Mark Halperin’s Standards of Accuracy and Objectivity

Anna Marie Cox writes about a talk Mark Halperin gave about problems in political journalism:

Shockingly, “absurdly kowtowing to whoever happens to be in power” was not on the list. He did lay into bloggers, who apparently sometimes “taint” their analysis by “engaging in ad hominem attacks.” Also, the blogs of “mainstream” publications are not up to Halperin-approved journalistic grade. Did you know, for instance, that the “New York Times regularly puts stories on its website that don’t make it into the next day’s paper”? Halperin suggested that this disparity stems from the online stories not living up to the printed edition’s rigorous standards…

As for those bloggers, the ones “tainted” by having ideological motives — unlike our patriotic politicians, mind you — Halperin generously allowed that “I don’t mind if people blog — but they should apply high standards of journalism,” and “they should focus on news organizations when they fail to meet the standards of the profession,” i.e., accuracy and objectivity. In fact, he said, “the best solution is for serious consumers of news to write letters to the editor.”

His comes from the guy who wrote that Matt Drudge is “the Walter Cronkite of his era.”  As political director of ABC News, Halperin would regularly pass on the latest rumors from Drudge, despite acknowledging that Drudge regularly posts unsubstantiated material. Halperin also regularly repeated Republican talking points as fact  when he was responsible for writing The Note. Halperin is in a poor position to accuse anyone of failing to meet standards of accuracy and objectivity when he regularly failed at both.

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