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ABC’s Charles Gibson, Conventional Liberal
Gibson, ABC’s longtime co-host of Good Morning America was tapped to
replace Elizabeth Vargas as solo anchor of World News Tonight, starting
May 29, 2006. On his morning show, and as a frequent fill-in for Peter Jennings
on World News Tonight, Gibson over the years has shown little willingness
to stray from the media elite’s liberal template. A notable exception was when
Gibson hosted the 2004 town-hall style debate between President Bush and John
Kerry. Unlike other journalists who have moderated similar events, Gibson chose
a balanced set of audience questions that equally represented liberal and
The following quotes, many accompanied by audio and video files, exemplify
Gibson’s conventional liberal approach to the issues of the day: favoring gun
control and campaign finance reform, portraying tax cuts as costly, and once
even boasting about a sign in his house proclaiming "War is not good for
children and other living things."
Seeing Oil Profits as "Obscene"
"The estimates are that the six large U.S. [oil] companies will have a total
of $135 billion in profits for the year 2006. Don’t consumers have a right to be
"The public looks at a total of $135 billion over the year, that’s larger than
the gross domestic product of Israel, and says isn’t that an obscene amount?"
— Charles Gibson to ConocoPhillips Chairman James Mulva on ABC’s Good
Morning America, May 8, 2006.
All Nastiness = Bush’s Fault
"He [President Bush] tries to unite but, of course, a lot of Democrats feel
this has not been a uniting President. They have gone down that road before,
trying to work with the President and, of course, the old expression is, ‘Fool
me once, shame on you. Fool me more than once, fool me twice or ten times, shame
— During live coverage before President Bush’s State of the Union address,
January 31, 2006.
Lobbying for Higher Taxes
"Just before we went on the air, Diane and Robin, I asked her [Hillary
Clinton] - given the fact that it’s going to cost so much for recovery [from
Katrina] and with what we’re spending in Iraq - whether we’re not going to have
to raise taxes."
— Gibson following an interview with Senator Clinton, September 7, 2005
Good Morning America.
"Are you going to maintain that we can pay for this, we can pay for the war
in Iraq, and we can pay for the rising healthcare costs in this country without
raising taxes? These are astronomical dollars we’re talking about that will cost
the federal treasury."
— Gibson to White House counselor Dan Bartlett on Good Morning America,
September 15, 2005.
Reversing Past Judicial Activism = Legislating from the Bench
"The President has said John Roberts would not legislate from the bench. He
didn’t want a nominee who would legislate from the bench. Does that mean that
this will be a justice who will not be overturning settled law, i.e. Roe v.
— Gibson to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on the July 21, 2005 Good
Now Upset by "Clintonian
Charles Gibson: "It’s been revealed that Karl Rove did leak to the media
that the wife of an administration critic, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson,
worked for the CIA, part of an apparent effort to discredit his claims....Joe,
if this had happened in the Clinton administration, the Republicans would be
Republican political analyst Joe Watkins: "First of all, Karl Rove is not
necessarily the target of this investigation. We don’t know that he is and
certainly he hasn’t done anything wrong. He’s done nothing illegal, and we know
that from his lawyer, as well as from what he said."
Gibson: "Is that not a Clintonian defense? Yes, Karl Rove didn’t
specifically named this person. He just talked about Wilson’s wife and he didn’t
actually say she was undercover, and so therefore he didn’t technically break
— ABC’s Good Morning America, July 12, 2005.
He’s Obviously Too Conservative to Win
"German-born Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is also mentioned, but his extreme
conservative views and his age might be his undoing when votes are cast in the
— Good Morning America, April 4, 2005.
Stirred by... John Kerry?"For those who doubted John Kerry could
pull off a stirring speech, doubts dispelled. For those who doubted John Kerry
could unite a traditionally fractious party, doubts dispelled."
— Good Morning America, July 30, 2004, morning after Kerry's
Heroic Kerry Painted as Victim
"We’ll take ‘A Closer Look’ tonight at John Kerry’s distinguished war record.
