Good Morning America on Saturday looked to political columnist John Avlon of the liberal Daily Beast to bash the "fairly weak" Republican field and chide the primary process for creating "extreme" candidates. Co-host Bianna Golodryga never mentioned the ideology of the website or of Avlon's frequent attacks on conservatives.
Avlon briefly departed from his negative outlook to praise Mitt Romney's defense of his liberal health care legislation in Massachusetts: "Criticized by many conservatives, I thought he bravely supported his decision to enact health care reform in Massachusetts."
The journalist has previously championed the No Labels movement and authored "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America." Yet, that didn't stop from throwing around labels about the current GOP field, complaining that "the primary process is so distorting, it forces candidates to the extreme. That makes them more difficult to get elected in the fall."
Despite working for Rudy Giuliani as a speechwriter, Avlon spends much of his time bashing the right. On March 06, he appeared on Good Morning America to lament that 'Obama Derangement Syndrome on the right" has "gotten worse." On March 18, Avlon invoked Ronald Reagan in a pro-gun control column.
Considering all of this, it would have been much more honest and fair for Golodryga to identify the ideology of Avlon and the left-wing Daily Beast.
A transcript of the May 14 segment, which aired at 7:10, follows:
BIANA GOLODRYGA: But, the big question is, will he or won't he run? John Avlon, senior political columnist for The Daily Beast joins us this morning to help answer that question this morning. Of course, we're talking about Mike Huckabee. You know, just a few weeks ago, you said it would be hard pressed to not to see him running just because of how well he's polling virtually by doing nothing. You're not so sure now. Why?
JOHN AVLON (Senior political columnist, Daily Beast): Well, the buzz coming out from former senior campaign aides they haven't heard anything from Huckabee in the last several weeks, indicating that the buck will stop here, that Huckabee will say tonight that he won't run. But, again, the only person who knows for sure is Huckabee and, presumably, his family. It's extraordinary that he's polling so well, even for doing nothing. And it's because he has got such a strong, conservative populist. It's really carried him through to this date.
GOLODRYGA: And Is it also because he does seem to have a name, compared to a lot of these other candidates. As we said, the medium candidates, as we heard in the piece earlier from John. Will we see a push for someone as dynamic, let's say, as Christie for example?
AVLON: I think you're going to see a demand for other candidates getting in. The elephant in the room in this Republican field is that it is broad but fairly weak. And so far, not successfully inspired a lot of activists. You have got a party that is currently in warlord status. A lot of active factions, but no clear leader of the national party. And so, even with the current field, which is crowded, I think you will see more demand for even more candidates getting in that can inspire people and who have a chance to win a general.
GOLODRYGA: And yet, with so much focus on the economy, you have potential candidates names thrown out there like Mitch Daniels, Jon Huntsman, for example.
GOLODRYGA: Even Mitt Romney. They have the chops to back them up. Will we see that be the focus in the next few weeks and months ahead?
AVLON: Certainly Mitt Romney. I mean, he gave a major health care speech this week. Criticized by many conservatives, I thought he bravely supported his decision to enact health care reform in Massachusetts. But didn't help him with the base, which already is fairly skeptical. When you're in a situation where Mitch Daniels is being called on to be the white knight of the Republican Party, it is an indication of a certain desire for something different. And Jon Huntsman is a name who many Americans don't know yet, former Utah governor and former China ambassador. But, you can see him get in as well. At the end of the day, it's about who can win a general election. The problem is the primary process is so distorting, it forces candidates to the extreme. That makes them more difficult to get elected in the fall.
GOLODRYGA: Well, we shall see. A lot to look forward to. Thank you so much for coming in.