Ed Driscoll

Stephanopoulos: Democrat Operative Posing as Objective Journalist

Investor’s Business Daily looks back at Stephanopoulos’ early days, and how one of the Clintons’ young thugs transitioned to a media talking head:

But he really made his reputation in Bill Clinton’s 1991 campaign. In “The War Room,” a 1993 documentary of that race, Stephanopoulos comes across as politically ruthless. At one point, he menacingly tells someone on the phone: “I guarantee if you do this, you’ll never work in Democratic politics again.” He was 30 years old.

Once in the White House, Stephanopoulos became a spinmeister par excellence, dealing with Clinton’s so-called “bimbo eruptions” and the many other scandals that surfaced — Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Nannygate, coptergate, and so on — too many to number.

When former FBI agent Gary Aldrich wrote “Unlimited Access,” an unflattering expose of the Clinton White House, Stephanopoulos attacked. He called Aldrich a “pathological liar” and, with others, pressured ABC’s “Nightline,” CNN’s “Larry King Live” and “Dateline NBC” to cancel Aldrich appearances.

Even liberal journalists came to distrust Stephanopoulos. As we noted in 1996, Clinton’s first press spokesman in 1992 was moved to another job within just months “because everyone in the White House press corps quickly learned not to believe a word he said.”

So how did Stephanopoulos the fact-challenged operative become Stephanopoulos the objective journalist?

A little tap dancing is all it took. After losing a bruising battle to become Clinton’s chief of staff, Stephanopoulos quit in 1996. The highly partisan aide “portrayed himself as nonpartisan after leaving the White House and was hired by ABC News in 1997 as a news analyst,” wrote Shirley Anne Warshaw in “The Clinton Years.”

In 1999, he completed his self-rehabilitation with a political confessional titled, “All Too Human: A Political Education.” In it, he offered mild criticisms of the Clintons, and bemoaned his own lost political innocence.

That did the trick. In 2002, he became anchor of ABC’s Sunday news program, “This Week.”

Ahh, the power of magical thinking among the corrupt: ABC likely came to trust Stephanopoulos as being “objective” in much the same way that Al Pacino’s mob boss trusted Donnie Brasco not to be a cop.

Related: “George Stephanopoulos’s Clinton Foundation Hypocrisy Is Staggering,” our own Victor Davis Hanson adds at the Corner. Read the whole thing.