ABC Interviews Friend of Giffords Shooter, Ignores Her Claim He's Liberal

January 9th, 2011 12:29 PM

A friend of the gunman accused of Saturday's tragic shooting spree involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was interviewed on Sunday's "This Week."

For some reason, her claims posted on Twitter Saturday that Jared Lee Loughner was a liberal went completely ignored (video follows with transcript and commentary):

PIERRE THOMAS, ABC SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Former high school classmates say Loughner never fit in.

(UNKNOWN): He is just off to himself and more of an outcast.

(UNKNOWN): A lonely kid just off to himself.

THOMAS: One friend he did manage to make, Caitlin Parker, said he became more peculiar in recent years. She recalled a strange encounter he once had with a wounded congresswoman.

CAITLIN PARKER: As I knew him more and more after high school, he got a little bit more odd. I mean, he was obsessed with the 2012 prophecy. I mean, he met Gabrielle Giffords once in '07 and told me he asked her some question that made absolutely no sense to me, but he said, "I can't believe she doesn't understand it. Politicians just don't get it."

One has to believe the reason ABC found Parker was because of her tweets on this subject Saturday:

When someone asked what she meant about Loughner being a radical - "L or R" - Parker responded, "more left." Her next message reiterated this, "I haven't seen him since '07. Then, he was left wing."

Yet ABC's Thomas, despite taking the time to interview Parker and name her specifically, either neglected to ask her about Loughner's political leanings, or chose to leave her answers on the cutting room floor.

If Parker or any of Loughner's other friends claimed he was a Tea Party member, a conservative, a Fox News watcher, or a listener of right-wing talk radio, do you think "This Week" would have omitted such a revelation or harped on it likely throughout the entire program?

Before you answer, consider that early in the show, host Christiane Amanpour said:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Last year, with the immigration and health care battles at a fever pitch in this state, Giffords' office had been vandalized. And today, as the congresswoman's father rushed to her bedside, a reporter asked him if his daughter had any enemies. "Yes," he said, "the whole Tea Party."

But, in fact, the suspect in custody, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, has no known ties to the Tea Party or any conservative group.

Then why quote Giffords' father's statement unless it was to intentionally plant that impression in the viewer's mind regardless of its lack of merit?

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.