Former journalist Linda Douglass returned to ABC and appeared on "Good Morning America" Wednesday in her new role as a strategist and spokesperson for Barack Obama. Expressing no surprise or conflict that a longtime reporter would segue from recounting the news to representing a Democratic presidential candidate, GMA news anchor Chris Cuomo breezily introduced, "We're going to begin with someone representing Obama, whom we know very well here at ABC News. Linda Douglass, a former, respected journalist, a longtime ABC News family member. But now Linda is an Obama campaign strategist and spokesperson."
Wednesday's GMA featured a gaggle of journalists turned Democrats, Democrats who became journalists and also those with famous liberal families. Cuomo is the son of a former Democratic governor of New York and the brother of the current Democratic Attorney General from that state. And his segment with Douglass followed one with "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos, a former top aide to Bill Clinton. Cuomo, provided some Democratic spin of his own when he asserted that Senator John McCain, by giving a tough speech on Tuesday, did not revel in Obama's history-making moment. In a tease early in the show, he lamented, "But on the Republican side, the nominee John McCain was all business. He was not basking in history last night." While interviewing Douglass, he reiterated, "On a night that was history-making for Obama, McCain did not dwell on history."
Now that all signs point to Hillary Clinton's exit from the presidential race, Tuesday's "Good Morning America" chose to laud both Bill and Hillary Clinton as "iconic" and speculate, yet again, about an Obama/Clinton "dream ticket." Over the span of just ten minutes, various GMA personalities cooed over video of Bill Clinton on a plane gently placing a hand on his wife's face and shoulder.
Co-host Diane Sawyer and reporter Kate Snow each separately lauded this as a "tender moment." In a second segment, Sawyer seemed entranced as she played the video again and haltingly narrated, "When we see that iconic scene on the plane where he's reaching out to her and she's so tired-- She's so clearly tired there." Former top Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos appeared on the program to shill for the "dream ticket" of Obama/Clinton. Perhaps having some kind of inside information, the "This Week" host asserted he's been "betting" on such a pairing all year. Advocating for the wife of his old boss, Stephanopoulos proclaimed, "I think it's the best ticket for the Democrats. I think if Barack Obama picks her, they have the best chance of winning."
On Monday's "Good Morning America," the morning show featured a new religious expert who explained away some of the radical statements heard at Barack Obama's now former church. Father Edward Beck, the host of "Faith Matters Now" on ABC News's video site ABC News Now, also defended Father Michael Pfleger, the latest religious leader to make incendiary remarks at Trinity United Church. (In a video, Pfleger can be heard condemning, "I also believe that America is the greatest sin against God.") Co-host Chris Cuomo prompted, "You say he's much more than how he's being characterized as this kind of bad parody of an African-American preacher. Tell me."
Responding to the softball, Beck justified, "Well, everybody is more than a few sound bites can demonstrate." The two, along with NPR analyst Juan Williams were discussing not only Pfleger, but also the enthusiastic response the mostly African American congregation gave him and (on other occasions) the incendiary Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Again, Beck, who was appearing on GMA for the first time as a religious expert, offered standard liberal guilt by asserting, "But I think you have to understand underneath [the congregation's cheering] there is real sentiment. There is a feeling of being disenfranchised."
ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday again investigated the issue of whether sexism has handicapped Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. To do so, reporter Claire Shipman featured a video from the Women's Media Center, a group partnered with the left-wing organization Media Matters. The video featured clips of various journalists harshly attacking Clinton. Shipman didn't mention the connection to Media Matters and simply described the organization as one that "doesn’t endorse a specific candidate" and "has put together a greatest hits video called 'Sexism Sells.'"
In fact, the WMC's website describes the group as "as a non-partisan, non-profit progressive women's media organization [founded] by the writers/activists Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem." Is it not incumbent on ABC to identify the group's liberal outlook and its connection to Media Matters? At the beginning of the piece, co-host Diane Sawyer solemnly intoned that the possible end of the New York senator's presidential quest "has the Clinton campaign crying foul and even raising questions of sexism. Did that play a role in this campaign?"
"Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo touted Bush-bashing author and former anti-terrorism official Richard Clarke on Thursday's "Good Morning America." Cuomo lauded Clarke's first book, "Against All Enemies," as "great." (In that book, Clarke slammed the White House for focusing too heavily on Iraq.) The GMA host also attempted to pass off the ex-government official's liberal comments as simple, non-partisan advice from an expert.
