ABC on Wednesday and Thursday buried coverage of the embarrassing spectacle of Democratic delegates booing the reinsertion of God and Jerusalem to the party's platform. World News, Nightline and live coverage of Wednesday's convention completely ignored the gaffe. Good Morning America's Jake Tapper on Thursday breezed by it with a single sentence: "Lots of infighting about the party platform."
What was the problem, exactly? Tapper didn't say. (He did explain it online.) NBC's Nightly News and the CBS Evening News both covered it, Wednesday night. On Thursday, CBS This Morning's Nancy Cordes observed that "earlier in the day," the "party had to publicly rework the Democratic platform because they forgot to put a mention of God in there and a mention about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel." The program then featured video of convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa trying to force through the additions of God and Israel. Boos rained down. [See video below. See MP3 audio here.]
Co-host Charlie Rose talked to Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett and pressed, "Why was it necessary for the president to have to make a phone call to change what the platform said about Jerusalem?"
Yet, GMA's George Stephanopoulos, while talking to another Obama aide, David Plouffe, skipped the topic. Stephanopoulos did manage a single question about Jerusalem on Wednesday, but the removal of God has gone unmentioned.
It's not as though ABC has been ignoring platforms. Previewing the Republican convention on the August 26th This Week, George Stephanopoulos grilled Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell: "You're the chair of the Platform Committee. You've called it the heart and soul of the Republican Party."
He continued, "Let's put up the platform right now...It talks about asserting the sanctity of human life, affirming that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed...So, is the party for a rape exception or not?"
NBC's Today on Thursday skipped the God and Jerusalem controversies.
A transcript of Jake Tapper's Good Morning America segment can be found below:
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GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And it was quite a night here in Charlotte last night. You know, President Clinton and President Obama have not been the closest of friends for the last several years. But you would not know it last night. An electrifying endorsement of President Obama from the former president. Tonight, the current president takes the stage to officially accept his party's nomination. It's your voice, your vote. ABC's Jake Tapper kicks off our coverage this morning. And the White House might have been within their rights to be a little bit wary of President Clinton. But not in the end.
JAKE TAPPER: No. As you point out, theirs is a complicated relationship, a psycho drama, if you will. For that reason, the White House views President Clinton as almost an independent voice to validate President Obama's economic arguments. That's what they wanted him to do last night and that's what he did. Theirs has been a tumultuous relationship. But the former president's endorsement of the current one was strong and unflinching.
BILL CLINTON: I want to nominate a man who's cool on the outside, but who burns for America on the inside. And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.
TAPPER: Clinton had two basic arguments. One, that while the Republicans are intransigent, the President, like him, is all about cooperation, having named Republicans and former rivals to his cabinet.
CLINTON: Heck. He even appointed Hillary.
TAPPER: Point two, that the President, like him, supports economic principles that will work, while the Republicans do not. The former president had several other points to make.
CLINTON: The Republican argument against the President's re-election was actually pretty simple. "We left him a total mess. He hasn't cleaned it up fast enough. So, fire him and put us back in."
TAPPER: Former President Clinton and the arena gave an answer to the question that Obama campaign officials seemed to stumble on earlier this week.
CLINTON: But are we better off than we were when he took office?
TAPPER: Afterwards, President Obama electrified the audience by surprising them by joining President Clinton on stage. Offering a bro hug and a personal presidential applause for a former rival, to which the former President said simply, thanks. Of course, until that moment, it had been kind of a weird day for the Democratic convention, George. Lots of infighting about the party platform. And then, of course, the big news they were moving President Obama's big speech from the huge outdoor arena to the smaller venue. But at the end of the day, a very well-received speech from former President Clinton.