Howie Kurtz: Stephanopoulos Blunder “Severe”, “Unthinkable” (Video)

Megyn Kelly led off her show Thursday night with the George Stephanopoulos bombshell that the Washington Free Beacon (not Politico) broke.

As you surely know by now, Steppie neglected to disclose his Clinton Foundation donations even as he reported on the Clintons and their foundation/slushfund – a particularly egregious oversight –  considering  a hard-hitting interview he had with Peter Schweizer, who he aggressively grilled over “Clinton Cash” – the book Schweizer wrote about the Clinton Foundation.

Kelly and Marc Thiessen remarked upon the irony of Stephanopoulos (a Clinton insider who worked in the Clinton White House) questioning the partisan motivations of  former Bush speechwriter Peter Schweizer.

“George Stephanopoulos actually questioned whether Peter Schweixer had a partisan interest in his book because he had worked for four months in the Bush administration — when he was the communications director for the Clinton White House and the Communications Director for the 1992 Clinton Campaign, and is it fair to say maybe he has a partisan interest in defending Hillary Clinton?” Thiessen said.

Kelly cited Eric Wemple of the Washington Post media blog, who said; “A donation from Stephanopoulos to the Clinton Foundation in any amount constitutes a scandal and an immediate crisis for ABC News.”

Howard Kurtz remarked, “This blunder by Stephanopoulos is so severe that it really threatens to undo what he’s accomplished in his 18 years at ABC News.”

He added that for Steppie to given this money to the Clinton Foundation and not disclose the donations to his bosses or viewers is “unthinkable.”

Kelly asked why Stephanopoulos would be considered too partisan to moderate a debate, but not the entire 2016 campaign. ot so much conflict that he isn’t stepping out of 2016 coverage entirely.

Kurtz said he should have found “any other charity on earth to give it”


WFB: ABC News Anchor George Stephanopoulos Donated $50,000 to Clinton Foundation

PJ Tatler: ABC News Should Be Ashamed
The underhanded way ABC rolled out a controversial news story about one of its anchors today is disgraceful.

While the contributions were publicly available information, the host had not disclosed the conflict of interest to ABC viewers – until he was caught by Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon.

Stiles asked ABC for a comment, and while they were waiting for a reply, ABC leaked the story to Dylan Byers of Politico, who titled his story “George Stephanopoulos discloses $50,000 contribution to Clinton Foundation” (as if the idea to disclose was all Stephanopoulos’s).

A half an hour after Politico’s story ran, ABC News sent a statement  to the Washington Free Beacon.

PJ Tatler: Republicans Revolt Over Stephanopoulos’s Conflict of Interest at ABC (Video)
Ed Driscoll: More Stephanopoulos Conflicts of Interest Emerge

Video: The MSM Picks A Side in the Fight Against Islamic Extremism

As perfectly illustrated in this Ben Howe video put out by MRC TV.

When it comes to the First Amendment, they sure talk a good game. But when push comes to shove in the fight against Islamic Extremism – they let you know whose side they’re on. And it just happens to be the same side as the deplorable dirtbag who appears last in the video.

This wasn’t even a particularly difficult test, media – and you failed it miserably.


Eric Wemple, The Washington Post: The week that cable news failed free expression:

Authorities are investigating ISIS’s claim of responsibility; they’re checking the electronic communication histories of the attackers, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi; the White House has called the episode an “attempted terrorist attack.

And who’s being treated as the public enemy on cable? The woman who organized a cartoon contest.

Read the whole thing – you’ll be surprised and delighted that Wemple doesn’t take the low road that most libs take when defending Geller’s right to free speech (by gratuitously insulting her at the same time.) It’s just a fulsome defense of her right to free speech and a critique of the conga line of cable news cowards who attacked her.

Netanyahu: Iranian Nuke Agreement Even Worse Than Feared

It’s not clear where these leaks about the deal are coming from, but in an interview on CNN, Sunday, Speaker Boehner told host Dana Bash that he thinks they “probably came out of the White House.”