During the course of the segment, Clarke lamented the lack of action on global warming, Bush's failure to capture Osama bin Laden and the war in Iraq. A telling indicator of Cuomo's agreement with some of Clarke's liberal points was the way in which the anchor mangled the title of Clarke's new book, "Your Government Failed You." The ABC journalist misstated, "But this is 'Your Government Lied to You' -- failed you, rather."
In what may rank as one of the oddest non sequiturs of the year, "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams appeared on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" to proclaim "some conservative local newspapers" won't report a cause of death when it's cancer. [audio available here]
Williams stopped by, along with CBS and ABC anchors Katie Couric and Charles Gibson, as part of a new anti-cancer initiative. Williams preceded his bizarre claim by instructing, "Think of the obituaries, just in our adult lifetimes, that didn't mention the 'C' word." Just what is Williams implying? It would help to have some sort of evidence that "conservative local newspapers" are suppressing information on cancer deaths. By "conservative," does Williams mean backwards or superstitious? Whatever the explanation, it certainly seems like another example of a journalist using "conservative" as a synonym for "bad."
On Wednesday's "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer appeared worried about the upcoming presidential election and repeatedly grilled Democratic strategist and Clinton supporter James Carville about whether Barack Obama will be able to overcome a tough primary and defeat John McCain in November. Asking a question she would ultimately repeat four times, Sawyer fretted, "Should he be the nominee, will Senator Obama beat John McCain? Is there any doubt in your mind that he'll beat John McCain?"
Apparently Carville's prediction of a victory for the Illinois senator wasn't enough. Sawyer doggedly reiterated, "But you're saying he will win?" After the longtime Clinton strategist stated that Obama will win, but Clinton could be victorious by more, Sawyer quickly rebutted, "So, that's not an argument, really. You do think he would win?" While discussing the Democratic National Committee and its upcoming meeting to decide what will be done with the delegates from Florida and Michigan, the ABC anchor anxiously wondered, "If the decision on Saturday means [Clinton] doesn't have the popular vote on June 3rd, must it be over?"
ABC reporter Martha Raddatz openly editorialized on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" that she is "disappointed" in former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan for not slamming the Bush White House sooner. McClellan, who has written a tell-all book bashing the President, Karl Rove and other operatives, was prominently featured as GMA's top story.
After being prompted by co-host Robin Roberts for her opinion, Raddatz unloaded: "...I'm really surprised....and disappointed." She lamented that as press secretary, "[McClellan] didn't stand up and say wait a minute, I'm not going to say these kind of things anymore. So, we're surprised." Co-host Diane Sawyer could not restrain herself from describing the new book in the most dire terms. In an intro, she breathlessly announced, "A scathing presidential review. One of the President's most loyal political aides turns on him..."
On Friday's "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer and guest George Stephanopoulos continued the ABC tradition of referring to an Obama/Hillary Clinton match-up as a "dream ticket." In an intro to the piece, Sawyer asked, "Will there be a Obama/Clinton dream ticket?" A few seconds later, she reiterated, "So, dream ticket?" Back on March 6, 2008, Sawyer giddily wondered about the "dream solution" of Clinton and Obama running together on a Democratic ticket. On February 1, GMA correspondent Kate Snow also mused about the possibility of a "dream ticket."
Also, after giving prominent play to a story on Thursday that accused John McCain of close ties to a reverend harshly critical of Islam, "Good Morning America" on Friday allowed only 50 seconds for the senator's rejection of those charges. The Republican presidential candidate has distanced himself from Reverend Rod Parsley and his comments about the Muslim faith. However, GMA featured only a brief discussion between Sawyer and Stephanopoulos on Friday.
"Good Morning America" on Thursday picked up an attack on John McCain that has grown popular in left-wing media outlets and turned it into a Brian Ross investigation of the senator's "pastor problem." In a preview, co-host Diane Sawyer solemnly intoned, "This morning, John McCain's pastor problem. Is the preacher McCain calls a spiritual guide fueling the fire of Muslim hatred in America?" Investigative reporter Ross then preceded to warn how the Arizona senator's appearance with a pastor who loudly attacked Islam has "badly complicated" McCain's attempts to reach out to the Muslim world. [audio available here]
Where did Ross find the various clips of the Reverend Rod Parsley condemning Islam and standing on a podium with John McCain? The story has already been touted in liberal outlets such as Mother Jones magazine and heavily featured on the website Brave New Films,a creation of Robert Greenwald, best known for documentaries bashing Fox News and Wal Mart. (Despite this, Sawyer touted the "exclusive" nature of the investigation.) Additionally, the web version of Ross's story featured a misleading attempt to more closely associate McCain and Parsley. The ABC News headline asserted: "McCain Pastor: Islam Is a 'Conspiracy of Spiritual Evil.'" McCain's pastor? The Republican presidential candidate sought the reverend's support in February 2008. McCain is not a member of Parsley's World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio.
