After admitting that he gave some $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, George Stephanopoulos, the “objective” news anchor from ABC News, apologized on-air for failing to disclose the donations on Friday, even as he interviewed Clinton Cash author and Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer about Clinton Foundation fundraising improprieties.
He said, “Even though I made them strictly to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children, and protect the environment in poor countries, I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict. I apologize to all of you for failing to do that.”
But Stephanopoulos’ relationship with the Clinton Foundation goes far beyond merely signing some checks. He’s been a featured face for the Clinton Foundation for years. At the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in 2006, Stephanopoulos was listed as a featured attendee, alongside figures like King Abdullah II of Saudi Arabia, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Of course, so were CNN “objective” news anchor Christiane Amanpour, CNN “objective” news anchor Fareed Zakaria, and Yahoo News “objective” news anchor Katie Couric.
In 2007, Stephanopoulos was a featured attendee once again.
In 2008, Stephanopoulos was a panelist for the CGI, discussing “Education and the Struggle for Peace and Stability” alongside Christiana A.M. Thorpe of the National Electoral Commission, Wyclef Jean, and Zainab Salbi of Women for Women International.
In 2009, Stephanopoulos was a featured attendee and panelist at the annual CGI meeting yet again. And in 2013. Last year, Stephanopoulos’ wife, Ali Wentworth, attended a CGI fundraiser at which the Clintons auctioned off a $500,000 lunch with Bill and Hillary.
Of course, none of this should be a surprise: John Harris of Politico wrote in 2010 that Stephanopoulos held chats every single day with Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, CNN Democratic strategist Paul Begala, and Democratic strategist James Carville. Politico reported, “In any given news cycle, it is quite likely that Washington’s prevailing political and media interpretation — at least on the Democratic side — is being hatched on these calls.” The report explained that Emanuel used the call to talk policy, “usually some program Democrats can use to score points in the daily partisan brawl with Republicans.” What did Stephanopoulos do on these strategy sessions? The report states:
Stephanopoulos’ role is as the analyst and the skeptic. “George is really a big-systems thinker,” Begala said. “As a journalist, he is half of a political scientist, and because he’s not in the partisan battles anymore, he sees things differently.” It is a sensitive point for Stephanopoulos, who shot to fame as a Bill Clinton retainer and has worked hard to fashion a reputation as an independent journalist. He said he does not surrender that role when he gets on the calls, nor does he surrender personal feelings that go back nearly 20 years…. Still, the line between journalism and politics is not always bright. Begala said he often can’t remember the originator of any particular insight: “We talk so much — was this my idea that James changed, or was this George’s observation that Rahm tweaked?”
But he’s an objective news anchor, and he always has been. Why would George Stephanopoulos even bother thinking of revealing his Clinton relationships? It’s the norm, not the exception.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.