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David Muir Supporters Inside ABC News ‘Celebrating’ After Stephanopoulos Gaffe: Rival Anchors Fought Over Snagging Interview With President Biden

David Muir Supporters Inside ABC News ‘Celebrating’ After Stephanopoulos Gaffe: Rival Anchors Fought Over Snagging Interview With President Biden
Source: MEGA

The turmoil at ABC News has taken another twist in the wake of George Stephanopoulos’ remarkable comment declaring President Joe Biden must go.

Jul. 11 2024, Published 8:01 a.m. ET

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The turmoil at ABC News has taken another twist in the wake of George Stephanopoulos’ remarkable comment declaring President Joe Biden must go — with “private celebrations” from one his fiercest on-air rivals.

David Muir, the anchor of ABC World News Tonight and co-anchor of the ABC News magazine 20/20, had been vying for the first broadcast interview with the president in the wake of his disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump that sparked senior Democrats to turn on him and demand his removal from the 2024 ticket.

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david muir abc news celebrate george stephanopoulos joe biden gaffe
Source: MEGA

David Muir had been vying for the first broadcast interview with the president in the wake of his disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump.

When Biden and his top advisors chose Stephanopoulos, the gulf between the two ABC enemies widened, with Muir supporters shocked at the White House’s choice, a source said.

The network insider told RadarOnline.com: "David has his supporters and team inside ABC, and George has his.

“The rivalry between David and George is real and makes for tension behind-the-scenes, and there are private celebrations from those in David’s corner that George plunged the network into an embarrassing scandal.”

Muir booked the first interview with Biden in June leading up to his son’s Hunter’s criminal trial and subsequent conviction on three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018.

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david muir abc news celebrate george stephanopoulos joe biden gaffe
Source: MEGA

Biden has pushed back against calls to end his reelection campaign and insisted he's the 'best person' to beat Donald Trump.

A second source, in an unsubtle swipe at Stephanopoulos, added: “David is the height of professionalism, and you won’t hear a subjective word from him or any commentary about Biden and whether he should run.

“He is a newsman, and he knows his place. That is, to deliver the news, without fear or favor.”

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It’s not the first time the pair’s bad blood has been exposed. In 2021, Stephanopoulos reportedly threatened to walk to a rival network after bosses handed Muir the unofficial role of chief anchor — a role leading coverage of news stories big enough to break into regular programming.

Stephanopoulos had the role, but it was transitioned to Muir, although he did not assume the chief anchor title.

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david muir abc news celebrate george stephanopoulos joe biden gaffe
Source: MEGA

“The rivalry between David and George is real and makes for tension behind-the-scenes."

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It took Disney boss Bob Iger to broker peace between the network’s two biggest news stars, with a valuable contract extension and production contract offered to defuse the situation, sources said at the time.

Stephanopoulos sent ABC News’ top brass into another crisis late on Tuesday when he was caught on candid camera saying he didn’t believe Biden could serve out a second term.

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As RadarOnline.com exclusively reported, the head of ABC News, Debra OConnell, issued Stephanopoulos an ultimatum: apologize or risk being taken off the air from the top-rated morning program.

“This was a fully-fledged crisis and it exploded with far-reaching reverberations,” a source said.

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david muir abc news celebrate george stephanopoulos joe biden gaffe
Source: MEGA

Stephanopoulos sent ABC News’ top brass into another crisis late on Tuesday when he was caught on candid camera saying he didn’t believe Biden could serve out a second term.

OConnell told Stephanopoulos, a former communications advisor to Bill Clinton during his two-term presidency, in “no uncertain terms that he is a newsman who is expected to be objective."

The insider added: “She was furious that someone of George’s experience and status would compromise the news division’s impartiality, and subject it to unnecessary and embarrassing headlines.

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“George backed Debra into a corner. If he did not apologize, how could he continue with his duties at ABC News without the network facing an avalanche of criticism.

“Even though he backed away from the comment, and attempted to minimize it as a quip, Debra and the top bosses inside the news division know the damage has been done.”

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