Accuracy in Media

AIM Editor Roger Aronoff was a guest last week on the Philadelphia, PA Conservative Commandos radio show with Rick Trader to talk about Aronoff’s recent column “Stephanopoulos Fiasco is Par for the Course.”

ABC’s host George Stephanopoulos interviewed Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer on April 26, in a confrontational broadcast designed to cast the author as a partisan out to tar the reputation of the Clinton family. As Aronoff pointed out on Trader’s show, Stephanopoulos “proceeded to do an interrogation more than a question-and-answer where you’re really trying to learn information from the author and what he has in the book.”

This is par for the course for the mainstream media, argues Aronoff. The incestuous relationships between media and the administration are so extensive that disclaimers are necessary to alert viewers. Yet, where would that end? It would be a constant refrain, if the media were to be diligent in announcing all of their conflicts of interest.

“I think that every time that CBS does a story on national security they ought to be saying the President of CBS News is the brother of the National Security Advisor of President Obama,” said Aronoff. He also noted that NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press and CBS’s John Dickerson on Face the Nation are all “hard core partisans.”

“All [Stephanopoulos] wanted to do was try to paint Schweizer as some kind of partisan without any smoking gun,” said Aronoff. The irony was that this ABC host was “sitting there accusing this author of being a partisan for having worked for George Bush while he is clearly also a journalist, supposedly, and [Stephanopoulos] was a partisan who worked for Bill Clinton—and he doesn’t even sense the irony of that.”

But the mainstream media, not just Stephanopoulos, have launched a coordinated attempt to attack the author himself, instead of the facts outlined in Clinton Cash.

The search for a smoking gun implicating the Clintons in pay-for-play is not even necessary, Aronoff argued. “Now, everyone’s pointing out…‘Where’s the smoking gun?,’ but Judge Jeanine Pirro said it great,” he commented. “She said, ‘I’ve convicted many people where there’s no smoking gun. There’s a pattern.’”

Within that pattern, said Aronoff, “you see where there’s people giving money and then they get things in return” without a direct email explaining the exchange, “but you can still put that pattern together, explain it to people, and they can connect the dots.”

Judge Pirro, host of Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” received AIM’s 2015 Reed Irvine Award for Excellence in Journalism.

AIM also awarded The Washington Free Beacon’s Senior Editor Bill Gertz the Reed Irvine Award for Excellence in Journalism last year. “We’re also starting to drive the media and to break news and really add to the conversation,” said former AIM intern, Alana Goodman, during the award ceremony.

Goodman is a staff writer at The Washington Free Beacon, the paper that prompted this recent scandal. Although ABC News’ spokeswoman Heather Riley, also connected to the Clintons, made sure a more friendly outlet, Politico, got the initial scoop, it was The Washington Free Beacon that was demanding Stephanopoulos expose his own hypocrisy.

“What is surprising about the latest George Stephanopoulos controversy is that most of the media are treating it as something unusual rather than an acknowledgement of a problem that’s been plaguing the media for decades,” Aronoff wrote. “However, anyone convinced that Stephanopoulos’s ongoing political conflict of interest and failure to disclose it to his viewers is the exception, not the rule, hasn’t been paying attention to a long history of media corruption.”

You can listen to the complete interview here:




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