I’m not talking about interviewing Julia Louis-Dreyfus about the new Veep table read. I’m also not talking about indulging in Louis-Dreyfus’ criticism of the Trump administration, which is certainly fair game even if you disagree with it. I’m not even complaining about the lack of balance on Good Morning America — if you’re watching it, you already know what you’re going to get on politics. Caveat emptor, friends — they’re under no obligation to honor the long-dead Fairness Doctrine.
If they’re going to raise money for Democrats and campaign organizations, however, that’s another matter. GOP rapid-response director Steve Guest noticed that former Clinton adviser-turned-ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos turned this segment into a fundraiser for America Votes — a GOTV outfit for progressive Democrats:
WATCH: Egregious media bias in action:
ABC's George Stephanopoulos has Julia Louis-Dreyfus on #GMA to promote a VEEP table read to benefit a progressive group trying to elect Democrats in Georgia.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 4, 2020
“All of you at home can get tickets for Veep‘s live virtual table read happening on Sunday,” Stephanopoulos says. “Go to Show Up For Georgia dot com.” That is a subdomain of Act Blue (check the redirect URL), the online fundraising organization for Democratic candidates — and a very successful platform for that purpose, too. According to OpenSecrets.org, it’s a hybrid PAC/super-PAC that raised well over three billion dollars in the 2020 cycle. Half of that — well over $1.6 billion, according to Open Secrets — was spent on contributions to federal candidates, while $422 million went to committees (including joint committees) and $213 million went to “national parties” — in other words, to Democrats.
The America Votes page on which this domain lands makes no bones about where the ticket proceeds will go, either:
Your donation to America Votes directly supports the Georgia-based groups working to educate and turn out voters for January’s critical US Senate runoff elections. Join us to #ShowUpForGeorgia.
If this was on one of ABC’s entertainment shows, it might still be suspect. However, GMA operates under the aegis of ABC News, just as Nightline, This Week, and World News Tonight do. Since when do news programs promote fundraising for political campaigns and candidates?
This certainly looks like a massive in-kind contribution to Democrats. What does ABC News have to say for themselves — and will they report this properly to the IRS?