Following the Media Research Center's ongoing call for an explanation of George Stephanopoulos's reported strategy conference calls with Democratic operatives Paul Begala and James Carville and White House Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel, the MRC has released a new Profile in Bias for the "This Week" host.
"[I]n his on-air role at ABC, Stephanopoulos has been a reliable mouthpiece for the Democratic spin of the day — using his perch as an analyst and correspondent to add an extra boost to liberals, undermine conservatives and push a liberal policy agenda," the profile notes before listing scores of examples, such this one from March 18, 2008, wherein Stephanopoulos lauded Obama for refusing to castigate his former pastor:
By refusing to renounce Reverend Wright, that was in many ways an act of honor for Senator Obama.
As we at NewsBusters have documented, ABC News executives have refused to directly confront the breach of journalistic ethics first reported in the January 27 Politico:
Kerry Smith, ABC's Senior Vice President for Editorial Quality, has in an open letter responded to Media Research Center President Brent Bozell's call to publicly address and resolve the apparent breach of ethics of its Chief White House Correspondent George Stephanopoulos. Smith succeeded in delivering distortions and hurling false allegations at Bozell and the MRC, but failed to address the journalistic problems reported in the original Politico story.
While "pleased to see" that ABC did not ignore his concerns, in a letter responding to Smith the NewsBusters publisher denounced as "unfortunate how inadequately, disingenuously and indeed dishonestly" the network brass has chosen to respond to his criticism:
First, it's the original Politico story that reported that for 17 years Mr. Stephanopoulos has been participating in regular strategy calls with fellow Democrats. To quote from the story, "... in any given news cycle, it is quite likely that Washington's prevailing political and media interpretation - at least on the Democratic side - is being hatched on these calls."
That is not my willful and knowing distortion; it's the Politico's reporting. If you believe the story is false, then you have a fight with Politico, not me.