George Stephanopoulos was hired by ABC news several years ago to play a journalist on television. In 2002, he was given the keys to ABC's venerable "This Week," acting as sole host in replacing Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson. At the time, Stephanopoulos remarked that "if I were biased, I don't believe I would have gotten the job." A laughable comment, it would be funny if it weren't so delusional. But there he is, and the bias just shines through. It was in full bloom on Sunday morning, as he spoke with two US Senators about the newly drafted Iraqi Constitution. To pro-Bush Republican John Thune, he addressed questions from the left. To anti-Bush Democrat Joseph Biden, he addressed questions from even further on the left. Thune wasn't criticizing Bush, so Stephanopoulos had to do it. Biden was, but not enough, apparently, so Stephanopoulos had to go even further. First up was Joe Biden, who got the following questions from un-biased George:
GS: "...should americans be sacrificing their lives for a constitution that gives such a key role to islamic law and islamic clerics?" GS: "Let me stop you there for a second. You say remains to be seen. Here's what we know -- we know it's in the drafts. 15 members of the committee have rejected the drafts." GS: "...you have said...that the administration should have done more to internationalize this effort. There's no question about that...I'm wondering what is wrong in your view, with Senator Feingold's call for a goal, setting a target date to withdraw..."
Senator Biden was followed on the program by Republican Senator John Thune. And the perspective of the questions didn't change at all.
GS: "You say it's progress. But there are an awful lot of signs that it's not...Aren't you at all concerned that this constitution may be a prelude to civil war? That it may be deepening the divisions?" GS: "...President Bush says that he's going to stay the course as long as it takes in iraq. But do you believe that your constituents have the stomach for that kind of commitment?"
It was a remarkable performance, that continued through every section of the show. The panel discussion (Stephanopouos, George Will, Cokie Roberts and Fareed Zakaria) featured continued criticism of the draft constitution (including Cokie Roberts' observation
that the Pope "has not been known to be particularly friendly toward women,") and criticism of the FDA for the fact that they've not yet approved the "morning after" pill. There was a video segment with a female army sergeant commenting on the sexism that she saw in the service. There were the "Sunday Funnies" with three different late-night clips, one mocking the US involvement in Iraq, one implying that Florida law enforcement suppressed the black vote, and one mocking Donald Rumsfeld. They finished with a basically straight coverage story on Hurricane Katrina, though they did feel the need to mention the "100,000 people that don't have the money to rent a car or get a bus ticket." In short, the entire hour was a more effective Democratic campaign commercial than any hour of last year's Democratic National Convention... Lyflines - Lyford's