On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," guest host George Stephanopoulos’s close ties to the Clinton administration were again on display. The ABC anchor interviewed the ex-boyfriend of Chelsea Clinton about his new book on the subject of teaching American history in Iraq. Just last month, Stephanopoulos, a former top aide to Bill Clinton, gave a softball interview to Kristin Gore, the daughter of former Vice President Al Gore.
In that segment, the GMA substitute host misleadingly characterized the drug arrest of Albert Gore III as getting "in trouble speeding." The Vice President’s daughter also joked that she modeled a character in her new novel about Washington politics after Stephanopoulos. During the August 30 piece, the network anchor introduced author Ian Klaus by glowingly announcing, "...Some people might be watching today and saying, 'You know, I've seen him somewhere before. I've heard his name before.' And that's because you were actually dating Chelsea Clinton when you went to Iraq."
If ABC and "Good Morning America" are going to insist that Americans treat George Stephanopoulos as an objective journalist, perhaps they could at least refrain from having him do chummy interviews with close political friends and allies.
A partial transcript of the segment, which aired at 8:35am on August 30, follows:
George Stephanopoulos: "You know, some people might be watching today and saying, 'You know, I've seen him somewhere before. I've heard his name before.' And that's because you were actually dating Chelsea Clinton when you went to Iraq."
Ian Klaus: "Yeah."
Stephanopoulos: "And you actually tell this story in the book about how the National Enquirer was trying to track you down."
Klaus: "They did track me down. It was an incredible piece of reporting and I prefer to think of it as a story--"
Stephanopoulos: "Good reporting by the National Enquirer?"
Klaus: "Well, I mean, just to actually get through. I had no mail. I had never gotten a telephone call from my family or from my then girlfriend during the time. And yet, this National Enquirer reporter managed to get through. He didn't run the story actually out of respect for my security, so, to his credit. But it was an incredible story of globalization. I mean, here is a tabloid at home that is connecting to government in Iraq."
Stephanopoulos: "And you and Chelsea are not together anymore. But you did dedicate the book to her?"
Klaus: "And to my mom, but also to her. Yeah, both of them, my mother and Chelsea were incredibly supportive of this venture of teaching American history and English and of writing the book."