This past week news broke that ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos had donated some $75K to the Clinton Family Foundation over the last three years. This was news because the ABC news anchor had done several stories about the Clinton Foundation over the years, most recently a hard-hitting interview of Peter Schweitzer, author of the book Clinton Cash, which took a hard look at the fundraising efforts of the Clinton family. The ABC interview was by far the toughest interview Schweitzer endured, but looking back, it appears to have been more of an effort in badgering than it was an effort to get at the truth.
Once the Washington Free Beacon forced ABC to come clean about Stephanopoulos’s support of the Clinton Foundation, everything about the interview was thrown into question.
Stephanopoulos was eventually forced to apologize and promise to recuse himself from the GOP Presidential nomination debates – but he only admitted to giving some money to charity. (To describe the Clinton Family Foundation as a “charity” is laughable.) However, Peter Schweitzer has done some more digging on the connection between Stephanopoulos and the Clinton Foundation, and it seems that the two were much more closely tied than the ABC anchor has let on.
I agreed to be interviewed (by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos), expecting a robust examination of my new book, Clinton Cash, and my reporting on the Clintons’ accumulation of massive personal wealth, cronyism and the lack of transparency surrounding the Clintons’ foundation.
What I did not expect — what no one expected — was the sort of “hidden hand journalism” that has contributed to America’s news media’s crisis of credibility in particular, and Americans’ distrust of the news media more broadly.
Stephanopoulos has donated $75K over the last three years to the Clinton Foundation, a fact he was forced to confess to over this past week. However, he forgot to mention these and other connections to the Clinton Family foundation.
- In 2006 he was a featured attendee and panel moderator at the annual meeting Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).
- In 2007 he was a featured attendee at the CGI annual meeting – a meeting also attended by mega donor Frank Giustra who is mired in a Canadian corruption/tax evasion scandal with that branch of the Clinton Foundation.
- In 2008 he was a panelist at the CGI annual meeting with other “shady” individuals who seem to have been attempting to buy influence with the Clintons.
- In 2009 he served as a panel moderator at the CGI annual meeting .
- In 2010 and 2011 he was an official CGI member.
- In 2013 and 2014 he served as a CGI contest judge for awards underwritten by a for-profit education company that until the recent eruption of the foundation scandal had Bill Clinton on their payroll!
The truth is that George Stephanopoulos is as unbiased a newsman as Karl Rove would be if he were pretending to be a journalist. ABC News made a terrible mistake in hiring Stephanopoulos to be their lead news anchor, and at this point, they should do the right thing and let him return to the world of politics. Stephanopoulos is the epitome of the problem facing the modern main stream media – while hard working reporters attempt to stay unbiased, the culture that surrounds them is most certainly biased… which eventually colors their work, whether or not they mean for it to. If the mainstream media wants to win back the trust of the average American, they must start by keeping political partisans out of the newsroom.
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