For a time, the fate of ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos seemed tied–fairly or not–to that of former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. Williams was entangled in the scandal over his exaggerated stories, and Stephanopoulos was forced to make an on-air apology for failing to disclose donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Months later, Williams is off to MSNBC, and Stephanopoulos is seemingly right back to where he was before. “Republicans seem to have delivered a message to George Stephanopoulos: All is forgiven,” writes Paul Farhi in The Washington Post:
The controversy doesn’t appear to have dissuaded viewers. “This Week” still finishes behind ratings leader “Face the Nation” among all viewers, but it has been the most watched Sunday-morning public-affairs show for seven straight weeks among those ages 25-54, the most coveted audience for advertisers on news programs.Advertisement
The ratings may help explain why some Republicans seem to have shrugged off any concerns about Stephanopoulos, said Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the Media Research Center, a watchdog group based in Reston, Va.