During "Good Morning America's" respectful coverage of Ted Kennedy and the sad announcement of his cancer on Wednesday, ABC's medical expert, Dr. Tim Johnson, used the occasion to laud Kennedy's very liberal goals for reforming health care. After stating his admiration for the Massachusetts senator, Johnson fawned, "He is a true giant in the field of those of us who care about health care reform. And we want his leadership to continue."
Johnson may be a doctor, but his rigid liberalism fits right in at ABC. He has a long history of using network airwaves to back Kennedy and other liberal Democrats and their policies. On September 24 1993, he rhapsodized, "...The Clintons are almost heroes in my mind for finally facing up to the terrible problems we have with our current health care system..." On July 19, 1994, he extolled then-First Lady Hillary Clinton's plans for universal health care in an interview, saying, "So at least from the physicians represented here, you get a 100 percent vote, including mine, for universal coverage."
Has "Good Morning America" host Diane Sawyer finally answered her now infamous question about whether America is more racist or sexist? On Tuesday's program, she discussed how being a woman effected Hillary Clinton's run for the White House and wondered, "...Is it an argument that she can make, that in some sense, sexism has cost her the race?"
For the last year and a half, Sawyer has been fascinated by this question. On November 13, 2006, she asked Senator Barack Obama if America is "secretly, I guess, more racist or more sexist?" The very next day, on November 14, she quizzed liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd about America's hidden prejudices : "Let me ask you, do you think that there is secret sexism, secret, secret genderism in this country?" On February 16, 2007, Sawyer darkly proclaimed that the 2008 presidential race is turning "a spotlight on questions about race and what Americans really feel inside."
ABC reporter Kate Snow, who has repeatedly gushed over the Hillary Clinton campaign in the past, appeared to be edging away from the Democratic candidate on Tuesday's "Good Morning America." Discussing the long odds the New York senator now faces to the nomination, Snow gratuitously offered this comparison: "And here's a metaphor. Last month, supporters gave Clinton an inflatable doll. The other day, it was spotted all shriveled up, deflated."
The GMA correspondent also made sure to point out that "[Clinton's] biggest Kentucky crowds are closer to a thousand and Obama just pulled 75,000 in Oregon." She also explained, "An event in Oregon in a dimly lit room had more reporters than voters. Clinton was somber." This type of downbeat reporting is quite a change from Snow's cheery, pro-Hillary journalism. On January 7, 2008, she marveled at the senator's knowledge and enthused, "No subject is too small. No issue too dense." On October 1, 2007, Snow rhapsodized at Clinton's ability to disarm "her critics with a gleam in her eye and a roar straight from the belly."
On Friday's "Nightline," ABC reporter Bianna Golodryga filed a segment on the "super rich" who are untainted by the tough economic times and once again highlighted left-wing investor Warren Buffett's calls for more taxation. Without ever labeling Buffett as liberal (he has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president), Golodryga cheerfully proclaimed that the billionaire is "concerned about the burgeoning wealth gap." The ABC reporter then parroted Buffett's claim that his cleaning lady is paying more in payroll taxes then he does on capital gains. "She doesn't have a lobbyist," the investor complained
Of course, neither Buffett nor Golodryga pointed out that the top one percent of earners pay 39.4 percent of all federal income taxes. In fact, Golodryga has touted Buffett's liberal economic policies before. On November 15, 2007, on "Good Morning America," she lauded the investor for coming out "on behalf of fairness in taxes," in relation to his calls to retain the estate tax and (liberally) reform capital gains tax policy. She rhapsodized to viewers that Buffett was on "your side over taxes and fairness."
"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts conducted a syrupy, softball interview with Michelle and Barack Obama on Monday's program, mostly free from any discussion of substantive policy issues. Instead, Roberts played a clip from a Tennessee State Republican Party ad that attacked Michelle Obama for saying the '08 campaign marked the first time she's been proud of America.
