On the March 5 edition of ABC's Good Morning America, senior political correspondent Jake Tapper stated that in a March 4 speech to commemorate those who took part in the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" Civil Rights march, "Senator Hillary Clinton [D-NY], who was raised in Illinois, adopted a curious southern drawl during her speech to the Alabama crowd." Tapper made his report after an item linking to audio excerpts from Clinton's speech was posted on the website of Internet gossip Matt Drudge.
At 6:37 a.m. ET, a link to a video of Clinton speaking at the event -- with the headline "KENTUCKY FRIED HILLARY: NY SENATOR ADOPTS SOUTHERN DRAWL IN CHURCH SERVICE..." -- was posted on The Drudge Report. Tapper gave his report on Good Morning America at 7:08 a.m. Tapper also posted a March 5 entry on the same subject on his Political Punch weblog on ABCNews.com:
Listen to a montage of Clinton in this iFilms clip (CLICK HERE) Clinton, raised in Illinois and representing New York, affected a sporadic but curious Southern drawl in her speech. "I" became "Ahhh," "far" morphed into "fahhhr," and "mayor" suddenly sounded like "mare."
(You should note that Clinton's exhortation that "I don't feel noways tired" isn't quite as bad as it seems -- she's quoting "James Cleveland's great freedom hymn" which you can see HERE Still, the molasses that suddenly appeared in the senator's mouth was interesting. Though a former Clinton aide reminds me that Clinton lived for quite a spell in Arkansas, of course.)
While Tapper's blog does not indicate at what time he posted the Clinton entry, he links to the same audio clip of her speech as Drudge did, a clip apparently uploaded to the site www.ifilm.com by former Drudge colleague Andrew Breitbart. On his blog, Tapper noted that Clinton, who was speaking at Selma, Alabama's, First Baptist Church, "lived for quite a spell in Arkansas." However, he did not include this information in his March 5 Good Morning America remarks. Clinton moved to Arkansas in 1975, the year she married former President Bill Clinton and joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas Law School. She resided in Arkansas until 1993, the year of Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration.
Nor did Tapper include in his Good Morning America report the fact that, as he noted on his blog, in part of the audio to which Drudge links, Clinton was quoting "James Cleveland's great freedom hymn."
As Media Matters for America has previously noted, ABC News political director Mark Halperin has claimed that Drudge "can influence the news like Walter Cronkite did" and claimed that "[i]f Drudge has a siren up, people know it's something they have to look at." Halperin's book, The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 (Random House, 2006), which he co-wrote with Politico Editor-in-Chief John F. Harris, includes a chapter titled: "How Matt Drudge Rules Our World."
From the March 5 broadcast of ABC's Good Morning America:
TAPPER: Two other items of note: Senator Hillary Clinton, who was raised in Illinois, adopted a curious southern drawl during her speech to the Alabama crowd.