softball or a grilling of the ex-domestic terrorist. Although he did challenge Ayers, he didn't interrupt when the Chicago professor insisted that America fought a "violent terrorist war" or when the '60s radical characterized the U.S. government as murdering thousands "every month" during Vietnam.
Additionally, the online version of the ABC story referred to Ayers as a "campaign boogeyman," while co-host Diane Sawyer in an introduction for the piece defensively explained, "The name of Bill Ayers, William Ayers, was used as kind of a political weapon by the Republicans." During the segment, Cuomo even editorialized that Ayers is now a "respected professor" at the University of Illinois. Respected, perhaps, by leftists and radicals, but many Americans still hold great anger towards Ayers and his terrorist group the Weather Underground. Cuomo also failed to delve into the issue of Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), a liberal organization that Barack Obama served on the board of and was the brainchild of Ayers.
On the other hand, Cuomo did not let Ayers get away with his insinuation that he had no real connection to the now-President-elect. Referring to the often repeated story that Obama began his campaign for the state senate in the living room of Ayers, Cuomo challenged, "You can't say that somebody's a family friend, have them in your house, trying to launch their political career and then say this is nothing." Later, after Ayers tried to minimize the extent of his relationship with the Illinois Democrat, Cuomo retorted, "But, then you have to come clean about saying, 'And I'm one of those people. Barack Obama either sought me out or I sought him out to discuss my ideas, my radical ideas and then he made his own decisions.'" The journalist added, "If that's true, okay. But, it can't be that and, 'We never discussed any of this.'"
On Thursday's "Good Morning America," ABC hosts touted the show's exclusive interview on Friday with bomber William Ayers. During the presidential campaign, the program (and network) largely downplayed or sympathetically reported on the connection between the domestic terrorist and (then) Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. So, it will be interesting to see if GMA co-host Chris Cuomo grills Ayers or tosses softballs.
An ad for the piece promised "Tough questions asked and answered." Yet, at the end of Thursday's program, Sawyer more sympathetically teased, "And also tomorrow, the man who's name became such a political football during the campaign." On April 17, 2008, "Good Morning America" reporter David Wright minimized the relationship and asserted that candidate Obama was facing questions "about a neighbor of his who was once a member of the violent Weather Underground." (Of course, considering that an Obama staffer described the two men as "friendly" and since Obama accepted a campaign donation from Ayers in 2001, describing Ayers as simply a "neighbor" is rather inaccurate, to say the least.)
In a story about what private school President-elect Barack Obama will send his children to, "Good Morning America" reporter Claire Shipman on Wednesday mostly glossed over the obvious point that the Democrat likely won't be putting his daughters through the D.C. public educational system and also ignored his opposition to vouchers. Instead, she fawned that "the D.C. social world is obsessed with where these new, coolest kids on the block will wind up."
The only mention of public schools came when Shipman asserted, "Whenever there's a new first family with young children, the question always comes up, public or private? And with Washington, D.C. schools still struggling, it can be an especially difficult decision." She then played a clip of Washington Post reporter Jay Matthews explaining the woeful state of D.C.'s public schools. But, nowhere in the piece did Shipman mention the contradiction between Obama's opposition to school choice programs that allow low income students to use vouchers to attend private institutions and the fact that the President-elect and his wife have no intention to send their children to some of those very same schools in Washington.
"Nightline" co-host Terry Moran on Monday fawned over every detail of Barack Obama's White House meeting with President Bush and insisted that that since the President-elect arrived in Washington D.C. wearing sunglasses, this was an example of the "Obama cool on display." Moran, who has regularly gushed over every aspect of Obama's election and transition, narrated the Democrat's interactions with the current president. As video of Bush and Obama played, he breathlessly related, "You could see the power shifting though. Look at Obama putting his arm on Bush's back, letting the President go first."
Moran awkwardly brought up the issue of past commanders in chief who owned slaves and asked, "And you had to wonder that if in fact the [White House] is haunted, what the spirits of those former presidents, many of whom were slave owners themselves would have made of what happened there today?" (An aside: 12 of 43 presidents owned slaves. Is that "many?")
Former top Democratic aide-turned journalist George Stephanopoulos appeared on Friday's edition of the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and agreed with the host that it was "impossible" not to feel exuberant when Barack Obama was declared the winner on election night. Stephanopoulos also repeatedly admitted that he fervently believed all along the Democratic candidate would defeat Senator John McCain. Stephanopoulos' wife, actress Ali Wentworth, also appeared as part of the show's weekly "Oprah Fridays Live" series and asserted that in the spring she asked her reporter husband, "Is Obama going to win? Is Obama going to win? He said, 'Yes. He's going to win.'"
