ABC's David Wright uncritically repeated Palin claim that Obama has been "palling around with terrorists"


During a report on ABC's Good Morning America, David Wright stated that Gov. Sarah Palin "accus[ed]" Sen. Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists," but did not note that The New York Times, in the article Palin cited in making that claim, reported that "the two men do not appear to have been close."

On the October 9 edition of ABC's Good Morning America, correspondent David Wright uncritically reported that Gov. Sarah Palin has "accus[ed]" Sen. Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists." Wright was referring to comments originally made by Palin during an October 4 Colorado campaign appearance, in which she referred to an October 4 New York Times article about Obama's relationship with William Ayers and asserted: "I was reading my copy of today's New York Times and I was interested to read about Barack's friends from Chicago." She went on to assert: "Our opponent though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country?" However, Wright did not note that the Times, in the article Palin cited in making that claim, reported that Obama and Ayers "do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called 'somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.' " Indeed, as Washington Post White House reporter Michael Abramowitz noted in an October 5 article, Palin's comments are a "distortion of what the Times story concluded."

From the October 9 edition of ABC's Good Morning America:

WRIGHT: Good morning, Robin. Attacking your opponent's character -- nothing new in politics. It's a strategy that's been around more than two thousand years. But in the past couple of days, the Republicans have been laying it on thick, chumming the waters, and, not surprisingly, ugly reactions are beginning to surface.

[begin video clip]

WRIGHT: Asked by Sean Hannity whether he believes Obama is prepared to be president, John McCain gave a blunt, two-word answer.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: I don't, but I'll let the American people make a judgment in just 28 days.

WRIGHT: McCain's running mate has been even harsher, accusing Obama of "palling around with terrorists."

PALIN: It makes me question who he would associate himself with in the future.

WRIGHT: Now, even Cindy McCain is piling on, accusing Obama of waging the dirtiest campaign in American history, and claiming he can't sympathize with military families.

CINDY McCAIN: I would suggest that Senator Obama change shoes with me for just one day and see what it means -- and see what it means to have a loved one serving in the armed forces.

WRIGHT: It's a full-bore attack on Obama's character -- suggesting he's yellow, disloyal, and doesn't belong.

Posted In
David Wright, Sarah Palin
Good Morning America
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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