Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America, the show led with protests outside the White House over last night’s decision to reverse an Obama era law on transgender bathrooms. In 2016, President Obama had threatened to withdraw federal funding from schools who did not comply with letting transgender students use the bathroom of their choice. Late Wednesday night, President Trump reversed that order, and ABC spent their first three stories hyping the anger and dismay at the decision.
It began with White House correspondent Cecilia Vega’s report on protests outside the White House Wednesday night. Vega criticized Trump for “campaigning” as a “friend of the gay community” but now, “so many” were saying that he was “setting back” protections for transgenders.
Vega highlighted tweets from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, but apparently couldn’t find tweets from Republicans in support of the reversal. ABC also gave soundbites to angry protesters chanting and Gavin Grimm, a transgender teenager whose case is before the Supreme Court, sounding off on the decision. Vega’s report ended with her gravely warning, “George, this is being viewed as a major setback for transgender rights.”
That continued into the next segment, where George Stephanopoulos interviewed teenage singer Jackie Evancho and her transgender sibling Juliet. Stephanopoulos attempted unsuccessfully to get both of the Evanchos to bash Trump, asking questions like the following:
STEPHANOPOULOS: If you get that meeting, what do you want to tell him?
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Jackie, of course, you did sing at the Inaugural. The president was a big fan. Would you sing again?
Stephanopoulos also tried to get Juliet Evancho to praise Obama’s school bathroom order as changing her life for the better, asking:
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, did your life change when the guidelines came out from President Obama, Juliet?
STEPHANOPOULOS: But has your school overall been protective of you?
The Evanchos said they wanted to “enlighten” President Trump on the discrimination transgender students face every day, but also admitted that Juliet’s life hasn’t really been affected by these laws. Jackie said if she had to make the decision again, she would still sing at Trump’s Inauguration because it wasn’t about politics.