Government & Politics

A Mickey Mouse Operation

Beware the Democrat media complex — a permanent conflict of interest.

Arnold Ahlert · May 18, 2015

In his farewell speech, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned America about the perils of the “military industrial complex” and “the disastrous rise of misplaced power” that would accompany such a union. Today, America suffers from something far more dangerous: the “Democrat media complex” and its latest poster boy for corruption, George Stephanopoulos.

Last Thursday, Stephanopoulos apologized for failing to disclose he had donated $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. “I made charitable donations to the Foundation in support of the work they’re doing on global AIDS prevention and deforestation, causes I care about deeply,” he said, dancing around the reality there are plenty of other organizations dedicated to fighting AIDS more efficiently than the Clintons. “I thought that my contributions were a matter of public record. However, in hindsight, I should have taken the extra step of personally disclosing my donations to my employer and to the viewers on air during the recent news stories about the Foundation. I apologize.”

His donations were public record assuming anyone dug through Clinton Foundation records, which, you may have noticed, are hard to come by.

ABC quickly circled the wagons. “He’s admitted to an honest mistake and apologized for that omission. We stand behind him,” the network said in a statement.

Why wouldn’t it? ABC, with its parent company Disney standing squarely behind it, is the same network that re-edited the Clinton docudrama “Path to 9/11” to benefit the Clintons after being berated by Bill and Hill — and being threatened by congressional Democrat jackboots with a revocation of their broadcast license for failing to do so. After that the network buried its $40 million investment completely, despite the millions they would have made in rebroadcasts and DVD sales.

Back to George. The initial revelation of $50,000 in donations soon became $75,000, representing contributions of $25,000 each in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Stephanopoulos’s self-inflicted mea culpa? He won’t moderate the ABC News-sponsored Republican primary debate in February, even as he insisted, “I’ve shown that I can moderate debates fairly.” Yet demonstrating an invincible sense of arrogance, ABC’s chief news anchor insists he will not recuse himself from coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Even the machinations behind the revelation are sleazy. Stephanopoulos was outed by the conservative Washington Free Beacon. It called the network for comment. Rather than respond, ABC contacted the reliably leftist Politico, which obliged the network and Stephanopoulos with a sympathetic portrayal that includes a statement about the “millions of dollars” the anchor has donated to charity of which the “Clinton Foundation contributions represent a very small percentage of the total.”

In other words, percentage-wise, George is only a little bit corrupt and biased, traits he amply demonstrated in his interview with “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer. That would be the same Peter Schweizer that Stephanopoulos made sure viewers knew was a former speechwriter for George W. Bush. And in a moment of gargantuan hypocrisy, he accused Schweizer of having a “partisan interest” in criticizing the Clintons, even as the former Clintonista failed to disclose his own massive conflict of interest — and even as he rallied to Hillary Clinton’s defense throughout. On Friday, Schweizer correctly noted that Stephanopoulos’s donations “highlight precisely the lack of transparency and cronyism that I report on.”

Yet barring a miracle, that will be the end of it, at least as far as the players involved are concerned. Columbia University Journalism School professor Dick Wald, a former vice president and ABC News ethics czar, leads the charge in that regard. “Nobody is under the false impression that George and the Clintons have never met,” Wald said. “Everybody knows that George was an important political operator for them. But he has demonstrated over the years — now quite a large number of years — that he is independent of the politics of the Clintons.”

Give or take 2012, 2013 and 2014.

ABC, Disney and Stephanopoulos himself have to be utterly delusional — or utterly corrupt — if they believe he can cover the 2016 presidential contest if when Hillary Clinton emerges as the Democrat nominee. For anyone with a sentient brain Stephanopoulos’s credibility hasn’t “taken a hit” or been “tarnished,” or “corroded” or “wounded.” It’s been irrevocably and completely shattered.

It is worth remembering that NBC News anchor Brian Williams was suspended (more than likely permanently) for what is known as an error of commission, essentially burnishing his résumé to make himself appear more important. Stephanopoulos has committed a far more egregious error of omission that makes him far less trustworthy Even worse, he still doesn’t get it. “I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict,” the host of “GMA” and “This Week” said Friday. “I apologize to all of you for failing to do that.”

The appearance of a conflict, George?

Many are calling on Stephanopoulos to resign, or for ABC to fire him. We couldn’t disagree more. It is far more useful to those Americans with a vested interest in journalistic integrity to see that interest mocked on a daily basis by Disney, ABC and Stephanopoulos. Whether any of them realize it or not, the former Clinton dirt-digger can never restore his integrity, and the corporate and personal arrogance that assumes the public can be steamrolled into believing otherwise will be a constant and valuable reminder of just how corrupt the Democrat media complex truly is.

Ironically, it is Disney that has given the nation a quintessential cartoon character whose name, in combination with another word, will most aptly describe any and all ensuing “newscasts” anchored by George Stephanopoulos: a Mickey Mouse operation.

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