Wentworth elaborated, "And I was texting him during the election. Like, 'Really? Absolutely?' He would say, 'Easily. It's done. Yes.' Which was so- [Stops herself.]" Fellow panelist Mark Consuelos (an actor and husband of Kelly Ripa) also recounted the supposedly neutral journalist assuring him that Obama would be victorious. He explained, "We had dinner together over the summer and I sat next to you....I said, I'm a supporter but I just don't- I - feel nervous that America is not ready to elect, you know, Obama." Consuelos repeated the confident reply: "And he [Stephanopoulos] said, 'November 4, Obama will be elected president. Please pass the rigatoni,' is exactly what he said."
"Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer on Friday uncritically highlighted an address given by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright on Thursday and parroted his talking points about being a scapegoat. In a tease for the segment, she recited, "Reverend Jeremiah Wright is now speaking out again. He says he was turned into a weapon of mass destruction."
Regarding his speech, given in a church in Milford, Connecticut, Sawyer blandly added that Senator Barack Obama "distanced himself from Reverend Wright during the campaign and labeled some of his sermons divisive." She then proceeded to play a 47 second long clip of Wright complaining that the media intended to use his sermons to destroy Obama. An ABC graphic almost apologetically read, "First Comments From Rev Wright: Media's 'Weapon on Mass Destruction'"
"Good Morning America" reporter Claire Shipman continued a time honored media bias tradition on Friday when she mislabeled Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama's newly selected chief of staff, as "centrist." Emanuel, who was elected to Congress in 2002, has a lifetime American Conservative Union score of 13.
In 2006, his rank was only four. In contrast, the House member's average from the liberal group Americans for Democratic Action is a very high 96. And yet, Shipman erroneously asserted, "More than anything, the 48-year-old Illinois representative is a pragmatic, centrist politician who likes to get things done. Clearly, Obama wants the same thing." So, can Americans expect Obama to be the same type of "centrist" that Emanuel has been?
Shipman is not the first journalist to try and spin the aggressive Illinois congressman as a moderate. On Wednesday's "American Morning," CNN special correspondent Frank Sesno described Emanuel as someone who is seen to be "on the center to center-right."
"Nightline" reporter Terry Moran extolled Barack Obama's victory celebration on Wednesday's program and insisted that "so many people greeted this election as a human rights milestone and a repudiation of the deeply unpopular President George W. Bush." Reporting from Chicago, the site of Obama's victory celebration, Moran reflected on "the echoes of this moment when America astonished itself and the world again."
Musing about the night, the journalist cooed, "No one who was in Grant Park in Chicago last night will ever forget it. The jubilation. The emotion. The pride." Moran, who has been fawning over Obama for two years, described the election as "a political earthquake, and a moment in American history that millions of people around the world celebrated." He later glowingly elaborated, "People across the world joined the party, seeing in the triumph of Barack Obama, the American capacity to achieve the unthinkable."
According to "Good Morning America" reporter Dan Harris, "No matter how you voted, it's hard to deny that we're having something of a national moment right now" over the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. The ABC correspondent appeared on Thursday's show to explain how the national and international celebration for the Democrat's victory was continuing.
In a tease for the piece at the top of the show, co-host Robin Roberts bubbled that the president-elect "woke up to a chorus of worldwide approval." (At no point did any of the journalists question whether foreign approval over an American president was a good thing or not.) Harris did allow that Obama wouldn't receive a "permanent honeymoon," but co-host Diane Sawyer closed the segment by cooing, "I was saying, my sister in France has people coming up to her and saying, American? Obama!"
"Good Morning America" foreign correspondent Jim Sciutto rhapsodized about international reaction to Barack Obama's victory on Wednesday and described the president-elect as "the winner who's capturing the world's heart." Sciutto described much of the foreign response with the phrase "only in America."
Then, taking a shot at President Bush, he then added, "That's what we keep hearing in so many places around the world, a sense that Barack Obama embodies the American dream, a dream that, frankly, has been tarnished overseas in recent years by a very unpopular war in Iraq, a very unpopular president in President Bush."
"Good Morning America" reporter Bill Weir gushed on Wednesday morning about the "transcendent" reaction to Senator Barack Obama's presidential victory. Discussing Tuesday night's jubilant crowds in New York City, where the ABC program is produced, Weir described the "melting pot of communal joy."
Weir enthused that the celebration was "the kind not seen on New Year's Eve or championship parades. At the crossroads of the world, voices from around the world shouted of the greatness of America." He added, "When the announcement was made, literal dancing in the streets...And people were locking in embraces, watching the speech there as well."
The journalist even recounted how he attempted to remind an African American mother of America's history with slavery. After this woman and her daughter saw a graphic on a jumbotron of all the presidents, one that included Obama as the nation's 44th commander in chief, Weir went over to the pair and attempted to invoke a negative reaction. He explained, "And I leaned over and said, you know, 12 of those men owned slaves. And the mother turned to me and said, 'That stain is washed.'"