His opponents are trying hard to use it against him."
— Filling in on World News Tonight, April 21, 2004.
Is Bush’s the Most Vengeful White House Ever?
Charles Gibson: "George, have you ever seen an administration put on a
sort of full-court press against one individual as they did yesterday?"
George Stephanopoulos: "On a book? No, never, it’s never happened before.
You would have thought yesterday that Richard Clarke was John Kerry."
— ABC’s Good Morning America, March 23, 2004.
Still Enamored with John McCain
Charles Gibson: "A lot of Democrats say a dream ticket would be if John
Kerry would reach across the aisle, take you as a vice presidential candidate.
Are you going to say no, no how, no way, you won’t do it?"
Senator John McCain: "Charlie, it’s impossible to imagine...."
Gibson: "Let me imagine it. If he asked you, if he came across the aisle
and asked you, would you even entertain the idea, or would you rule it out for
good and all and ever right now?"
— Good Morning America, March 10, 2004.
As If ABC Had No Part In Pushing Bush's Guard Story
"We’re going to start now with President Bush’s military record. It’s a
subject that seems to be consuming Washington these days. The questions about
the President’s National Guard service just won’t stop."
— Good Morning America, February 11, 2004.
"Embarrassment" of Trying Saddam Hussein
"Could this trial be very embarrassing to the United States? We supported him
for so long. We gave him some of the instruments that he used to terrorize his
own people. Could it be embarrassing for the United States?"
— Gibson to NYU law professor Noah Feldman on Good Morning America,
December 15, 2003.
Bush Trip Can’t Hide Iraq Failure
"There’s obviously great symbolism to this trip, because it is important for
a Commander-in-Chief to come and see his troops. But so is there symbolism in
that things are so unstable that he had to sneak in, in darkness, that he never
left the airport, that he could only stay two and a half hours?...Isn’t there
symbolism in the fact that it points up that not much has changed in eight
— Asking Condoleezza Rice about President Bush’s Thanksgiving Day trip to
Iraq, on the November 28, 2003 Good Morning America.
Will Mean Rush Now Feel Bill Clinton’s Pain?
"I certainly have heard him being very hard on the weaknesses of human
beings, particularly obviously Bill Clinton, and it seems to me something like
that has to change."
— Gibson to Bill Bennett on Good Morning America November 18, 2003,
the day after Limbaugh ended five weeks of treatment for drug addiction.
Would He Appreciate the Lies?
"Michael, your dad comes, came from the Hollywood community, and he knows
what the issues of artistic freedom are. How do you think he’d react?"
— Gibson to Michael Reagan on Good Morning America, November 4, 2003,
after CBS decided not to air a miniseries that portrayed former President Ronald
Reagan in a derogatory light.
Tyranny Is Bad for Children, Too
"I grew up in the Vietnam era, which is probably one of the signal events of
my life and I think affected everybody of my generation. And we used to have a
little framed sign hanging in our bedroom, my wife and I, that said, ‘War is not
good for children and other living things,’ and I believe that. So I don’t like
covering war and I hate to see them occur."
— Gibson during an appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live, July 2, 2003.
Justice Gibson Has Ruled
"The President used a flash word yesterday. Everybody knows that America
opposes quotas. This is not a quota system at the University of Michigan, and
yet he used the word four times in saying he opposed quotas and this is a
quota....It’s not a quota system. It is a consideration of race, which the
Supreme Court in 1978 said is perfectly proper.... The Supreme Court said you
can consider race in admissions, you just can’t have quotas. The President says
he’s for diversity, but he says, ‘I’m against the only system that the Supreme
Court has considered in 25 years.’"
— Gibson to New York Post columnist Robert George on Good Morning
America, January 16, 2003.
Pushing GOP Intolerance Theme
"In leaving, you un-integrate the House Republican Party."
"But doesn’t it say something, then, about the House Republican Party, which
will now be all white?"
— Gibson’s first two questions to retiring GOP Representative J. C. Watts on
ABC’s Good Morning America, July 2, 2002.
