Patterico's Pontifications


ISIS Takes Ramadi

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:46 pm

I remember exchanging messages with Bill Ardolino when he was in Ramadi at a particularly tense time. Now the animals have it.

Peter Schweizer: Snuffleupagus Still Has Some Disclosing to Do

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:31 pm

Peter Schweizer, who was trashed by George Snuffleupagus, says the Clinton sycophant still has much he has not disclosed to ABC viewers:

[E]ven though he has apologized to his viewers for keeping this information from both his audience and his bosses, there is much that Stephanopoulos has yet to disclose to his viewers. Indeed, far from being a passive donor who strokes Clinton Foundation checks from afar, a closer look reveals that Stephanopoulos is an ardent and engaged Clinton Foundation advocate.

For example, in his on air apology for this ethical mess, Stephanopoulos did not disclose that in 2006 he was a featured attendee and panel moderator at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

He did not disclose that in 2007, he was a featured attendee at the CGI annual meeting, a gathering also attended by several individuals I report on in Clinton Cash, including mega Clinton Foundation donors Lucas Lundin, Frank Giustra, Frank Holmes, and Carlos Slim — individuals whose involvement with the Clintons I assumed he had invited me on his program to discuss.

Stephanopoulos did not disclose that he was a 2008 panelist at the CGI annual meeting which, once again, featured individuals I report on in the book, such as billionaire Clinton Foundation foreign donor Denis O’Brien.

ABC’s most visible news employee did not disclose that in 2009, he served as a panel moderator at CGI’s annual meeting, nor did he disclose that in 2010 and 2011, he was an official CGI member.

Stephanopoulos did not disclose that in 2013 and 2014, he and Chelsea Clinton served as CGI contest judges for awards, in part, underwritten by Laureate International Universities — a for-profit education company I report on in the book. Bill Clinton was on its payroll until his recent resignation.

Bill Maher gave the elusive Muppet elephant a pass on this failure to disclose . . . based on the argument that, hey, everyone knows he is in the tank for the Clintons anyway.

With friends like that . . .

“Dear ABC News PR: Tell Us You Didn’t Shaft The Washington Free Beacon”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:19 am

[guest post by Dana]

Eric Wemple of the Washington Post slammed ABC News for apparently shopping the Stephanopoulos-Clinton Foundation story to Politico in hopes of receiving a more favorable report rather than risk letting the conservative Washington Free Beacon break the story.

Every journalist lives in fear of a certain scenario: You have a news story, quite possibly an exclusive, on a significant public figure. You Google the keywords and a jumble of old links pops up; no one has written it! So you take your revelations to the public figure’s PR rep and ask whether your reporting is true and real. In making that inquiry, you relinquish a bit of control over your investigation; now someone outside of your news organization — a PR official — knows what you have. You have no choice but trust that the official doesn’t play any games with a prospective scoop.

Games may have been played yesterday in connection with the week’s resounding media story…

In short:

On Thursday morning, Dylan Byers of Politico broke the story about Stephanopoulos’s $50,000 $75,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation .

However, reporter Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon had already uncovered the donation (before 3:30 pm, Wednesday) and tweeted about having asked ABC for a statement:


I contacted ABC News last night for statement on Stephanopoulos donation to Clinton Foundation.
6:40 AM – 14 May 2015

Stiles had already emailed Washington Free Beacon’s editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti who had directed Stiles to “move on the story” and “directed a researcher to check whether Stephanopoulos had seeded any of his on-air work with disclosures about the donations.” However, turning up no evidence that Stephanopoulos had ever made a disclosure about the donation, the story was given a green light.

In response to Stiles’ inquiry, ABC News spokeswoman Heather Riley e-mailed him after 9 p.m., promising him “something.” She then wanted to know what time he was posting: “I want to make sure I get it to you in time.”

So Stiles and Continetti continued to wait for Riley’s statement.

Wemple notes:

Hear this, knee-jerk detractors of modern web journalism: Absent a comment from ABC News, Continetti & Co. decided to let the matter sit overnight. They just waited.

As there was still no statement from Riley, the Free Beacon was ready to post the next morning. Unfortunately, so was Dylan Byers of Politico:

When the Washington Free Beaconers put their heads together Thursday morning, there was still no comment from ABC News. “I say, ‘Let’s begin to move this story,’” recalls Continetti. The piece wasn’t complicated: A network news anchor had contributed to a charity run by the first family of the Democratic party and hadn’t told viewers when that charity emerged in news coverage. What was complicated was its landing. “Literally as we were about to hit ‘post,’ we are alerted to the Dylan Byers piece that just went up,” says Continetti, who moved to publish their piece without the ABC News statements. Those arrived later.

Wemple himself made inquiry to both ABC News and Dylan Byers at Politico:

Could Byers have simply converged on the same story at the same time as the Washington Free Beacon? Sure, but he’s not saying anything. “I can’t discuss sourcing,” he responds to the Erik Wemple Blog via e-mail.

Nor has ABC News responded to inquiries from the Erik Wemple Blog. Nor did ABC News respond to Politico media commentator Jack Shafer, who asked about the matter. Nor did ABC News respond to inquiries from the Washington Free Beacon[.]

So that makes three separate sets of questions to ABC News PR that ABC News PR has failed to answer. Answering questions is the job of ABC News PR.

What could possibly account for the network’s slow-walking approach to the Washington Free Beacon? Absent a response from ABC News, the Erik Wemple Blog would be forced to speculate about how the network perhaps wanted to retain greater control over the story; or speculate about how ABC News has an allergy to working with a conservative news site; or speculate about any number of other things. And we don’t speculate.

Continetti expressed concern for the bigger, long-term picture for conservative journalists:

“I’m trying to instill the value of reporting to a new generation of conservative reporters,” says Continetti. “What lesson do they draw when they do their due diligence and some hack PR agent goes to another outlet in order to control the story?”

Wemple concludes:

Silence is unacceptable here. ABC News has to do one of two things: Either apologize to the Washington Free Beacon for whatever precisely it did or explain how its actions meet the commonly acknowledged standards of the industry. Today Stephanopoulos issued his second apology for his evasions in the Clinton Foundation case, so that story may ebb in the coming weeks. Yet the Erik Wemple Blog is committed to keeping this unfinished business about the Washington Free Beacon in play until the network resolves it.

The Washington Free Beacon’s story published May 14, 2015 9:36 am: “ABC News Anchor George Stephanopoulos Donated $75,000 to Clinton Foundation”.

Politico’s story published May 14, 2015 9:24 am: “George Stephanopoulos discloses $75,000 contribution to Clinton Foundation”.


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