Fox News political commentator Juan Williams appeared on a panel for Tuesday's "Good Morning America" to predict that a decrease of Republicans in the Senate could actually make the legislative body more contentious and that a "hard right" minority might be reined in by a defeated John McCain.
After mentioning the possible losses of Senators Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, John Sununu of New Hampshire and Gordon Smith of Oregon, Williams asserted, "Those are moderate Republicans. And if they're gone, then, suddenly, you have a much more politicized and sort of, you know, antagonistic politics taking place in the Senate when people think, oh, this is an election where we have people coming to the middle."It's not clear who Williams is speaking of when he calls this an election about "coming to the middle." After all, Senator Barack Obama was the third most liberal senator in 2007. Secondly, John Sununu and Elizabeth Dole are not moderates. (The two have lifetime American Conservative Union Scores of 92 and 91, respectively.)
Liberal ABC reporter David Wright grilled John McCain on election day about whether the Arizona senator is genuine in his predictions of an electoral win. Wright probed, "But some straight talk. Do you really expect to win?" He then followed up, "Have you given any thought to what happens if you don't win?"
The ABC journalist, who previously slammed McCain on the October 23 "Nightline" for dispensing an "angry rant" about taxes, quizzed the presidential candidate: "Looking back over the campaign, is it the kind of campaign you wanted to run?" He then skeptically added, "Any regrets whatsoever?" Throughout the 2008 campaign, Wright developed a habit of making snarky attacks on the Republican presidential ticket. During an October 31 appearance on GMA, he derided Joe Wurzelbacher (AKA "Joe the Plumber") as McCain's "mascot."
"Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer prompted Barack Obama supporter Caroline Kennedy to gush about just how excited she was over the senator's possible victory. Sawyer also probed for scintillating details, such as wondering, "Where are you going to watch [the election returns]?" Regarding the Kennedy daughter's endorsement of the Democratic presidential candidate, Sawyer gushed, "So, do you feel that what you wrote has been fulfilled? And that you do have a sense of excitement that people told you they felt with your father [John F. Kennedy]?"
Looking for celebrity gossip, Sawyer reflected on Kennedy's glitzy February appearance with Obama: "You, Maria Shriver, Oprah, standing there for that morning of endorsement. Have you talked to each other? Did you talk to each other this weekend? What are you saying?"The ABC journalist even excitedly referenced the possibility of a position for her in the Obama administration. She bubbled, "So, the speculation game is already begun. And this morning, it is Caroline Kennedy ambassador to name-your-country."
Liberal ABC reporter David Wright derided Joe Wurzelbacher (AKA "Joe the Plumber") as John McCain's "campaign mascot" during Friday's edition of "Good Morning America." Wright, who has developed quite a track record in the 2008 campaign of boosting Barack Obama and bashing Senator McCain, also sneeringly compared Wurzelbacher's appearance with the Republican to Obama's Ohio campaign rally featuring Bill Clinton.
He sniffed, "Barack Obama turned to a celebrity with a bit more history and stature. Former President Bill Clinton hit the stump for Obama right here in Ohio." On the October 23 "Nightline," Wright attacked the "angry rant" McCain delivered during a speech on taxes. During the October 22 GMA, he insisted that Governor Sarah Palin's attacks on Senator Joe Biden might not be that valid because the vice presidential contender lives in a "glass house."
"Good Morning America" reporter Claire Shipman on Friday asked the author of a new biography on Michelle Obama how the candidate's wife deals with her husband being "lusted after by all of these women out there" on the campaign trail. While talking to "Michelle" author Liz Mundy, Shipman cooed, "And, of course, it's wonderful, but not always easy when your husband becomes a political rock star overnight."
As though the ABC correspondent were reading from a press release, she opened the segment by fawning: "And over the years, Michelle Obama in her personal journey has achieved a remarkable feat. She's carved a role for herself a path that both embraces and transcends race." Later, Shipman insisted, "An incredible journey that even more than her husband's is emblematic of the country's racial transformation." At no point, did Shipman, who once rhapsodized about the "fluid poetry" of the presidential candidate, discuss any of Michelle Obama's gaffes during the 2008 campaign, such as her famous comment in February that "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country."
While interviewing three generations of voters in one Florida family, "Good Morning America" host Diane Sawyer on Thursday pushed back when the mother of the household assailed Senator Joe Biden's claim that paying higher taxes is patriotic. After Marylee Gizzi described the "great offense" she took at Biden's remarks, Sawyer parroted Obama talking points and retorted, "He argues, you know, he's just going back to the Reagan tax cuts. It's not a penalty."
