ABC's One-Sided Take on Wisconsin Protests Includes an Interview With Top Secret, Hidden Democrat
Published: 2/18/2011 12:30 PM ET
Good Morning America on Friday spun the protests in Wisconsin from the perspective of the unions and Democratic lawmakers who oppose Republican efforts to reform collective bargaining. Co-host George Stephanopoulos even interviewed a Democratic lawmaker from a top secret location outside the state.
Correspondent Chris Bury's piece on the protest featured five clips of those protesting the efforts by Republican Governor Scott Walker to make government employees contribute to their retirement plans. He allowed just one in support.
The reporter narrated, "Last night, more public workers, including these firemen, poured into the capitol. Some families camping out overnight, in a last-ditch effort to protest budget cuts they fear would cripple their union rights."
Bury only included Walker as the voice speaking out for the reforms. In contrast, he highlighted one woman fretting, "I want to do everything in my power to raise awareness that this can't happen!" Another protester complained, "This is about stripping away our rights to have a union."
After weighting the first report heavily against Walker and the Republicans, Stephanopoulos then interviewed yet another Democrat. Talking to State Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, a hidden Democrat who fled the state, the co-anchor explained, "He joins us from a location we cannot disclose. We know where you are, obviously, senator."
Stephanopoulos did actually ask some adversarial questions, wondering, "So, do you have an alternative? Do you have a way to close the deficit if you don't like the governor's plan?"
But, wouldn't it have been more balanced to feature the Republican perspective of this story?
A transcript of the Bury segment, which aired at 7:02am EST on February 18, follows: