Why Did ABC Hire George Stephanopoulos?

I wanted to remark on the recent story that’s hit the news, that previous Clinton Administration functionary and present ABC new anchor George Stephanopoulos has contributed substantial sums to the Clinton Foundation or one of its large web of organization and foundations. I’ll repeat what I’ve been saying for years.

It was unseemly at the very least for ABC News to hire George Stephanopoulous in the first place. There might have been some argument for hiring him as a consultant but hiring him as an anchor is teetering on the brink of a breach of journalistic ethics already. Allowing him to interview the Clintons or former administration officials steps over that brink. Ethics has required him to recuse himself from interviewing them all along.

The question I think we need to be asking ourselves is why did ABC hire Mr. Stephanopoulos in the first place? I think it’s undoubtedly to allow him to perform exactly these sorts of activities. They wanted his contacts.

Being an honest, decent political correspondent is hard enough to begin with without allowing political apparatchiki to saunter into the top jobs in the field. You’ve got to build knowledge, contacts, and a reputation for fairness over a period of years. It’s that much more difficult when the top jobs go to people who are partisan operatives.

More than a half century ago Ike warned prophetically about a military industrial complex that threatened democracy in America. Now we’re faced with a media non-profit complex that poses a very similar threat. It’s no accident. There has been a deliberate Gramscian “long march” and Mr. Stephanopolous’s ongoing breaches of ethics illustrate just how effective it has been.

17 comments… add one
  • Andy Link

    Yes, I agree it’s problematic. There is certainly plenty of opportunity for him to be an “analyst” or host a political opinion show (ie. Like a Maddow or Hannity) but I don’t see how he can be a straight journalist without partisan taint.

  • PD Shaw Link

    I guess I never given it much thought, and I may never have seen Stephanopoulos anyway. I guess I sort of assumed that his Sunday program was sort of a blended opinion program anyway and didn’t even realize that he got the anchor spot. Diane Sawyer and Tim Russert are two other political news people.

  • Al Sheeber Link

    You could be interested to look back at news reports (few) from 1996- Stephanop was involved in a Gay brawl, D.C and over a weekend he was gone, the entire Clinton supporting media kept the lid on the story-the Gay operative was gone, overnight-he has a pad and is “enrolled” @ columbia School of Liars (Journalism), and bingo- a job for life at ABC. Further investigations, will reveal that he was getting ver handsomely paid, knoing he will secure access to the Clinton Crime Organization over time, securing for the Mouse Network access to the Bonanos of Arkansas.

  • Lee Link

    I thought it was a bad idea back when it happened, and back then I was a liberal and Clinton supporter.

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