ABC News still ignoring O'Reilly's Obama/GMA falsehood

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

On the November 5 broadcast of ABC's Nightline, ABC News correspondent David Wright reported that "some are accusing" Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) "of being too frivolous," and aired a clip of Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's recent statement, "Look, Obama -- and I told him this ... Tyra Banks ain't gonna get you elected, OK? You gotta go on the Factor." Wright's clip, however, omitted what O'Reilly said next during that October 29 appearance on ABC's Good Morning America: "[Y]ou gotta go on GMA and answer the questions," a statement that, as Media Matters for America noted at the time, falsely suggested that Obama had not appeared on Good Morning America. In fact, Obama was interviewed from New Orleans by co-host Robin Roberts on the August 27 broadcast of the show. Wright went on to report, without noting O'Reilly's falsehood: "Obama may not be a regular guest on the Factor, but O'Reilly has a point. Obama's star power hasn't yet translated into a real bump in the polls."

In a November 5 ABCNews.com article based on his Nightline report, Wright again quoted O'Reilly's October 29 Good Morning America comments, but this time included O'Reilly's full remarks and his statement that "[y]ou got to go on GMA and answer the questions." As with the Nightline report, however, Wright did not point out O'Reilly's false suggestion, and while he observed that Obama was not "avoiding tough questions," wrote: "But O'Reilly does have a point: Obama's star power has yet to translate into a real bump in the polls."

As Media Matters documented, the October 29 edition of The Note, ABCNews.com's daily political newsletter, also quoted O'Reilly's Good Morning America remarks, but simply omitted his false statement.

From the November 5 broadcast of ABC's Nightline:

WRIGHT: That zinger drove home the very point he was trying to make out on the campaign trail just a few hours earlier in a much more earnest way -- namely, that Hillary Clinton lacks authenticity. For a candidate who's sometimes struggled to find clear distinctions with his opponent, Obama couldn't have asked for a better vehicle.

So why is it that some are accusing him of being too frivolous?

O'REILLY [video clip]: Look, Obama -- and I told him this ... Tyra Banks ain't gonna get you elected, OK? You gotta go on the Factor.

WRIGHT: Obama may not be a regular guest on the Factor, but O'Reilly has a point. Obama's star power hasn't yet translated into a real bump in the polls.

From Wright's November 5 ABCNews.com article:

Bill Clinton pioneered the political cameo, the night he famously played the sax on "Arsenio Hall."

But Obama has raised it to an art form. He danced with Ellen DeGeneres. He chatted with Tyra Banks about who should play him in the movie (a toss-up between Denzel Washington or Will Smith, they decided). And, of course, his couch time on "Oprah" has meant millions for his campaign.

Why is it that some accuse him of being too frivolous?

Bill O'Reilly recently told Diane Sawyer: "What are his poll numbers 18%? 'Look, Obama, (and I told him this face-to-face) Tyra Banks ain't going to get you elected, okay? You got to go on "The Factor." You got to go on GMA and answer the questions.'"

Obama may not be a regular guest on "The O'Reilly Factor," but he is doing Gibson, Williams and Couric. He's doing Nightline too. It's not like he has been avoiding tough questions.

But O'Reilly does have a point: Obama's star power has yet to translate into a real bump in the polls.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
ABC
Person
David Wright
Show/Publication
Nightline
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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