ABC’s This Week

geogeI just finished watching this past week’s “This Week.” George Stephanopoulos did an impressive piece on John Kerry, Democratic candidate for president, who also happens to have served in Vietnam (hat tip to James Taranto).

As a “decline to state” in California, I can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primaries.

Why should I vote in the GOP primary (as I did last time, voting for John McCain)? That won’t even be a race. I would rather have some say in who the Democratic nominee is. And right now, I’ve got to say, John Kerry is my front runner. I believe he has the best grasp of our foreign affairs challenges, and that if he became president he would follow through on George Bush’s policies in the war on terror. Kerry has the further advantage of being closer to my positions than GWB on domestic issues.

Kerry, unfortunately, is not likely to win the nomination. The Democrats are almost entirely given over to leftist ideologies and fantasies, which means Howard Dean is probably the presumptive nominee.

Stephanopoulos did a good job of profiling Kerry, though. I’m impressed with Stephanopoulos as a journalist. He asks good questions. He doesn’t ask “gotcha” questions. He doesn’t try to trap anybody. His questions are thoughtful and generally elicit thoughtful responses.

I first started watching “This Week” in the 1980s sometime. I watched it primarily for the roundtable. I watched it because I’m a huge fan of George Will. I watched it despite the presence of Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts. I watched it because David Brinkley was also a thoughtful interviewer, and he brought that same thoughtful moderation to conducting the roundtable.

In this week’s “This Week,” they paid tribute to Brinkley. The on-camera quotes from various newsmakers about Brinkley and the following roundtable discussion was all well and good. It was all a nice remembrance, as were the replays of his “last word” segments, but I thought the finest tribute of the show was Stephanopoulos’ fine profile of Kerry. It was the kind of piece a real newsman like Brinkley could be proud of.

Stephanopoulos may lack Brinkley’s journalistic pedigree, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a first-rate journalist. Every week I am impressed with his fair and balanced approach to the news. I know a lot of conservatives hate Stephanopoulos, but I think that is all misplaced anger at his connection to Clinton. It has nothing really to do with his on-air conduct. Stephanopoulos deserves his post on “This Week,” and the juxtaposition this week of his own journalistic work with the remembrance of Brinkley drove that point home, I think.

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