Our society loves to build people up so we can tear them down. That is the climate we live in. It is the substance of every reality TV show, and in recent months, it has bled over into our legitimate news programs and the people who bring them to us.
The higher the pedestal, the more precarious the perch. We ascribe super hero qualities to mere mortals and feign shock and dismay when they fall short in even the minutest of ways.
But me, I revel in our humanity, flaws and all. I celebrate those who have the fortitude to keep their heads up during the storm and hold steadfast to their dignity, no matter what the tide of popular opinion may be. And I value loyalty as a virtue I hold dearer than most other virtues, precisely because tides do turn throughout our lives and it speaks to our character when we are not swayed by the fleeting.
Maybe I am alone in this. It certainly feels that way at times. But that is why I must speak up now, because of the ridiculousness of this faux "scandal" involving George Stephanopoulos.
George Stephanopoulos gave donations to the Clinton Foundation - a 501(c) not-for-profit organization that combats AIDS, malaria, the ravages of climate change, and poverty worldwide. His donations were a matter of public record. There was no secret. No hidden agenda. A man gave his own money to a charitable foundation that both saves and improves the lives of millions worldwide. You know when I would question his character? If he didn't support that kind of work in the world.
Does this impact his job performance? That is the question people say is at issue.
When each of us gets called for jury duty, are we not asked to put aside our personal viewpoints in order to perform the task at hand impartially? We are, and most people can and do, or our entire judicial system would have been tossed on its head years ago.
We all have opinions, biases, inclinations and a personal history that makes us who we are. But we also have free will, intelligence, and the good ol' common sense God gave us to practice good judgment and when necessary, impartiality.
So here's my full disclosure about George Stephanopoulos. Several years ago, when there were no cameras rolling, when no one was watching, when there was absolutely nothing in it for him, he gave a complete stranger some of his time and candor so that she could finish writing the end of a book that there was no certainty anyone would ever read or let alone, publish.
What kind of person does that? A generous one. And maybe someone who believes in the underdog succeeding - you know, the kind of person who would want to help people. All people. Anywhere in the world. In whatever way he can, whether it be by contributing to a former boss's charitable foundation or by purchasing Girl Scout cookies. That kind of person.
As for me, I tune in precisely because I do know what I'm getting with George Stephanopoulos - intelligent discourse and a clearer understanding and fuller grasp of whatever the topic. If I want pure bias, I can tune in to Fox News. If I want good journalism, I tune into ABC and George Stephanopoulos.