This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough predicted ABC News would let its star anchor George Stephanopoulos off without punishment for failing to disclose his financial contributions to the Clinton Foundation even while covering the Clintons.
“If all he were doing were ABC World News Tonight, he’d be gone,” said Scarborough, arguing that the declining evening newscast is of far less importance to the network than the roles they’ve handed to Stephanopoulos–Good Morning America and Sunday morning’s This Week.
The conversation was sparked by a report in the New York Post that cites “industry sources” saying ABC renewed its contract with Stephanopoulos for $105 million dollars. “The seven-year deal — which dwarfs the five-year, $50 million contract scored by since-suspended NBC rival Brian Williams — was supposed to keep Stephanopoulos in front of ABC’s cameras through 2021.”
Writing at The Hill, Katie Pavlich suggests Stephanopoulos will go unpunished by ABC not for its investment in him, but for his status as part of the “protected, connected liberal media elite”:
Any other anchor, even on the same network, would have certainly been punished if not fired immediately for this severe breach of journalistic ethics.This problem isn’t about the donations being made in the first place, it’s the fact that he hid them from viewers while covering, and defending, the Clinton Foundation.
Special treatment isn’t just reserved for Washington’s politicians, it’s for the most liberal, elite anchors as well. As for the rest of us, there are consequences for breaking the law and for conflict of interest nondisclosure.