"Good Morning America" weekend anchor Kate Snow on Thursday derided the McCain/Palin ticket for focusing on a comment by Barack Obama that "you can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig." Sympathetically covering the Illinois senator's contention that he wasn't referring to Sarah Palin and her claims to be a lipstick-wearing hockey mom, Snow whined that the topic was "illogical" and editorialized that the coverage is "reaching ridiculous heights."
The ABC correspondent, who glowingly covered Hillary Clinton during the primaries, didn't seem to have much patience for a McCain campaign ad that drew a connection between Obama's remark and Palin's lipstick/pit bull line at the Republican convention. Snow dismissively announced that "voters" say "there's a frustration about how this race has been bogged down in less-serious issues."
The ABC reporter played a clip of Barack Obama complaining that the whole controversy was illogical. Snow opined, "Illogical, maybe. But it's been great material for the late-night shows." She then added, "The political discussion has gone on for days now. On Wednesday, reaching ridiculous heights."
Snow has been more credulous and patient when dealing with the Clintons. On August 4, 2008, she interviewed Bill Clinton about his actions during the Democratic primary and delicately cooed, "Pretty simple question. And maybe you don't want to answer it right now and I respect that fully. But, if you want to answer it, do you personally have any regrets about what you did campaigning for your wife?" On October 1, 2007, in a tone that seemed similar to a press release, she reported on Hillary Clinton's much maligned laugh and informed viewers that the candidate disarmed "her critics with a gleam in her eye and a roar straight from the belly."
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:02am, follows:
KATE SAWYER: But, let's begin with the news of the day and that's Governor Sarah Palin, her big homecoming. When she left two weeks ago, she was a little-known governor. But she returned last night as the most talked-about woman in the country. ABC's Kate Snow was there for the big arrival. Kate?
ABC GRAPHIC: Obama Hits Back: "Silly Season in Politics"
KATE SNOW: Diane, good morning. And Alaskans talk about that moment two weeks ago, stunned to learn that their governor would be chosen for the McCain ticket. Now, voters across the country say they want to learn more about the issues and what Palin stands on the issues and where all the candidates stand on the issues. They say there's a frustration about how this race has been bogged down in less-serious issues. With Top Gun tunes blaring, the governor took the steps in red, patent leather, four-inch heels.
GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN: I want to thank you, Alaska, for your support and for your encouragement.
SNOW: The local paper explicitly asked only supporters of Palin to show up. Little girls wore rubber lips and this sign, "Read my lipstick." All because of one comment.
OBAMA: You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig.
SNOW: Which Obama explained on David Letterman last night.
OBAMA: It's a common expression, at least in Illinois, I don't know about New York City. I don't know what you put lipstick on here.
DAVID LETTERMAN: They got together, and said, you know what? He called our vice presidential candidate a pig. Well, that seems pretty unlikely, doesn't it?
OBAMA: It does. But keep in mind that, technically, had I meant it this way, she would be the lipstick, you see.
LETTERMAN: Well, you're- I don't know. You're way ahead of me.
OBAMA: The failed policies, of john McCain, would be the pig. Just following the logic of this illogical situation.
SNOW: Illogical, maybe. But it's been great material for the late-night shows.
JIMMY KIMMEL: What if you did put lipstick on a pig?
[Unidentified video of people trying to put lipstick on a pig.]
SNOW: The political discussion has gone on for days now. On Wednesday, reaching ridiculous heights.
MCCAIN AD: As Obama drops in the polls, he'll try to destroy her.
OBAMA: They seize on an innocent remark. Try to take it out of context. Throw up an outrageous ad, because they know that it's catnip for the news media.
TORIE CLARKE (ABC News consultant): I think there are people all over the country, if they haven't turned off the radios, turned off the televisions, shut down the computers, are saying I can't believe that this is what the two candidates running for president are focused on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not interested on who's going to be putting lipstick on anything. I want to know what they think about education.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's big issues at stake. And I can't believe this is what we're talking about.
SNOW: Today, at least, there will be a natural focus on national security. This, of course, the anniversary, as we've said, of 9/11. And, Robin, at least for today, the campaigns have pledged to pull all of their negative ads.
ROBERTS: Many appreciate that, Kate. Thank you.