The hosts of Good Morning America on Monday fawned over Congressman John Lewis, who once compared Republicans to Nazis. GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts gushed that the liberal Democrat is a "living legend." Weatherman Sam Champion described him as a "true hero." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Lewis appeared on the show to promote his new book on the civil rights era, but at no time did he face any tough questions. Roberts ignored the issues of the day, such as Eric Holder (who the Congressman has been vocal about). Some parts of Roberts' interview didn't even qualify as questions: "You write, 'Don't give in, don't give up.'"
Instead, Roberts offered this fawning introduction: "And I really had a lovely conversation with Representative John Lewis from Georgia . He is a living legend. He has a beautiful book out that is out."
Weatherman Sam Champion teased the segment: "Our Robin Roberts, though, by the way, sits down and gets great advice, life lessons learned from a true hero, John Lewis."
On April 13, 1995, Brent Bozell wrote of Lewis:
The liberal media are suffering from an achingly obvious double standard, and they just can't be that blind to it. On March 21, Rep. John Lewis took to the House floor and compared the Republicans to the Nazis, paraphrasing an anti-Nazi saying from World War II: "They're coming for our children, they're coming for the poor, they're coming for the sick, the elderly and the disabled."
Roberts made no mention of this or any hint that Lewis could be controversial. Instead, she asked the Democrat what is the next "big movement that people need to rally around." Predictably, Lewis brought up liberal causes, such as "the whole question of immigration, the whole question of marriage equality."
Roberts and GMA took the time to feature Lewis, a congressman, but still haven't talked to the much more high profile Senator Marco Rubio, who also has a book out– and is being talked about as Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate.
He was interviewed on ABC's Nightline, however. There, David Muir interrogated, "You were baptized in the Mormon church?"
A transcript of the July 2 segment can be found below:
ROBIN ROBERTS: And I really had a lovely conversation with Representative John Lewis from Georgia . He is a living legend. He has a beautiful book out that is out and, so, looking forward to talk to him.
SAM CHAMPION: Our Robin Roberts, though, by the way, sits down and gets great advice, life lessons learned from a true hero, John Lewis.
ROBERTS: We had an American statesman who had stopped by. He saw the darkest hours of this nation's struggle with equality during the 1960s civil rights movement. Congressman John Lewis has written a beautiful book to inspire all generations to continue the pursuit of justice for all. I had a chance to talk to him about his book, Across the Bridge [sic]: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change. It's an honor, I don't say that lightly, sir. It's an honor to have you here in our presence and your book, here, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, this is your voice. This is your voice. And talk about the change, sir, that you have witnessed firsthand.
REP. JOHN LEWIS: Well, during the past many years, I have witnessed so many changes. I grew up in rural Alabama, 50 Miles south of Montgomery. Forty miles from Tuskegee. Growing up, the signs that said white men, colored men, white women, colored women, white waiting, colored waiting. And I would ask my mother my father, my grandparents, my great grandparents, why? They said, that's the way it is. Don't get in trouble. Don't get in the way. But I was inspired to get in trouble and get in the way and that's what I did. I heard about Rosa Parks. I heard the words of Dr. Martin Luther King on radio and it seemed like Dr. King was speaking directly to me, saying John Robert Lewis, you, too, can do something. And I tried to do my best. And so, when I look back. Those signs are gone. The only place our children will see the signs will be in a book, in a museum or on a video. And when people tell me nothing has changed and they'll say, come and walk in my shoes. I will show you.
ROBERTS: And we do walk in your shoes when we read the book and we look at these iconic pictures with Dr. King and others that you have been a part of. And so, you talk about so many tenets. You talk about one that really that struck a chord with many of us here. Reconciliation. Speak more about that.
LEWIS: That's what the movement was all about. To use the way of peace, the way of love, the way of non-violence, to be reconciled to each other. To lay down the burden of race, hatred, and separation.
ROBERTS: What is the movement today? What do you see, sir, as the big cause, the big movement that people need to rally around?
LEWIS: One reason for writing the book, Across That Bridge, is to inspire another generation of people. Not just young people, but people not-so-young. To find a way to get in the way. Whatever the cause may be, the whole question of immigration. The whole question of marriage equality. We all must learn to live together. And I hope this book will inspire people to speak up. Speak out.
ROBERTS: And we have seen people inspired, as you were, and others, by Gandhi and the words of Dr. King. The Arab spring. You heard people, the young people, reciting some of the words of Dr. King and Gandhi as you all did.
LEWIS: Many of the Egyptian young people inspired by the Montgomery story of what happened here in America. I still think that people around the that have been inspired by what happened here. You can hear people all over the world singing we shall overcome.
ROBERTS: You write, "Don't give in, don't give up."
LEWIS: I believe that. I truly believe that you must never, ever give in or give up. You have to keep the faith. You have to keep your eyes on the prize. And believe in yourself that you can be part of an effort to transform not just yourself but others and the world.
ROBERTS: Well, it is an honor and it's a privilege. And congressman john Lewis, thank you for your service to this country.
LEWIS: Thank you very much. It's an honor to be here with you.
ROBERTS: What a history lesson. Still so much for all of us to learn.