Wednesday, November 01, 2006

ABC does it AGAIN!

Hugh Hewitt has been having a series of conversations with ABC news director Mark Halperin and they’re very interesting.

Here’s a cut from the latest installment, which occurred after Kerry’s now famous ‘uneducated soldiers’ gaff…

HH: Mark Halperin, how did ABC handle the John Kerry story today? How ought it handle it tomorrow in the morning show, and in the evening news?

MH: We led with it, as did the other networks. It’s an interesting story. Sometimes in politics, interesting trumps everything else. But it’s also a complicated story, because you’ve got to decide what standards do you use to decide what matters about John Kerry says, something we don’t normally care about much in the evening news these days, and also about whether or not what he said is being mischaracterized, how it’s being used by you and other conservatives. So we did lead with it. I suspect it’ll play very big on the news tomorrow. I’m not sure about after that, how much shelf life it will have, or should have.

HH: Do you believe he was making a joke?

MH: I do believe he was making a joke.

What Mr. Halperin failed to mention: on his nightly news, ABC anchor Charles Gibson followed the opening report on the Kerry soldier insult by turning to George Stephonopolis and asking in a tsk-tsk voice ‘Now George, is there anyone on the White House who really believes that this was an insult against the troops and not George Bush?’ Stephonopolis dutifully responded, in effect, 'no.'

I’m not using quotes on that because I can’t guarantee 100% accuracy, but the sentiment is completely accurate. It was one of those famous ‘asked and answered’ questions that allowed ABC to side with John Kerry in an effort to say 'See, it's nothing but a bunch of silly Republicans making it up' while at the same time maintaining ‘plausible deniability’ against the obvious bias.

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