ABC Devotes Over Six Minutes to Shilling Mrs. Stephanopoulos's Book

Less than a month after being forced to apologize for a conflict of interest, George Stephanopoulos's Good Morning America on Monday devoted almost seven minutes of air-time to aggressively promoting the new book from the journalist's wife. Co-host Robin Roberts interviewed Ali Wentworth for six minutes and 39 seconds. On the subject of GMA's priorities, the latest details on the massive hack from the Chinese government against the U.S. warranted a scant 21 seconds. 

As Stephanopoulos looked on, Wentworth and Roberts chatted. At one point, the anchor's wife recounted what it's like to turn 50 and repeated her joking advice to the former operative of Bill Clinton: "I said go get a one-bedroom apartment... I don't care if you start dating."

One topic that didn't come up was Stephanopoulos's secret $75,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation, something he hid from viewers and bosses at ABC News. (The anchor apologized on May 15.) 

Wentworth cancelled certain media appearances for her book tour in order to avoid her husband's scandal. Instead of mentioning the topic, Roberts dutifully repeated funny stories from the book. 

In May, Politico touted the "frugal habits" of Wentworth, despite her husband's $105 million contract. 

A transcript of the June 8 Good Morning America segment, which aired at 8:30am ET, follows: 

8:30am

6 minutes and 39 seconds 

ROBIN ROBERTS: Always a good morning when George's other half is here. Of course, Ali Wentworth is an actress, comedian, a New York Times best-selling author. She has a – I read it over the weekend. Laugh out loud funny. Happy Ali After, full of hilarious true stories about her adventures in self-improvement. We want to have some fun with Ali, so we did this reverse thing. We did this with George and who did we do that with?  Tom Bergeron. 

ALI WENTWORTH: Tom Bergeron, right. 

ROBERTS: So, if you want to reverse it and give me a little something, you hit that and then you can ask the question. But I get to go with the first question. 

WENTWORTH: Yeah. Let's sell the book first, and then we'll go to you. 

ROBERTS: Okay. As I said, I read your other one too. Just the way you look at life, what brought about this one? I understand a little bit working with Oprah, those ah-ha moments you witnessed? 

WENTWORTH: I worked with Oprah for a few years. The people in and out of her show were people that had, you know, inspirations and aha moments. And I hit a point in my life, an age that rhymes with nifty. And I realized, you know, is this, you know, as Peggy Lee says, is this all there is? You know, like what's the back nine of my life look like? So, I decided to kind of live my life by inspirational quotes, but failing miserably. I like to call it the unhappiness project. And I tried to be a better wife, a better mother. I tried to actually work out for the first time in my life. So, it's really my humorous way of looking at the next part of my life. 'Cause, let me be honest, in a few year, I'll be going through menopause and our two daughters will be having their periods. So, George, I've told to go get – I said go get a one-bedroom apartment. Don't live with us. It's bad. 

ROBERTS: It's better that way. 

WENTWORTH: I don't care if you start dating. So, basically, this book takes you through these – I tried botox. I tried spray tan. I tried all of it. 

ROBERTS: But did you have to, not ask for George's permission by any stretch of the imagination, but did he kind of look at it first? Because I know that -- 

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Robin, could you imagine that conversation? 

ROBERTS: No, I can't, George, actually. 


WENTWORTH: Are you kidding me? I'm like a '50s housewife. I have to ask you permission for everything. But yes, he always reads the rough draft to make sure that I can't get sued or the ex-boyfriends are too obvious or he may come across, I don't know, foo feminine. Whatever the issue is. But, the stories are true. There's a story about how in marriage, you know, there's always, you know, who is right, who is wrong? You know? In any relationship, you have a fight, like, "I'm right." There are times where we'll fight until the sun comes up and then at the end, even though I'm saying,"but this, but this, but this," I realize I lost track of what we were fighting about. 

ROBERTS: You remember one time though, the trip to Spain? 

WENTWORTH: Yes. We went to Spain. We got there. We checked in. The woman at the American Airlines reservation place said, "oh, you're not going anywhere." I mean, she looked at me like I had farted on her shoes. I realized my daughter's passports had expired and that's my business. So I did what any mature woman would do, I ran away. I just ran to the other side of the airport. I knew I was in trouble. Our nine-year-old ran after me. She was like a Wimbledon ball girl. I said, what is daddy doing now? How mad is he? Is that vein popping out? Oh, no, I'm in trouble. So, every relationship, You mess things up, I apologized. 

ROBERTS: And the girls were happy it was you for once not them. 

WENTWORTH: Oh, yeah. They were just like, they could watch The Kardashians and hang out because mom was in the dog house. They could do no wrong. So, yeah, they were – 

ROBERTS: You have also learned, and George helps with this, you have to read the fine print. There was a commencement —  

WENTWORTH: Yes, Robin. I was hired, I'll do anything for a buck fifty and I was hired to do a commencement speech at an undisclosed university. And I was so excited that I said yes. But then it turns out I had to do the commencement speech three times. So, a 9:00am  a one o'clock, and a four o'clock, with 20,000 people getting diplomas between each one. And believe me, that's a lot of feet to watch in a very, very long time. I realized that men in sandals with fungus is a turnoff. Am I right? That's a turn-off. So, yes, and I -- they promised me a private plane. I was very excited about being on a private plane. 

ROBERTS: How was that plane? 

WENTWORTH: It was a crop duster with bucket as a toilet. Anyway. [Doing a "quiz" with Robin. Bell rings ] So, you get what you pay for. Key lime pie, jalapeno chips. 

ROBERTS: Key lime pie. 

WENTWORTH: Cat or dog? 

ROBERTS: Do I have to choose? 

WENTWORTH: Yes! 

ROBERTS: Dog, dog, dog. You were very nice to me. 

WENTWORTH: What was I supposed to do? Do people, like, you know, take you down? 

ROBERTS: Tom Bergeron was hard on George. 

WENTWORTH: I am not a Tom Bergeron. I am the Mother Teresa of these types of things. So, no, I was not going to do this. 

ROBERTS: You were trying with this in a humorous way – We all reach a point in our life, Ali, that we look, as you said, the front nine, back nine. 

WENTWORTH: You just kind of go all right. I'm married, happily, and lovingly and I have these kids. My career, I'm never going to get suddenly discovered as a sexy ingenue. Nor is Playboy calling. But, you know, this is what my career is. This is what my life is. It's great. Soon my kids are going to be at Harvard Medical School. Fingers crossed. What am I going to do? What does it look like? George works so hard. I don't know if he'll go to flea markets with me. You look at it, you think, how do I better everything? So, I started doing pilates. 

ROBERTS: That's a book in itself. 

WENTWORTH: Why is everyone so quiet and shocked? 

ROBERTS: We're just imagining you doing that. 

WENTWORTH: We don't do actually Pilates. We talk. Yeah. We eat sprinkles cupcakes and talk. But, still, it's helping me. 

ROBERTS: We'll have you do cooking. I have noticed that little vein with George. Sometimes, I'll see -- 

WENTWORTH: When that vein pops, you have to run out of the building. 

ROBERTS: I've noticed that. 

WENTWORTH: Go the bunker. The anchor bunker. 

ROBERTS: I go to the control room when that's happening. 

WENTWORTH: It's scary. 

ROBERTS: Happy Ali After hits bookstores tomorrow. 

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