GOP talking point echoed during ABC coverage of NFL season opener

During ABC's coverage of the National Football League's (NFL) season opening game, which pitted the New England Patriots against the Indianapolis Colts, play-by-play announcer Al Michaels echoed a popular Bush-Cheney '04 talking point: that Senator John Kerry (D-MA) flip-flops on the issues.

Following two consecutive turnovers in the September 9 game, which took place in Foxboro, Massachusetts, Michaels and “expert analyst” John Madden had the following exchange:

MICHAELS: What a wacky series.

MADDEN: This is what you call a flip-flop.

MICHAELS: You're in the right state for that.

Center for Responsive Politics records show that Michaels contributed $2,000 to the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign in June 2003.

Michaels has a history of pro-conservative comments. According to the conservative Media Research Center (MRC), during a 2002 Monday Night Football broadcast, Michaels awarded CNN Crossfire co-host Paul Begala a “lifetime achievement award” for what Dennis Miller (fellow conservative, former Monday Night Football commentator, and current CNBC host) deemed “the biggest fake of the year, Paul Begala's last smile.” And in 2000, Michaels described then-Florida Secretary of State and current U.S. Representative Katherine Harris (R-FL) (who played a critical role in the disputed 2000 presidential election) as an “American heroine.” Also in 2000, Michaels said Peggy Noonan's writing gave him “goose bumps.” Noonan is a conservative columnist, Wall Street Journal contributing editor, and former speechwriter under President Ronald Reagan.

Michaels's name appears on a list of “conservative celebrities” on the right-wing online forum Free Republic.