I agreed to be interviewed, expecting a robust examination of my new book, Clinton Cash, and my reporting on the Clintons’ accumulation of massive personal wealth, cronyism and the lack of transparency surrounding the Clintons’ foundation.
I expected probing questions, similar to the ones I’ve received from Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, Chris Wallace on Fox News and Frank Sesno on CNN.
What I did not expect — what no one expected — was the sort of “hidden hand journalism” that has contributed to America’s news media’s crisis of credibility in particular, and Americans’ distrust of the news media more broadly.
If Stephanopoulos had disclosed his donations to the very foundation I was there to talk about, perhaps it would have put the aggressive posture of his interview with me in context.
But he didn’t.
And even 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).
As we reported on Friday, Stephanopolous was actually a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Members are ‘by invitation only’ and have to pay $20,000 (although Stephanopolous and other media have supposedly had this requirement waived). Membership is an active participation in events as well as a means of promoting yourself with others:
CGI membership is a year-round activity tailored to the needs of today’s world leaders that allows them to expand and benefit from their new and current efforts to address pressing global problems. CGI offers its members unique opportunities to network and identify partners, gain practical insight, and be recognized on a world stage.
At the Annual Meeting, professional media specialists are available to help members craft a robust media strategy; set up interviews with leading newspapers, radio stations, and television programs; and develop compelling messages and press releases. Nearly 1,000 members of the media are on-site at the Annual Meeting each year to report on the accomplishments of CGI members.