The scandals that derailed the career of NBC News anchor Brian Williams are of the pathetic and pathological kind. Obviously, Williams is not to be trusted. Nevertheless, other than the Katrina fairytales that were obviously meant to damage President Bush, all of his lies were self-aggrandizing resume-enhancers. What ABC News and their chief political correspondent George Stephanopoulos are guilty of makes Williams and NBC News look like freshly-scrubbed Eagle Scouts…
How deep in bed is ABC with the Clintons? ABC is the same network that not only edited its own “Path to 9/11″ miniseries to protect the Clintons; ABC has since memory-holed the miniseries. Rather than make money with a DVD release or a re-broadcast, ABC decided instead to protect the Clintons by deep-sixing a miniseries critical of Bill Clinton.
How are we supposed to begin to trust an anchorman and news outlet that would cover up such a massive conflict of interest until they were caught — and then engage in Clintonian spin after being caught?
When Peter Schweizer appeared on This Week on April 26 to promote his new book about the Clintons, he got a skeptical grilling from host George Stephanopoulos. One subject that wasn’t raised? The fact that Stephanopoulous has personally contributed $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation, as Politico reported Thursday morning.
With the ABC host’s donations suddenly in the spotlight, Schweizer feels he got burned. “Really quite stunned by this,” he said in an e-mail. It’s “a massive breach of ethical standards. He fairly noted my four months working as a speech writer for George W. Bush. But he didn’t disclose this?”
“It’s a mistake, and it’s a dumb one, but it’s not a criminal offense,” said Columbia University Journalism School professor Dick Wald, a former vice president and “ethics czar” of ABC News. “Other people have done other dumb things.”
Wald told The Daily Beast that if Stephanopoulos had disclosed his contributions to viewers, there would have been nothing wrong with his doing the Schweizer interview.
“Audiences aren’t dumb,” Wald said. “They are perfectly capable of making decisions about whether or not this was a reasonable series of questions and answers.”
Asked if it wouldn’t have been better if Stephanopoulos had recused himself and delegated the interview to another correspondent, Wald answered: “They could have switched, but that’s not necessary. It might have been a smart thing to do in retrospect.”
How big a deal is this? Large: Stephanopoulos IS ABC News. Though he doesn’t anchor “ABC World News Tonight,” he is the network’s chief anchor, meaning that he fronts the network in breaking news situations — or just when it matters. More: He is anchor of “Good Morning America” and of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”…
A donation from Stephanopoulos to the Clinton Foundation in any amount constitutes a scandal and an immediate crisis for ABC News. Though the donations in 2013 and 2014 appear to have occurred after Hillary Clinton left the State Department (in early 2013) and before she announced her presidential run (weeks ago), come on: Her inevitability as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination has been a Washington fact throughout this period…
Good journalism simply cannot tolerate such a stake. Stephanopoulos already has a history with the Clintons, having served as Bill’s senior adviser for policy and strategy. Those ties already had media critics — many of them conservatives — wary of just how objective he could be in covering a Clinton-colored political landscape. Now he has confirmed their wariness, in perhaps the dumbest move by a major media figure in some time.
Does Stephanopoulos have the bona fides at this point to cover the Clintons? Nah.
In September of 2013, the This Week anchor sat down with Clinton for an interview that encompassed several topics, but included a three-minute segment about CGI.
“In the meantime, (Hillary Clinton) has joined the Clinton Foundation,” Stephanopoulos says in the introduction to that segment. “[And] of course, at the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings philanthropists and CEOs together with nonprofits to make concrete commitments aimed at some of the world’s toughest problems. Almost 10 years in, they have leveraged billions of dollars in assistance to more than 180 countries and we have talked to President Clinton about that, too.”
George Stephanopoulos thanked Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook in the acknowledgement section of his 1999 tell-all memoir All Too Human…
Mook was an undergrad student at Columbia during Stephanopoulos’ brief tenure and was already politically active. He was a member of the College Democrats and was active in Democratic politics in his home state of Vermont.
Mook was also part of the team of interns who worked under Stephanopolous’ research assistant at Columbia, responsible for “reviewing thousands of pages of public records and making sure I got my facts straight,” wrote Stephanopolous…
The Clinton campaign did not return a request for comment on Mook’s relationship with Stephanopoulos.
Let’s all recall that the Democrats’ 2012 #WarOnWomen main campaign theme was not announced by an acknowledged partisan, but by an unacknowledged, covert one — George Stephanopolous, injecting birth control into the Republican debate, and furthermore asking about Mitt Romney’s views on it — though Mitt Romney had never before indicated he had any political opinion on birth control. (And his confused, What the hell are you talking about? response signaled that.)
