Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mark Halperin's Note

Daily Kos takes a look at ABC News' The Note, and ABC News political director Mark Halperin. Correction, he is now the former director, he's stepped down to a lesser role. Reading Media Matters may clue you into ABC's move.

The simple truth is that with Halperin at the helm, The Note went all-in on the Bush White House. In January 2006, Halperin was so bowled over by President Bush's rhetorical flourish that he announced, "That is the kind of answer and vision that will get a man's approval rating back over 53% any day now." At the same time, The Note has often treated Democrats with open contempt, for instance, labeling former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe a "Cliché-Meister." By falling so madly for Karl Rove, the smartest man in politics ("SMIP") who is "beloved and respected,"Halperin and The Note became perfectly aligned with the Bush White House. It was an all-consuming crush that badly skewed The Note's ability to analyze the day's news events. (Halperin leaves behind a string of pro-Bush howlers that raise serious doubts about his much-hyped ability to expertly analyze American politics. More on those later.) And now that the Bush administration has fallen into complete disrepair, a state that's unlikely to be dramatically altered during the next 20 months, The Note would be wise, during this time of transition, to set a new course.

That wasn't Halperin's only tasteless misstep last fall. He became something of a right-wing folk hero when he paraded around on conservative talk shows announcing that the media did, in fact, suffer from a liberal bias. Halperin, an avowed Rush Limbaugh fan, insisted that reporters are "overwhelmingly liberal," confirmed that they "hate the military," are "blind" to their bias, and should use the closing weeks of the campaign season to "prove" their worth to right-wingers. "The reality of how [liberal bias] affects media coverage is outrageous," Halperin announced. (Of course, Halperin insisted that under his watch, ABC News was mostly innocent of those newsroom bias crimes.)
Man, he really seemed to hope to burn bridges and get a ride on the airship FOX News.

But now the game has changed, and The Note needs, for its own sake, to reflect that change. Obviously, it would be best if The Note, as well as all mainstream news outlets, simply performed the same news-gathering task in the same manner regardless of which party was in power. (Journalists aren't supposed to rise and fall, like K Street lobbyists, depending on which political party's in power.) But Halperin made a public choice, for either political or economic reasons, to publicly align The Note with one party over the other, and now ABC needs to clear up the mess Halperin created.
The media treating leadership by either party the same. What a novel idea!

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