"Good Morning America" correspondent Kate Snow appeared ready to present Academy Award statues to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on Friday's show. The reporter gushed over the performance of the two Democrats at Thursday's Los Angeles-based Democratic debate. She rhapsodized, "So, the nominees for best performance in a televised debate go to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton..."
Snow, as well as GMA co-host Diane Sawyer and "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos, who appeared later on in the show, couldn't restrain themselves from mentioning the possibility of a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton "dream ticket." Sawyer looked absolutely bubbly during GMA's opening. Lauding the friendly nature of the debate between the senators, she enthused, "And it's Friday, February 1st, 2008 and we all watched last night, right? What about that?!"
By far, however, Snow exuded the most excitement. The ABC reporter has a long history of providing favorable coverage for the Clinton. She once famously described the much derided Hillary Clinton laugh as either an example of someone having a great time or "she's the master of a shrewd political skill, disarming her critics with a gleam in her eye and a roar straight from the belly." (For a round-up of Kate Snow's most egregious Clinton-related bias, see a November 30, 2007 NewsBusters blog.)
It needs to be pointed out that ABC correspondent Jake Tapper provided some actual analysis of facts on Friday's GMA. He corrected misstatements and erroneous assertions by both Obama and Clinton on issues such as Iraq and health care. After an Obama clip that appeared to strike a tough stand on immigration, Tapper informed viewers:
OBAMA: We do have to crack down on those employers that are taking advantage of the situation.
TAPPER: That contradicts his previous position. Asked in a 2004 questionnaire, "Should the government crack down on businesses that hire illegal immigrants as major part of overhaul?" His answer? Oppose. Now, the Obama campaign acknowledges that Senator Obama changed his position on that. They say it's because employers can be held more accountable because of tamper-proof, electronic employment verification systems. They acknowledge he misspoke on the other item. Senator Clinton's campaign said that she did not misspeak or make any factual errors at all.
This is not the first time that ABC has allowed Tapper to act as a truth monitor. These type of segments certainly seem more valuable than the hyperbole that Snow often dispenses.
A transcript of Kate Snow's segment, which aired at 7:05am on February 1, follows:
DIANE SAWYER: This morning, snubs to hugs. Inside the historic Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton debate as the stars came out in Hollywood to watch.
SAWYER: And it's Friday, February 1st, 2008 and we all watched last night, right? What about that?!
ROBIN ROBERTS: We thought it would be a lot of fireworks, but it was like a buddy movie.
SAWYER: It was. First you see Barack Obama and he's pulling out the chair for Senator Clinton. Yes, he does. At one point, he puts his arm around the back of her chair to make a gesture.
ROBERTS: He did.
SAWYER: There's a hug at the end. And if anybody out there can lip read, will you tell me what they were saying out there during this at the end? Anyway, it was the real evolution of a political alliance, anyway, of some kind as they head into this final tough round. And we'll have more on the debates coming up.
SAWYER: But let us begin with this truly historic debate last night. ABC's Kate Snow is at the Oscar venue, the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. And, Kate, over to you.
KATE SNOW: Okay, Diane. Good morning. Well, this is where the Oscars take place, right? So, the nominees for best performance in a televised debate go to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as they competed for not only the movie stars' attention in the audience but for all those millions of voters who go to the polls next Tuesday.
BARACK OBAMA SUPPORTERS: Ready to go! Fired up! Ready to go!
HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTERS: Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
SNOW: Debate, Hollywood style. A star-studded crowd worthy of the Oscars. Actors, directors, producers, musicians.
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: I was friends with Hillary Clinton before we started this campaign. I will be friends with Hillary Clinton after this campaign is over.
SNOW: No snub here, but they did lay out their disagreements on universal health care.
OBAMA: You can mandate it but there are still people who can't afford it.
CLINTON: I just disagree with that. I think, we as Democrats have to be willing to fight for universal health care.
SNOW: And on Iraq.
OBAMA: I don't want to just end the war, but I want to end the mind set that got us into war in the first place.
WOLF BLITZER: Senator Clinton, that's a clear swipe at you.
CLINTON: Really? We're having such a good time. We are, we are having a wonderful time.
OBAMA: I wouldn't call it a swipe. Absolutely.
CLINTON: I think I made a reasoned judgment. Unfortunately, the person who actually got to execute the policy did not.
OBAMA: Senator Clinton, I think, fairly, has claimed she's got the experience on day one. And part of the argument that I'm making in this campaign is that it is important to be right on day one.
OBAMA: Senator Clinton was asked how she could be a change agent with her family name.
CLINTON: And, you know, it did take a Clinton to clean after the first Bush and I think it might take another one to clean up after the second Bush.
SNOW: And what about a dream ticket? Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama?
OBAMA: Well, obviously, there's a big difference between those two.
SNOW: And with that, an almost hug and what looked like kind words. It was a Hollywood evening. Senator Obama was hanging out with Stevie Wonder afterwards, Diane, and Hillary Clinton went to a big Hollywood fund raiser. Back you to you.