What to do, what to do … with George Stephanopoulos. The host of two ABC News shows, “Good Morning America” and “The Week,” is himself in the headlines after Dylan Byers broke the story at Politico that the onetime Clinton press secretary-turned-journalist had donated $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. As though the story weren’t already damning because of the questions it raises about a newsman’s capacity to be disinterested, Stephanopoulos’s guilt increased by 50% after it was revealed the amount he donated was actually $75,000.
In a hand-wringing editorial today, Byers’s colleague at Politico, Jack Shafer, writes:
The donation corrodes much of the journalistic credibility Stephanopoulos has labored so carefully to build since joining ABC News as a correspondent and analyst in December 1996….
Wounded by the revelation of his donation, will Stephanopoulos survive in his role as ABC News chief anchor and chief political correspondent? Already he has agreed to forfeit his role as moderator of the GOP primary debate in February, but the demands for additional concessions are a certainty.
The fact that [Stephanopoulos] gave money to the Clinton Foundation is not the problem. Journalists should be allowed to give money to any charity they wish. The corrupt part is that he did the contentious interview [with “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer] without letting the viewers (or Schweizer) know he had a personal attachment to the subject. That is a dereliction of his responsibilities as a journalist….
Nevertheless, ABC News can be expected to circle the wagons. The network is already getting an assist from fellow left-leaning journalists who are asking rhetorically what the big deal is. Maybe this short video flashback from 2012 provides a partial answer:
It is possible that Stephanopoulos really believes there is no liberal bias in the media, but in the world of broadcast journalism appearances are everything.