ABC Ignores Anthony Weiner's Mocking of GOP 'Grandpa' at AARP Event
ABC's Good Morning America, which first covered the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal by ignoring that the politician was a Democrat, did grow to embrace the tawdry aspects of the story. Yet, the morning show on Wednesday avoided the mayoral candidate's latest gaffe: Calling his Republican opponent "grandpa" at an AARP candidate forum. NBC's Today and CBS This Morning both managed to highlight the story.
CBS guest anchor Anthony Mason recounted, "Weiner slammed his opponent over age and did so, of all places, at an event sponsored by the AARP." A graphic mocked it as a "senior moment." Mason dismissed Weiner's campaign as a "circus." In the video, Weiner can be seen heatedly talking to George McDonald. [MP3 audio here.]
After McDonald denied Weiner's claim that he has "anger issues," the controversial Democrat replied, "Yeah, you do, grandpa."
While CBS offered a full report, NBC allowed only a news brief. Natalie Morales played the clip and joked, "The event was hosted by AARP. Not going to win that vote."
On August 1, GMA worried that Weiner might "damage" Hillary Clinton's 2016 bid.
When the story involved sexting and pictures of Anthony Weiner's penis, ABC perked up and showed interest. On Wednesday, the Democratic candidate deriding the elderly didn't interest the show's hosts. What did GMA find time for instead? Asking Jennifer Anniston about her new diet.
A transcript of the August 7 CBS This Morning segment is below:
ANTHONY MASON: New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner can't afford to lose any more voters in the wake of his sexting scandal, but this morning he faces a new controversy. Weiner slammed his opponent over age and did so, of all places at an event sponsored by the AARP. Elaine Quijano is with us. Elaine, good morning.
ELAINE QUIJANO: Good morning to you, Anthony. Well, the former congressman has been trying to get past the high profile scandal, but one of his harshest critics isn't letting him and that led to a tense confrontation yesterday at a start of a public forum.
CBS GRAPHIC: Senior Moment: Weiner Calls Opponent "Grandpa" at AARP Event
ANTHONY WEINER: We honor the challenges seniors have.
QUIJANO: If Anthony Weiner is trying to win over senior citizens, insulting rival Republican rival George McDonald over his age may not be the best way to do it.
GEORGE MCDONALD: Don't ever put your hands on me ever again.
ANTHONY WEINER: Really? What's going to happen if I do? Tough guy now?
MCDONALD: Yeah, I am. I am.
QUIJANO: Weiner then accused his 69-year-old opponent of having anger issues and called him grandpa.
MCDONALD: I don't have any anger issues.
QUIJANO: Yes, you do, grandpa.
QUIJANO: A spokesman for the AARP called Weiner's comment unfortunate and McDonald tweeted this: Quote, "Weiner treats people he considers as seniors with the same lack of respect he treats women." McDonald has been an outspoken critic of his Democratic rival, but got little support from the crowd.
MCDONALD: Believe me, it's not nice to talk about. I didn't have a nice conversa conversation with my ten-year-old granddaughter about why one person is "so much more popular than you, grandpa. What did he do?" [Boos.]
VOICE: Thank you, Mr. McDonald
MCDONALD: Well? Why do you want to ignore a person's character and judgment? Okay. You don't want to allow me to talk, that's more time for this glib narcissist.
QUIJANO: And McDonald wasn't the only candidate to bring up the sexting scandal.
JOHN LIU: You can rest assured that I don't take pictures of myself. Thank you so much.
QUIJANO: Although the congressman has seen a drop in the polls it seems he still has plenty of supporters.
VOICE: Please refrain from clapping.
WEINER: I'm cool with that. I'm cool with them clapping.
QUIJANO: As for calling his opponent grandpa, the Weiner campaign did not respond to our request for comment. Anthony? Norah?
MASON: Elaine Quijano. Thanks, Elaine. It's not a campaign. It's a circus.
NORAH O'DONNELL: It is. I mean I just moved to New York.
MASON [Laughs]: Sorry. Welcome to town.
O'DONNELL: I've covering politics for a long time, but wow.
MASON: I don't know if I'd call it politics as usual, but a lot of funny stuff happens here.
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.