The GMA host empathetically wondered, "Should you get through this process and you have the general election ahead of you, that this is what you can expect more and more of. Are you prepared for that?" Now, readers will remember that liberals (many in the media) were outraged over ABC's April 16 Democratic debate for focusing on allegedly unimportant topics and not "the issues." But Roberts did the exact same thing during her interview, discussing political "horse-race" subjects such as Hillary Clinton for VP and an extensive debate on whether the Obama family will be getting a dog. As an example of the not-so tough queries the candidate's wife faced, the ABC host at one point cooed, "What have you learned about yourself since that night in Iowa?" [audio available here]
On Friday's "Good Morning America," various ABC reporters fretted about the political implications of Barack Obama referring to a female reporter as "sweetie." GMA co-host Diane Sawyer nervously asked, "When do 'honey,' 'sweetie,' cross the line?" Guest host David Muir introduced an investigation into "the debate over what words we can use and can't use when we're talking to members of opposite sex."
To further examine the issue, GMA even dug up previous clips of the presidential candidate using what has become the other S-word. So, only two days after "Sweetie-Gate" broke, the morning show had already provided detail and background on the case. This stands in stark contrast to how GMA (and ABC in general) covered a much more serious subject, Obama's relationship with indicted political operative Tony Rezko, a man that raised money for the senator and was also involved in a questionable land deal related to the purchase of Obama's home in Chicago. In 2006 and 2007, ABC only mentioned Rezko once. Apparently Rezko and the senator's dealings don't measure up to the sweetie story.
ABC's "Nightline" on Monday continued the network's trend of hyperbolically, and in this case, apocalyptically, fretting over high gas prices in America. Anchor Martin Bashir introduced a segment by wondering if $4 a gallon gas might result in some people stealing gasoline, or, as he put it, "taking some drastic measures." Speaking to a car security expert who claimed that such theft would be a misdemeanor because the total cost would be below $1000, reporter John Donvan lost all perspective and replied, "But we may soon be paying more than $1,000 for a tank of gas." [audio available here]
Donvan, in a snarky tone, even cited the plot of the futuristic thriller "The Road Warrior" to support his argument. He speculated, "And in the future, of course, they will be stealing gas and fighting over it. We know that because of the 1981 Mad Max classic 'The Road Warrior.'"
Guest hosting on Tuesday's "Morning Joe," MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews assigned dark motives to the voters of West Virginia and repeatedly reaffirmed that nobody should be surprised if Barack Obama loses the May 13 primary to Hillary Clinton. According to Matthews, "You could have predicted West Virginia 20 years ago on this one." Making his racial overtones more clear, Matthews derided, "These people made up their mind in '57." [audio available here]
This was all too much for fellow guest host Pat Buchanan. One of the few conservatives on MSNBC, he first laughed and then alluded to the fact that West Virginia has been almost exclusively controlled by Democrats: "What an indictment! What an indictment of your party, Chris!" Matthews snidely responded by claiming his remarks indicated "a suggestion of understanding the geography of America." He followed up by jokingly referring to Buchanan's previous presidential runs and not-so subtlety asking, "How did you do in West Virginia? Pretty good, huh?"
Four years before Barack Obama gave Chris Matthews a "thrill" up his leg, the senator produced a "chill" in the MSNBC host's leg. On July 27, 2004, during coverage of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Matthews reacted to Obama's prime-time address by rhapsodizing, "I have to tell ya, a little chill in my, in my legs now." [audio available here]
On February 12, 2008, following primary results in Virginia and Maryland, the "Hardball" host again gushed over Obama, this time after a victory speech. Speaking of the Democratic candidate, he fawned, "I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often." So, first there was the "chill." Four years later, Obama produced a "thrill." One can only imagine what feelings the likely presidential nominee will createfor Chris Matthews's appendages at the 2008 Democratic convention.
"Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo on Thursday aggressively told top Hillary Clinton aide Howard Wolfson that it's time for the senator to get out of the race and allow Barack Obama to begin his general election campaign. At one point, after the communication director suggested that Clinton would do better than Obama in states such as West Virginia, an irritated Cuomo sputtered, "If you're going out there, as communication director of your campaign, telling super delegates Barack can't win against McCain, how is that helping the Democrats?"
When Wolfson repeated his argument that Hillary could capture West Virginia, Cuomo helpfully suggested, "And what a great contribution that might be for a vice presidential candidate." Earlier in the segment, the ABC anchor, who is the son of former New York Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo and brother to the state's current Democratic attorney general, insisted, " Why isn't this the time to get out?" An ABC graphic, just below Cuomo, reiterated, "Clinton Hangs On: How Can She Remain in Race?"