Continuing to defend the Democratic ticket's economic plan, she haltingly added, "He would argue disproportionately advantaged, the wealthy in this country, who have increased their share, more than the middle class has increased its share." After Gizzi lauded the "incredible" accomplishments of Sarah Palin, Sawyer looked for some kind of negative assessment: "There were a lot of people who brought a lot to the table. You must have a sense of whether you'd like her to be president, should something happen to him [McCain]." At no point did Sawyer attempt to grill the Obama-supporting daughter into saying something negative about her choice for president.
ABC reporter Elizabeth Vargas grilled Sarah Palin on Thursday's "Good Morning America" over the issues of competence and whether or not Palin believes that Senator Barack Obama is "un-American" and "dangerous." Vargas chided Palin on her remarks about the Democratic candidate: "But, when you used words like socialism or say he's palling around with terrorists or hanging around with a Palestinian professor...you seem to be saying that he's un-American somehow or might be dangerous somehow."
When Palin assured the journalist that she was not insinuating any such thing, Vargas skeptically followed-up: "Do you think Senator Obama is as patriotic, as American, as honorable as John McCain?" She then proceeded to repeatedly ask, four times in total, questions related to competence and why less women now support Palin. "Today, polls show that 60 percent of women have an unfavorable opinion of you. Why do you think you've lost that connection," she wondered. Referring to conservatives such as Peggy Noonan and Republicans like Colin Powell, Vargas insisted that a "a chorus of voices from the Republican Party, stalwart Republicans" don't believe she's qualified.
On Wednesday's "Good Morning America," reporter Claire Shipman used a test designed by a liberal professor to interrogate the supposedly unconscious racist views of a group of undecided voters. After taking the complicated quiz, which involved linking words with colors, Shipman grilled the men and women about whether negative advertising had changed their view of Senator Barack Obama. "Anyone here have a sense that he is arrogant," she challenged." Shipman followed up, "Anybody think he's uppity?"
The ABC correspondent, who once cooed over the "fluid poetry" of Obama, wasn't dissuaded by the instance that none of voters thought of the Democrat that way. She solemnly intoned, "But in fact, although 'ready' and 'calm' were in the top five [test results], 'uppity,' that classic southern expression drenched in racial overtones, was the number one word subconsciously associated with Barack Obama." And at no point did Shipman mention that Professor Drew Weston of Emory University, the co-designer of this test, is a liberal who bashed Senator John McCain and asserted the Republican's only chance to victory was "the low road."
Editor at large of Time magazine Mark Halperin appeared on Tuesday's edition of "Morning Joe" and admitted "mistakes have been made" in regards to the media's coverage of Barack Obama and that "people will regret it." Analyzing the fawning press that the Democratic presidential candidate has received, he added, "If Obama wins and goes on to become a hugely successful president, I think, still, people will look back and say it just wasn't done the right way."
Joe Scarborough, host of "Morning Joe," prompted the brief discussion when he opened the MSNBC program by declaring, "But I got to say this, the media, the media has been really, really biased this campaign, I think." He then asked Halperin if journalists are "just in love with history?" Halperin candidly responded, "History and the story is just- it's great for us. It's been great for us. He's a great story." He went on to make his "mistakes have been made" quip, prompting Scarborough to burst out laughing.
ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "Early Show" on Tuesday avoided any mention of the newly found 2001 audiotape in which then-state Senator Barack Obama lamented to a radio interviewer that "the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth." Only NBC's "Today" show played any of the tape.
GMA and "Early Show" hinted around the subject, but simply in terms of describing it as an attack on Obama. ABC co-host Robin Roberts vaguely asserted, "John McCain claiming Barack Obamais a socialist. Obama countering that McCain is a Bush Republican." On CBS, reporter Jeff Glor continued the equivalence. He derided, "Meanwhile, the campaigns were making their closing arguments, with special emphasis on the arguing part."
Both morning shows replayed McCain's critique in a Pennsylvania speech: "Senator Obama is running to be redistributionist [sic] in chief. I'm running to be commander in chief." But without the context of the audiotape, GMA and "Early Show" portrayed it as just more negative campaigning.
On Monday's "Good Morning America," former Democratic aide-turned journalist George Stephanopoulos downplayed the idea that both Sarah Palin and Joe Biden might be a drag on their respective presidential tickets. Responding to a question by co-host Robin Roberts about the two taking attention away from Senators Obama and McCain, Stephanopoulos opined, "But I think the bottom line here is that across all voters, across the last couple of months, Senator Biden has made voters more comfortable with Barack Obama."He added, "Governor Palin has made voters, overall, less comfortable with John McCain."
While it's true that Governor Palin's numbers have fallen in the last few weeks, it's also apparent that the ABC network has contributed to that situation by aggressively criticizing Governor Palin, while downplaying gaffes by Democratic running mate Biden. Last Monday, ABC's "Political Radar" blog broke the story of the Delaware senator suggesting that Obama would be tested by an international crisis within the first six months of his (potential) presidency. The ABC network ignored the scoop for almost 24 hours.