Anchoring live coverage on Friday of Barack Obama’s speech about receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, ABC’s Charles Gibson enthused that the President won the award because he inspires. The World News host extolled, "The Nobel Committee feeling that he has inspired a new sense in the world." (Audio available here.)
Introducing another ABC host, Gibson commented on the "humble" tone of Obama’s address. He then spun, "But, the use of the word inspiration is interesting, George Stephanopoulos, because, indeed, that's why he won this award."
Stephanopoulos would not be outdone in lauding the Commander in Chief for his humble nature. He touted, "I thought it was a deft statement, Charlie. I thought the President deftly deflected a lot of the criticism of the committee and he might get for getting this prize by saying. 'I don't feel I deserve to be in the company of other winners.'"
Stephanopoulos added, "He had to strike that humble note in accepting this award today." At no time did Gibson or his colleague entertain the notion that Obama won because of his arch-liberal policies and not because of how inspiring he is.
A transcript of the live coverage, which aired at 11:22am EDT on October 9, follows:
CHARLES GIBSON: The President remarking on the fact that he has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009, saying he will accept it as a call to action. And he says the goals that he has outlined in speeches in the first nine months of his presidency can't be achieved by any one leader. It requires the cooperation of people around the world. And he says he shares the award with all who strive for justice and dignity. And he said he is humbled to be in the company of those who have inspired the entire world. But, the use of the word inspiration is interesting, George Stephanopoulos, because, indeed, that's why he won this award. The Nobel Committee feeling that he has inspired a new sense in the world.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And they wanted to give some momentum to those feelings. And the President acknowledged that when he talked about the aspirations of the world and how this is an affirmation of America's leadership. I thought it was a deft statement, Charlie. I thought the President deftly deflected a lot of the criticism of the committee and he might get for getting this prize by saying. "I don't feel I deserve to be in the company of other winners." He had to strike that humble note in accepting this award today.
GIBSON: It is interesting that he wins this award at a time when he is considering what to do about stepping up a war in Afghanistan. And you wonder if indeed subtly in the back of his mind this in any way might influence decisions he will make.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's very true, Charlie. You know, he referred to himself as Commander in chief in this statement as well. And you could almost imagine this might subtly create more pressure for the President to approve of the troop request increase by his commanders so that he can prove that he was acting independently and not simply bowing to world opinion or to public opinion here. I'm sure he will be disciplined about trying to make sure that those considerations don't come into play at all. But you wonder how it might affect the entire debate around this troop decision.
GIBSON: All right. George Stephanopoulos in Washington. Thanks.