This morning on ABC’s Good Morning America, host George Stephanopolous apologized to his audience for failing to disclose that he had donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation over the past few years, a revelation that has rocked the political/media establishment over the past 24 hours.
Stephanopolous has worked hard over the past 13 years to earn the credibility of being a fair-minded journalist, despite his well known background in Democratic politics (not just with the Bill Clinton administration, but also in his work for Dick Gephardt and Michael Dukakis).
He was hired in 1996 on ABC to be the liberal commentator on This Week, and then was made the host of the program in 2002. He also is one of the hardest working men in political show business, as he’s also the co-host of GMA Monday through Friday.
Is this a Brian Williams-like problem for ABC? It could be. Although it’s a completely different offense, Stephanopoulous, and not nightly news anchor David Muir, is the face and voice of ABC News. It’s no surprise that the network immediately said they accepted his “honest mistake,” as an ABC spokesperson said yesterday.
Is it over? The way our society is these days (re: Tom Brady), the country as a whole may not be satisfied unless they get some pound of flesh, some slap on the wrist, like being taken off of This Week for a few weeks. But isn’t this going to be a problem over the next year and a half of the 2016 campaign?
The fact is that donating to a nonprofit charity that does quality work shouldn’t be problematic working in journalism. However, giving it to the Clinton Foundation is, and for him not to acknowledge that is a problem.
It’s a nice gift to Republicans, able to reinforce the meme that all of the media is liberal. Stephanopolous has done a very good job over the years erasing that stigma. But has he thrown that all away now?
In other news..
It took a long time for David Jolly to become a U.S. congressman, so it’s an institution that you would think he’d want to remain in for awhile. However, he’s also singularly unimpressed by the quality of Republican candidates running for Senate in Florida next year, meaning he could decide by early summer that he’ll throw his hat in the ring.
Jeb Bush made his fourth comment in four days about the Iraq war yesterday in Arizona. Somehow it feels like this issue isn’t going away, however.
Meanwhile, BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins had a piece yesterday about the possibility that Bush will blow off the Iowa caucuses next January. Considering that he’s never probably going to win that heavily evangelical leaning GOP territory, it wouldn’t be a crazy thing to do.
And Rick Scott signed a slew of bills yesterday, including one limiting where drones can fly over in the Sunshine State.
And the ban on the 64-ounce growler will be a thing of the past in a couple of months, after years of haggling in Tally.