Hill’s shill delivered for old boss

ABC news, if that comic exercise in political pandering can be called “news,” sent former Clinton boot-licker George Stephanopoulos in to shill for Hillary Clinton at Wednesday’s so-called Democratic Presidential debate and the result turned into a tabloid debacle that surpasses even the extremes of Fox News.

Stephanopoulos, a senior White House aide during the Clinton years, delivered for his old bosses, dishing out 40-year-old dirt spoon-fed to him by none other than right wing blowhard Sean Hannity and other brain-dead conservative radio blabbermouths.

In a breathless tone, Stephanopoulos asked Obama about his relationship with William Ayers, a former member of the radical underground Weatherman movement of the 60s. Ayers contributed to Obama’s campaign once and hosted a fundraiser for him in 1995. Like so many radicals of the 60s, Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dorn, are mainstreamers now and part of the Chicago’s political crowd.

Then Clinton, right on cue, jumped in and said a Presidential candidate should be judged by his or her associations, using the moment to revive the Jeremiah Wright connection and claim sanctimoniously that she is above such questionable ties – a unbelievably hypocritical claim from a woman whose friends include felons and ex-cons and whose husband pardoned two members of the Weatherman underground.

While it is ludicrous to expect any television network news operation to have integrity, ABC should have recognized the obvious conflict of interest in using a former member of the Clinton White House to moderate a debate that includes a Clinton. Even in a profession where brains are optional, this seemed a no-brainer.

Television networks don’t give a damn about such conflicts. Meet the Press Moderator Tim Russert was a staffer for former Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Chris Matthews worked for former Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill although his brother is a Republican politico in Montgomery County, PA.

In the interests of full disclosure, I took a sabbatical from journalism in 1981 and worked for three Republican members of Congress – ranging from moderate Paul Findley of Illinois to conservative Manuel Lujan Jr. of New Mexico – but never registered as a Republican. Any regular reader of this site knows Capitol Hill Blue is not a shill for the GOP – or any other party for that matter.

ABC’s stupidity Wednesday in putting George Stephanopoulos on the moderating crew for a debate that featured the wife of his old boss is the height of stupidity and hypocrisy and his shilling for Clinton surpassed even the routine excess of what passes for news on television these days.

The question about Ayers dominated cable news discussions after the debate but most mainstream news accounts of the event either failed to mention Ayers or buried the question in the bowels of their stories.

But the shill for Hill did his duty for his patron and the sound bite for Ayers will probably turn up in another Clinton attack ad as this primary campaign winds down to its final, bitter, sordid – and long overdue – end.


  1. DejaVuAllOver

    All good points. Voters with the IQ of cabbage are “tuning out” in droves, with good reason. Every time Hillary opens her 450-horsepower mouth she reminds me of a really bad marriage. And it’s even worse when it’s her own divorce lawyer asking the questions and “pretending” to be impartial. Life is too short for this crap.

  2. Dogma

    I, too, thought the “debate” last night was utterly and completely disgusting and disappointing. I’ve let ABC know my feelings, as have over 12,000 others, and will never watch the evening news or This Week with Georgie. This country is falling apart and some of those issues were whisked over in the second hour while others were not addressed at all. That said, I have been totally taken aback today by nearly every talking head on TV. Just about all of them have defended ABC, Gibson and Stephanopolos, they have agreed that there was nothing wrong or trivial with the questions asked and that it was a bad night for Obama and he did a lousy job. Gee, I think it would be a bad night for just about anyone who was being publically lynched and piled on. The public outcry is in complete contrast with the majority of the pundits. This country is definitely in deep doo-doo.

  3. spartacus

    This was the most abysmal display of corporate media pandering by any “major news organization” I have yet seen.
    With: a war in Iraq; another in Afghanistan; a foreclosure crisis; a recession which could become much, much worse; a health care crisis; runaway inflation; runaway gas prices; and so many other, serious problems, all those bozos could discuss was superficial, media-driven junk that really doesn’t matter one whit. Anyone who thinks that someone Obama knows, who his pastor is, etc., are important ‘issues’ to base what kind of president he’ll be is playing right into the kind of junk journalism he’s been trying to rise above. Every time he pointed it out, there was Hillary, playing the same old, tired, media game, with her lackey George egging her on. The only time Charlie Gibson even got animated was when he thought his capital gains tax would rise. God forbid! Apparently, the only issues those two cared about were: the people around the candidates (I like Bill, but shouldn’t Hillary been drilled on THAT, then?); losing money out of their own pockets (and to hell with everyone else); guilt by association; stirring up Fox noise stories for everyone who doesn’t pollute themselves by watching the right-wing propoganda channel; and failing to ask ANY relevant question to help Pennsylvanians decide who to vote for (unless bashing Obama, done by both ‘moderators’, was meant to help them with that*.


  4. Ardie

    This was a watershed event. Having seen ABC sink to never before depths of shallowness by ignoring the important issues of our time, I am convinced that the majority Americans will vote for Sen. Obama out of sheer contempt for everything corporate, slick, war-like, and stupid.

  5. Carl Nemo

    Hi adb8917…

    I replied to Stratocaster concerning the fact that it’s a two part production. If you only viewed part two which he supplied then the scenario would seem odd to say the least. So watch part one that I’ve supplied then part two again. I think this will possibly answer your questions.

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. Carl Nemo

    Hi Stratocaster…

    Thanks for posting the link which I highly recommend for CHB’r viewing. That’s part two of a two part production. Here’s the first link with yours being the second.


    If anything it demonstrates Hillary’s propensity to engage in duplicitous behavior. The end always justifies the means with the Clintons.

    In order to get full benefit from these two clips it’s necessary for the viewers to pay close attention to what’s unfolding and as you near the end of the viewing the total gravity of the situation will become very clear as to how Bill and Hill operate.

    Carl Nemo **==

  7. adb8917

    I just looked at it. Who are the characters and how do we know that the pictures of the people coincide with whoever heard the Senator on a call? I’m an Obama supporter, so I’m not defending her; but this has the same slimy look and feel of yet another anonymous Swift Boat attack ad. Can somebody explain the provenance of this thing?


  8. Caine

    I too watched this “debate”. After 45minutes, I was ready to turn it off! The only reason I stayed was to see if the bias against Obama would change in the second half against Clinton. That never happened and in my opinion, the entire debate was a campaign commercial for Clinton.

    The whole two hours, IMO, were slanted against Obama and made Clinton look like an angel!


  9. Flapsaddle

    I don’t know who should be considered the more stupid: ABC for letting a blatant partisan like Stephanopoulos act as moderator, or for anyone to think that the so-called “debate” was actually instructive and useful.

    Once again we have a clear demonstration that “news” – especially the TV formatted type – is purely a manufactured product targeted for a specific demographic. Yes, it does contain a grain of truth, but the rest is strictly artificial colors, artificial flavors, fillers and additives intended to satisfy the prejudices of a particular audience.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  10. adb8917

    Peter Jennings would be ashamed. I miss the days when you heard six bells and could reach out and rip off a raw and unfiltered Associated Press or United Press International feed. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was timely and “unspun.” Hell, even BBC has become part of the infosludge pipeline.


  11. Sandra Price

    I got to question number 3 and turned it off and watched another display of the Big Bang on the History Channel. Now that’s cool!

    Strato, I watched the video and it added little to my opinions of the Clintons. Why am I thinking back to one of the men who Bill Clinton pardoned before he left the white House. Any hints?