Liberal Good Morning America news anchor Chris Cuomo concluded his final program on Friday after being passed over for the hosting job in favor of the liberal George Stephanopoulos. During the show, Stephanopoulos and Cuomo shared what incoming news anchor Juju Chang called a "man hug."
But, when given the chance to sit next to sit next to Stephanopoulos on the couch, Cuomo opted to wedge himself against weatherman Sam Champion. (See video above.)
Stephanopoulos appeared on the program earlier to discuss Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. The former Clinton operative gushed, "A speech for the history books." After the piece, Cuomo awkwardly praised Stephanopoulos: "It’s been some of the toughest news not to break to all of you that George is coming here. He’s a good friend of mine. I’m so happy for you and excited. Anything I can do to help you?"
It was hard not to break the news? Considering that Cuomo and Stephanopoulos were competing for the job, that’s a rather odd statement. The outgoing news anchor poured on the praise: "Best of luck. They’re going to be lucky to have you. They really are...What a team. My heart. My heart, already."
However, in a third piece about the transition, an odd moment occurred. The new and old cast, Cuomo, Champion, Chang, Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer and Stephanopoulos walked from the anchor desk to the couch. Despite there being plenty of room next to Stephanopoulos, Cuomo first adjusted his side of the couch and then snugly placed himself next to Champion.
In an interview in Friday's Washington Post, Stephanopoulos, the former Democratic aide, asserted, "I've proven I can do tough, fair interviews and incisive analysis without a partisan bias, again and again." Viewers will be able to see if that's true starting on Monday. To read the MRC’s exhaustive Profile in Bias on George Stephanopoulos, go here.
For a recap of Chris Cuomo’s bias, go here.
A partial transcript of the December 11 segments, which began at 7:03am EST, follow:
ROBIN ROBERTS: And now for the bottom line, we’re going to go to our chief White House correspondent- no, I gave you another promotion- chief Washington correspondent and host of This Week, George Stephanopoulos. And, George, the five Americans that were arrested in Pakistan, the fact they were recruited online, through Facebook and such, it's got to be of great concern to the White House.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Certainly is. The President mentioned it in his Nobel speech yesterday. And Brian hit on it as well. This combines the two of the threats that most concern U.S. officials right now, Pakistan, where most of the terrorists who might come here are being trained right now. And secondly, this whole concern over homegrown terrorism. We've seen Americans now from Minnesota, go back to Somalia. We've seen the Zazi case. These emerging threats are what White House what officials are most concerned with now.
ROBERTS: Yesterday, in Oslo, Norway, we hear the President. He's there to accept the Nobel Peace prize. And, of course, we're at war. And it was quite a contradiction that he didn't shy away from in speaking in his acceptance speech. I want to get your reaction. But, let's play a bit of it right now.
BARACK OBAMA: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations acting individually or in concert, will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified. For make no mistake, evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A speech for the history books.
ROBERTS: Yeah, it was.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I mean, look at this. You had an American President winning the Nobel Peace prize, taking on the idea of pacifism. And really explaining his own version of just-war theory. I think what you also saw here is the President synthesizing all of the major national security decisions he's made over this year. He says that we have to engage to try to avoid war, what he's doing with Iran. He says we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard, which is why he says we have to make that, you know, close down Guantanamo and obey the laws of war. But, make no mistake, as he said, evil exists in the world. Where it does exist, we must take it on with force. And that's why a lot of people are calling this the Obama doctrine.
ROBERTS: A very defining speech, many people felt. Many people felt, even some people you wouldn’t think.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Incredible who came out and praised the speech.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No one has been tougher on the President in the last year than Sarah Palin. She said, she praised what he said yesterday. Newt Gingrich, the former leader of the house, said that it was historic for a liberal president to go to Oslo and then come out and give this kind of speech defending the necessity of war.
ROBERTS: So, you're going to have a lot to talk about on Sunday on This Week. And we'll see you there. You have any plans for Monday morning? I don’t know.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm thinking about it right now. I cannot wait to join you. Can't wait to be your co-pilot.
ROBERTS: In case you haven't heard, George Stephanopoulos is going to be joining us here at Good Morning. And we'll start on Monday.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And what an honor to follow Diane Sawyer.
DIANE SAWYER: Thank you. But welcome aboard. It's going to be a wonderful, 11, 12, 13, 14 years. And we’re getting everything ready for you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It started with a three-month assignment, right?
SAWYER: Two or three months I'll be here 11 years later, can't leave. Can't leave. But it's so great to have you here.
CHRIS CUOMO: It’s been some of the toughest news not to break to all of you that George is coming here. He’s a good friend of mine. I’m so happy for you and excited. Anything I can do to help you?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you.
CUOMO: Best of luck. They’re going to be lucky to have you. They really are. [To Robin Roberts.] And you, too. What a team. My heart. My heart, already.
ROBIN ROBERTS: New beginnings for Diane. New beginnings for Chris and new beginnings for Good Morning America. We would like to introduce you to our new Good Morning America team and family.
SAWYER: Yes! Look who’s here. [George Stephanopoulos and Juju Chang walk in. Cuomo and Stephanopoulos hug.]
JUJU CHANG: That’s a man hug, if I ever saw one!