The morning shows on CBS and NBC both ignored the embarrassment and discomfort that a new MoveOn.org ad, which vilifies General David Petraeus, is causing Democrats running for the White House. While "The Early Show" and "Today" failed to cover the print advertisement from the liberal group, ABC’s "Good Morning America" at least briefly addressed the subject. The ad in question wondered if four-star general David Petraeus would "betray" the U.S. and also accused him of "cooking the books for the White House."
GMA co-host Robin Roberts took pains to discuss the advertisement, which appeared in the New York Times on Monday, in neutral terms. She claimed it simply "caught everybody’s" attention and caused "a lot of reaction." Explaining the political ramifications, ABC's George Stephanopoulos went further. He asserted the MoveOn ad puts "Democrats on the defensive" and "in a bit of a bind." The "This Week" anchor also provided a reason as to why Democratic '08 contenders haven’t rejected the advertisement. He explained, "They want the support of MoveOn.org, so you saw the presidential candidates saying, ‘Well, we don’t like what they said,’ but they wouldn’t repudiate it."
It’s worth repeating that CBS’s "Early Show" and NBC’s "Today" entirely skipped the subject of Democrats distancing themselves from the MoveOn.org ad.
A transcript of the brief discussion of the MoveOn ad, which aired at 7:13am on September 11, follows:
Robin Roberts: "I want to ask you something about an ad that caught everybody’s, a lot of people's attention. It was in The New York times. It was placed by the liberal group MoveOn.org. In the ad, it says, ‘General Petraeus or General Betray Us, cooking the books.’ That got a lot of reaction from both sides of the aisle."
George Stephanopoulos: "Boy, it sure did. And it really put Democrats on the defensive yesterday. You had 30 Republican senators signing a letter calling on the Democrats to reject the ad, to repudiate the ad. There’s going to be a resolution introduced in the House today to do that as well. And it put the Democrats in a bit of a bind. They want the support of MoveOn.org, so you saw the presidential candidates saying, ‘Well, we don’t like what they said,’ but they wouldn’t repudiate it."