During interviews with Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, ABC News’ political director Mark Halperin said that the weeks before the election offer a chance for the mainstream media to prove that they understand conservatives’ grievances.

  • Video & Transcript
  • Media Matters:

    Appearing on the October 23 broadcast of Fox News host Sean Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio program and on the October 24 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, ABC News political director Mark Halperin claimed that the “old liberal media” — the broadcast networks, CNN, and major newspapers — are “too focused on being more favorable to [House Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi [CA], say, than [former House Speaker] Newt Gingrich [R-GA].” Halperin told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that ABC and the rest of the “old liberal media” have “a chance in these last two weeks” before the midterm elections “to prove to conservatives that we understand their grievances,” and that “[w]e should use this last two weeks as an opportunity to help rebuild our reputation with half the country.” He added: “[A] failing of the press is not doing enough to explain to people what Nancy Pelosi’s liberal views are like.” Halperin made a point of distinguishing ABC from the rest of the “old liberal media” during his appearance of The Sean Hannity Show, however, stating: “I’m proud of where I work, where we understand that we’ve got to not be liberal, we’ve got to not be perceived as liberal.”

    Halperin’s claim that the media are “too focused on being more favorable to Nancy Pelosi say than Newt Gingrich” echoed a prediction in the October 23 edition of ABC’s political newsletter The Note, co-authored by Halperin, that in the two weeks leading up to the November midterm elections, the “(liberal) Old Media” will “[g]lowingly profile” Pelosi, but “fail to describe her as ‘ultra liberal’ or ‘an extreme liberal,’ which would mirror the way Gingrich was painted twelve years ago.” As Media Matters for America noted, however, there has been no significant disparity in the coverage of the “liberal views” of Pelosi, who is expected to be elected speaker should the Democrats take control of the House, and the “conservative views” of Gingrich.

    On Hannity’s program and on The O’Reilly Factor, Halperin made several other unsubstantiated claims about the so-called “liberal bias” in the media.


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