On Sunday, October 19, a panel on ABC’s This Week engaged in a highly contentious debate over the Obama administration’s handing of the Ebola crisis. Conservative Mary Matalin mocked PBS host Tavis Smiley for criticizing those who are calling for a travel ban on Ebola stricken nations. The former George W. Bush official argued that “the African leaders who have contained to five countries have done it on the basis of containment. Our CDC now stands for cannot do containment. The reason the president gets blamed for everything, Tavis, because he's responsible for it.”
During an appearance on Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos did his best to deflect criticism away from President Obama’s decision to name Ron Klain, former Chief of Staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, as his Ebola czar. Speaking to weekend GMA host Dan Harris, Stephanopoulos insisted that “Ron Klain is an expert in communications, he's an expert in management. That's what the government needs right now.”
It appears as though former Obama official Van Jones has taken Rahm Emmanuel’s belief that you never “want a good crisis go to waste” to heart during a Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos. During a panel discussion on the upcoming midterm elections, Jones suggested that Democrats should point out that the “Ebola thing is the best argument you can make for the kind of government that we believe in.”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos cozied up to his former boss Bill Clinton for an exclusive 9 minute interview on Wednesday’s Good Morning America in which he did his best promote the former president and his Clinton Global Initiative. During the discussion, which looked more like two buddies hanging out than an actual interview, Stephanopoulos lamented how President Obama’s “caught in something of a box...How does he work his way out of that box?”
On Tuesday, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today, offered mere seconds on President Obama's approval rating hitting "near record lows" amid his reluctance to aggressively combat ISIS terrorists. CBS This Morning skipped any mention of the dismal poll numbers for the commander-in-chief.
On Good Morning America, after touting broad public support for the kind of military action against ISIS that Obama would likely announce in a Wednesday night address to the nation, co-host George Stephanopoulos noted: "It comes at a time when he's facing some real popularity problems. We see 56% of the country disapproving of how the President's handling foreign policy." [Listen to the audio]
Following President Obama’s decision to delay any executive action on immigration reform, ABC’s Good Morning America did its best to hit the president from the left for failing to offer legal status to potentially millions of illegal immigrants currently living in this country.
On Sunday, September 7, co-host Dan Harris played up how “there is anger this morning in the Hispanic community over a decision made by President Obama. He had promised to take action soon on immigration reform, protecting families from the threat of deportation. But now he's saying he’s going to wait until after the elections in November.”
On Friday’s Good Morning America, ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper blurted out an uncomfortable reality for Democrats, telling co-host George Stephanopoulos that President Obama “can’t run on so many of his major legislative accomplishments” because “they’re not popular.”
That’s why, Tapper explained, the President is attempting to shift the debate from his record to “fairness,” a goal in which he has the cooperation of a compliant media: “These are the issues he wants to talk about, because it’s going to be difficult for him to talk about his record when it comes to his big achievements.”
The camera only showed Tapper as he outlined the “conundrum” facing Obama, so there’s no way of telling exactly how ex-Democratic operative Stephanopoulos reacted. [Audio link here; video after the jump]
Tuesday night, President Obama delivers his third State of the Union address, and his sixth speech to a joint session of Congress since taking office in 2009. But there’s no need to spend a lot of time wondering about what the media will say after The Great One speaks, since — like a gaggle of corporate yes-men — journalists have gushed over every one of these major addresses.
“It was a big and bold speech,” ABC’s Terry Moran applauded on Nightline shortly after Obama’s budget address in February 2009, his first before Congress. “It was his debut and he wowed us,” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews enthused the next day on Hardball.