MRC's Worst of the Week: GOP Endangers Obama's Life

ABC Nightline co-host Terry Moran has been supportive of Barack Obama. His syrupy report of November 6, 2006 is legendary for its gush: "You can see it in the crowds. The thrill, the hope. How they surge toward him. You're looking at an American political phenomenon....Everywhere he goes, people want him to run for President, especially in Iowa, cradle of presidential contenders. Around here, they're even naming babies after him."

Now, in the final weeks of the campaign, Moran suggested that Sarah Palin's comments about Obama's friendship with radical-left bomber Bill Ayers could be endangering Obama's life. On the October 13 Nightline, Moran spent a day on the campaign trail with Obama running mate Joe Biden. After running Palin's "pal around with terrorists" line, Moran darkly characterized: "Attacks that stoked the anger at Republican rallies, where there have been reports of attendees yelling things like ‘terrorist' and ‘kill him.'"

Never mind that the Secret Service declared a few days later that they couldn't find convincing evidence to prove the "kill him" remarks at a rally in Pennsylvania. Moran asked Biden: "Are you at all concerned in this home stretch for Senator Obama's safety?"

Biden denied that, but suggested that McCain and Palin "encourage people who are really fringe people." Moran's Biden-boosting tilt was clear from the show's introduction: "We hit the road with vice presidential nominee Joe Biden in the town he grew up in, as he speaks out about fringe elements at Republican election rallies. It's a Nightline exclusive."

After the question about Obama's safety, Moran told Biden "the Virginia GOP head was quoted by Time magazine as saying to volunteers go out there and draw the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden." Biden acted shocked: "My God, did he really say that?" Moran replied: "That's quoted in Time magazine." Biden exclaimed surprise that McCain hasn't "whacked the guy with his fist." Jeff Frederick, the Virginia GOP head, said it was scary that both men "have friends that bombed the Pentagon."

Moran never asked Biden about Rep. John Lewis charging on October 11 that McCain and Palin were like Sixties segregationists who "created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans," like "four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama." Liberals are apparently never nasty.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis