ABC's George Stephanopoulos Lauds 'Star' Michelle Obama

Former Democratic political operative-turned journalist George Stephanopoulos appeared on Friday's "Good Morning America" to tout what a "star" Michelle Obama became during the trip to the G-20 summit in London. After being asked by co-host Chris Cuomo about the decision by the President to take his wife, the "This Week" host effusively responded, "That turned out to be a no-brainer, didn't it, Chris? I mean, Michelle is a star."

Comparing the First Lady to another family much-loved by the liberal media, he continued, "Again, much like Jackie Kennedy on her first trips overseas with President Kennedy, she is doing so well for the President, for the country right here." Speaking of how the President did at the summit, he opined, "But the President did a good job of managing expectations going into the summit. So, that what they came out with seemed like a victory." Isn't that essentially saying that journalists allowed themselves to be spun by the President and his team?

And while an ABC graphic described the segment as the "President's Overseas Report Card," no letter grades were given. However, when Stephanopoulos does hand out grades to Obama, they are usually very high marks. On March 25, he ranked the President's last press conference an "A-." A March 25 NewsBusters posting explained Stephanopoulos' grading scale:

 Appearing on the February 9 "Nightline" to offer a "report card" for the President's first prime time press conference, he awarded Obama "an A for overall performance at the event and a B for Obama's bipartisan efforts." During the presidential campaign, Stephanopoulos declared the then-candidate the winner over John McCain in every debate between the two.

A transcript of the April 3 segment, which aired at 7:05am, follows:

CHRIS CUOMO: Let's get a sense of the impact of all this in "the bottom line." The President's big trip overseas. Let's turn to Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos. Good morning, George. How are you?

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Hey, Chris. I'm good. Thanks.

CUOMO: So, let's look at it. What do you think went well for the President? What did not go so well at the G-20?

ABC GRAPHIC: President's Overseas Report Card: Did Obama Achieve Goals?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, this was a good first trip for President Obama, first summit. Presidents don't always do so well on their first trips overseas. President Kennedy got his head handed to him by Nikita Khrushchev in their first summit. That did not happen to President Obama on this trip right now. What he wanted out of the trip was unity and action from the European governments. That's what he got. Now, to get that, he had to scale back his ambitions somewhat. He had to accept that the Europeans weren't going to go along with approving massive new spending to stimulate their economies. But the President did a good job of managing expectations going into the summit. So, that what they came out with seemed like a victory. A parallel there, Chris, is to the President's other big victory this week which was on the home front. His budget passed in both the House and the Senate yesterday, despite some resistance from Democrats. The President scaled back some of his spending. Got, basically, united Democratic support coming out of the House and the Senate.

CUOMO: And now, as we move on to the foreign agenda, Afghanistan specifically, scaling back ambitions may come into play again. What do you think the strategy here is with President Sarkozy? Do you think President Obama is trying to make him a partner on Afghanistan, the way President Bush did with Tony Blair from the U.K.?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, he needs President Sarkozy to be his partner on Afghanistan. But, again, scaling back ambitions. He knows that the French aren't going to provide new troops for Afghanistan. But they can help with police. Sending their famed Gendarmerie to the countryside to help train Afghan police forces. The President's going to try to get that. He also needs President Sarkozy to help him on another big initiative, stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, particularly to Iran. He'll try to corral him there, as well.

CUOMO: And quickly, what's your take on the decision to bring Michelle with him overseas? Not everybody brought their spouse. But seemed to be a big splash.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That turned out to be a no-brainer, didn't it, Chris? I mean, Michelle is a star. Again, much like Jackie Kennedy on her first trips overseas with President Kennedy, she is doing so well for the President, for the country right here. Also, you have to know she's doing pretty well for J. Crew, as well. I see that all of their sweaters, the one she wore the other day, have sold out of the website.

CUOMO: Another stock I should have bought. George, thank you for that this morning.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org