Via Reuters:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Sunday the framework Iranian nuclear agreement being sought by international negotiators, saying it was even worse than his country had feared.

Israel has mounted what it terms an “uphill battle” against an agreement that might ease sanctions on the Iranians while leaving them with a nuclear infrastructure with bomb-making potential. Tehran says its nuclear programme is peaceful.

“This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that,” Netanyahu told his cabinet in Jerusalem as the United States, five other world powers and Iran worked toward a March 31 deadline in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Noting advances made by Iranian-allied forces in Yemen and other Arab countries, Netanyahu accused the Islamic republic of trying to “conquer the entire Middle East” while moving toward nuclearisation.

“The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity, and must be stopped,” he said.

House Speaker Boehner will travel to Israel this week during the Congressional recess. On CNN’s “State of the Union”, Sunday, he told Dana Bash that his plans were made before the ongoing acrimony between Netanyahu and Obama became an open spat.

“There are serious issues and activities going on in the Middle East and I think it’s critically important for members of Congress to hear from foreign leaders, other governments, other parts of their government, to get a real handle on the challenges that we face there,” Boehner said.

Boehner argued that Netanyahu hasn’t crossed any lines and pointed out that Israel doesn’t really have a peace partner at the moment.

“Well, he doesn’t have a partner,” Boehner said. “How do you have a two-state solution when you don’t have a partner in that solution, when you don’t have a partner for peace, when you’ve got a — when the other state is vowing to wipe you off the face of the earth?”

Boehner also defended Netanyahu from criticism from Obama and the White House that has mounted over the last month.

“I think the animosity exhibited by our administration toward the prime minister of Israel is reprehensible,” Boehner said. “And I think that the pressure that they’ve put on him over the last four or five years have frankly pushed him to the point where he had to speak up.”

“I don’t blame him at all for speaking up,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was in Israel Sunday, already meeting with Netanyahu.

Standing beside Netanyahu, McConnell assured him that Congress would have to approve any deal.

The absence of a deal would lead to the Senate “ratcheting up sanctions,” he said.

CNS News reported:

The White House has repeatedly stated that the agreement being negotiated between Iran and the P5+1 will not require Senate advice and consent. It has also threatened to veto legislation providing for congressional approval, if it is sent to the president’s desk.

The deadline for a framework nuclear agreement is Tuesday night. Kerry, who has been negotiating with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in the Swiss city of Lausanne since Thursday, was joined at the weekend by his counterparts from the P5+1, the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.

Netanyahu, who in a controversial address before Congress early this month warned that a proposed nuclear deal would be dangerous for Israel, the region and the world, doubled down on the criticism on Sunday.

“This agreement, as it appears, confirms all of our concerns and even more so,” he said at a cabinet meeting.


Michael Goodman, The New York Post: Obama’s Race To Chaos:

Iran long held designs on a Shia Crescent and control over Arab lands, which helps explain why Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others counted themselves as our allies. They are furious as they watch Iran get a nuclear pass from Obama and a green light to expand its power.

The nuclear program will have the United Nations stamp of approval, as will Iranian control of four Arab capitals — Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and now Sanaa, Yemen. Indeed, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry suggest Iran even could be an ally in the fight against Islamic State and al Qaeda. Already there has been coordination there, leading critics to say America is acting as the Iranian air force.

Israel, of course, sees the pattern as insane and a threat because Iran has threatened to wipe it off the face of the earth. In retaliation for complaining about the nuke deal, Obama denounces our ally and threatens to “re-evaluate” our support for the Jewish state.

But Israel is not alone, with our Sunni Arab allies also viewing Iran as their mortal enemy. Sen. John McCain quoted one of those Arab leaders as concluding, “We believe it is more dangerous to be a friend of America’s than an enemy.”

These are unprecedented developments, veering so far from the norm and happening so fast that consequences are piling up faster than they can be comprehended. Alliances built over decades are shattered in a relative flash, inviting aggression and endless conflict. The toxic brew of Islamic fanaticism and nuclear proliferation could ignite a world conflagration.

