Mr. Stephanopoulos remains just as sober when working solo on Sunday mornings as the host of "This Week" or helping out on "Good Morning America." There hasn't been this much stone-faced comedy in circulation since Buster Keaton's heyday.
It's a pity, because Mr. Stephanopoulos might be able to help viewers understand why the firing of eight U.S. attorneys in the Bush administration has been by far the biggest television-news story lately, and yet when dozens of federal prosecutors were fired during the Clinton administration, it was barely noticed by network newscasts. According to the Tyndall Report, which tracks this sort of thing, during the week of March 12-16, the three network evening newscasts spent a total of 45 minutes on the prosecutors story, with the war in Iraq placing second at 16 minutes. "World News with Charles Gibson" logged 13 of those 45 minutes on the prosecutors.
By contrast, in 1993, Attorney General Janet Reno's wholesale firing of U.S. attorneys appointed by George H.W. Bush was a non-story on the ABC evening news -- literally a non-story, according to records kept by the Vanderbilt University Television News Archive, as in zero coverage. CBS also skipped it; NBC gave it 20 seconds.
And yes, I know ironical is not a word.