Good Morning America” on Tuesday continued the morning show drive of busting taboos by touting the romantic relationship between a half-brother and sister. GMA reporter Nick Watt informed viewers of the Scottish couple Danielle Heaney and Nick Cameron, now charged with incest, and rather neutrally explained, “Danielle and Nick are in love. But their love is taboo. They're half-brother and sister.” [audio available here]
At no time during the segment did Watt talk to anyone who might have expressed the argument that having a physical relationship between half-siblings could be a bad idea. After explaining how Danielle and Nick had the same mother, but lived apart as children, Watt simply observed “And one day they hope to move to France, where their love is legal.” Instead, Watt just dug for private details, such as this query to Heaney: “So, something made you kiss him?” Co-host Robin Roberts labeled the relationship "forbidden love." The network morning shows clearly enjoy promoting any type of relationship that can be seen as edgy, daring or somehow outside of the norm. And these segments are almost always delivered with a complete lack of judgment.
In 2007, ABC reporter Claire Shipman enthused that the race between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was one of "fluid poetry" versus "hot factor." On Tuesday's "Good Morning America, she rhapsodized about the spouses of these two Democratic candidates. According to Shipman, "...I think it says it all that [Michelle Obama's] Secret Service code name is renaissance."
Discussing the campaigning being done by the senator's wife in Indiana and North Carolina, the correspondent enthused, " More, more, more. Michelle Obama's straight style has always been an asset." (Shipman made no mention as to whether Mrs. Obama's claim that the 2008 campaign marked the first time she was proud of America was an example of this "straight style" or if that comment was an asset to the campaign.) As for Bill Clinton, Shipman declared that all had been forgiven for previous verbal gaffes: "And what's most interesting is this campaign has gone on for so long, we've seen one spouse go from asset to liability, to asset again." Marveling at the ex-president's exuberance, she applauded, "No event is too early, no schedule too full, no front porch too small."
Over a three day stretch, ABC devoted almost 15 minutes of air-time to a documentary filmmaker who asserts in his movie "Bloodline" that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a massive hoax perpetrated on humanity. Additionally, on Friday's "Nightline," reporter Elizabeth Vargas left out any mention of the bizarre interests of the film's director, Bruce Burgess. He's directed and written documentaries on Bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle, Area 51 and a secretive look at a U.S. government's supposed cover-up of the alien landings at Roswell.
Wouldn't it be relevant to know that Burgess seems to be fascinated with every weird conspiracy imaginable? (And hasn't the mainstream media mocked bloggers for not being restrained journalists? How serious is Bigfoot and the the subject of the Bermuda Triangle?) On Sunday's "Good Morning America," Burgess's second stop on his ABC tour, co-host Bill Weir at least asked about his extravagant interests: "I do have to point out the fact that some of your other documentary work includes the Bermuda Triangle, Area 51, looking for Bigfoot in Oklahoma." (NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein blogged this appearance.)
ABC reporter Claire Shipman filed a report from Rome on Friday in which she breathlessly informed viewers that "many Catholics are rethinking their views of [Pope] Benedict XVI." According to Shipman, "most [U.S.] Catholics" thought, at the time of his selection, that Benedict "might clash with American values." Throughout the segment, which aired on "Good Morning America," Shipman appeared shocked at how well the pontiff's April trip to the United States went. [audio available here]
Shipman even trotted out the media's favorite insulting epithet for the Pope. She derided, "Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as the pontiff used to be known, was considered a stern hard-liner, nicknamed 'God's rottweiler.'" After mentioning Benedict's visit to a U.S. synagogue, his meeting with victims of sexual abuse by priests, the journalist marveled, "Could this Pope so many had written off as a tough guy be a teddy bear in disguise?" Wouldn't it be more honest to admit that the "many" and "most" Shipman kept referring to are actually members of the media? After all, most Catholics hadn't heard of Joseph Ratzinger when he was chosen to be pope in April of 2005. ABC reporters, on the other hand, quickly made their thoughts on the selection clear.
On Thursday's "Good Morning America," guest host Charles Gibson featured far-left author and creator of the Huffington Post Web site Arianna Huffington to promote her angry new book about "lunatic fringe" conservatives. Gibson, who was a moderator in the April ABC debate that liberals have decried as unfair to Barack Obama, brought up some of the issues mentioned in the debate, such as the senator's refusal to wear an American flag lapel pin.
