ABC News: Misinformer of the Year, and Mark Halperin’s Freak Show

I’m not sure how Fox does’t just win this every year, but Media Matters recognizes ABC News as Misinformer of the Year. They discuss The Path to 9/11 at length (previous posts here) but also list many other examples.

ABC News political director Mark Halperin, who regularly repeats right wing talking points as fact in The Note, is bliamed for much of the misinformation with examples such as his appearances on The O’Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes claiming that the media is “biased against conservatives; there’s no doubt about it.” (Previous posts on Halperin here.)

While they cite several television appearances and an on line article, I’m surprised they didn’t  mention the book he co-wrote, The Way to Win. The book does do a valuable service in noting how The Freak Show of the new right wing media is gaining prominence in elections, including the manner in which it managed to destroy the reputations of recent Democratic candidates such as John Kerry. They noted the influence of Matt Drudge, although exaggerating his importance by comparing him to Walter Cronkite, and note how people like Drudge put out stories without regard for fact checking and verification expected by old fashioned journalists. After conceding that much of the information spread by The Freak Show is untrue, the authors proceeded to repeat many untrue right wing talking points about Kerry as if they were fact. If Halperin was a true journalist rather than a misinformer, he would have still discussed The Freak Show but would have further emphasized the differences between the right wing media and true news and disputed the misinformation they spread. By spreading the lies of the right wing noise machine, Halperin has become a member of The Freak Show himself and ceased to be a credible journalist.

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