A Demure George Stephanopoulos Deflects Proclamations of His Brilliance?

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos appeared on The View, Monday, and attempted to deflect some of the over-the-top praise heaped on him after he joined Good Morning America. He protested, "I did not like all of the introduction stuff, all the ‘let's go back and talk to everybody from your entire life.’ But we got through it."

On the January 4, 2010 show that Stephanopoulos was referring to, his friend, Democrat James Carville, appeared to coo, "I once said, 'If you converted his IQ to Fahrenheit, you could boil water.'" A graphic on that program proclaimed, "George Is Smart."

On Monday, View co-host Barbara Walters asked Stephanopoulos if President Obama could "recover" from a string of electoral losses. The Democratic operative turned journalist was emphatic [See video above]: "Yeah. I mean, look, he's more popular now than Ronald Reagan was his second year in office, the same time." Of course, Reagan didn’t have a willing media ready to spin failures from his first year.

Co-host Joy Behar highlighted a GMA interview Stephanopoulos conducted with Bill Gates. In it, Gates asserted the recovery would take a while. Again, Stephanopoulos adopted White House-friendly spin: "It’s going to take a long- We’ve got a lot of mess to clean up. Yeah."

And could Obama even be losing the liberal Behar? She informed Stephanopoulos: "I think [Obama] should stop using the prompter so much though. He needs to just talk to America. Stop reading."

A partial transcript of some of the exchanges on The View, which aired at 11:50am EST on January 25, follow:

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: And you were a wrestler?

ROBIN ROBERTS: Let's get to the real stuff.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Not a very good wrestler. Now, that came out in the first week. Actually, you know, that was the hardest part. I did not like all of the introduction stuff, all the "let's go back and talk to everybody from your entire life." But we got through it.

ELISABETH HASSELBACK: You’d rather talk about something else.

...

BARBARA WALTERS: What's the President going to talk about Wednesday?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Jobs. And then jobs. And then jobs again.

WALTERS: Jobs. Can he turn it around?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah. I mean, look, he's more popular now than Ronald Reagan was his second year in office, the same time.

WALTERS: The same time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the economy has to come back and I think he knows that.

GOLDBERG: Well, Bill Gates was interesting this morning with you, saying, you know, this is going to take a long time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He was. It’s going to take a long- We’ve got a lot of mess to clean up. Yeah.

JOY BEHAR: I think he should stop using the prompter so much though. He needs to just talk to America. Stop reading.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He kind of admitted that when I talked to him last Wednesday. He said he'd become too remote and detached. But now he's going to show it and not just say it.

BEHAR: He’s great in the interviews.

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