WikiLeaks emails revelations from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta show that not only is there a deep connection with the media — reporters, opinion writers, and news anchors — but it also reaches as high as the corporate executive suite.
Disney CEO Bob Iger appears in the latest round of released WikiLeaks emails, offering insight that those at the very top of the organization accept and encourage the pro-liberal bias at the company’s media division: ABC News.
Iger is a visible and active supporter of progressive politicians, thus sending a powerful message throughout the company about his political beliefs and — potentially — his expectations of news coverage. With the CEO investing significant amounts of his personal money in liberal politicians, it would likely be career-limiting to challenge his political investments. On the contrary, attacking conservatives could be the ticket to career advancement.
The emails refer to Iger expressing an interest in taking an active role in the campaign stating, “"He wants to be helpful." In a follow-up email months later, Bing mentioned that Iger had connected with Podesta and that those discussions had gone well, “[Iger’s] had a couple of good talks with you.”
At this point, we don’t know the outcome of Iger’s conversations with Podesta or what it meant to Clinton’s campaign, but we do know the Disney’s leader co-hosted a Beverly Hills fundraiser at billionaire Haim Saban’s home last August that carried a $100,000 cover charge for hosting couples.
According to a Washington Free Beacon story last year, “Disney CEO Bob Iger has given more than $400,000 to Democratic candidates (including Hillary Clinton) and campaign committees since 1999.”
Iger’s aggressive support of Democrats, in general, and Hillary Clinton, in particular, provides cover ABC News to be as biased as its left-wing heart desires.
WikiLeaks shows that when it comes to Disney and ABC News, liberal media bias comes from the very top.
Given the pro-Clinton bias at Disney and ABC, it’s not surprising that the Clinton campaign would target George Stephanopoulos with ideas to challenge “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer. (The book describes how the Clintons built a personal fortune by leveraging their political influence.) WikiLeaks documents show a series of emails from Clinton staffers celebrating the April 2015 interview on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” One Clinton team member, Jesse Ferguson, touts Stephanopoulos’ success in refuting Schweizer’s claims and takes credit for the group providing background to the host of “This Week.”
In addition, Stephanopoulos did not disclose that he donated a total of $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation prior to the interview with Schweizer, even though the Foundation was the focal point of his book. Stephanopoulos merely issued a statement apologizing to ABC News and his viewers for not disclosing his donations to the Foundation. Predictably, ABC News backed Stephanopoulos, saying the failure to disclose his donations “was an honest mistake.”
Given Iger’s support of Clinton and that Stephanopoulos is the former communications director for President Bill Clinton, it was highly unlikely the host of “This Week” would get penalized for aggressively challenging Schweizer or for not disclosing his own donations to Hillary’s campaign.
It seems that Iger’s backing of Clinton virtually eliminates any penalties for its media unit’s employees who get caught playing footsie with team Clinton. And WikiLeaks shows that when it comes to Disney and ABC News, liberal media bias comes from the very top.
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Dr. Tom Borelli, Ph.D. is a contributor to Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @tomborelli.