The question was, maybe, appropriate if directed towards Rick Santorum, but then, the Democrat Party wasn’t afraid of Rick Santorum — they were doing their Battlespace Preparation against Mitt Romney, not Santorum.
He says the question was not planted.
Here’s what I say: He’s a goddamned liar.
But you see, the thing is, once again, there’s a whole generation of Millennials, they don’t know Stephanopoulos had anything to do with the Clintons in the nineties. They don’t know that Stephanopoulos was half of the war room with Serpent Head. They don’t know anything about anything. All they know of Stephanopoulos is that he’s the guy that tripped up Mitt Romney on contraception and got that whole stupid War on Women thing going…
He’s not sorry for anything. The real question is, how many other reporters have donated to the Clinton Crime Family Foundation? That’s what I want to know. I don’t think it stops Stephanopoulos. You think he’s the only one of these guys giving to that foundation? Every damn one of these. The Clintons have let it be known if you want them, you have to buy them. If you want access, you have to pay for it. You want to interview them, you have to pay, except for NBC because they hired Chelsea…
He went from Clinton war room defender and hack and campaign strategist right to Good Morning America. There’s only one reason that happens, and that’s ABC’s buying access to the Clintons. Now, they may have some studies that women like the way Stephanopoulos looks and on the morning show that’s what you want, yip yip yip yip yahoo, but that’s a secondary reason. He wasn’t even a journalist. He didn’t even have a journalism pedigree. He’s a political strategist, a campaign consultant. He was hired as such.
“Of course not,” Cruz replied on Thursday when asked if Stephanopoulos should be hosting any debates in 2016. “Debates should not be moderated by partisan Democrats who are actively supporting one of the candidates.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) also said that Stephanopoulos shouldn’t be allowed to host any debates in 2016.
“It’s impossible to divorce yourself from that, even if you try,” Paul said of Stephanopoulos’ Clinton Foundation donations, according to the New York Times. “I just think it’s really, really hard because he’s been there, so close to them, that there would be a conflict of interest if he tried to be a moderator of any sort.”
[N]obody is saying Stephanopoulos should be fired for this. But a suspension certainly makes sense given his failure to disclose the three donations he made ($25K each) over a two-year span, and the poor light this sheds on ABC, currently #1 in the primetime news race. And when he returns, Martha Raddatz should take his seat out of the This Week bullpen, which she’s already used to doing on occasion. As for his hosting GMA, that can go on after the suspension because serious politics are discussed less and less on the program.
Is all of this too harsh? Not even close.
Because the next time Stephanopoulos goes at a Sens. Paul or Cruz or Rubio or Govs. Bush or Huckabee or Dr. Carson or (insert 10 other candidates here) hard, half the audience will simply scream bias, even if the donation and his former occupation in the Clinton White House has no bearing on how the anchor performs his duties.
[U]p until now he has been treated as a straight newsman under the informal rule that allows political operatives one free career change. We all seem to think there’s nothing much wrong with a politician or political aide crossing over into journalism so long as they keep away from partisan hackery and don’t actively work to advance the causes of their former associates or bosses. But by giving so much to what is, in effect, a non-profit political slush fund for Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Stephanopoulos has violated that rule.
He ought to recuse himself from any further reporting or comment about the Clinton Cash issue or Hillary but we know that won’t happen. Like the Clintons, Stephanopoulos will simply move on and act as if nothing has happened that should cause us to view him differently.
But while what happens to him isn’t all that important, it still must be pointed out that if a journalist were exposed as giving money to the Koch Brothers charities and then reported on them, there would be howls for his scalp throughout the media. The rules are different for liberals.
The real story in my mind is that the Republican Party ever thought George Stephanopoulos should moderate a Republican Presidential debate to begin with. Did I mention he is a former Clinton employee?
George Stephanopoulos may be as objective as possible, but he is still a liberal with a liberal world view. That thinking shapes his questions to candidates and was on full display in 2012 when he asked Mitt Romney about banning birth control.
Not one damn soul in America thinks that is going to happen and there is not a single elected official in the United States who is seriously considering that, or was even considering it in 2012. But George Stephanopoulos felt the need to ask that question as a way to set up a media gotcha moment to feed on the “war on women” narrative.
I long ago concluded that most journalists don’t notice liberal bias for the same reason fish don’t notice water. It’s everywhere, all around them, and it’s all they’ve ever known. Because liberalism is the default mindset of nearly everyone in the media, it becomes a sort of self-confirming prejudice, where those who don’t buy into the liberal mythology are systematically excluded from the industry and the few dissenters are ostracized within the industry…
The vile dishonesty of the Democrat-Media Complex is exceeded only by the vile hypocrisy of the Democrat-Media Complex.
Via the Free Beacon.