With word emerging today that ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos gave “$50,001 to $100,000” to the Clinton Foundation, the network will soon face the Brian Williams Quandary — is its top “newsman” trustworthy when delivering news.
Stephanopoulos only disclosed the donations to the nonprofit when asked about them by a reporter from the Free Beacon (choosing to control the story through a statement to friendly liberal outlet, Politico).
In dozens and dozens of stories and interviews on the Clintons, the chief anchor never mentioned his hefty gifts. In fact, he fiercely questioned author Peter Schweizer last month about his book “Clinton Cash,” making unilateral statements that the book was hogwash.
“As you know, the Clinton campaign says you haven’t produced a shred of evidence that there was any official action as secretary that supported the interest of donors,” Stephanopoulos said. “We’ve done investigative work here at ABC News, found no proof of any kind of direct action. And an independent government ethics expert at the Sunlight Foundation Bill Allison wrote this: ‘There’s no smoking gun. No evidence that the changed policy is based on donations to the foundation. No smoking gun.’ Is there a smoking gun?”
Today, after the revelations, Schweizer said: “Really quite stunned by this, a massive breach of ethical standards. He fairly noted my four months working as a speech writer for George W. Bush. But he didn’t disclose this?” according to Bloomberg News.
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In a statement to Politico Thursday, Stephanopoulos apologized, saying he should have told ABC News and its viewers.
“I made charitable donations to the Foundation in support of the work they’re doing on global AIDS prevention and deforestation, causes I care about deeply,” he said. “I thought that my contributions were a matter of public record. However, in hindsight, I should have taken the extra step of personally disclosing my donations to my employer and to the viewers on air during the recent news stories about the Foundation. I apologize.”
As the chief anchor and political correspondent for ABC News, as well as the co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and host of “This Week,” the former communications director and senior adviser to President Clinton presents “news” nearly daily.
But unlike Brian Williams, the disgraced NBC News anchor who sought glory by exaggerating his wartime escapades, Stephanopoulos concealed his donations to the politically powerful Clintons while at the same time debunking an author who wrote critically about the very foundation to which he donated.
This time, however, the liberal mainstream media likely will not crucify one of its own, as they did Williams. The fate of the liberal agenda is squarely in the hands of Hillary Clinton, and the MSM will move to protect her in whatever way they must.
What’s also interesting about the donations: Stephanopoulos got an interview with Bill Clinton the same year he donated to the Clinton Foundation. And the controversy swirling around the Foundation — foreign money pouring in without transparency — brings up the same questions: What was Stephanopoulos hoping to get from the Clintons for his donations?
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