STEPHANOPOULOS EXCUSE: AL GORE'S JUST "IN THE ZONE"
Today's Good Morning America:
Diane Sawyer: "Part of the Bush campaign's contention is that the media is disgraceful on all of this. Climbing on the Gore bandwagon, not calling the Gore campaign on any of its fundraising issues, including now reports that the Lincoln Bedroom and Camp David were sold by the Clinton administration to fund-raise."
George Stephanopoulos: "You know, and political scientists have written about this. They talk about the bandwagon effect, that once a candidate gets in the zone, all of the coverage is good, almost no matter what happens, and when you're out of the zone, even when you do things right, it goes against you."
REALITY CHECK: Sawyer made the first broadcast network morning or evening show mention of the allegation that Hillary Clinton's been rewarding donors to her Senate campaign with White House favors.
No ABC, CBS, or NBC show has followed newspaper reports on the Justice Department probe of Gore's fundraising calls to Texas trial lawyers - and whether there was a financial quid pro quo over the veto of a GOP tort-reform bill in 1996. Today's newspapers carried Bush's criticism of Gore over these reports, but the networks are still ignoring the story.
MRC Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham declared: "This week's network coverage suggests that newspaper stories on fundraising corruption are just too sophisticated for the RATS pack."