In a bizarre choice, ABC News President David Westin has decided to make Christiane Amanpour, CNN's New York City-based international affairs correspondent, the host of ABC's Washington, DC-based This Week -- thus passing over many qualified ABC journalists in favor of replacing a Bill Clinton operative with the wife of an operative for both Bill and Hillary Clinton. Amanpour is married to Jamie Rubin, Assistant Secretary of State for public affairs during the Clinton administration and an adviser in 2007-08 for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. (Of course, until early January, the show was hosted by George Stephanopoulos, a 1992 Clinton campaign operative and subsequently a top Clinton White House adviser.)
At 3:28 PM EDT today, TV Newser reported Amanpour accepted the slot and that Jake Tapper will helm This Week until she takes over in August. Do Sunday morning interview show viewers really desire more international news from someone unfamiliar with domestic politics?
A quick perusal through the MRC's Notable Quotables archive confirms her standard liberal outlook on the world:
She told Hillary Clinton “a lot of the women that I meet from traveling overseas are very impressed by you and admire your dignity,” scolded Mikhail Gorbachev by raising how he's been “criticized heavily by those who say you opened a pandora's box,” argued the press was “muzzled” and not tough enough on President George W. Bush, warned of scary “totalitarian” Christians and, quite oddly juxtaposed French President Nicolas Sarkozy's criticism of rioters with his welcoming of Barack Obama. Plus, she justified awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize: “He’s obviously done something very significant” since the U.S. now has a “new relationship with the rest of the world.”
Nonetheless, last year she insisted: “Nobody knows my biases.”
Below, ten notable quotes from Amanpour's reporting, starting in 1999:
Hillary’s Dignity, or Dependency?
“A lot of the women that I meet from traveling overseas are very impressed by you and admire your dignity. A lot of the people you meet are people who suffered, people you saw today, and who believe that they identify with you, because they have seen you suffer. And in a speech in Africa last year, you spoke about living for hope and reconciliation, living for forgiveness and reconstruction, and living for a new life – have you been able to apply that to your own circumstances? Have you been able to forgive your husband?”
-- CNN’s Christine Amanpour to Hillary Clinton in Macedonia after a tour of refugee camps, May 14, 1999.
Gorby Blamed for Berlin Wall Fall
Christiane Amanpour: “Indeed, ten years later, many are saying the unbridled capitalism that followed communism has unleashed misery on citizens who had all their social needs taken care of, especially in the former Soviet Union.”
To Mikhail Gorbachev: “Mr. President, you are regarded by many people in this world as a hero for causing the end of tyranny and the collapse of communism. But you are also criticized heavily by those who say you opened a pandora's box. And they say look at the strife now, look at the economic chaos, look at the Mafia structure, look at the corruption. They say that you opened and started a plan that you did not know how to finish.”
– CNN's The World Today, November 8, 1999.
Elian, Learn Ballet on the Farm!
“Like these young dancers, Carlos [Acosta] benefited from Cuba’s communist system because it not only recognizes physical talent, it nurtures it, whether it’s baseball, boxing, or ballet.”
-- CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Christiane Amanpour on a star of London’s Royal Ballet, May 21, 2000.
Reporters Too Pro-Bush
“I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I’m sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did....The entire body politic...did not ask enough questions, for instance, about weapons of mass destruction. I mean, it looks like this was disinformation at the highest levels.”
– CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on CNBC’s Topic A with Tina Brown, September 10, 2003.
The Weasels Were Right
“Do you feel vindicated when you look at what Iraq is going through right now?”
— CNN’s Christiane Amanpour to French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, Anderson Cooper 360, Nov. 29, 2005.
Reporters Pay for Iraq 'Disaster'
“The war in Iraq has basically turned out to be a disaster, and journalists have paid for it, paid for the privilege of witnessing and reporting that....By any indicator, Iraq is a black hole....Whether you take the number of journalists killed or wounded, whether you take the number of American soldiers killed or wounded, whether you take the number of Iraqi soldiers killed and wounded, contractors, people working there, it just gets worse and worse.”
— CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Larry King Live, January 30, 2006 discussing the bomb attack that wounded ABC co-anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt. VIDEO
Scary 'Totalitarian' Christians
“On [Christian youth activist Ron Luce’s Honor Academy] campus, students must follow a strict set of rules: No secular music or television. No R-rated movies. No alcohol. No drugs. No dating. [To Luce] When I, you know, read that women have to wear skirts of a certain length and guys aren’t allowed to, you know, go on the Internet unsupervised, I mean, I think, you know, totalitarian regimes.”
— Correspondent Christiane Amanpour in her August 23, 2007 profile of "Christian Warriors," the last of CNN’s 3-part special on "God’s Warriors."
Insulting Rioters = Insulting Obama
“The black people in France are very proud and very hopeful for their future. They also live, many of them, in poor situations. And you know, you’ve had your own riots here and protests and disturbances in the Banlieue — in the city. At one point, when we were covering those riots, when you were Interior Minister, you called the rioters ‘scum.’ And I’m wondering whether you feel, today, when you stand next to someone you clearly admire so much, and who has broken so many barriers, that you regret that term or that you wish you hadn’t said it?”
— CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour to French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a July 25, 2008 press conference with Barack Obama shown live on CNN.
Amanpour: My Biases Are a Complete Mystery
“I ask people just to look at my body of work. And nobody knows my biases. Do they think I’m against? Do they think I’m for? They don’t know my biases. They don’t know where I come from in this. I just try very hard to report the facts and to tell the stories as best as I can. I am not part of the current crop of opinion journalists or commentary journalists or feelings journalists. I strongly believe that I have to remain in the realm of fact.”
— CNN’s Christiane Amanpour to CBS’s Lesley Stahl in a June 23, 2009 “Women on the Web” interview.
Criticism of Obama's Nobel Peace Prize 'Overdone'
“Can I just say, I think it’s overdone, this pushing back against his award. He’s obviously done something very significant, and that is, after eight years in which the United States was really held in contempt around the world, the United States has now had a new relationship with the rest of the world.”
– Christiane Amanpour, reacting to criticism of President Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, December 10, 2009 American Morning on CNN.