Three Labels in 23 Seconds
"President Bush has been drawing fire for his handling of the Middle East
crisis, and the first shots fired are coming from his own conservative wing.
Joining us from Washington, William Kristol, conservative editor of The
Weekly Standard. Bill, good to see you again. And also joining us is Gary
Bauer, Christian conservative who now heads the group American Values, and I do
welcome you both."
— Introducing an April 22, 2002 Good Morning America segment.
Pushing Phony "Lock Box" Fears
"Politicians call Social Security the third rail of politics: Touch it, fool
with it, and you can get a terrible shock. Well, today the non-partisan
congressional office that crunches the budget numbers projected the government
will have to use $9 billion in Social Security funds this year just to pay for
the programs it already has in place. Democrats and Republicans alike have
always sworn on a stack of Bibles that Social Security was absolutely, totally,
completely off limits."
— Substituting for Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, August 27,
"Fascinated" By Dazzling Clinton
Charles Gibson: "Good evening. He’s been out of office six months now,
but Bill Clinton is just as fascinating as ever. At least that’s what the book
industry is betting. The former President has struck what is said to be the
largest non-fiction book deal in the history of publishing to write his
Reporter Jackie Judd: "Charlie, we’re also being told Mr. Clinton will
write this himself – no help from a ghostwriter, and the book will be in
bookstores in 2003. It’s a good time, probably the best of Mr. Clinton’s
post-presidency. Last week he dazzled Harlem, today Park Avenue publisher
— ABC’s World News Tonight, August 6, 2001.
"I remember the great thing on Saturday
Night Live where the fellow who does President Clinton said, ‘You’re
going to miss me.’ And indeed people miss him, he’s still a fascinating man
even six months out of the White House."
— Gibson, the next day on Good Morning America.
Charles Gibson: "Have you ever – it just occurred to me – have you ever,
in the first hundred days, consulted or called former President Clinton?"
President Bush: "No, I haven’t."
Gibson: "To talk to him?"
President Bush: "No, I have not."
Gibson: "Don’t feel the need?"
— Exchange during taped interview aired on the April 25, 2001 Good Morning
Getting to the Left of Teddy Kennedy
"Senator, there are some Democrats who say that as much money as is really
needed for education will not be spent because of the tax cut that is on its way
on a fast track through the Congress. Do you become, in cooperating with the
President, do you become complicit in that?"
"As I understand this bill, he gives up, for now, on his voucher plan and you
give up on some of the money that would have been spent for teachers and for the
renovation of some crumbling schools. In some sense, is that a hollow
compromise? I mean, does it really do much for schools and get more teachers in
— Questions to Senator Ted Kennedy, May 3, 2001 Good Morning America.
Endorsing Daschle’s Distortions
"Now Mr. Secretary, you may dispute the exact numbers, but in essence, he’s
correct, isn’t he?"
— Question to Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, after clip of Sen. Tom Daschle
saying Bush’s tax cuts would give millionaires enough money to buy a Lexus while
a typical working person only gets enough for a muffler, Good Morning America,
Feb. 9, 2001.
Can We Afford Tax Cut for the Rich?
"Today President George W. Bush starts the rollout of a centerpiece of his
agenda, his $1.6 trillion tax cut plan. Now, his plan would reduce the 39.6 and
36 percent brackets down to 33 percent, and the 31 percent and 28 percent
brackets would be reduced to 25 percent. Is it fair to give such a large
percentage of the tax break to upper-income people? Can this country afford $1.6
trillion in tax cuts?"
— To Bush economic adviser Larry Lindsey, February 5, 2001.
Do Voters Not Appreciate You, Mr. Vice President?
"Why is this election so close? When you look at this objectively and as
people looked at it six months ago, the incumbent party dealt a very strong hand
here. We have full employment in the United States, we have unparalleled
prosperity in terms of wealth created, we have low interest rates, we have low
inflation, we have few perils to our nation overseas. So you were dealt a very
strong hand coming into this election, and yet it’s still close. Why?"
