Good Morning America
The ABC powerhouse is in Syria this week. This morning's GMA aired an interview she scored with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Joe Biden would surely declare Assad "articulate;" the tyrant does speak excellent English and has a mild-mannered, urbane demeanor. But, in his case, appearances are definitely deceiving. Assad is the ruthless ruler of one of the most oppressive regimes on earth. On a scale of 1-7, Freedom House recently gave Syria its lowest possible rating of '7' on political rights. Bashar is of course following in the bloody foosteps of his father, Haffez. Among other acts of rule by terror, the previous tyrant infamously erased from the face of the earth the Syrian town of Hama, massacring an estimated 10-25,000 people in the process.
On today's Good Morning America, Kate Snow interviewed the Rev. Larry Lynn, Pastor of the Lady Lake Church of God, whose buildings were totally levelled by the tornadoes that recently struck central Florida.
A minute or so into the interview, Snow asked a question that challenged the core of the pastor's religious belief: "How do you reconcile your faith with the enormity of this tragedy?"
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," reporter Elizabeth Vargas openly lobbied for the passage of legislation that would require employers to offer six weeks of paid time off to workers for maternity, illness, or the care of a loved one. In addition, the ABC correspondent bashed America for not having "flexible, family friendly polices." According to Vargas, a new Harvard University study places the United States near the bottom among countries that provide paid maternity leave. She also offered only token opposition to the idea that all employers should be forced to give six weeks, plus the standard sick time and vacation. For the most part, the segment came across as a stinging indictment of the U.S.:
Robin Roberts: "Now to a new study from Harvard about paid maternity leave all around the world. It ranks countries based on how generous or stingy their benefits were. And the bottom five countries may have you scratching your head and saying, 'You must be kidding.' ABC's Elizabeth Vargas is here with the details. And we did see this and we were like, no, no, no. This cannot be right."
Elizabeth Vargas: "Everybody has that reaction, Robin. 26 million mothers in this country work. The vast majority say to make ends meet, they must. With that many moms in the workforce, you'd think the U.S. would lead the way in flexible, family-friendly policies. Think again. For millions of working moms, those first weeks after giving birth are a time to take off, recover, and bond with your new baby. But increasingly, the question is who pays?"
Sometimes, a line just jumps out of a transcript. To me, this is just a Line of the Week. On Thursday's GMA, George Stephanopoulos was assessing the fallout from Sen. Joe Biden describing Barack Obama as "clean" and "articulate." In trying to explain how it helped Obama, George declared: "He was doing poorly among the African American community because a lot of them didn't know he was black."
When it comes to the subject of global warming, members of the media have lost all restraint. CNN’s Larry King nervously wondered if climate change might "really kill us all?" Could it "submerge cities like New York and Washington and San Francisco under floods from melting Arctic ice caps?" Not to be outdone, "Good Morning America’s" weatherman warned of the dire threat of global warming. The next day, an ABC graphic fretted, "Will billions die from global warming?"
For anyone that questioned whether "Newsweek" is biased, public appearances by the magazine’s top staffers should answer the question. Editor Jon Meacham suggested that President Bush is outside "reality." "Newsweek" columnist Anna Quindlen recently debunked the "myth" that Hillary Clinton is a liberal.
Oh, and did you know the result of global warming is . . . fewer hurricanes? First, the alarmism. Reporting from Paris, ABC weatherman Sam Champion informed us:
- "It's really kind of frightening stuff, the stuff that science fiction books and movies are made of. Melting ice, heat waves and even stronger storms."
- "Global warming is with us, and it's going to be with us for centuries."
- "It is the definitive report on global warming, and it's frightening."
"Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion has accomplished the impressive feat of turning the morning show’s meteorology segment into an opinion piece. On Tuesday, he approvingly reported on a new study that blames humans for the effects of global warming. During a follow-up piece on Wednesday’s edition, ABC included one of the most alarming graphics to grace American television screens:
ABC Graphic: "Will Billions Die from Global Warming? New Details on Thirst and Hunger"
Billions? Could that be a slight exaggeration?
