Consistent with other media outlets, ABC's Good Morning America has completely ignored comedian Stephen Colbert's scathing routine at the April 29 White House Correspondents Association dinner -- in which he went after President Bush, the Bush administration, and the press -- while highlighting Bush's performance at the same event. On all three days the program has aired since the dinner, Good Morning America has featured a segment on Bush's skit with impersonator Steve Bridges in which, in the words of co-host Charles Gibson, Bush "took a few swipes at himself" by mocking his own mannerisms and communication skills. But the ABC morning show has not once mentioned Colbert, the featured entertainer of the night who appeared in character as the bombastic, Bush-supporting cable news host that he plays on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.
On the May 1 edition, the show featured a segment highlighting Bush's sketch, showing video clips, and remarking on Bridges' "uncanny" impersonation of Bush. The following day, Good Morning America hosted Bridges to discuss his performance. In teasing the segment, Gibson repeatedly praised the performance, stating that Bridges "did a great job with the president Saturday," telling viewers that he "[h]ope[d] you had a chance to see it," and even suggesting that the two "ought to go on the road together" with their routine. During his interview with Bridges, Gibson continued lavishly praising the performance, telling Bridges, "you did a great job on Saturday night, and it was good fun to play with the president and good that he was such a good sport about it."
On May 3, Gibson again brought up the skit while interviewing first lady Laura Bush about the Laura Bush Foundation for American Libraries and its program to award grants to schools in the Gulf Coast region to replace library books lost to damage from last year's hurricanes. Gibson aired a video clip of the sketch, in which Bridges commented that Mrs. Bush is "muy caliente," and asked her to comment on the "very funny" performance.
From the May 1 broadcast of ABC's Good Morning America:
GIBSON: All right. Thanks, Dan. Well, over the weekend, President Bush hosted the annual dinner for the White House press corps, and the crowd wound up doing a double-take.
Here he is with a presidential look-a-like at the dinner. Now, this event is half standup, half roast, and this year, the president even took a few swipes at himself. Here we are.
DIANE SAWYER (ABC anchor): It is uncanny.
ROBIN ROBERTS (Good Morning America co-anchor): I know. Steve Bridges is the comedian. The laugh that he had down was so perfect.
GIBSON: That was Bridges on the right.
ROBERTS: Yeah. I know. Thanks a lot. I wasn't quite sure there for a minute.
SAWYER: "Nucular prolib" -- I like that.
GIBSON: We'll be back. Local news coming up next.
From the May 2 broadcast of Good Morning America:
ROBERTS: Also ahead, a master of disguise. You may think you're looking at President Bush. You may think former President Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger. You're not. It's impersonator Steve Bridges. You remember him. Recently at the White House, that roast over the weekend. That's what you look like? That's Steve Bridges? Oh, without his makeup --
BRIDGES: This is it.
ROBERTS: This is it. [laughs] We're gonna talk to him later in this half hour. He is hysterical. All that ahead.
GIBSON: He did a great job with the president Saturday, too.
ROBERTS: Dead on. Dead on.
GIBSON: We played a good bit of that yesterday. Hope you had a chance to see it because the two of them, well, they ought to go on the road together. Actually, Steve's ratings are much higher than 38 percent.
GIBSON: I am delighted to say we've got Steven Bridges with us. Yeah, you saw him yesterday on this broadcast. He was at the White House correspondents' dinner on Saturday night playing with the president, the president on the left, Bridges on the right. Now, what does he look like without the presidential makeup?
GIBSON: Now, you met George Bush a number of years ago, and then you met him just before the performance on Saturday night. And does he like the act?
BRIDGES: Oh, yeah. He gets a kick out of it. Yeah, he actually saw a tape that we made for his mom. We got asked to customize a tape to introduce her before she spoke, and we were in the Oval Office, and he had seen that tape. And that's part of how we connected.
GIBSON: Well, you did a great job on Saturday night, and it was good fun to play with the president and good that he was such a good sport about it.
From the May 3 broadcast of Good Morning America:
GIBSON: This is a very worthy effort, and I know there are many more schools to be done. And, I suspect your foundation is going to be very active in doing them. And, this is certainly worthy, as I say, and to be congratulated for doing that. I just -- this is a little impertinent to ask but I just want to make sure -- is this really Laura Bush I'm talking to, or are you an impersonator?
LAURA BUSH: It's really me. That was funny.
GIBSON: It was very funny. I just want to play a little clip because we had Steve Bridges on yesterday, who is the fellow who impersonates your husband --
LAURA BUSH: Oh you did? Great.
GIBSON: -- and he was very nervous about the one line that everybody is talking about.
[begin video clip]
PRESIDENT BUSH: I'm absolutely delighted to be here. As is Laura.
BRIDGES: She's hot. Muy caliente.
[end video clip]
GIBSON: Steve said he wasn't at all sure he was going to be able to do that line. Did you know it was coming?
LAURA BUSH: No, I didn't know it was coming. I really hadn't sent he whole script. I knew that the, of course, George had Steve coming to be his alter ego, but it was very funny.
GIBSON: Steve said the president passed on the line and said if it was OK with him, then I guess it was going to be OK with Mrs. Bush. Anyway, congratulations to you. The foundation doing good work, and this is very important.
LAURA BUSH: Thanks so much.