$75,000 was just an installment payment:
My first encounter with Stephanopoulos was during the 1992 New Hampshire primary, when Bill Clinton was grappling with womanizing allegations and his aide was trying to talk me out of doing a story. As a White House aide during the 1996 campaign, he gave me information—and a subsequent interview—aimed at tarnishing a former FBI agent who was making allegations about the president and the administration. Standard spinning stuff from a savvy operative.
People now forget that ABC originally hired Stephanopoulos as a liberal pundit, paired with Bill Kristol on the Sunday roundtable. But the network, impressed by his smarts and his political acumen, decided to move him into a journalistic role, first as host of “This Week” and then adding “Good Morning America” to his portfolio.
You know how Stephie got to be a “savvy operative” at the ripe old age of 30-35? By working on the Dukakis campaign at 27, followed by a job with Dick Gephardt. He stayed with Clinton through the 1996 campaign, for a full eight years of inside Democrat politics.
Who better to be an impartial journalist?
Let me be blunt: For George to give money to the Clinton Foundation, out of all possible charities, knowing full well that Hillary was gearing up to run, is a grave error in judgment. For him not to disclose this to his network or to viewers—especially when he was aggressively interviewing “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer about that very foundation—is unthinkable. And for ABC to brush this off as an “honest mistake” is embarrassing.
People already distrust the media as too liberal. A late-in-life journalist who began his career as a prominent Democrat working in the White House faces a special burden to demonstrate his independence. By donating to the Clintons’ family charity and keeping it secret, Stephanopoulos has failed that test.
In his statement of apology, Stephanopoulos said he gave the money because he cares deeply about AIDS and deforestation efforts.
I laughed out loud when I read that. The New England Patriots have mounted a more credible defense. If my wife should ever catch me in a compromising position, I’ll have to remember to cite my deep concern for deforestation.
Even a kinder, gentler BTL can’t accept this apology. In his position, I would have kept my “savvy operative” past foremost in the minds of the viewers. Not boastfully, but rather because every word I uttered, every thought I thought, would be suspect if I weren’t scrupulously open about my background. Just as they have been.
Son of a Greek Orthodox priest, and holder of an MA in Theology, where did he learn to prevaricate and obfuscate so expertly?
PS: Regular readers will know that my greatest beef is not with the individual reprobates in the Democrat/Media Complex, but with the Complex itself. ABC “News” (I’m laughing out loud as I type that) has not only excused Stephie’s “lapse”, they helped him spin it:
A worthy side note to the Stephanopoulos exposé is contained in its genesis. The story appears to have originated at the Washington Free Beacon, which asked ABC News for comment about the Stephanopoulos contributions last night. The next thing the Free Beacon knew, POLITICO had broken the story this morning. Free Beacon writer Andrew Stiles and site editor Matthew Continetti accused Stephanopoulos’ office and ABC of shipping the scoop to POLITICO. I sent email to ABC News seeking clarification on this point and did not hear back. I also asked Byers about the origin of his scoop to which he responded, “I’m not going to be able to talk about matters related to sourcing.”
If ABC News shopped the scoop, as the Beaconites claim, it wouldn’t be the first time that a news organization has been so preempted. Government and business play this retaliatory game all the time when journalists surprise them with a request for comment. What’s unbecoming is that a news organization might engage in this practice.
Come to think of it, that’s precisely the type of thing you could imagine the Stephanopoulos-era Clinton administration doing without compunction.
Exactly. But when “savvy operatives” become media whores, what is the network but a brightly lit brothel? Even Brian Williams was a career “journalist”—snort!—after interning for Jimmy Carter.