Monday, May 18, 2015

ABC Needs to Suspend George Stephanopoulos for Failing to Disclose Donations to Clinton Foundation

One of the Sunday morning news programs I like to watch is ABC's This Week hosted (usually) by George Stephanopoulos, the former communications director for Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign.  After that campaign, Stephanopoulos worked in the Clinton White House, leaving in 1996.  He later began working for ABC News.

ABC's George Stephanopoulos
I thought Stephanopoulos had done a good job modeling his career after the late NBC host of Meet the Press, Tim Russert.  Like Stephanopoulos, Russert had set aside a previous career as a Democratic partisan (Russert had been counsel to NY Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and NY Governor Mario Cuomo) to run a popular Sunday morning news program.  Recently though Stephanopoulos showed he has a long way to go to match Russert when it comes to integrity and journalistic ethics.

It was revealed this past week that Stephanopoulos had given a total of $225,000 ($75,000 for each of three years) to the Clinton Foundation.  Stephanopoulos also participated in Clinton Foundation events.  This revelation came just weeks after Stephanopoulos had "Clinton Cash" author Peter Schweizer on This Week and Stephanopoulos had been dismissive of Schweizer because he could not produce a smoking gun that the donations had directly influenced Hillary Clinton in her role as Secretary of State. (An impossible level of proof.)   At no time during the interview, did Stephanopoulos reveal that he had contributed money to the Clinton Foundation or had been involved in its activities.

Stephanopoulos showed extremely poor judgment in contributing to the Clinton Foundation.  Journalists need to stay away from what could create conflicts.  But Stephanopoulos more egregious breach of journalistic ethics was his discussing the Clinton Foundation on his program while never mentioning to viewers his own donations to that foundation and his participation in its activities.

I hate the trend of people demanding that public figures to be fired every time they make a mistake.  No one is perfect, and that includes people in the public eye.  We need to be more understanding of other people's flaws and give them a second chance.  On the other hand, Stephanopoulos' apology on Sunday is certainly not enough for the very serious transgression he committed.   ABC should suspend Stephanopoulos for a few months for his breach of journalistic ethics and then let him come back. At that point, if Stephanopoulos screws up again, ABC should consider termination.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Paul, just wow is all I can say to your far too simplistic portrait of Stphanopoulos and your far too kind proposed "punishment" of this total political left liberal Democrat who is the High Priest of The Clinton Adoration Society.

I cannot help but wiggle with glee that a partisan liberal national broadcaster and a politically liberal broadcast company have been caught with their hypocritical ways waved high and tall for all of us to see.

If George Stephanopoulos were a Tea Party member, the liberal left Democrats would be shouting about his demagoguery and would be howling for him to be flayed alive. Always the double standard when left liberal Democrats are caught lying through their teeth... which occurs anytime their lips are moving.