ABC's Jon Karl Swears: New Hillary Documents Are 'Positive' and Not 'Politically Damaging'
Nothing to see here, according to ABC's Jon Karl. The Good Morning America correspondent on Tuesday told viewers that the so-called "Hillary papers," a treasure trove of quotes and documents, are a "positive portrayal" and "none of this appears to be politically damaging." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] In contrast, Monday's NBC Nightly News worried that the papers are "brutal" and include "inflammatory excerpts."
CBS This Morning on Tuesday also offered a different take than ABC. In fact, co-host Norah O'Donnell hyped the 40 pages of notes and journals by a deceased Clinton confidant this way: "...A powerful Republican calls it a roadmap to beating Hillary Clinton in 2016." Yet Karl soothingly told viewers, "All told, the papers offer a positive portrayal of Hillary Clinton from one of her closest friends, none of this appears to be politically damaging."
When ABC cited the liberal website Talking Points Memo, no ideological distinction was made. On May 16, 2010, Jake Tapper described it simply as a "web site." On another occasion, Linsey Davis mentioned the "online politics website."
Providing more contrast, Cordes on CBS noted that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus "says the material is fair game if Hillary runs in 2016." In a snippet, Priebus asserted, "I think we're going to have a truck load of opposition research on Hillary Clinton."
The documents came from Diane Blair, a friend of Clinton who passed away from cancer in 2000. According to Blair's diary, Mrs. Clinton "reportedly told Blair in 1993, 'Hillary says press has big egos and no brains.'" An on-screen graphic notes the then-first lady "says press has big egos." The part about "no brains" was excised.
Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon wrote:
On Monday's Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell huffed that the documents got "little notice until inflammatory excerpts were posted last night on an anti-Clinton website." A sympathetic Mitchell explained, "Hillary Clinton had no comment on a campaign already brutal two years before it's begun."
A partial transcript of the February 11 GMA segment is below: