And now the amount of Stephanopoulos’ donation to the Clinton slush fund rises to $75,000. As John Nolte wrote earlier today at Big Journalism before that latest (bench-made bespoke John Lobb) shoe dropped, the news today regarding Stephanopoulos is worse than the Walter Mitty-style fantasies of Brian Williams:
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.
With his $50,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation, and the decision not to reveal that donation to their viewers while reporting on various Clinton Foundation scandals, George Stephanopoulos and ABC News not only have a very personal conflict-of-interest with what is now the biggest story in the 2016 presidential race, they actively covered it up.
Without once informing its viewers that their anchorman’s personal $50,000 investment in the Clinton Foundation, ABC News serially-trotted Stephanopoulos out as an objective, unbiased reporter and analyst on the subject.
And after being caught, just like a sleazy and corrupt politician, ABC News ran to the left-wing Politico to dishonestly make it look as though they were being pro-active. Despite Politico agreeing to play along with dishonest headlines like this, ABC News and Stephanopoulos did not come forward to “disclose” his contribution. He and ABC News were caught by the Washington Free Beacon, and only then ran to a Politico that was obviously willing to play along. .
Quoting from the Politico, Ed Morrissey notes that Stephanopoulos will recuse himself from ABC’s GOP debate but not from
continuing to run interference for his former boss covering the presidential campaign:
The “Good Morning America” co-anchor and host of “This Week” said that he would not moderate ABC’s GOP debate, which is scheduled to take place in February in New Hampshire. Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday that Stephanopoulos should be prohibited from moderating any debates during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I won’t moderate that debate,” Stephanopoulos said. “I think I’ve shown that I can moderate debates fairly*. That said, I know there have been questions made about moderating debates this year. I want to be sure I don’t deprive viewers of a good debate.”
But Stephanopoulos said that he would not recuse himself from coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, despite urging from the office of Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, which said Thursday that Sen. Lee would be advised not to go on “This Week” unless the host “recuses himself from all 2016 coverage.”
To bring this post full circle, I’d like to think that we’ve entered the Brian Williams exit game phase of Stephanopoulos’ broadcast career with ABC, but that would involve both ABC understanding the severity of his bias and and the GOP, beyond Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul, willing to play hardball, both of which seem like fantasies at the moment. But as with Williams, drip..drip…drip…
* Half the country replies, “I think not, champ.”
“Man, Stephanopolous is a jackass.” pic.twitter.com/k08ILj5AcR
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) May 14, 2015
Update: “‘Clinton Cash’ Author Slams Stephanopoulos, ABC News for ‘Massive Breach of Ethical Standards,'” Bloomberg reports:
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?”
Evidently not. In a statement, Stephanopoulos apologized. An ABC News spokesman told Politico reporter Dylan Byers the network would not take punitive action against its star host: “We accept his apology. It was an honest mistake.”
As honest as anything ever said by a former and current Clinton surrogate.
Update: “Flashback 1996: Why ABC shouldn’t hire Stephanopoulos,” from Byron York of the Washington Examiner, digging out his old reporter’s notebook today. I don’t think anybody would have had a problem if ABC had hired Stephanopoulos to be their inside baseball political commentator, like his Clinton colleague James Carville, or Karl Rove. But as York writes, it only took ABC a few years after hiring Stephanopoulos before they allowed him to pose as an “unbiased” anchorman and debate moderator.
By the way, add Ted Cruz to the growing chorus of GOP heavyweights who are saying “enough” to ABC.