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ABC's Diane Sawyer Hypes 'Secret' Mitt Romney Tapes: A 'Seismic' 'Political Earthquake'

On Tuesday night, the journalists at ABC continued to hype a "secret video" of Mitt Romney in the most hyperbolic terms. World News anchor Diane Sawyer went so far as to call it a "political earthquake" and a "seismic day." 

The anchor excitedly began the show by teasing, "...Caught on tape. New moments from the secret video of Governor Romney talking to his rich donors about a lot of American voters." She wondered if Romney would be able to "limit the damage." [MP3 audio here.]

In the video, Romney talked about the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay taxes.

Not holding back, Sawyer hyped, "Today there was a political earthquake in the presidential race and all because of a small camera secretly recording from the side of a room."

A political earthquake? ABC's over-the-top language started earlier in the day on Tuesday. Good Morning America's hosts pushed the "bombshell rocking" the campaign that is sending out "shock waves."

Later on World News, Sawyer introduced reporters Jon Karl and Jake Tapper to "bring us two perspectives on this seismic day."

Karl highlighted Rush Limbaugh suggesting, "This is such an opportunity to espouse conservatism and to explain. And we know Romney's got it in him because of what he said to these people."

Tapper, it should be pointed out, made the connection to 2008 comments by Barack Obama about small town voters. The then-candidate suggested "because of tough economic circumstances, they get bitter. They cling to religion and guns and xenophobia."

A partial transcript of the September 18 segment can be found below:  

6:30 tease

DIANE SAWYER: Tonight on World News, caught on tape. New moments from the secret video of Governor Romney talking to his rich donors about a lot of American voters.

MITT ROMNEY: Who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility.

SAWYER: Late today, the candidate tries to limit the damage. Did it work?

6:31

SAWYER: Good evening. Today there was a political earthquake in the presidential race and all because of a small camera secretly recording from the side of a room. It was a private fund-raiser for Governor Mitt Romney. He was talking to some of his wealthy donors and now Republicans and Democrats are debating the fallout from the tapes and the Romney campaign is in fall-on damage control with just 49 days to go before your voice, your vote. And ABC's David Muir, who covers the Romney campaign, starts us right now. David?

DAVID MUIR: Diane, good evening. The campaign late today telling me Mitt Romney hasn't watched the whole tape itself. But it's been posted now in its entirety. The secret tape at a fund-raiser and it was a question from a donor who asked Romney, "How are you going to convince everybody that they have to take care of themselves" that led to just one of the answers now being debated tonight.. Mitt Romney on the tarmac with his grandchildren today -- giving them a tour of the campaign plane. Welcome images on a day his campaign furiously worked to get past those other images. Captured in that video-

ROMNEY: In every stump speech I give-

MUIR: –showing Romney speaking to wealthy donors at a fund raiser in Boca Raton, Florida last May. Tonight the video out in its entirety. Romney making the argument that nearly half of the Americans believe they're victims. Going on to say that his job is not to worry about those people.

ROMNEY: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believes the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, food, to housing, to you name it. It's an entitlement and government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.

MUIR: Romney tells the donors, 47 percent of Americans don't pay income tax, saying that's why his tax plan doesn't resonate with them.

ROMNEY: And so my job is not to worry about those people . I'll never be able to convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the five to ten percent in the center.

...

SAWYER: As we said, all day long, we've heard from Republican fire brands as well as Democrats, all grappling with what the governor said about 47 percent of potential voters. ABC's Jake Tapper and ABC's Jon Karl bring us two perspectives on this seismic day. And Jon Karl, we'll begin with you, tell us about the Republican reaction, what the government said about all of those voters.

-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.