Above is a clip of ABC’s Ashleigh Banfield interviewing self-proclaimed potential presidential candidate Donald Trump on “Good Morning America,” an interview that kicks off almost immediately with Trump offering: “Part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”
As the conversation continues, Trump makes a series of statements that it’s reasonable to think are at least worthy of further discussion: from what should be done in Libya (“If we could surgically strike to stop that from happening, I’d be for it — but not to get into a war.”), to offshore piracy (“The pirates — they’re nothing. … Give me an admiral and a couple of ships; I would wipe them out of the sea so fast.”) to Obama’s origins (“The reason I have a little doubt — just a little — is because he grew up and nobody knew him.”)
Not once does Banfield ask a follow-up question. Not once does Banfield challenge him. Or if she did, she and ABC chose not to show us, which amounts to the same thing. I suppose there’s some value in letting the country see Trump unvarnished, but really, as a news reporter, shouldn’t you feel some duty to say, “But …”?
Not even in the “GMA” post-interview wrap-up do Banfield or host George Stephanopoulos evaluate the quality of his statments — all they’re interested in is whether he will run for office and how much attention he draws. No, this isn’t “This Week” or “Meet the Press,” but come on — give a fella at least one hoop to jump through.