According to the journalists at Good Morning America, it’s apparently okay to fat shame some people, so long as they are Republicans. On Wednesday, George Stephanopoulos opened the program by trumpeting, “Trump doubles down on his criticism of the former Miss Universe, saying her weight as a big problem.” Reporter Amy Robach alerted that in 1996, “Trump publicly shamed” contestant Alicia Machado, calling her an “eating machine” and “Ms. Piggy.” The incident came up again at Monday's debate.
Yet, Robach wasn’t always so worried about fat shaming. On February 6, 2013, the journalist concluded a segment on then-potential White House candidate Chris Christie’s weight by scolding, “He’s going to have to lay off the doughnuts.” Reporter Dan Harris conducted a segment on whether a President Christie might die in office as a result of his girth.
On May 8, 2013, GMA’s Paula Faris made more weight jokes, scoffing, “Chris Christie is wasting no time devouring his critics.” She knowingly described “the no-holds-barred New Jersey Governor known for his healthy appetite."
Get it, America? Christie is fat.
In contrast, Robach on Wednesday highlighted Machado, a Clinton supporter, as someone who is “sharing her experience now because she is concerned about the future of her adopted country.” Stephanopoulos gloated, “I can't imagine that Donald Trump wanted to be talking about Alicia Machado coming into the debate but he did. The Clinton team set a trap. He fell right into it.”
The journalists at ABC have a very subjective position on when fat shaming is a character flaw and when it’s acceptable.
A transcript of one of the Machado segments is below:
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GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Clinton fired up, taking a victory lap —
HILLARY CLINTON: One down, two to go!
STEPHANOPOULOS: — as Trump doubles down on his criticism of the former Miss Universe, saying her weight as a big problem. What the beauty queen is revealing on GMA this morning.
7:31:22 to 7:34:28
STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re going to begin with that beauty queen at the center of the debate. Former Miss Universe speaking out after trump doubles down on criticism of her weight and, Amy, you have more from Alicia Machado.
AMY ROBACH: That’s right, George. Alicia Machado became Miss Universe the same year Donald Trump took over that pageant. She claims he called her names like Miss Eating Machine after she gained 40 pounds, she says she is sharing her experience now because she is concerned about the future of her adopted country. She was once named the most beautiful woman in the world.
VOICE: Miss Venezuela, you are the new Miss Universe!
ROBACH: Now 20 years later, former Miss Universe Alicia Machado finding herself back in the spotlight. This time, finding herself in the middle this year's presidential election.
HILLARY CLINTON: He called this woman Miss Piggy. Then he called her Miss Housekeeping because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.
DONALD TRUMP: Where did you find this? Where did you find this?
CLINTON: Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado.
ROBACH: Trump spoke out about Machado’s claims on Fox News.
TRUMP: She was the worst we ever had. The worst. The absolute worst and, you know, she gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude and we had a real problem with her.
MACHADO: Maybe he will be saying bad things about me, but it's okay. I'm strong.
ALICIA ROBACH: Representing Venezuela, Machado won the crown in 1996, the same year Trump took over the pageant. When she started gaining weight she says Trump publicly shamed her.
TRUMP: She weighed 118 pounds or 117 pounds and she went up to 160 or 70. So this is somebody that likes to eat.
MACHADO: He told me like Miss Piggy, Miss Housekeeping, Miss Eating Machine. All of that kind names.
ROBACH: Inside Edition obtained this video of Trump watching her work out.
MAN: Slowly go down towards your toes.
MACHADO: He used me then, you know, make publicity or trying to do a new show, you know, with me in that moment.
ROBACH: Trump also telling Howard Stern about Machado's eating habits.
TRUMP: She was like an eating machine. She ate a lot of everything.
MACADO: I had a lot of problems like eating disorders, anorexic, bulimic, that kind of problems.
AMY ROBACH: Alicia says she's been living in the United States with the last 20 years with her daughter and as a Latina it is her responsibility to speak up with her experience with Trump and this may come as no surprise, guys, but she says she is definitely voting for Hillary Clinton this November.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's not a shock and Trump seemed so surprised when this came up at the debate. Yet he wrote about it in his book.
ROBACH: Wrote about it in his book and obviously we have lots of video documentation of the things he said about her in the days that followed.
ROBIN ROBERTS: Not what you want to be discussing after the presidential debate for him, yes.