For the second time in two days, "Good Morning America" co-anchor Diane Sawyer interviewed Al Gore about his thesis that the media are obsessed with celebrity, while "politicians are heard in sound bites." That point may be undercut by the fact that, by Tuesday, the ex Vice President has received 15 and a half minutes of air time to complain about the subject.
After prompting Gore to compare Americans to chickens on a farm, the co-host allowed herself to be interrogated and challenged over how the media operates. But first, Sawyer and GMA helped Gore along with his analogy that Americans are like frightened chickens in the way they allow themselves to be manipulated:
Sawyer: "You even talk about chickens when, when you were young and on the farm, that you could hypnotize chickens this way."
Clip of 50s instructional video: "It's no trick to keep a chicken from straying through the fence if you know how."
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program extended its habit of offering copious amounts of time to Democratic political contenders. GMA devoted 10 and a half minutes of coverage to promote former Vice President Al Gore and his new book, "The Assault on Reason."
This is the same network that, in March, featured 30 minutes of softball questions with Senator Hillary Clinton in a "town hall" style meeting, a campaign gift that the network has yet to offer to a Republican presidential candidate.
The May 21 segment contained an odd disconnect as Gore proceeded to accuse the media of focusing on unserious, silly subjects and Diane Sawyer mostly accepted, or did not disagree with criticism of the medium. The ABC host prefaced a question about the former Vice President losing weight by saying, "But to dig not-very deep, once again, at my peril here-" Gore proceeded to interrupt and hector Ms. Sawyer over wondering about such things. "Well, listen to you. Listen to you," Gore began.He continued:
After Rosie O’Donnell leaves "The View" next month, where will Americans go for bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theories? On Monday, the comedienne reiterated her theory that fire couldn’t possibly melt steel. The ABC host also agreed that she has a "cult personality." A few days later, O’Donnell was at it again, comparing the United States to terrorists. Liberal co-host Joy Behar also found a Republican presidential candidate she can finally embrace...Congressman Ron Paul.
"This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos displayed his usual high level of objectivity when he assumed that the only racists who would have a problem with Obama are Republicans (and they wouldn’t vote for a Democrat anyway). Yes, it’s a good thing that liberals don’t use cheap generalizations.
On Friday, both CBS and ABC skewed their coverage of the Senate’s immigration bill to the left. Neither network featured a conservative talking head that opposed the legislation, instead "The Early Show" and "Good Morning America" simply referred to the "critics" who believe the bill would amount to amnesty for those who came to the country illegally. However, while both networks also interviewed Senator Ted Kennedy, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer actually pressed the liberal legislator with several conservative points.
GMA used flowery language to discuss the Senate’s action, describing the legislation as "landmark." Co-host Sawyer asserted, "It was a historic day to see Republicans and Democrats coming forward on something together." ABC even queried illegal aliens as to what they think of the Senate’s action:
Diane Sawyer: "Everyone taking sides. [sic] But sometimes it’s good to hear the voices from the people who are at the center of the debate. And some of these illegal 12 million have been phoning in to Talk Back, which is our website. Here's one woman who partially hid her face."
On only his second day as a Don Imus-substitute, NBC reporter David Gregory proved that he can promote Democratic talking points in any medium. For the Thursday edition of "Gregory Live," which is simulcast on MSNBC and on radio, the veteran correspondent interviewed Illinois Senator and White House contender Barack Obama and asked him no tough questions.
He began by noting how the Democratic Senator has received "great media attention, great enthusiasm and crowds and people showering you with money." How absurd is it for Mr. Gregory to refer to Obama’s "great media attention" in the third person? After all, it was NBC’s "Today" show, where Gregory sometimes guest hosts, that labeled the Senator an "electrifying" "rock star."
After his fawning preface, Mr. Gregory did manage, finally, to segue into a question:
Proving that he's not a fan of Republicans, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews slammed 2008 GOP contenders on Wednesday for running a "mordant," "negative campaign." Sounding like a Democratic activist, he appeared throughout the day on MSNBC and, at one point, bitterly complained about former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s jibe that Congress spends money "like John Edwards at a beauty shop."
Mr. Matthews condemned the line, which was delivered during a May 15 presidential debate, as "stupid," "embarrassing" and "pandering." (Is it surprising that a Republican would play to his Republican audience?)
Video (1:22): Real (2.25 MB) or Windows (2.54 MB), plus MP3 (1.22 MB).
