NewsBusters Podcast: A Stephanopoulos Interview, or Intervention?

Did George Stephanopoulos do an interview with Joe Biden, or an intervention? The New York Post said it was an intervention. The New York Times hailed the ABC host “respectfully but firmly” channeling the questions of all Americans. He did not. He was channeling the panic among Democrats.

Times media reporter Michael Grynbaum’s article was headlined:  

For George Stephanopoulos, 22 Minutes of Probing the Personal.

Respectfully but firmly, the ABC anchor pressed President Biden on the basic questions that Americans had asked themselves over the past week.

“Respectfully but firmly,” he asked, “Are you more frail?” and  “Have there been more lapses?” As Biden denied he had a problem, “Stephanopoulos zeroed in on the matters of pride, dignity and self-worth swirling beneath the surface.”

This was positively cuddly with ABC, compared to the Times rant against NBC’s Matt Lauer after a tougher Trump town hall program in 2016. James Poniewozik angrily wrote: “he performed like a soldier sent on a mission without ammunition, beginning with a disorganized offensive, ending in a humiliating retreat.”

With a limited time for the interview, Stephanopoulos wasn’t going to turn to any policy issue. Or any Biden scandal. With limited time, he clearly avoided any followup questions about all the wild claims Biden was making. “I was also the guy that expanded NATO. I was also the guy that grew the economy….I’m the guy that shut Putin down.” He said Sen. Mark Warner ran for president. Plainly false.

Instead, Stephanopoulos nudged him that he might regret staying in the race. “If you stay in, and Trump is elected, and everything you’re warning about comes to pass,” he asked, “how will you feel in January?”

This was Democrats trying to talk Biden into leaving. Democrats are seeking reassurance, and not really finding any. After the primetime interview aired in full, Jonathan Karl came on and insisted it didn’t really help Biden solve his problem.

On George’s show This Week on Sunday, he told his pundit panel some people suggest it would be best for Biden to resign and let Kamala be the incumbent president against Trump. Susan Page of USA Today said “You know, hard enough to get Joe Biden to agree not to run for a second term, to make him limit his first term which has been by many accounts incredibly successful and consequential, I think that is a bridge too far.”

This is where you can really see the partisan bias of the press. Biden is massively trailing Trump on a number of issues, but Susan Page is talking up his “incredibly successful” presidency. They’re trying to convince voters to pick him again.

Speaking of a failure to fact-Check Democrats, Jorge Bonilla caught a whopper from Donna Brazile on the Stephanopoulos show. George didn’t stop her either, as she claimed Kamala Harris spoke to a crowd of 60,000 people in New Orleans. That’s a whopper! 

But at Politifact, Brazile’s”Truth-O-Meter” page is TEN on the true side, ONE on the false side. (4 Half True).

On top of that, PolitiFact has NO “fact checks” on Karine Jean-Pierre’s lies and denialism about Biden’s decline, including the “no doctors” one. She has FOUR checks, the last two were “Mostly True.” (She drew two “False” notes in the summer of 2022.)

Jen Psaki was even worse. One True, One False…and nothing from her MSNBC stuff.

Enjoy the podcast below, or wherever you catch up on your podcasts.

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