For a long time, it’s been impossible to call ABC News an actual news outlet. But Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos reminded the world of that this week as he participated in a gross PR attempt to rehabilitate fellow Democrat Alec Baldwin in the wake of his on-set shooting of a crew member.
The interview was backed by dramatic music, slow motion, a trailer and assurances by Stephanopoulos that Baldwin is a “broken,” “crushed” man. Clearly leaving the realm of news, here is the almost two minute trailer for the ABC exclusive, complete with attempted heart-grabbing score.
The trailer was so bad that even liberal Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC was appalled. On Friday, she ranted: “But just the music and the producing of it… is just so cringeworthy…. And they put this dramatic music as if almost to make sure they get a lot of viewers and they play up the drama or I don’t know, I am so uncomfortable.”
On Friday, Good Morning America devoted 16 minutes of the show to the mostly supportive interview with Baldwin. Vouching for the actor, Stephanopoulos assured, “I have known Baldwin for years and never seen him so crushed. Baldwin says he did not pull the trigger of the prop gun, which shockingly contained a live bullet.”
So if Baldwin and Stephanopoulos are friends, did it occur to anyone at ABC that he might not be the right man for the job? .
The multi-segment interview, which also aired on ABC Thursday night and is available on Hulu, is clearly an exercise in getting ahead of potential charges or bad news for Baldwin:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: It wasn’t in the script for the trigger to be pulled.
ALEC BALDWIN: Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You never pulled the trigger.
BALDWIN: No, no, no, I would never point a gun at anybody and pull a trigger.
Firearms expert (and former Media Research Center employee) Stephen Gutowski was skeptical. Writing at the Reload, he explained:
At first glance, this sounds far-fetched. It is exceedingly rare for a gun to fire without the trigger being depressed. Modern firearms, even replicas of antique guns, have safeties specifically designed to prevent them from firing without the trigger being pulled. It only really happens when the gun’s firing mechanism is damaged, or there is a significant design flaw.
That’s why most gun owners and firearms safety trainers are highly skeptical of any claim a gun just “went off” absent user error.
Of course, Stephanopoulos didn’t say anything like that. Instead, when GMA journalist Cecilia Vega marveled, “You can see just how broken he is through this,” Stephanopoulos sympathized: “So clearly.” To Baldwin, he wondered, “Is this the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?”
Stephanopoulos hit a few basic points, like asking, “Why did you choose not to check the gun yourself?” But clearly, his job was to rehabilitate the actor after the terrible shooting.
In September of 2020, the Disney-owned ABC relentlessly promoted Mulan, but buried the fact that the movie filmed near brutal Chinese concentration camps. ABC is propaganda for liberals, Democrats, the Chinese communists. You name it, they are corrupted by it.
The pro-Baldwin propaganda was sponsored by Progressive Insurance. Click on the link to let them know what you think.
A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Good Morning America
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, America on this Friday morning, my in-depth interview with Alec Baldwin. Baldwin insists he never pulled the trigger and that someone is responsible for the deadly weapon on the Rust set. ABC News exclusive. Alec Baldwin speaks out, describing the moments that led up to the deadly film set shooting, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
ALEC BALDWIN: I was told I was handed an empty gun.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Asking the question at the heart of the investigation — where did the live round come from?
BALDWIN: The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me till probably 45 minutes to an hour later.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The actor takes us step by step of what happened on the set. Why did you choose not to check the gun yourself? And opens up about the emotional meeting with halyna’s husband and son after the tragedy.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We begin with Alec Baldwin. This was his first interview since the film set accident that took the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. I have known Baldwin for years and never seen him so crushed. Baldwin says he did not pull the trigger of the prop gun, which shockingly contained a live bullet.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It wasn’t in the script for the trigger to be pulled.
BALDWIN: Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You never pulled the trigger.
BALDWIN: No, no, no, I would never point a gun at anybody and pull a trigger. Never. That’s the training I had. Halyna and I had something profound in common and that is we both assumed the gun was empty. Other than those dummy rounds. I let go of the hammer and bang, the gun goes off. Everyone is horrified. They’re shocked. It’s loud. They don’t have their earplugs in. The gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun. If there were cosmetic rounds, nothing with a charge at all, a flash round, nothing. She goes down, I thought to myself did she faint? The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me till probably 45 minutes to an hour later.
CECILIA VEGA: You can see just how broken he is through this.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So clearly.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We move to more of my interview with Alec Baldwin. He talks about the relationship with the young armorer responsible for the guns on set and the key question, how did live bullets get on that set? How could this have happened? The key question now, why was there a real bullet in the prop gun used on the Rust movie set?
BALDWIN: Why did you choose not to check the gun yourself?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Some crew members said the set was riddled with safety concerns, allegations the producers have disputed.
LANE LUPER (first camera assistant who quit the production): It wasn’t just one individual, everything had to fall into place for this one in a trillion thing to happen.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is this the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?
BALDWIN: Yes, yes. Yeah. Because I — I think back and I think of what could I have done?