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'World News' reports on ABC debate

April 17, 2008 |  4:07 pm

As expected, the East Coast version of ABC's "World News" broadcast today reported on the aftermath of Wednesday night's controversial debate.

After a segment about the pope's visit to the U.S., "World News" anchor Charles Gibson, who had co-moderated the debate with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, turned to politics. He referred to the debate as "contentious" for the candidates but added what has been more apparent on the blogosphere today: that the day-after criticism has been "aimed toward the debate itself."

ABC News correspondent David Wright reported from Philadelphia about the fallout. The segment showed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) ridiculing the debate questions during a speech today and former President Bill Clinton brushing off the Obama complaints. Clinton pointed out that his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), has been attacked by criticism for "14 months." He said, in part, "I didn't hear her whining."

Wright said that ABC heard from "thousands of angry viewers" today, and he read viewer comments on both sides. (A look at the ABC message board shows that more than 16,850 posts have flooded the news website.)

When the news segment ended, Gibson concluded, "We appreciate all the comments sent in from all points of view."

ABC drew 10.7 million viewers for the debate, the most-watched of the campaign season.

-- Kate Aurthur