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.