These are grim thoughts, expressed because it is impossible to imagine any other outcome of Iran’s rise.

Report: Tom Brokaw Wants Brian Williams Fired

This corroborates yesterday’s report from Variety that there have been voices within NBC who have told Williams to stop telling the chopper whopper.

According to the  NY Post Tom Brokaw “is out for blood.”

NBC’s most revered journalist is furious that Brian Williams is still in the anchor chair after he sheepishly admitted he hadn’t traveled on a helicopter hit by enemy fire.

“Brokaw wants Williams’ head on a platter,” an NBC source said. “He is making a lot of noise at NBC that a lesser journalist or producer would have been immediately fired or suspended for a false report.”

Brokaw, 74, was still the “Nightly News” anchor when Williams came back from his Iraq expedition — and an insider said he knew the story Williams later spouted was bunk.

“Tom Brokaw and [former NBC News President] Steve Capus knew this was a false story for a long time and have been extremely uncomfortable with it,” the source said.

NBC News execs had counseled him to stop telling the tale.

Even though NBC News execs are thus far standing by Williams – who in December signed his newest $10 million-per-year, five-year contract – this is looking increasingly bad for him.

Now there are reports that he made up some aspects of his Katrina coverage – including his contention that he caught dysentery by drinking flood water, and saw a body float by his hotel in the French Quarter.

Again, via the New York Post:

However, the The New Orleans Advocate noted that the French Quarter was not flooded and quoted a local health expert who did not recall anyone getting such a stomach ailment.

Williams recalled his bout with the bug in an interview with Tom Brokaw last year, when he said: “I accidentally ingested some of the floodwater. I became very sick with dysentery.”

The Advocate said a public health official never heard of people getting things like dysentery after the storm.

I consulted Wikipedia, and found this:

On September 6, E. coli was detected in the water supply. According to the CDC, five people died from bacterial infections caused by the toxic waters. The deaths appear to have been caused by Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, of the Cholera family.[90]

So that dysentery story does not seem far fetched to me. It could have happened.

Williams said also during an interview in 2006 that he saw dead bodies float past his window in the French Quarter.

“When you look out of your hotel window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country,” Williams said in 2006.

This was approximately one year after Katrina that he spoke of seeing a body floating by his hotel window.

Numerous sources say the French Quarter dodged the massive flooding that was experienced in other areas. Williams may have heard the story of floating bodies from Mayor Ray Nagin, who told CNN during the flooding:

“There are dead bodies floating in some of the water,” Nagin said. “The rescuers would basically push them aside as they were trying to save individuals.”

Nagin said that as of late Tuesday “a significant amount of water” is flowing into the bowl-shaped city and sections of the city now dry could be under 9 or 10 feet of water within hours.

80% of the city was flooded. CNN reported that the water was 20 feet deep in some places, and linked to video (no longer there) of “knee-deep and rising water in the French Quarter.”

You need at least 18 inches of water for a body to float …

Via The Hayride, here’s a pic of Williams standing in the French Quarter in his “waders” which seems like overkill given the amount of water he was standing in. There may have been some low dips in the road that filled up with a foot of water.


But he saw bodies floating in that?

The problem for Williams and NBC  is – after the chopper-whopper – everything the anchor has said in the past and will say in the future will be forever scrutinized. The man has a huge credibility problem.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers for both of those stories.


Oh wow….

Via Sooper Mexican: ANOTHER Brian Williams Katrina Fabrication in 2 Videos: Says He SAW a Suicide He Later Says He Only HEARD About:



Report: NBC Warned Brian Williams To Stop Telling Chopper Whopper

By now, you’ve surely heard about the Brian Williams’ “Chopper Whopper” story which has been dominating the news for the past 24 hours.

I think I may be the only blogger who hasn’t written about it, yet.

NBC Anchor Brian Williams has been telling people his helicopter was shot down in Iraq for several years and now he’s recanting, saying he “misremembered” the event.