Speaking of Republicans, he asserted, "They owned, have owned, the, quote, 'issue of patriotism' for some time now." Taking Gibson's cue, and, at the same time, launching an attack on media outlets that supposedly are unfair to liberals, Huffington used the same qualifier: "But the media have helped them own the, quote, issue of patriotism." And although Gibson did occasionally challenge the conservative-turned liberal, he also let her get away with contradictions. As already noted, Huffington chided the media for focusing on alleged distractions, such as flag pins and Reverend Jeremiah Wright's controversial statements. However, in the same segment she frothed over the "lunatic fringe" who "basically, don't believe in evolution but believe in torture."
ABC reporter David Wright, a well known fan of Barack Obama, filed a report on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" in which he urged viewers to sympathize with how difficult it must have been for the senator to finally break with his controversial pastor. The journalist mournfully announced, "For Obama, whose own father abandoned him as a child, this must have been another painful break."
Rather than wonder why Obama repeatedly stood by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a man who absurdly claimed that the United States created the AIDS virus, (reporter) Wright lobbied for Americans to realize what a "big deal" the break was for the Obama campaign. He justified, "Imagine having to publicly denounce the minister who married you, who baptized your kids, who prayed with you the day you announced your candidacy for president."
ABC reporter Nick Watt on Monday imagined the world as a better place without men, who he jokingly dismissed as war-hungry criminals only good for making pop music. The segment, which aired on "Nightline," featured the views of an Oxford professor, Bryan Sykes, who believes that the Y chromosome will disappear in about 125,000 years.
Apparently not seeing a downside, Watt mused, "But would the absence of men make the world a better place? There would be far fewer wars without men on the planet. The U.S. prison population would drop a colossal 97 percent. Road deaths in the U.S. would fall 70 percent." The ABC journalist flippantly discussed the subject in a way that would never be done if the professor had longed for a world without woman. At one point, Mr. Sykes derided, "To be frank, we're not really all that necessary." Watt helpfully added, "Our only hope, that women decide to keep us alive for their own amusement. For the pop music, perhaps." Can anyone imagine a mainstream journalist joking about keeping women around for the entertainment of men?
What would be the proper response to the tragic story of a father killed by a great white shark? For "Good Morning America" guest host Barbara Walters, apparently, it was to quote from the trailer of the 1978 film "Jaws 2." Reporter Miguel Marquez recounted the story of Dave Martin, the San Diego man killed by a shark off of the California coast last Friday. He explained, "Dave Martin's family is defiant. They say the shark attack hasn't ended their love of the sea."
When the segment cut back to Walters, she observed, "But perhaps that family should remember that line 'Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.'" Maybe journalists should be told that they don't need to have a pithy quote to end every segment. Perhaps viewers should be glad that she didn't choose other famous "Jaws" quotes, such as "This was no boat accident!" or "You're going to need a bigger boat."
On a day when Senator Barack Obama's controversial pastor would be speaking to the National Press Club in Washington, "Good Morning America" guest host Barbara Walters chose to question DNC Chairman Howard exclusively on how soon the Democratic presidential contest can be ended. At one point during Monday's segment, she even hectored Dean about his responsibility to bring unity to the Democrats. [audio available here]
Walters lectured, "But that's also your job, Dr. Dean, to get one of them to say in order to fight John McCain, in order to really win this election, one of you has got to back down and be gracious. Is that a big part of your job?" To get an idea of the overriding subject that appeared to be occupying the ABC journalist's mind, here is a sampling of her worried questions to the Democratic National Committee chairman:
In an attempt to rehabilitate Jeremiah Wright and, by extension, Senator Barack Obama's connection to the man, Friday's "Good Morning America" featured two segments on the "soft-spoken," patriotic pastor, a man who urged God to damn America. Reporter David Wright, a well-known Obama partisan, described an appearance Pastor Wright made with liberal PBS journalist Bill Moyers. Wright cooed, "But the soft-spoken man who sits down with Bill Moyers couldn't seem more different from that fire-brand preacher we've all seen in those sound bites."
During his segment, the ABC reporter seemed to accept Reverend Wright's contention that he had been smeared by the media. Journalist Wright, no relation to the pastor, asserted, "In the interview, Pastor Wright expresses his horror that the media has made him a bogeyman." As though he were a PR representative, (reporter) Wrightmentioned the reverend's military service and spun, "There's plenty in Wright's background that speaks to his patriotism." He argued that some of the pastor's comments were taken out of context, citing the background of Wright's "chickens are coming home to roost" remark. However, the ABC journalist skipped over the incendiary preacher's contention that "the government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color." Was that "soft spoken" falsehood taken "out of context?"