George Stephanopoulos, anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “This Week,” hosted his first Facebook Q&A today, answering questions from fans on a plethora of topics. You can read a selection of his responses below or you can read the entire conversation here.
Greg Waite: What’s your favorite movie?
Stephanopoulos: Tough one. Let me combine “Annie Hall,” “Manhattan,” “Hannah and Her Sisters” into a three-parter, and you’ve got it. Also love” The Deer Hunter,” “Godfather 2″ and, for my girls, “The Little Mermaid” (actually that embarrasses them now).
Whom Would You Like to Interview?
Aaron Spence: Though you’ve interviewed some interesting people over the course of your journalism career, with whom would you most like to sit down to interview and why?
Stephanopoulos: The pope, Ayatollah Khamenei, Kim Jong Un. All three have tremendous power and influence. None of them has given an interview to an American reporter.
What Got You Interested in News and Politics?
Carolyn Howell Newgent: Was it working on Clinton’s campaign that got you into politics and news or was it always your calling?
Stephanopoulos: Started much younger than that. Planted lawn signs for candidates in high school. First interned on Capitol Hill during college, then moved to Washington right after. Before working for Clinton, I worked many years on Capitol Hill and in the 1988 Dukakis for President campaign (I’m old!).
Andrew Augustynovich: Watched the interview with Charles Ramsey. What was your honest reaction when he said he attended Brush HS and you responded that you attended Orange? Being a NEO [Northeast Ohio] resident, I was tickled.
Stephanopoulos: Loved when he called us rivals. One great thing about “GMA” is you get those unvarnished human moments.
Joel G. Richardson: Do you have any thoughts on the AP scandal?
Stephanopoulos: You have to get the right balance between protecting national security and encouraging a fully free press. My big question on the AP investigation is: why didn’t the Justice Department approach AP directly with the subpoenas, rather than going around them in secret. I thought that’s what Justice Department guidelines require. Want to explore that more.
Carolyn Howell Newgent: Tell me what your schedule is like, what time must you get up to do “GMA” and when do you get to spend time with your family? You have a lovely family.
Stephanopoulos: I do! My day starts real early, usually up at 2:30. Luckily, I’m home for dinner just about every night for family time.
Most Important Thing Learned From President Clinton?
Mitzi Mosley McVoy: What was the most important thing you learned from our President Bill Clinton?
Stephanopoulos: Politics is about the voters, not the politicians.
John Thompson: Do you still have that book you bought from “Pawn Stars?”
George Stephanopoulos: Yup.
Interview With President Obama
Frank Lambert Why softball questions to the Obama administration?
Stephanopoulos: Don’t think they’d always agree. The president and I have had some pretty spirited exchanges.
Stephanopoulos: Our debate over whether the mandate in Obamacare was a tax ended up in Supreme Court briefs.
Rita Lopez: How has sharing in so many others’ human experience changed you? What is the greatest truth you have learned?
Stephanopoulos: The most important thing you can do in any moment is to embrace it. Don’t always succeed, but I always try.
Secret to Waking Up?
Andrew Good: Very random, but as a morning anchor, we always hear how your alarm clock is set very early as your call time is early. Some of us work out to wake up, others have a strong coffee. What’s your way to wake up and stay alert to start the day and make it through the broadcast?
Stephanopoulos: Meditation plus French roast coffee.
Nancy Carlin: How old are you?
Kim Williams McDonnell: Who was your best interview? And who most [took] you by surprise?
Stephanopoulos: Best is hard. Interviewing Qaddafi in his tent outside Tripoli was memorable. So was the time the French foreign minister previewed his country’s fierce opposition to America’s Iraq plans.
Stephanopoulos: That health care interview with President Obama was pretty memorable too.
What Do You Miss About White House Life?
Tessa Traxler: Hi from Oklahoma! What do you miss most about White House life?
Stephanopoulos: Having the chance to directly influence public policy every day. Having so much information at your fingertips.
Will Ali Get Her Own Show?
Denise Taylor: Is your wife going to have her own show? She is so funny, love her and you too George.
Stephanopoulos: Ali does have her own show – on Yahoo – the “Daily Shot!” Our guinea pigs starred in a fashion show last week. Always open to what may come in the future. Hope you’ll be seeing her more too.
Erik Hirsch: Who is your reporting hero?
Stephanopoulos: So many great ones. Never saw a better live anchor on breaking news than Peter Jennings: cool, deeply knowledgeable, authoritative and skeptical when it counts.
Rocky Jeter-Webb: What activities do you do when you’re not working?
Stephanopoulos: Relax with my wife and kids. We all like to pile in the bed and watch TV. Movies. Love to work out: weights and yoga. Some golf and tennis. As much time on the beach as I can get.
Stephanopoulos: And reading books that aren’t directly related to work.
Coordinating Outfits With Robin?
Velma DeLeon: Your yellow tie matched Robin’s dress perfectly. Did you both plan this or did you both notice?
Stephanopoulos: We laughed about that this morning. Totally unplanned. I guess our biorhythms just match now.
Jodie Desmet Flanders: Do you ever make mistakes on-air George or mess up an interview?
Stephanopoulos: Of course. When I do, I try to correct it as quickly as possible. It’s impossible not to make some mistakes on live television. Sometimes the less harmful ones are hilarious.
*Questions and answers have been edited and or shortened in some cases.
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