Possibly grasping how much his credibility has suffered from revelations that he’s donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos apologized on air for the second time in a matter of days, with the encore performance coming on “This Week,” the Sunday morning talk show he hosts.
“Those donations were a matter of public record, but I should have made additional disclosures on air when discussing the foundation,” Stephanopoulos said. “I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict.”
Stephanopoulos had said much the same thing during an on-air apology Friday. However, in a USA Today column published Sunday, “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer ripped into Stephanopoulos for not fully coming coming clean about his involvement with the Clinton Foundation.
In the op-ed, he said Stephanopoulos’ ties to the foundation ran “much deeper” than his donations.
“Indeed, far from being a passive donor who strokes Clinton Foundation checks from afar, a closer look reveals that Stephanopoulos is an ardent and engaged Clinton Foundation advocate,” Schweizer wrote.
Schweizer said the ABC anchor was an official member of the foundation in 2011 and 2012, and participated in annual meetings before that. He noted that Stephanopoulos served alongside Chelsea Clinton in 2013 and 2014 as Clinton Global Initiative contest judges.
“Big-time news media personalities have one thing in very short supply — time,” he wrote. “Regular participation in Clinton Foundation events shows a deeper commitment to the Clintons than just the donations.”
Commitments that Stephanopoulos failed to disclose before interviewing Schweizer on his new book, which is highly critical of the Clintons.
Schweizer said he knew Stephanopoulos was a top adviser to former President Bill Clinton and served as his campaign manager during the 1992 presidential election, and expected a “robust examination” of his book, to include “probing questions.”
“What I did not expect — what no one expected — was the sort of ‘hidden hand journalism’ that has contributed to America’s news media’s crisis of credibility in particular, and Americans’ distrust of the news media more broadly,” he wrote.
ABC continues to stand by Stephanopoulos.
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