February 09, 2009
|CONTACT: COLLEEN O’BOYLE or TIM SCHEIDERER
More Evasions From ABC News on the
false allegations from ABC, No denial of his seventeen years of
February 9, 2009
Ms. Kerry Smith
Senior Vice President of Editorial Quality
77 West 66th Street
New York, New York 10023
Dear Ms. Smith,
you for responding to my letter addressed to ABC President David
Westin regarding the controversy surrounding George Stephanopoulos.
pleased to see that ABC did not choose to ignore my concerns nor
those of the multitude of viewers who called your network last week
to voice their disapproval. However, it is unfortunate how
inadequately, disingenuously and indeed dishonestly you chose to
respond and remove focus on the matter at hand by accusing me of
intentional deceit in this serious matter.
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.”
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.
Second, you claim ABC “reached out to the MRC to make it abundantly
clear that you had totally mischaracterized the Politico
story written by John Harris last Tuesday.” That is simply not
true. The only proactive outreach on behalf of ABC was offered by
Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Jeffrey Schneider.
He called our publicist to offer denials. When our publicist offered
to bring his statement to my attention, he instructed her not
to do so, stating “the last thing I want to do is get up in Brent
Bozell’s hornet’s nest about this.” So much for ABC’s outreach to
Finally and most importantly is the matter at hand – the damaged
institutional memory at ABC News, especially apparent among you
senior executives. You suffer from collective amnesia. Mr.
Stephanopoulos, Mr. Begala, Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Carville ran the
1992 Clinton campaign and labored together as Democratic strategists
and message makers both before and after Clinton’s election. To not
even address this fact, and how there just might be even an
appearance of impropriety, suggests your institutional memory only
goes back to the day Mr. Stephanopoulos came aboard.
are saying with a straight face that since that day Mr.
Stephanopoulos became a born-again journalist, his old self had been
washed away. Yet, here he is still on a daily early morning calls
with the same Democratic strategists as the new administration
begins its service.
Fox News Sunday had handed its news anchor chair to Karl Rove,
and it was subsequently learned Mr. Rove was having daily strategy
calls with a Republican White House Chief of Staff and other top
officials with whom he’d worked at the Bush campaign, it would be
the lead story on ABC World News, with Charles Gibson
calling into question the propriety of these daily calls. But have
a conservative question a liberal engaging in this exact behavior
and the complaint becomes “false and based on a willful and knowing
especially rich – and telling – that this statement came from you,
ABC’s Senior Vice President for Editorial Quality. You are,
according to the Bacon’s media database, “responsible for
maintaining the journalistic integrity and editorial standards of
Brent Bozell III
here to read the previous letter.
President and Founder
To schedule an interview with MRC President
Brent Bozell or another MRC spokesperson,
please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen O’Boyle (x.
122) at (703) 683-5004.
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