— Gibson to Al Gore, November 6, 2000 Good Morning America.
Republican Platform Failed to Please Liberals
"The platform is, again, very strongly pro-life and rejects abortion rights,
and the platform specifically comes out against gay unions, and against legal
protections based on sexual preferences. So is this really an open,
compassionate, tolerant party?"
— Gibson to Lynne Cheney, August 2, 2000 Good Morning America, during
the GOP convention.
Boasting of Bias
"We do turn first this morning to convicted killer Gary Graham, who as we
said, is sentenced to die this evening on the strength of a single eyewitness.
Over the past 10 days, we’ve been bringing you reports raising questions about
the soundness of the death penalty across the nation and in the state of Texas.
As in so many death penalty cases, this one is reaching a fever pitch."
— Good Morning America, June 22, 2000.
Upset by Lack of "Progress" In Nullifying the Second Amendment
"I’ve got here a pile of all the gun legislation that’s been proposed in the
past year since we were here before. None of it has passed. By my count, we have
more states rejecting new gun control legislation than have passed it. We have
15 states that have passed prohibitions on cities suing gun manufacturers. That
hardly seems like progress."
— To President Clinton during a May 12, 2000 Good Morning America town
meeting promoting the Million Mom March.
W Too Far Right to Win in November
"You started this campaign knowing that the Republican Party would have to
broaden its base in order to win in November. You were emphasizing compassion.
Then you get in political trouble after New Hampshire, and you wrap yourself so
tightly in the Republican Right that it may kill you in November."
— Gibson to President George W. Bush, February 21, 2000 Good Morning America.
Cheering "Very Worthy" Liberal Cause
"I remember when Diane and I had just started this show, we celebrated your
89th birthday with you when you were just starting out in California. Today we
celebrate your 90th, and this is very worthy work that you do, bringing
attention to campaign finance reform."
— Gibson to left-wing activist ‘Granny D,’ who was in the midst of an
attention-seeking walk across America, January 24, 2000 Good Morning America.
Pressing Clinton and
Gore from Left on Guns
Charles Gibson: "But let me come back to you on that, the polls, I agree
on that, the polls have shown that this country would accept registration of
firearms and yet we don’t do that and we’re not fighting about regulation of
guns. We regulate every other consumer product out there."
Bill Clinton: "The reason is this Congress came to power after the 1994
elections because in critical races the people who voted for more modest things
like the Brady Bill, which the polls showed the voters support, got beat."
Gibson: "But hasn’t the NRA won the debate at that point? Once we say
it’s politically impossible, we can’t do it, we won’t propose it, hasn’t the NRA
basically framed the debate at that point?"
— More from the same interview.
"But I’m curious, if you favor registration of every handgun, why didn’t you
put it in the proposal? If you want to regulate handguns, why not do that as
well, as we do with every other consumer product?"
— Gibson questioning Al Gore on Good Morning America, July 12, 1999.
Co-host Charles Gibson: "I don’t want to politicize this, and this is not
the time for political questions, but...do you think the 2000 campaign will
largely be about guns?"
Al Gore: "You said you didn’t want to politicize it. I can assure it’s
the last thing that I want to do, and I just don’t want to get into a discussion
Gibson: "I’m just saying do you think that this is going to be a
discussion in the year 2000, this country will sit down and have a frank
discussion about guns?"
— Exchange on the September 16, 1999 Good Morning America, the morning
after a church shooting in Fort Worth, Texas.
Good Morning, Liberal America
Co-host Charles Gibson: "You have been pushing campaign finance reform
for quite some time."
Sen. John McCain: "And we will go at it again tonight."
Gibson: "Given the fact that it is so important, what does it say about
the system when one candidate raises more than $50 million. Is that obscene?"
— Exchange on Good Morning America, October 12, 1999.
"Bush said that your party was trying to, the congressional leadership was
trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor. You agreed with him when
he said that. Is the leadership of your party in Congress out of touch with the
American public, and is the party too much a captive of the Right?"
— Gibson, later in the same interview.
