ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos apologized on air Monday morning for . . . well, for something.
He mentions two faux pas, contributing money – $75,000, though he doesn’t talk sums – to the Clinton Foundation and then not revealing it when he covered the issue.
Here’s the apology:
Over the last several years, I’ve made substantial donations to dozens of charities, including the Clinton Global Foundation. Those donations were a matter of public record, but I should have made additional disclosures on air when we covered the Foundation, and I now believe directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake. Even though I made them strictly to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children and protect the environment in poor countries, I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict. I apologize to all of you for failing to do that.
But look carefully at what he’s actually apologizing for. “Not going the extra mile.”
So, in life, we do our miles, and that is sufficient. And then we do our extra miles, just to be sure.
What Stephanopoulos is saying here is that he didn’t really do anything particularly wrong. He was just being a deeply charitable man. The donations, he notes, were a “mistake,” which is a little different than doing something “wrong.” But having done nothing wrong, he suggests, he should have “gone the extra mile” to make sure nobody would ever think he would do anything wrong.
Actually, not donating in the first place and then disclosing that he did are things he should have done “in the first mile,” not the extra one.
Any reporter knows you don’t donate to organizations with a partisan tilt. If I in my days as a mainstream reporter had given a substantial amount to the Clinton Foundation, done stories on it without spotlighting that I’d donated, and also defended the Foundation on the Jon Stewart Show, I’d have been marched across the newsroom to my editor’s office and fired. And nobody on the publication would have come to my defense.
If you can tell me there was nothing in the back of Stephanopoulos’s mind telling him that $75,000 would get him in good with the Clintons, then I’d like you to produce an MRI of the back of Stephanopoulus’s mind to prove it.
Here’s the apology.
And here he is going to bat for the Foundation.