Category Archives: George Stephanopoulos

Open Letter to George Stephanopoulos: Time to Push Harder on Donald Trump, Don’t You Think?

(Why did the above train wreck of an answer from Donald Trump not derail the Trump campaign?)

Dear George,

I write to you because you are in a unique position as someone a whole lot of people admire and trust. You’re a smart and capable person. Otherwise, why should I even bother? Alright, that said, I would like you to seriously consider pushing harder on Donald Trump as he edges closer and closer to a viable occupant of the White House. What do you think?

You played a hard-hitting journalist on “House of Cards.” Let’s do this in real life, “for reals,” as the kids say. You were interviewed on your own show, “Good Morning America,” about what was real on “House of Cards” and you responded that nothing on that show is real. Nothing? Not even being a hard-hitting journalist? Oh, the irony! Say it ain’t so, George!

Do you want to be like most of the American media and keep throwing softballs to Donald Trump? Why, George, why? Would you like to say that I am being naïve about this? Don’t worry, George, I know about your very special connection to the Clintons. That is hardly a secret, am I right? Nudge, nudge, your secret is good with me. Actually, just go for it, no need to be loyal to anyone. Be hard-hitting with your questions to Hillary too.

Here are some great examples to consider:

4 November 1979: Roger Mudd, CBS News, presses Edward Kennedy on why he is running for president and Kennedy, while eloquent, does not seem to warm up to his answer:

11 September 2008: Charles Gibson, ABC News, asks Sarah Palin about the Bush Doctrine, keeps his focus, and it quickly becomes apparent she does not know what the Bush Doctrine is:

30 March 2016: Chris Matthews, MSNBC, engages Donald Trump in conversation to reveal that Trump believes women should be punished for having an abortion:

Each of these interviews became a news story in its own right.

Focus every ounce of journalistic integrity you may have and help to steadily bring down Trump. He is such an easy target. Why not do this, show Trump for what he is, an ignorant irresponsible demagogue. Worth a try, don’t you think?

If you are scratching your head and wondering how to do this, which is highly doubtful, just press him the next time he gives a messy, uneven, and thoroughly unacceptable answer to a question. Yes, Trump has given some really odd responses comparable to Sarah Palin at her worst. (See the above video displaying Trump’s utter ignorance of the U.S. nuclear triad and his attempt to cover himself.) So, just keep that in mind. Trump can easily be toppled. Are you game? Surely, you have nothing to lose except perhaps some rating points but that is really Trump’s biggest bluff of all. It worked out alright for NBC when it fired him.

Here is what you do when you start to lose your nerve, just repeat to yourself this refrain, “Trump is not the boss of me! Trump is not the boss of me!” That may seem silly but I think it could work and you will help save our country from a Trump administration. Look, Katie Couric decided she just wasn’t going to go all warm and fuzzy on Sarah Palin and, well, you know, the rest is history. Check out the video below: here is a typical interview between you and Trump. You’ll note that when Trump feels the heat, he’ll deflect with a vague, “We’ll see what happens.” Or if called out on a fact, he’ll double down on his answer and just move on. Next time, don’t let him just move on. Act like you did when you played a hard-hitting journalist on “House of Cards.”

Lastly, put out of your mind any blowback from Trump. Oh sure, it will sting, whatever he does, whether in person or later on Twitter. But it is only a brief and temporary sting. Stay focused. Be friendly and respectful going into an interview. But at some point, George, pivot to the tough questions. Once you’ve caught him, don’t let him off the hook. Go to it, George!

Your friend,
Henry

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Filed under Donald Trump, George Stephanopoulos, Hillary Clinton, Humor, Journalism, news, pop culture

OPEN LETTER TO GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: FIRE ANN COULTER

Dear George,

Ann Coulter is addicted to grabbing attention by being as offensive as possible. We all know that. Maybe that is considered by network executives to be a good thing as it brings in viewers. But offensive and degrading remarks can only go so far, don’t you think? Does it have to take an average citizen’s open letter to speak the truth? Yes, it does. I am referring to the open letter by John Franklin Stephens, a Special Olympics athlete, who has called out Coulter for her use of the degrading term, “retard” and her recent “political analysis” on Twitter on Monday’s presidential debate, “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.”

This is actually the second open letter I’ve sent you. The first one, I believe, is related to what I want to say now. I’m concerned about the quality of broadcast journalism, television and culture in general. You have a role to play in all of that. When you take part in the “Good Morning America” prattle about things like, “World’s Worst Boyfriend,” it just seems pretty absurd. But giving Ann Coulter a regular seat right alongside legitimate commentators on the once venerable “This Week,” of which you are the host, is obscene. Look at it this way, would your predecessor, David Brinkley, have had, as part of his regular group of roundtable guests, a member of the John Birch Society or Rush Limbaugh? Of course not! He did not engage in that. But you will. Or I can only assume that you have the authority to hire and fire who is presumably on “your show.” Correct me, if I’m wrong, but the entire name of the show is “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” is it not?

ABC News is not Fox News, George, so Coulter never belonged on “This Week” to begin with. Coulter is such an obvious hatemonger. Her arguments are shameless like her problems with civil rights. In her racist and hateful mind, civil rights are only for “the blacks.” You questioned her about it, gave her time to promote her new book about it, on “This Week.” I recall viewing that broadcast and how elated Coulter was to be recognized, as it were, to be legitimized. She looked like she really couldn’t believe she was on the show, her eyes darting back and forth. She gleefully held up her book. She had arrived. It didn’t matter to her if you seemed to be asking some hard questions about her beliefs. She was on the show! She had won!

Unless there is something in her contract that makes it impossible to fire her, the time is way overdue for that to happen. Imagine if you, George, got on Twitter and made any comment similar to Coulter’s crazy rants. You would be fired! But I do understand that the joke is supposed to be on her. She is only on the show as comedy relief. Well, that joke isn’t funny anymore.

So, go head and fire her or suggest it to the powers that be. I’m betting that, if you want her out, she’s out. And, if she stays, well, that’s your hell to deal with. Trust me, it would be pretty easy to do: Just don’t invite her back. USA Today was stuck with her for a bit and they got rid of her. You can read about that here.

Your pal,

Henry

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Filed under ABC, ABC News, George Stephanopoulos, news, politics, pop culture, Television