Posted on 2/6/2009
Since last week's Politico story about the regular phone calls between former Clinton White House'ers Rahm Emanuel, George Stephanopoulos, Paul Begala and James Carville, several conservative outlets have raised the question of a conflict of interest.
Media Research President Brent Bozell has been one of the most vocal critics (Rush Limbaugh's callers also jammed the ABC News phone lines). Bozell, who makes a claim not part of the Politico story that these are "strategy phone calls," requested ABC respond to the story on Newsbusters and in an open letter.
"With each passing day, ABC's failure to speak to and about this issue tarnishes further the network's reputation as a legitimate news entity," he writes.
Today, ABC responded to Bozell and other critics, although they say there have been several prior on-the-record responses ignored by Media Research Center. "To be crystal clear, George Stephanopoulos does not advise Rahm Emanuel nor anyone else in the Obama Administration," says the letter from SVP of editorial quality, Kerry Smith.
"He reports on the Obama Administration. He speaks to Mr. Emanuel, a friend he has known for nearly two decades, as a source, just as he speaks to countless sources across the political spectrum each and every day."
Politico also later wrote "I don't think they have the story quite right," regarding Bozell's claims.
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