The "Hardball" host showed up in the 2pm hour of "MSNBC Live" to trash Governor Huckabee for daring to make fun of John Edwards. Responding to a question by host Contessa Brewer about whether Huckabee prepared the line in advance, Matthews could barely contain his contempt:
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer and reporter Claire Shipman hyperbolically investigated "soaring" gas prices. After noting that oil companies have been publically presenting their explanations, she wondered, "But are they true? We put them to the truth test."
Apparently, it's ABC that needs the "truth test." Diane Sawyer’s intro included this comment from Gulf Oil President Joe Petrowski’s May 14 interview with CNN:
Discussing this week’s announcement that British Prime Minister Tony Blair will soon be resigning, all three morning shows managed to work in the insulting "Bush’s poodle" reference. "Good Morning America" was the most obnoxious, absurdly claiming that "Bill Clinton’s sidekick became Bush’s poodle."
Speaking of global warming, Diane Sawyer and "Good Morning America" have been promoting liberal environmentalism for quite some time. This week, however, GMA went even further and touted a New York liberal who wants to save the planet by not using toilet paper. Some things, you just can’t make up....
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," ABC anchors and reporters worried that the Pope may be "interfering in American politics." Correspondent Dan Harris discussed the Pope’s comments about pro-choice Catholic politicians and an ABC graphic offered this leading question, "Is Pope Pushing his Pulpit?"
Talking to conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway, Mr. Harris adopted a tone of surprise that the Pope, who lives way over in Europe, could have an impact on American politics:
Harris: "So even though he doesn't vote here, he doesn't live here, wasn't elected here, he can impact the race here?"
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program touted a liberal New Yorker who is so concerned about the environment that he refuses to use toilet paper. GMA devoted eight and a half minutes of the May 10 show to promoting the cause of Colin Beavan, a man who, in addition to his bathroom stance, refuses to buy anything in packaging, won’t use transportation, even elevators, and insists that all his food be grown within 250 miles.
According to liberal weatherman Sam Champion, who admiringly recounted Mr. Beavan’s story, "The rules may seem a little extreme."A little? Co-anchor Diane Sawyer talked to the environmentalist in a follow-up segment and gushed over Beavan’s bizarre, minimalist lifestyle:
Colin Beavan: "...A lot of the things you can do for the planet are also good for you."
Sawyer: "And so good for you. Yeah. What you were saying about the way it concentrates your mind to be free of concern about a lot of the things in your life. It really makes sense to me."
As already noted on NewsBusters, Diane Sawyer made an absurd comparison on Tuesday’s "Good Morning America" when she linked the current rising stock markets with the period of time before the historic 1929 market crash. The GMA host, talking to ABC analyst Mellody Hobson, fearfully wondered, "Did you know that the stock market has hit a milestone reminiscent of what happened before the big crash?"
Except, it’s not at all reminiscent of the "big crash." From 2000, through 2007, the Dow rose from 10, 577 to 13, 312. That’s an average annual increase of 3.7 percent. In the seven years prior to the 1929 crash, the market spiked from 100 to 381, growing over 40 percent yearly. The rate of increase is over 10 times more than the current levels.So, when Sawyer concluded that "1929 was the big crash and this is reminiscent of what happened before that," her comparison isn't just wrong, it's also nonsensical.
Now that Rosie O’Donnell has announced she’s leaving "The View," her left-wing rhetoric seems to have gotten even more extreme. This week, the liberal comedienne smeared U.S. troops by saying they only join the military because they’re mostly uneducated and poor. (This isn’t true, but why bring facts into the debate?)
This week, "Good Morning America’s" weatherman (and liberal environmentalist) Sam Champion touted the left-wing advocacy of actor Robert Redford. Oddly, he tried to persuade GMA viewers that Redford’s positions were somehow new.
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Robin Roberts complained about the "staggering" salaries of American CEOs. Citing a new Forbes magazine report claiming that these individuals received a 38 percent raise last year, Roberts engaged in typical class warfare. She incredulously stated, "It has us saying, come on, you must be kidding."
Reporter Dan Harris and guest William Baldwin, editor of Forbes, listed several examples of supposedly outrageous CEO salaries and proceeded to divine who deserved such money and who did not:
Dan Harris: "Even the editor of Forbes has some trouble stomaching some of the things his staff uncovered this year. Oddly enough, number one on the list is Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, who makes just $1 a year in salary."
For two straight days, "Good Morning America" featured interviews with Dina Matos-McGreevey, the ex-wife of former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. For both segments, co-host Diane Sawyer peppered Mrs. McGreevey with questions about homophobia and whether people should feel sorry for her former, now publically gay, spouse.
