Thursday, May 14, 2015

Georgie and his $50,000 problem

Since Day One of his media career, it's been clear to anyone without blue-tinted glasses that George Stephanopoulos has a massive pro-Democrat bias. He worked in the Clinton White House for years, so this isn't surprising.

Nor is it necessarily problematic -- as long as he is explicit and up-front about it. He has been neither, of course, repeating the same kinds of pious fictions mouthed by most analysts and reporters about how much they strive to be fair and objective. For people who want to be fooled or who share his biases, this hasn't been a problem.

Now, however, his bias is out in the open in a much more problematic fashion. It turns out that he donated at least $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation over the past two years. And he never mentioned it.

He covered the foundation as an analyst and news anchor for ABC, and never mentioned that he had compromised his objectivity by contributing tens of thousands of dollars to it.

He grilled Peter Schweitzer, the author of Clinton Cash, in a pretty critical interview where he identified Schweitzer's work as a speechwriter for George W. Bush as something that potentially compromised his ability to objectively criticize the Clintons, and never mentioned that he had compromised his own ability to objectively report on or judge the Clintons by contributing the equivalent of the annual median US family income to their foundation.

And, making it potentially even more salacious, he apparently scored a prized interview with Bill Clinton shortly after he made his first donation (of more than $20,000). Hillary Clinton has come under withering scrutiny because of her foundation's dishonest, improper, and potentially illegal acceptance of major donations from foreign governments that were dealing with the State Department. The appearance of quid pro quo looms over many of the State Department's decisions during her tenure, when foreign governments received favorable decisions after they gave large donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Did George Stephanopoulous engage in a similar quid pro quo? It's a legitimate question at the very least given the revelation of his unreported $50,000 gift.

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