Far be it from ABC to take sides in the fight against nuclear terrorism. As depicted by Good Morning America today, yesterday's UN speeches by Pres. Bush and Iran's Ahmadinejad were simply a battle of equals. And if anything, the guy who wants to wipe Israel off the map came off looking better in ABC's portrayal.
Host Chris Cuomo [son of Mario, brother of current New York AG candidate Andrew] set the tone: "We begin with the showdown at the United Nations, pitting President Bush against Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The philosophical battlefield: Iran's nuclear program. Senior national correspondent Claire Shipman is in Washington with more on two leaders, sharply divided."
So Cuomo frames it not in terms of how our country will deal with the Iranian threat, but with the moral relativism of "two leaders" who are "sharply divided."
Shipman sustained the leitmotif: "It was a dramatic stand off between the two men who, as you mentioned, are in the middle of a showdown of Iran's uranium enrichment program. The rhetorical duel was certainly full of bravado."
She then cast Pres. Bush's comments in an unflattering light: "First, harsh words to the Iranian people about their government."
In contrast, Shipman was impressed by the Iranian's response: "And in return? A potent accusation."
A "potent accusation"? Shipman seems to suggest that there is validity to Ahmadinejad's complaint that the US and UK are not being held accountable for their "aggression, occupation and violation of the international law."
ABC then committed something that flirted with 'fauxtography.' Shipman explained Mahmoud's skipping lunch in terms of his being "a devout Muslim [and] alcohol was being served." Just at that moment, ABC flashed the image shown here [thanks to MRC's Rich Noyes] of Pres. Bush raising a glass in a toast. This came close to blaming W's use of alcohol for making it impossible for Mahmoud to attend. But W is of course a teetotaler. So if we can be sure of one thing, it's that there was no alcohol in the glass he was raising.
Shipman then mocked W's manliness when it came to his decision not to meet Ahmadinejad: "By the time the Iranian leader arrived for his speech, President Bush was already safely esconced back at his hotel."
"Safely esconced"? Shipman seemed to be suggesting W was afraid of Ahmadinejad.
Hat tip to Free Republic poster 'demkicker.'
View video here, with thanks to NB Contributing Editor Lyford Beverage.