ABC Frets Over ObamaCare 'Glitch Girl,' the 'Most Despised Face on the Planet'
ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday spent over four minutes worrying about "glitch girl," the woman who was featured on the ObamaCare webpage for weeks during the site's disastrous rollout. Yet, the same program spent less time on the fact that the website likely will not be fixed by the November 30 deadline. Additionally, Josh Elliott dispatched in six seconds the news that a majority of Americans now find Barack Obama untrustworthy.
Reporter Amy Robach focused on Adrianna (she did not want her last name used), the smiling woman who greeted frustrated Americans on HealthCare.gov. Robach hyperbolically announced, "It's the face that launched a frenzied hunt." Continuing the over-the-top language, Robach told the young woman, "You've been dubbed glitch girl, the most despised face on the planet." [MP3 audio here.] The most despised face on the planet?
Robach also used a favorite word of journalists, describing the page that barely functions as the "glitch-plagued ObamaCare website." Another GMA segment referred to the "health care software glitches."
She did explain the interesting detail that Adrianna: "is from Colombia and not a U.S. citizen, though, she is eligible to apply for health care under her permanent residency status."
The journalist closed her segment by repeating White House talking points: "And when we asked the administration for a response to the website's new look, they say they always wanted to make changes to the home page, calling it a dynamic website."
A dynamic website?
A new Quinnipiac poll found a majority of Americans believe Obama is untrustworthy. The survey found the President's approval rating at an all-time low, 41 percent. This garnered six seconds of coverage in the 8am hour.
Other details got more attention. Co-host George Stephanopoulos opened the show by announcing, "New developments in the ObamaCare debacle. Reports this morning, the website will not be fixed fully by the November deadline." The host repeated this point at the end of a Jon Karl segment, but didn't go into great detail.
The Karl story ran one minute and 20 seconds. The reporter noted Bill Clinton calling on Obama to keep his promise regarding people keeping health care they like. But the story didn't match the time of the gossipy segment on "glitch girl."
A transcript of the November 13 segment, which aired at 7:06am ET, follows:
ROBIN ROBERTS: And now, George, another side of the ObamaCare rollout and the woman who became the face of the website fiasco, plastered on the home page of HealthCare.Gov. The source of anger for so many. And ABC's Amy Robach spoke to her in an ABC News exclusive. Great to see you, Amy.
AMY ROBACH: Thank you so much. Good morning, Robin. And her picture may be gone now from the website. But the woman who has a name, Adriana, says she's not completely over the sting of what she calls bullying. It's the face that launched a frenzied hunt.
JON STEWART: That smiling lady.
CANDY CROWLEY: Have you seen the mystery girl?
ROBACH: As frustrations with the glitch-plagued ObamaCare website mounted, people turned their attention to the mystery woman on the home page. And until now, her identity remained a secret. Why do you want to speak out now?
ADRIANNA: Because I mean, I deserve a chance to tell people who I am and not just let everyone else say whatever they want.
ROBACH: So, who is the woman who was the face of the ObamaCare website?
ADRIANNA: I'm a mother and I'm a wife and I'm not a professional model.
ROBACH: Adrianna, who asked that we not use her last name, is from Colombia and not a U.S. citizen, though, she is eligible to apply for health care under her permanent residency status. And while she says the picture was supposed to be a typical stock photo, she never anticipated it would become a laughing stock.
ADRIANNA: We signed the release that says it was possibly going to be used for material for promoting the health care. We just didn't know that it was going to have a negative impact.
ROBACH: You've been dubbed glitch girl, the most despised face on the planet. Did you ever anticipate this type of publicity? Scrutiny?
ROBACH: Adding insult to injury, she wasn't paid for the photo. Have you ever experienced anything like this before in your life?
ADRIANNA: Well, this is actually a reason I wanted to be here, because as a kid, I never went through that. And now, I am. You know? You know, it's some sort of bullying.
ROBACH: It is bullying.
ADRIANNA: But at the same time, you know, I thought I have to do this. For my child. I'm here to stand up for myself and defend myself.
ROBACH: Good for her. Her photo was taken down from the website two weeks ago. And Adriana says she is now able to find some humor in the face of all of that negativity. And when we asked the administration for a response to the website's new look, they say they always wanted to make changes to the home page, calling it a dynamic website. But she certainly took the fall, unfairly so.
ROBERTS: Yeah. That's right.
‚ÄĒ Scott Whitlock is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Scott Whitlock on Twitter.