Wednesday’s World News on ABC led with a report from the left-leaning Center for Public Integrity (Arianna Huffington is one of several liberals on the Board of Directors) documenting Barack Obama’s failure to meet his promise to “change” politics as usual and thus not sell access and give jobs to big donors, a report not touched by the CBS or NBC evening newscasts.
“Today,” Jake Tapper relayed, “the Center for Public Integrity issued a report concluding that, quote, ‘about one-third of Obama bundlers or their spouses joined the administration in some role,’ and ‘80 percent of those who collected more than $500,000 for Obama took “key administration posts” as defined by the White House.’”
Tapper zinged: “There is a difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration, according to the Center: The Obama administration is worse.”
It probably didn’t hurt CPI’s quest, to get publicity on ABC for their report, that ABC’s own Christiane Amanpour is on the group’s Board of Directors and ABC News President Ben Sherwood sits on CPI’s “advisory council.”
From the Wednesday, June 15 ABC World News, closed-captioning corrected against the video by the MRC’s Brad Wilmouth:
DIANE SAWYER, IN OPENING TEASER: Tonight on World News, Washington watchdog. Candidate Obama promised the big spenders would no longer get the plum positions. Tonight, we report on whether he kept that promise. And how does his White House compare to the Bush administration he denounced?
SAWYER: Good evening. Most of us agree it is a stark reality of modern politics: the hammer lock of money on American power and government. Three years ago, candidate Obama promised he would change that in his White House. First up tonight, Jake Tapper, who spent the day looking at new evidence about what has actually happened, three years later.
JAKE TAPPER: They’re there at fancy White House state dinners-
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: My good friend from law school, Associate Attorney General Tom Perelli.
TAPPER: -in high-ranking positions, and, of course, in ambassadorships. From France to South Africa to Japan. They're called bundlers, campaign donors who agree to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a candidate. Today, the Center for Public Integrity issued a report concluding that, quote, "about one-third of Obama bundlers or their spouses joined the administration in some role," and "80 percent of those who collected more than $500,000 for Obama took ‘key administration posts’ as defined by the White House."
FRED SCHULTE, IWATCH NEWS: What our report says is that it has sort of been business as usual.
TAPPER: The Center points out that then-Senator Obama promised a new way of doing business.
OBAMA CLIP #1, IN 2007: The cynics, the lobbyists, the special interests who’ve turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.
OBAMA CLIP #2: They get the access while you get to write a letter.
OBAMA CLIP #3: The time for that kind of politics is over.
TAPPER: The White House today insisted that donations play no role in these plum jobs.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Being a supporter does not qualify you for a job or guarantee you a job, but it does not disqualify you, obviously.
TAPPER: That’s generally what White Houses say.
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY, JANUARY 2001: We make no distinctions about people on the basis of whether they have given or not.
TAPPER: There is a difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration, according to the Center: The Obama administration is worse.
SCHULTE: We did look at the administration of George Bush, which was widely criticized for appointing donors to these kinds of posts. And they had about the same number in four years that the Obama administration has had in two years.
TAPPER: And, Diane, according to a separate study by the American Foreign Service Association, President Obama has nominated more appointees to ambassadorships who were political over the career diplomats than any President since the Ford administration.