The Moment Stephanopoulos Gave the Game Away and Failed to Follow Up on Crucial Biden Claim

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    AP Photo/Evan Vucci

    As you know if you’re an avid news consumer, Joe Biden sat for an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Friday night to try to salvage his Don Quixote-esque ’24 reelection campaign after his chances were all but decimated with his “I come from outer space” debate performance earlier this month.

    Stephanopoulos, despite his long history of acting as a hyper-partisan Democrat operative pretending to be a journalist, received decent marks from commentators after he kept pressing the president on his mental fitness despite Biden’s continued attempts to evade the questions.

    But it’s not always the questions asked that are key to sound journalism—sometimes it’s the follow-up, and I found one exchange to be particularly telling. Stephanopoulos asked Biden more than once whether he would take a cognitive test, to which the president kept flippantly replying, “I take one every day,” but at one point, he blurted out something different.

    “No, I’ve already done it,” Biden said.

    The moment comes at the 1:56 mark:

    Stephanopoulos paused for a second, as if pondering—then abruptly changed the subject. “You’ve talked a lot about your successes in this interview…” he said, completely ignoring what Biden just claimed. But the obvious next question would have been, “Whoa, Joe! Hold your horses. When did you do this?” And “Where are the results, and when will they be released to the people?” 

    Biden has been asked many times to take a cognitive test, but at that moment, he said he’s already had one—yet Stephanopoulos simply moved on. George was doing a good job cosplaying as an actual journalist until then, but it’s jaw-dropping that he didn’t follow up on this huge Biden claim.


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    There were many exchanges in the interview that can and will be examined as Biden continued to show his decline, but that one stuck out to me. While Stephanopoulos deserves mild praise for actually doing his job for a change, it’s telling that he didn’t challenge the president on this important assertion and instead simply plowed forward.

    It shouldn’t be surprising, considering his history:


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    Biden did little in this interview to change the perception that he’s a few cards short of a full deck—in fact, many are arguing that he just dug himself deeper. But all eyes were on Stephanopoulos, too, to see if he could somehow prove that he wasn’t a partisan hack. He did press the president repeatedly on his decline, and we’ll give him that, but then he let the cat out of the bag when he let Biden throw out a bombshell assertion like that yet made no effort to follow up on it. Despite being reasonably fair throughout most of the sitdown, he once again showed his true colors.

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