If only Joe Biden had seized the moment with one brilliant burst of brevity . . .
This morning on GMA, Biden had the chance to turn his presidential candidacy announcement into a funny, feel-good moment that would have won him untold millions in free coverage. Sadly, the senator from Delaware couldn't resist his proclivity to pontificate.
ABC's Jake Tapper largely followed the same script, but World News did not lead with his piece and he at least included a brief note of doubt as he cited a same-day Senate hearing on global warming and how “the committee's previous Chairman, Senator Jim Inhofe, has called global warming a 'hoax.'” Like Mitchell, however, he followed up with the same John McCain-enabled formulation: “For the most part, though, Senators from both parties expressed concern.” Tapper began with the House confab as he relayed how “scientists say their work on global warming has been watered down and twisted by a White House that does not want the public to hear about it.”
Proving that even the weatherman can be biased, "Good Morning America’s" Sam Champion used Tuesday’s edition of the ABC program to tout an apocalyptic study on global warming. In a report that featured no skepticism about the cause or genuine threat of climate change, Champion utilized dire language to discuss an impending report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It should be noted, as previously reported by NewsBusters, that this meteorologist has a committed agenda when it comes to global warming and environmental issues. He recently touted the "very sexy" group of actors and environmental activists/actors. Champion began Tuesday’s report by forshadowing the immediate future:
Sam Champion: "This morning, 500 of the top scientists in the world are meeting behind closed doors to finish up a landmark report on global warming. And the picture they're painting isn't pretty. We're talking about change that's not 100 years away, but within the next 10 years. This is not the future -- it's happening today."
The morning weatherman went on to cite the liberal position on global warming: A call for reducing carbon emissions and he also noted that the IPCC scientists cite humans as the cause: "No one’s really gotten together to blame it on humans--this big of a crowd."
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer and reporter Jake Tapper highlighted the Democrats’ strategy to "get tough on the White House." The ABC correspondent discussed plans to begin hearings on holding the Bush administration accountable for issues such as global warming, Hurricane Katrina, Darfur, and Iraq. Tapper indicated that the President would soon be assailed from all sides. A sampling of the report’s phrasing seems to indicate approval for these hard-nosed Democrats:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, global warming. We said that the Democrats had promised to get tough on the White House. They're doing it with hearings on all fronts. But up first, global warming, and the charge that scientists who warned about global warming were muzzled by the Bush administration."
Next, Jake Tapper apparently found a phrase that he enjoyed:
Jake Tapper: "It's just one of many Democratic investigations where they hope to hold the White House's feet to any number of fires. The White House is under attack from every angle. From global warming, to the rebuilding of New Orleans, to Darfur, to Iraq."
Later in the report, he discussed hearings on Hurricane Katrina and returned to the fire analogy:
Tapper: "This week, a Senate committee went to New Orleans to hold the President's feet to the fire on Katrina recovery."
CNN analyst, author, and former Clinton operative James Carville appeared on Monday’s "Good Morning America" and complained that journalists are too tough on Hillary Clinton. Referring to the comment made by the New York Senator and 2008 presidential candidate that she has experience dealing with "evil and bad men," Carville asserted that members of the media should be lauding her strong sense of humor. The Louisiana native also touted Mrs. Clinton’s nascent White House run, saying that it was the best campaign kick off ever. However, the CNN analyst became most animated when speaking of Hillary’s recent joke:
Diane Sawyer: "I want to turn to Iraq in a moment, but you mentioned sense of humor. So, who did you think she was talking about when she said that about bad men?"
James Carville: "You know– You know, journalists are funny. All you hear is, [Adopts whiney tone] 'Hillary don't have a sense of humor. She’s too cold. She does this and that.' And then, she cracks a joke, which, by the way which was a pretty funny joke. And they say, 'Well, look at this. Look at this.' You know? And I thought it was sophisticated, and the fact that she didn't answer it is an element of good humor. And I know her personally to be a very warm and humorous person and I was delighted to see that come out. Good joke, Senator. Way to go."