The cast of Good Morning America on Friday treated the bankruptcy of Hostess and the loss of 18,500 jobs as a hilarious joke. Josh Elliott, George Stephanopoulos and others guffawed as they handed out Twinkies and ate them on set. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] This is the same program that repeatedly spun Republican Mitt Romney as out of touch with the average American.
News anchor Josh Elliott highlighted the report for his final update of the 8am hour, a segment usually saved for humorous stories about puppies or funny videos. After referring to the mass firing as "troubling," the crew handed out treats. Elliott joked, "You know, I'm just going to save mine for 12 years when it will still be good." Co-host George Stephanopoulos mused, "So this is, like, one of our final Twinkies." Amy Robach mocked, "A toast to Twinkies."
In contrast, both CBS This Morning and NBC's Today treated the story seriously and offered more coverage. Hostess is going out of business after failing to reach a deal with a bakers union.
Today's Savannah Guthrie wondered, "...Can I be blunt here? Is this some kind of negotiating tactic to try to get the unions back to the table? Is this really it?"
Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn glumly told her: "No. It's over...This is it."
CBS This Moring's Gayle King also included a full report on the nearly 20,000 people who will lose their jobs. Both networks, unlike ABC, managed to cover the story without resorting to mockery.
If Mitt Romney had tried such a stunt, George Stephanopoulos and the other journalists at GMA would never have let him get away with it.
A transcript of the November 16 GMA segment can be found below:
JOSH ELLIOTT: And we do have some, well, rather troubling news here. Hostess, the maker of, among other things, Twinkies and Wonder Bread says it will go out of business today. It failed to resolve a strike among its workers a strike it says crippled its ability to make and deliver its products. Some 18,500 jobs are expected to be lost, you guys.
[The crew passes out Twinkies.]
LAURA SPENCER: And millions of children weeping as they no longer–
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Hey, me too. So this is, like, one of our final Twinkies.
ELLIOTT: A final Twinkie. You know, I'm just going to save mine for 12 years when it will still be good.
SAM CHAMPION: I was thinking exactly the same thing. I'm going to save mine, because if that's the last one.
AMY ROBACH: A toast to Twinkies.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm eating mine. It's pretty good.