On Thursday's "Good Morning America," ABC hosts touted the show's exclusive interview on Friday with bomber William Ayers. During the presidential campaign, the program (and network) largely downplayed or sympathetically reported on the connection between the domestic terrorist and (then) Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. So, it will be interesting to see if GMA co-host Chris Cuomo grills Ayers or tosses softballs.
An ad for the piece promised "Tough questions asked and answered." Yet, at the end of Thursday's program, Sawyer more sympathetically teased, "And also tomorrow, the man who's name became such a political football during the campaign." On April 17, 2008, "Good Morning America" reporter David Wright minimized the relationship and asserted that candidate Obama was facing questions "about a neighbor of his who was once a member of the violent Weather Underground." (Of course, considering that an Obama staffer described the two men as "friendly" and since Obama accepted a campaign donation from Ayers in 2001, describing Ayers as simply a "neighbor" is rather inaccurate, to say the least.)
On the October 6, 2008 edition of "Nightline," the same David Wright tried to offer an equivalence between Senator John McCain and Obama. Regarding McCain's role in the 1980s Keating 5 scandal, Wright seriously asked, "Which is worse, a radical terrorist who wanted to blow up the Pentagon 40 years ago or a crooked banker whose failed savings and loan had to be bailed out by the taxpayers 20 years ago?"
It will also be interesting to see if Cuomo specifically mentions some of Ayers' victims, such as John Murtagh. The New York man was just nine-years-old in 1970 when the unrepentant terrorist and his group the Weather Underground bombed the house of his judge father. As the MRC's Justin McCarthy reported on October 9, 2008, only Fox News reported on this particular attack. Speaking of the connection between Obama and Ayers, Murtagh elaborated, "...For Barack Obama to attend Columbia shortly after these events, being in New York at that time and not know who the Weather Underground was, frankly, makes him the dumbest man that ever graduated from Columbia and Harvard Law School."
On a more basic level, will Cuomo even bring up shocking statements such as when Ayers told the New York Times, in a story dated September 11, 2001, "I don’t regret setting bombs" and "I feel we didn’t do enough."
A transcript of GMA's teases for the Ayers interview, which will air on November 14, follow:
ANNOUNCER: Sarah Palin called him Barack Obama's terrorist pal, William Ayers. Now, tomorrow, for the first time, William Ayers speaks out about it all. Only to Chris Cuomo. What was his relationship to the president-elect? Tough questions asked and answered. Tomorrow, a "Good Morning America" exclusive.
DIANE SAWYER: And also tomorrow, the man who's name became such a political football during the campaign. William Ayers will be here and talking to us live.