- ABC News is a respectable, non-partisan news organization with a commitment to objectivity and fairness. By hiding his clear bias on a subject he was himself reporting on, Stephanopoulos has tarnished his own reputation for professional integrity and that of his employer. If he's not severely punished, then the very journalistic credibility of ABC News is in jeopardy.
- ABC News is a typical center-left, Democratic-leaning news outlet, just as Fox News is a center-right, Republican-leaning news outlet. (Any audience member can easily deduce this from the prominence of George Stephanopoulos--a longtime Clinton administration staffer--among its journalists, just as they can deduce Fox's tendencies from the presence of Roger Ailes, a longtime Republican political operative, among its executives.) ABC News executives are thus quite justified in firing Stephanopoulos for not disclosing his political activities to them--and equally justified in reacting to the whole affair with a shrug, if they so choose. After all, they wouldn't be betraying the organization's center-left identity by doing so, and if their audience didn't appreciate the kind of journalism produced by dedicated pro-Clinton partisans like Stephanopoulos, they would have long ago switched to another channel anyway.
Why are so many commentators giving such incoherent, self-contradictory analyses? My best guess is that the overwhelming majority are basing their assessment of the Stephanopoulos flap not on their principled views of journalistic ethics, but rather on their own personal partisan biases. Needless to say, this conclusion only strengthens my conviction that my second answer above is the more reasonable and realistic one.