[Note: NB's Scott Whitlock posted the following article just over a year ago on July 31, 2007.]
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," anchors Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer touted the marital relationship between Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife. Co-host Robin Roberts recounted the often repeated story of how the Edwards couple spend their wedding anniversary, including their recent 30th, at the restaurant Wendy’s.
Roberts, perhaps in a Freudian slip, even referred to the former North Carolina Senator as "presidential nominee John Edwards." Sawyer gushed that the candidate and his wife "are going to renew their vows." "Happy anniversary," she added.
Yet, this is the same morning show that has vastly underplayed stories that aren’t quite so cute and endearing for the '08 contender. For instance, during a recent GMA town hall with John Edwards on the subject of poverty, Ms. Sawyer only managed to mention the trial lawyer’s 28,000 square-foot mansion once. After an admittedly tough question (from an audience member) about Edwards’s $400 haircut, Sawyer observed, "...You have a big house that you're building..." However, considering that the subject matter, and that the ex-Senator received 38 minutes of air time, one would assume it would get greater prominence.
"Good Morning America" has also downplayed the fact that Edwards, who is on a "national poverty tour," sold his former Georgetown house for $5.2 million.
GMA isn’t alone in highlighting the cutesy story of the millionare couple spending their anniversaries at Wendy’s. During the 2004 campaign, Katie Couric, then a host of NBC’s "Today," cheerfully wondered about the dining experience. She cooed, "What do you say, ‘One Frosty, two straws?’"
A transcript of the July 31 segment, which aired at 7:20am, follows:
Robin Roberts: "We have a very special picture of the morning."
Diane Sawyer: "Yes."
Roberts: "It’s an anniversary party of sorts at Wendy’s. That, of course, presidential nominee John Edwards and his beautiful wife Elizabeth. 30 years. Their 30th anniversary."
Sawyer: "30th anniversary. And when we had our town meeting, he said they would celebrate with a number of things, one of them going back to Wendy's. And here is what he said."
[Clip of town hall interview]
Sawyer: "You have an anniversary coming up, the two of you?"
Elizabeth Edwards: "We do."
John Edwards: "That’s right. End of this month."
Sawyer: "End of this month? Have you gotten a present yet?"
John Edwards: "No. But we have big plans. We have big plans for our–"
Sawyer: "Is it going to be Wendy's again?"
John Edwards: "No, no. We'll go to Wendy's. We’ll go to Wendy’s."
Sawyer: "Is that your idea of a big plan?"
John Edwards: "Double cheeseburger and fries at Wendy’s is good."
Elizabeth Edwards: "I might get the Frosty ‘cause it’s the 30th."
Sawyer: "Right. Right."
Roberts: "She got that Frosty and also some chili as well. He had a cheeseburger."
Sawyer: "That’s right. And they are going to renew their vows. Happy anniversary."