A TV critic formerly of “The Washington Post” has accused ABC and “Good Morning America” of using host Robin Roberts’ struggle with cancer as a ratings ploy.
Tom Shales wrote a guest column that was posted yesterday to Roger Ebert’s “Chicago Sun-Times” blog, entitled “Good Morning, Muppets.”
Shales said what was once a “respectable informational program," now has become “as newsy.. as ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”
Roberts has battled myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), or preleukemia. She recently underwent a bone marrow transplant and her sister was her donor. On that subject, Shales had “Something That Must Be Said,” in his opinon:
"It may have been said elsewhere already, but just in case, here goes: ABC has managed to turn the very serious illness of co-anchor Roberts into a huge promotional opportunity for GMA,” Shales said.
GMA has been number one in adults 25-54 demographic since Roberts took her medical leave Aug. 31, and total viewers have steadily increased.
ABC News senior VP Jeffrey Schneider responded to TV Newser, “To be clear, we are keeping faith with our viewers, who are deeply interested in Robin’s journey. We are also mindful that Robin derives great strength from the overwhelming outpouring of love. That Tom wouldn’t understand is no surprise around here.”