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May 14, 2015

Byron York: When ABC News Hired George Stephanopolous in 1996, It Promised He Would be an "Analyst Like William Kristol," Not Reporting Any News.
Within A Couple of Years They Were Reneging

The liars began assigning him to cover political stories-- about Democrats, about Republicans -- almost before the ink on their initial promise was dry.

They then changed their promise to "we won't have him working as the beat (day to day) reporter on any particular campaign."

But they still had him covering major political stories -- just not the day to day stuff.

And, when you think about it: A partisan's ability to maximize impact comes from being assigned as a general reporter, reporting on all the big, hot stories, rather than spending much of his time pinned down doing day-to-day routine reporting.

In short order, even those weak restrictions on Stephanopoulos' role would fall away and he would be covering all sorts of politics for ABC. By 2002, Stephanopoulos was host of "This Week," occupying David Brinkley's old chair. A couple of years after that, he was named ABC's "chief Washington correspondent."

Although conservatives would occasionally complain -- as when Stephanopoulos grilled Mitt Romney at length on the out-of-the-blue topic of birth control at a 2012 presidential debate -- Stephanopoulos seemed to have put the suspicions of partisanship behind him.

Now comes word that even as he interrogated Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer, and in effect served as a defense lawyer for the Clinton Foundation, he was not disclosing his own $50,000 contribution to the organization. It was a performance that seemed right out of Stephanopoulos' War Room days; some habits of mind, apparently, never go away.

ABC repeatedly promised to keep the highly partisan Stephanopolous out of political reporting -- and broke that promise every chance they got.

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