If ABC’s chief anchor thought two apologies over his undeclared Clinton Foundation donations would be enough to pacify his critics, he was wrong.
It has been a rough weekend for ABC News’s embattled chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos, and an even worse Sunday.
On CNN’s Reliable Sources media criticism program, Stephanopoulos’s former ABC News colleague, Carole Simpson, unloaded on the former top aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton that she said she likes and respects.
“There is a coziness that George cannot escape,” said Simpson, who toiled for two decades at ABC News, notably as the weekend anchor of World News Tonight from 1988 to 2003. “While he did try to separate himself from his political background to become a journalist, he really isn’t a journalist.”
Thus Simpson attempted to obliterate Stephanopoulos’s claims of impartiality as the 2016 presidential campaign heats up, featuring Hillary Clinton’s status as the prohibitive frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.
Like Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter and another former ABC News colleague, Jeff Greenfield, Simpson said she was “dumbfounded” by Thursday’s revelation that Stephanopoulos failed to disclose $75,000 in recent donations to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation—this, as he conducted a confrontational April 26 interview with Clinton Foundation critic Peter Schweizer.
“I wanted to just take him by the neck and say, ‘George, what were you thinking?’ Clearly, he was not thinking. I thought it was outrageous,” Simpson said. “And I am sorry that again the public trust in the media is being challenged and frayed because of the actions of some of the top people in the business.”
Simpson added that despite Stephanopoulos’s alleged lack of journalistic bona fides, “ABC has made him the face of ABC News, the chief anchor, and I think they’re really caught in a quandary here. While ABC says this was ‘an honest mistake,’ they don’t feel that way. Secretly, they are hopping mad, I am sure.”
How far to the left is Carole Simpson? This far. And if she (and Grove at the left-leaning Daily Beast) can see Stephanopoulos’ enormous conflict of interest, perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope that even the brass at ABC can, particularly if the issue doesn’t go away. (Keep up the pressure, conservative Blogosphere.)