"So he’s got a terrific platform, but it sounds like he’s not going to run."
— Gibson on left-wing actor Warren Beatty, reacting to George Stephanopoulos,
September 30, 1999 Good Morning America.
No Sympathy for Linda Tripp
"I suspect a lot of people would find it the height of irony that Linda Tripp
files a suit for invasion of privacy."
"But you charge there was an attempt to smear Ms. Tripp. The only thing that the
Defense Department revealed was that she’d never committed a crime. That seems
to be rather favorable to her."
"But Mr. Kohn, the person who revealed the fact that she had committed a crime
was not the Defense Department, it was her own former stepmother."
— Gibson’s questions to Tripp lawyer Stephen Kohn on Good Morning America,
September 28, 1999.
Poor, Brutalized Hillary
"And it started. [In] the New York Post today, a column, oh, I won’t
mention the woman who wrote it but it, it’s like they’re going after her already
on day one: she exaggerates her accomplishments, she has a sense of grandeur,
she is deluded, she bends the rules for herself, she has a narcissistic
personality disorder. This is gonna get really, really rough."
— Gibson to former Hillary Clinton aide Lisa Caputo, July 7, 1999 Good
Morning Boos for Paula
"You said that you wanted to, if it went to trial, explore the pattern of
conduct on the part of the President. That sounds to me like you’re setting out
simply to embarrass the White House."
— Gibson to Paula Jones attorney Joseph Cammarata, May 28, 1997 Good
"Sam, ‘not trying to hurt the President’? Did she say that with a straight
face?...Why does anyone care what this woman has to say? ...Bottom line, Sam. Is
she not trying to capitalize on this, in effect to profit from impugning the
— Questions to Sam Donaldson about his Paula Jones interview, Good Morning
America, June 16, 1994.
How Dare They Attack King Bill
"Polls will tell you these days that people do not want much partisanship in
their politics, but they got it at the Republican convention last night. There
were attacks on President Clinton’s credibility, integrity, even his eating
— ABC’s Good Morning America, August 14, 1996.
Redford’s Very Persuasive Boilerplate
"I think it is a travesty to stand silently while all the protections of the
last 150 years are gutted and our priceless and precious national heritage is
destroyed forever in order to benefit the few....The [GOP] bills themselves, if
you look at them, are going to gut our sustainable environment. Clean air, clean
water are going to be simply gutted, and so you’re going to be affecting our
health, our children’s health."
— Actor Robert Redford on Good Morning America, July 21, 1995.
"I suppose we’re supposed to stay out of all these controversies and you
shouldn’t take — but I find Redford’s argument to be very persuasive....And
after the series we did just recently on the national parks, um, you
worry....When he gives the kind of testimony he did yesterday and makes those
kinds of arguments, very persuasive."
— Gibson reacting a few minutes later.
Referendum on Reaganomics?
"There seems to be an anti-tax sentiment, and yet everybody wants all of the
services they have always had. Is this an election that said, sort of a
reaffirmation of Reagan economics — we want government on the cheap?"
— ABC Good Morning America, November 7, 1990.
"This election, it seems to me, was a reaffirmation of Reaganomics. We want
to repair the infrastructure. We want good education. We want the social
services of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But woe betide any
politician who tries to exercise leadership, George, and perhaps institute taxes
to pay for those things."
— Gibson interviewing George Will on Good Morning America, November
And He Admits Media "Intrinsically
"I don't deny for a minute that I think that the basic political bent of most
reporters is probably to the liberal side. Do, you know, do people try, David
Brinkley always says there's no such thing as objectivity, there are just lesser
degrees of subjectivity. Reporters try to get around that. I think, I don't
think that's a particular problem for Bob Dole, I really don't. I mean if, you
know, if it was, if it was so overwhelming, the press's influence, you know, why
did we have the results we had in 1994? But, but is the press intrinsically
liberal? Yeah, probably."
— In response to a caller who asked about liberal bias and how it might impact
Bob Dole’s presidential campaign, on CNBC's Politics with Chris Matthews,
May 21, 1996.
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