While Diane’s Away, the Mice Replay

We’ve all had that delicious moment of temptation at one time or another:

“The boss is away; I can do whatever I want!”

Apparently, for the staff of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” that moment came this morning. Unfortunately, they didn’t resist it.

Remember Diane Sawyer’s better-late-than-never efforts to make amends for her network and others’ ad-nauseum replays of Howard Dean’s post-Iowa caucus speech? Campaign Desk is pretty sure that Sawyer — on vacation this week from her co-hosting gig on GMA — would not have been pleased with what went down on this morning’s show.

Elizabeth Vargas, Sawyer’s stand-in, teased a segment on Vermont with this: “The green mountain state, birth place of Silent Cal Coolidge, home of Screaming How… well, Howard Dean …”

While Vargas caught herself mid-sentence, declining, just barely, to reduce Howard Dean’s candidacy to one frenzied moment in Iowa, Lara Spencer didn’t get that opportunity.

Spencer, speeding along a Vermont roadway in a red convertible, said: “So who are the famous Vermonters? How about presidents Chester A. Arthur, Calvin Coolidge, [cue a dignified black and white headshot of each] and former candidate Howard Dean [cue the “Iowa scream” footage]?”

Maybe Sawyer will let it slide — this time, the “scream” only played once.

Liz Cox Barrett

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.