During Wednesday’s interview, Sawyer mentioned a subject that arose in custody hearings for the couple’s children. Apparently Jim McGreevey, who resigned after his homosexual affairs and hiring of grossly unqualified individuals became public, kept a rather large photograph of a naked man in his apartment where the children could see, much to the horror of his ex-wife. Sawyer prefaced this by calling the issue one where people "will come down, maybe, on two sides of it." She also wondered if homophobia could be a reason the governor’s wife reacted so negatively:
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman Sam Champion, once again, touted a celebrity’s support of liberal environmental policies. In a brief segment discussing actor Robert Redford’s new TV series, the ABC host attempted to portray the activism of the famously liberal celebrity as something new.
An onscreen graphic hyperbolically asserted, "Redford Goes Green: Hollywood Legend Saves The Planet" and Champion said of the actor, "But now, he’s a pioneer for the environment." Redford goesgreen? Now, he’s a pioneer for the environment? It’s more than a little disingenuous for the GMA anchor to try and pass Redford’s liberalism as something new.
On Tuesday, well known Bush hater Frank Rich appeared on liberal Stephanie Miller radio show. (Miller is being given a test run this week on MSNBC in the departed Don Imus’ spot.) Proving that there’s nothing the New York Times columnist can’t use to slam the President, Rich attacked Bush for not telling jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner and members of the media for not rebelling against it:
Frank Rich: "The, uh, the general play where Bush stand up and says he is not going to do his usual comedy routine because of Virginia Tech, that’s outrageous and the press sits there and applauds."
On the Tuesday edition of "Good Morning America," the ABC program used the fourth anniversary of President Bush’s "Mission Accomplished" speech to slam the "Bushian bravado" of an event that "this administration will never live down."
Correspondent Claire Shipman marveled at "how naive that banner looks four years later." The day after the President landed on the USS Lincoln aircraft carrier, however, GMA wasn't so prescient. ABC Anchor George Stephanopoulos labeled the speech an "A++," "well done" and seemed impressed with the "small poster that said ‘Mission Accomplished.’"
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Chris Cuomo grilled returning White House Press Secretary Tony Snow over the new book by George Tenet, the former director of the CIA. Citing Tenet’s criticisms of the White House’s pre-war activity, Cuomo asked this loaded question: "Is it time for the administration to come clean?"
The ABC anchor wondered if Bush was "out of touch" and asserted Tenet’s claims means "the administration was not straight with Americans, not about weapons of mass destruction, not about 9/11."
Additionally, Mr. Cuomo, who is both the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo (D) and the brother of that state’s current Democratic Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, also failed to ask Snow about Tenet’s claim that aggressive interrogation has been very important to fighting the war on terror.
According to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani committed "terrorism" when he suggested that the country would be "playing defense" if a Democrat was elected president in 2008. And this is the network that’s hosting a Republican presidential debate?
On Monday, an ABC graphic provided a shining example of media bias. Co-host Diane Sawer was discussing the recent surge by the stock market. During the segment, a graphic below her read, "Will Dow Hit 13,000 Today? Is Unstoppable Market Good or Bad?"
"Good Morning America" reacted to the departure of Rosie O’Donnell this week by claiming that the left-wing comedienne was a pioneer for women. (The morning program also ignored her 9/11 conspiracy theories.)
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC reporter Lama Hasan asserted that, according to a new study, generous welfare and low expectations make the people of Denmark the happiest in the world.
In addition to paying "astronomical taxes," Hasan noted that "psychologists say Denmark’s secret lies in a culture of low expectations." Hasan also compared the Danes to status seeking Americans:
Hasan: "So, any pleasure on any day seems like a kind of gift, a sweet surprise. Unlike Americans, Danes are not always comparing themselves to others and asking for more. It seems that everywhere you go in Copenhagen, you stumble on the satisfied. Having a generous welfare system that provides security and comfort doesn’t hurt."
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," Dr. Tim Johnson proved, yet again, that even ABC’s medical expert can spout liberal talking points. Johnson appeared on GMA to tout a universal health care plan by the "two old war horses," Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy and Democratic Congressman John Dingell. (ABC didn’t mention their party affiliation.)
Johnson described the plan as "bold" and "politically brilliant." Additionally, he rhapsodized about its liberal sponsors, saying that Dingell and Kennedy are "trying to do what I think is the right thing." GMA co-host Robin Roberts introduced Johnson by noting just how excited the medical expert was over the legislation:
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC reporter John Berman discussed Rosie O’Donnell’s departure from "The View" and described the comedienne as "something of a pioneer."
The piece, which was extremely favorable to Ms. O’Donnell, omitted her well documented 9/11 conspiracy theories and also portrayed Rosie as someone who broke ground for women:
John Berman: "Plenty of people didn't like her opinions, not to mention her behavior. But she was provocative in a way that, in the past, that had been the domain of male shock jocks."
