Column: The Stephanopoulos Lectures on Proper Interviews and Debates

ABC “newsman” George Stephanopoulos raised some eyebrows on his book-interview tour on CNN. He has boasted to his liberal journalist friends that he will not continue with any interview with a Republican if they won’t concede Joe Biden won in 2020. This should not be a hard test to pass.

But Democrat partisans like this man will pull a trigger if you suggest that the election was “rigged.” You’re not even allowed to suggest the media was unfair, or all the ballot rules were watered down for the pandemic. 

Stephanopoulos told CNN’s Abby Phillip: “I’ve made it a point, if they will not accept those facts, I don’t go on to other issues. I’m not going to participate in some kind of a sham where you somehow equate the legitimacy of an election or the peaceful transfer of power with a debate over tax cuts or environmental regulation.”

Democrats think “democracy” should be the number one issue – as they define it. And in this cycle, they’ve defined it as pressuring Republicans to accept their 2024 defeat. When they say they won’t accept defeat in advance, they get another six pestering questions about how they won’t accept election results…that haven’t happened yet.

You’re allowed to proclaim if Trump wins, democracy has ended. You’re not allowed to say the 2024 election result is open-ended.

Stephanopoulos told Mediaite, “I think it’s journalistic malpractice to do a live interview with President Trump on television.” This aligns with MSNBC partisan Rachel Maddow, who always proclaims that “news” channels can’t run Trump live. That’s why you know they’ll pull out their hair watching a live debate. By that standard, Trump wins by accepting any debate terms that let him speak live.

But four years ago, Stephanopoulos demonstrated what his actual standards are, and they’re partisan. Due to a canceled debate, the candidates submitted to individual town-hall formats. Trump was perpetually interrupted and debated by Savannah Guthrie on NBC. Biden was treated to a gentle chat on ABC with Stephanopoulos, who asked nothing about the New York Post stories on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Most of the audience questions came from the left.

The networks actually delighted in the flagrant bias the next day. Biden-boosting ABC reporter Mary Bruce gushed, “Joe Biden spending much of the night looking ahead, outlining his plans for the future, while the president, often combative, spent much of the night on defense.”

This is why public trust in the establishment media has cratered. Their ideal scenario is the Republicans are grilled, and the Democrats are massaged. A few weeks ago, they touted the ideal scenario of Trump trapped in a courtroom versus Biden out shaking hands with voters on the campaign trail.

Stephanopoulos and others have aggressively “fact checked” anyone who dares to suggest Biden’s people could be behind trapping Trump in a courtroom…even when the Biden Justice Department’s #3 official left to join the Democrat prosecution team in Manhattan. They assert, in defiance of the evidence, that the Biden Justice Department is not political, and any Republican who says it’s political is creating a “toxic environment” in Washington. So said ABC’s Justice Department reporter Pierre Thomas…subbing in on the Stephanopoulos Sunday show. 

Never mind that their special counsel probing Biden’s mishandling of classified documents oh-so-helpfully decided not to prosecute because Biden would appear amiably feeble, while the special counsel on Trump’s mishandling of classified documents aggressively indicted him on 37 felony counts. 

Punishing Trump, coddling Biden — this is what our media elite considers a well-functioning democracy and apolitical justice. 

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