ABC's Good Morning America has endured an increasing amount of criticism for ignoring real news in favor of vacuous, irrelevant stories. That trend continued on Wednesday as the two-hour-long program offered no time to the convening of the new Republican Senate and House or of the GOP agenda. Instead, GMA reporters featured a full report on the "new way to fight frizzy hair."
Another segment focused on the separation of romance author Nicholas Sparks from his wife. The network reporters may defend themselves by noting that the show extensively covered the terrorist shooting in France. However, ABC also managed to promote child geniuses appearing on a reality TV show.
GMA journalists devoted six minutes and 38 seconds to encouraging people to bicycle and keep New Years resolutions. In total, these four segments (frizzy hair, reality TV, Nicholas Sparks and New Years) warranted 14 minutes and 39 seconds of coverage. With all that fluff, clearly there was time for coverage of the new Congress.
In May of 2014, new revelations broke about the substandard conditions at the Veterans Affairs medical facilities. GMA anchors ignored the story on May 20 and instead focused on strippers and Dancing With the Stars.
On January 4, the Baltimore Sun columnist David Zurawik excoriated GMA, comparing it to the "the worst local news."
ABC's Nightline on Tuesday night also skipped the new Congress, relegating coverage to the program's Twitter page. Nightline has suffered a similar fate to GMA. The once-vaunted news program, created during the hostage crisis in Iran, regularly skips serious stories that reflect badly on the Obama administration.
Who is the serious journalist at ABC? On Tuesday, comedian and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel announced, "You know, we have a new – and now Republican controlled – Congress starting today. The 114th Congress...convened today in our nation's capital."