Here is his original Dateline report from 2003 – which is apparently the accurate version. Some of the soldiers who were there, claim they didn’t see Williams during the “two harrowing nights” he claims he and his crew were stranded during the sand storm – but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there.

Somewhere along the line, his story morphed into something altogether else.

CNN has a timeline of how the story has changed over the years.

Stars and Stripes reporter Travis Tritten  broke the story after being contacted by annoyed soldiers who were there and know the truth.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams admitted Wednesday he was not aboard a helicopter hit and forced down by RPG fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a false claim that has been repeated by the network for years.

Williams repeated the claim Friday during NBC’s coverage of a public tribute at a New York Rangers hockey game for a retired soldier that had provided ground security for the grounded helicopters, a game to which Williams accompanied him. In an interview with Stars and Stripes, he said he had misremembered the events and was sorry.

Ace tried to explain Williams’ confusion:

Let me help you out here, Brian. You conflated one aircraft — one you were in — with another aircraft — one you were not in — not due to a “mistake” but due to an age-old reportorial practice called lying to advance an agenda.

The agenda here was dressing up a soft, delicate little boy into a the sort of iron-stubbled man who looks like he belongs on a battlefield.

So you lied. You claimed you were on one of the helicopters that took fire; no human being could ever confuse “Me” or “Not Me.”

Steven Wright makes just that joke — “The other day I was — wait, no, that was someone else.”

See, Brian, it’s funny because we know that confusion about “Me” versus “Not Me” is not possible, except in the insane.

So you lied, and over the years you’ve lied and lied again

Via Variety – it gets even worse for Williams.

“I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” Williams said in the interview with the military newspaper.  “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.” He also posted an apology on his Facebook page and offered similar sentiments during Wednesday night’s broadcast of “Nightly News.” The Iraqi incident took place before Williams took over the “Nightly News” anchor desk from Tom Brokaw in 2004.

What makes Williams’ admission worse, according to one person familiar with the situation, is that he had been counseled in the past by senior NBC News executives to stop telling the story in public. The advice, this person said, was not heeded.  One person familiar with current NBC News operations disputed that information.

Williams’ version of the story has never been allowed in NBC News programs, according to three people familiar with the unit. Indeed, in a March, 2003, episode of “Dateline,” Williams described the helicopter trip accurately. “On the ground, we learned the Chinook ahead of us was almost blown out of the sky,” he said while narrating a report.

Even sympathetic reporters admit that this story has done major damage to Williams’ credibility and his one minute, totally inadequate apology last night did little to repair the damage. Will Brian Williams still have a job at NBC after this weekend?

Video: Watch Shep Smith Humiliate NY Times Reporter On The Air

I love this because it’s not often you get to see an elite, pretentious snob like this NY Times reporter get a comeuppance on live TV.

Via the Daily Caller: 

“Steve, what can you tell us about this warning from the authorities there of a possible second Western attack to come?” he asked the Times’ London bureau chief Steve Erlanger.

“Well,” he responded, “we need to be careful in the moments after…”

“Yeah, you don’t have to tell me that,” Smith said dryly.

“Well….that’s…I hope true,” Erlanger said haughtily.

Shep took the “we need to be careful” admonition as an insult, which you’ll understand when you hear Erlanger’s tone. The guy makes his disdain for “Faux News” abundantly clear.

After he finished his report, Smith returned to the comment:

“I’m very curious about– you said we need to be careful. On what matter did you think we were not careful, based on what you just said and we just reported, Mr. Erlanger?”

“I mean, frankly, I have not—I have not been listening very carefully,” Erlanger stammered.

“So you said that based on what?” Smith persisted.

“Look, you asked me to come and talk to you,” Erlanger retorted, “I’m telling you what I think I know.”

 “What you told me was that you thought we needed to be careful, and what I can report to you, sir, is that we’re being very careful,” Smith concluded, dropping the interview entirely.
Watch and enjoy, it’s not often you see this: