What did George Stephanopoulos do? explained

What did George Stephanopoulos do? explained

George Stephanopoulos is one of the most famous news anchors working today, and while we recently wondered why he wasn’t on Good Morning America for a little while, people are now talking about him for another reason entirely.

George Stephanopoulos is an experienced, respected journalist who has a political background as well. He worked for President Bill Clinton’s administration in a variety of roles, including as Clinton’s senior advisor, White House Communications Director, and the 1992 campaign’s communications director. Whether co-hosting GMA or promoting his recent book The Situation Room, he has a lot to say. But why is George Stephanopoulos in the news right now, and what should we know?

What did George Stephanopoulos say?

It’s definitely an understatement to say that everyone is nervous about the November 2024 election after Joe Biden and Donald Trump‘s June 27th, 2024 debate (and we didn’t need any more reasons to panic). Many celebrities think Biden should step down so another Democratic candidate can run… and George Stephanopoulos shared his opinion on the terrifying/frustrating/anxiety-inducing subject. But he didn’t share this opinion in a TV interview or any official capacity, which makes it even more memorable to hear about.

On July 9th, 2024, according to TMZ, the news anchor was walking in New York City when someone asked him, “Do you think Biden should step down? You’ve talked to him more than anybody else has lately” and Stephanopoulos said, “I don’t think he can serve 4 more years.”

While this is something that a lot of people are thinking now, it was still surprising to hear a news anchor make this kind of statement, since reporters historically haven’t been encouraged to make their political affiliations known. If we go to journalism school or get training as a reporter, we might hear that we shouldn’t put any signs for candidates on our front lawns or post about who we’re voting for on social media.

But this is actually a topic of debate (and rightly so, because it’s an important one to have). A 2013 piece in The Guardian suggests that journalists need to discuss their voting choices, and several reporters told Teen Vogue in 2020 that being “neutral” isn’t possible. The reporter interviewed for Teen Vogue also made the fair point that with so much on the line now, it’s hard to imagine not saying something when it’s really necessary. Of course, since we know Stephanopoulos worked for Clinton, we’re not totally surprised he has this opinion. And if we’ve watched CNN or Fox in the past decade or so, we can argue that a lot of broadcast journalists don’t hide how they really feel and it’s often super obvious.

According to Variety, George Stephanopoulos thinks he shouldn’t have commented on Biden. ABC’s official statement reads, “George expressed his own point of view and not the position of ABC News.”

Whether or not we think that Stephanopoulos was in the wrong or completely right to say what he did, he explained, “Earlier today I responded to a question from a passerby. I shouldn’t have.”

George Stephanopoulos’s ABC interview with President Joe Biden, explained

George Stephanopoulos’s comments about President Biden are even more memorable and significant when we think about the fact that he just interviewed Biden. In the ABC News interview that aired on July 5th, 2024, Stephanopoulos dove deep into what everyone has been thinking: can Biden really run again and can he handle a second term?

In regards to his debate performance, Biden explained again that he had “a really bad cold” and said, “It was a bad episode. No indication of any serious condition. I was exhausted.” He also said that he could have “prepared more” but didn’t.

While Stephanopoulos asked Biden several times if he is in good enough health to continue as the President, Biden mentioned his accomplishments from the past four years. He also shared his goals for his next term if elected, explaining he will “make sure we’re in a situation where we have healthcare for all people.”

While Biden also said “I’m optimistic about this country,” there were a lot of tense moments. The most awkward might be when Stephanopoulos said “I’ve never seen a President 36% approval get reelected” and Biden said “I don’t believe that’s my approval rating” because the polls say something different.

There’s a joke in journalism about “softball questions,” and while some might say that George Stephanopoulos did a good job of making Biden answer some hard ones, not everyone was a fan of the interview. The journalist’s Instagram post about the interview has more than a few comments saying it was “disrespectful” to ask Biden these questions. One comment reads “why aren’t you pressing Trump on mental acuity and fitness?!”

Whether we watch the interview or just read the transcript, we’re not the only ones who are wondering how this incredibly complicated situation is going to play out.

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