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ABC Pushes Anti-Catholic 'Philomena' as a 'Touching,' 'True' 'Winner'

Good Morning America's Bianna Golodrygra on Thursday promoted the anti-Catholic film Philomena as a "touching," "true story." The ABC journalist spun the movie as largely uncontroversial and a "clear winner with audiences everywhere." [MP3 audio here.]

Golodryga downplayed the film's harsh anti-Catholic plot points and soft-peddled the movie's fictional elements, parroting, "Philomena is based on a true story about an Irish woman played by Judi Dench who travels to the U.S. to track down the son she was forced to give up for adoption when she was a teenager." In fact, the New York Times reported on November 29, 2013, "...Much of the movie is a fictionalized version of events. Ms. [Philomena] Lee, for instance, never went to the United States to look for her son...a central part of the film."

So, how, exactly, is the movie a "true" story?

Golodryga often sounded as though she were blurbing the movie, gushing, "No matter who takes home an Oscar next month, Philomena's message has made it a clear winner with audiences everywhere."

She hyped that the movie has "taken movie critics by storm" and added, "This touching film has been nominated for multiple Oscars..."

Philomena includes a scene where actor/writer Steve Coogan denounces the "fucking Catholics." Is that Golodryga's idea of a "touching film?"

Would she so easily tout a movie that complained about the "fucking Muslims?" 

A transcript of the February 20 GMA segment, which aired at 8:41am ET, is below:

8:41

ROBIN ROBERTS: We're counting down to Oscar Sunday here at GMA. Just over a week away and we take a look now, one of the surprise contenders for best picture, Philomena. ABC's Bianna Golodryga sat down with the movie's star, who also received an Oscar nod for writing. Here's a look.

BIANNA GOLODRYG: They're the odd couple that have taken movie critics by storm.

[Brief Philomena clip.]

GOLODRYGA: Philomena is based on a true story about an Irish woman played by Judi Dench who travels to the U.S. to track down the son she was forced to give up for adoption when she was a teenager. Steve Coogan plays a hard-bitten journalist who decides to write about Philomena's quest and tag as long.

[Brief Philomena clip.]

GOLODRYGA: You not only star in it, but you produced it and you co-wrote it. What drove you to this story?

STEVE COOGAN: I read it in the newspaper four years ago. If you had a child out of wedlock 50 years ago in Ireland, your family would often disown you. And so, these mother and baby homes were set up and if you were a young woman who was pregnant, you would go in there. You would have your child and the child would be sold to a Catholic, often an American, wealthy American couples.

GOLODRYGA: Did Philomena's story impact your views on the church at all?

COOGAN: It did, actually because I mean I'm from a Catholic background although I'm not religious now. I'm glad that I had that education because I've taken -- I think I've taken the good stuff from it.

GOLODRYGA: Much of this modest movie's success is owed to the chemistry between Coogan and his leading lady who plays characters with almost nothing in common.

[Brief Philomena clip.]

GOLODRYGA: One of other reason this movie resonates is because of this unbelievable connection the two of you have and this chemistry.

COOGAN: We sort of burst the bubble very quickly. She made fun of me and accused me of having Botox and collagen implants, which I don't.

GOLODRYGA: For the record.

GOLODRYGA: This touching film has been nominated for multiple Oscars and guess who is keeping count?

COOGAN: We've got four. It's very exciting. Listen, I didn't even think we would get this far so it's all icing on the cake for me.

GOLODRYGA: No matter who takes home an Oscar next month, Philomena's message has made it a clear winner with audiences everywhere. Bianna Golodryga, ABC News, New York.

ROBERTS: Beautiful.

— Scott Whitlock is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Scott Whitlock on Twitter.