ABC News Sees Nothing to Celebrate

Techniguy - 01-20-05

Inauguration Day received little enthusiasm from Peter Jennings and ABC News tonight. I thought it might be interesting to see what ABC had to say about the Bush Inuaguration but at times I thought I had somehow tuned into Al Jazeera.  With never a smile and trying to conceal his bitter feelings, Jennings began his newscast with a brief overview of the inauguration ceremony, then went to a critique of Bush’s speech by Bush critic, George Stephanopolus who summarized it as containing mostly idealism but little realism.  He criticized Bush for not mentioning Iraq by name as though it was the centerpiece of American freedom and liberty which was the thrust of the speech. Jennings then echoed Stephanopolus’ comment on Iraq.  (Yeah George, he didn't even mention Iraq but we sure will, and be sure to remind the viewers that people are dying over there for nothing and it's all Bush's fault.)

Next, he went to videos of the protest area of the parade route with protesters screaming with liberal seething rage. This then turned into a piece on “excessive security” to which was contrasted the Carter and Clinton inaugural parades where they actually walked in the street among the security cars. A brief clip of President Bush walking the parade route in 2001 was also included. The premise put forth by ABC News was that President Bush is so disliked that he needs the extra protection. There was no mention of 9-11, Islamic threats on the President’s life, or threats by angry liberals who used their websites to openly encourage civil disobedience and violence along the parade route. There were no video clips of the vast majority of friendly crowds who turned out to honor the president. It’s the same on the ABC website where they have a featured story on the protests world wide against President Bush. 

Next up was a story presented as “improvements in intelligence technology” but never discussed any technology at all. Instead it talked about the 911 hijackers and how easy it is now in hindsight to connect them to each other as if to say “we should have stopped them”. Although the story was able to connect 13 of the 19 hijackers together by phone records and addresses used to buy airline tickets, there was no information offered to indicate they intended to hijack and crash the planes. Where is the new intelligence technology in this story?

ABC got their soldier’s funeral story too. Earlier this week, ABC posted a request on their website looking for anyone who was holding a funeral for a fallen soldier on January 20. “If you, or someone you know is holding a funeral for a fallen soldier on January 20th and wouldn’t mind having our cameras there, please fill out the form below”. They weren’t interested in funerals on Jan. 19th, or Jan. 21st, only on January 20th. Well, they got one but were forced to say at the end that the soldier and his family supported the war in Iraq and still does.

Jennings then went into a story on “The Bush Dynasty” comparing it to the Kennedy Dynasty and the Roosevelts. I noticed nothing particularly positive or negative in this final piece on ABC News. I suppose Jennings didn’t want to leave a bitter impression with the viewers at the end of the show. Throughout the entire half hour program, on a day when the country is celebrating the inauguration to a second term of President Bush, Jennings had not even one favorable comment on the President. This is how the mainstream media is presenting the news and think their attitude represents the “popular” view. He might just as well have come right out and said “yeah, we hate this guy and can’t understand how he got reelected and know that you feel the same”.  In his opening statement, all Jennings could say was “on this day of inauguration, all any of us could think of was Iraq”. I’m surprised he didn’t find a way to include a story on Abu Ghraib in his report on the Bush Inuaguration. As for me, I thought allot about President Bush today and how we all thank God for him, but had no thoughts on Iraq.

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