Linda Stasi (Columnist, New York Post): "I think she’s a pioneer for television, because we're not used to bad girls. We're not used to bad girls who are bad in a smart way, as opposed to bad because they're taking off their clothes."
During a roundtable conversation on the April 22 edition of "This Week," veteran ABC journalists Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson echoed boilerplate liberal positions on two separate issues. Discussing the recent Supreme Court decision upholding a congressional ban on partial-birth-abortion, Roberts said she found it "offensive as a woman."
But first, George Will spoke about the Virginia Tech massacre and the fact that armed individuals have prevented slaughters in the past. Roberts derisively responded, "Well, I don't want the shootout at the OK Corral going on at any college campus..."
Later in the program, Will again described how Americans defend themselves with guns. Donaldson rejected the idea by suggesting Americans might shoot their paperboy:
On the Sunday edition of "Good Morning America," co-host Ron Claiborne narrated a celebratory piece on the origins of Earth Day. He noted how the opinions of Americans on environmental issues have changed and asserted, "at least some of the credit goes to former Vice President Al Gore."
Additionally, Claiborne interviewed the founder of Earth Day, Denis Hayes. Labeled as simply the first event’s "coordinator" by an onscreen ABC graphic, the GMA host never mentioned Hayes’ radical agenda or any of this incendiary comments. After claiming that "green has gone mainstream," Claiborne discussed the origins of Earth Day:
Considering that "Good Morning America" has repeatedly adopted left-wing solutions to environmental issues, it’s not surprising that the program acted as a press agent for singer Sheryl Crow on Tuesday’s program. (After all, ABC allowed Crow to kick off her global warming tour on GMA.) Anchor Chris Cuomo claimed that Crow’s assertion (she called for a limit to the amount of toilet paper Americans can use), was meant as a "comment about the environment."
Reporter Bianna Golodryga alternated between calling the statement, which has been widely mocked in much of the country, a joke and also a "quirky solution."
On the Friday edition of ABC’s “20/20,” Diane Sawyer stood in front of an ABC generated visual aid: A gigantic mound of plastic bags and paper towels.
With no sense of irony, the ABC host then proceeded to lecture viewers on waste and the need to use cloth bags at the supermarket. Referring to plastic bags as “plastic flowers,” Sawyer intoned, “They can take up to 1,000 years to degrade in landfills. So tomorrow, use a cloth bag at the grocery store, and let the trees have some real flowers.”
Of course, the ABC host offered this helpful advice right after another segment on inefficient Americans and the amount of paper towels and plastic bags they dispose of:
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," an ABC graphic about soaring stock prices proved, yet again, that there’s no positive economic story the media can’t spin downward:
ABC Graphic: "Will Dow Hit 13,000 Today? Is Unstoppable Market Good or Bad?"
The graphic ran underneath co-host Diane Sawyer and GMA financial contributor Mellody Hobson’s discussion over whether or not the Dow, which has been breaking records recently, is headed for a downturn.
Sawyer certainly seemed to think so. She began the program with this pessimistic tease:
ABC’s weatherman, Sam Champion, continued his crusade to get every American to adopt liberal environmental polices. While standing in front of a massive bank of televisions, he lectured viewers on their contribution to global warming: "If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman appeared on the "Today" show to announce that America’s best shot at winning the war on terrorism is by going green. NBC, of course, promoted the segment as "save energy, save the world."
As part of ABC’s Earth Day "celebration," the Friday edition of "Good Morning America" featured another segment on just how wasteful Americans are. GMA anchor Diane Sawyer hosted a piece on the destruction Americans create simply by existing. The piece repeatedly hit the United States for producing so much trash. What follows is a sampling of some of Sawyer’s comments about her wasteful compatriots:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, think of Americans with all our waste."
Sawyer: "Toss in some other emblems of consumption, American style. Like all those cell phones in your life, TVs and computers and cars. "
Sawyer: "And let's be honest with each other about the way Americans squander water."
Friday’s "Good Morning America" kicked off Earth Day with a push for liberal solutions to environmental issues such as climate change. And while weatherman Sam Champion reported on global warming in snow covered New York, GMA co-host Chris Cuomo appeared live from France to tout how far ahead that country is compared to America's envrionmental progress. In Paris, he noted approvingly, "the price of gas here is $6 a gallon to discourage guzzling."
Later in the piece, Cuomo agan touted the superior Europeans:
Chris Cuomo: "Europe does have a lot of significant issues it has to deal with, like the United States. But they're much more innovative here in terms of figuring out what to do."