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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Mark Halperin Sets The Record Straight

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Dear Hugh,
I really enjoyed our radio talk and I appreciated the opportunity to appear with someone I respect so much.
I have gotten a lot of positive feedback, mostly from conservatives, including this reaction on
But, as I have said to you privately, I am beginning to think you are intellectually dishonest on a few points. It seems strange that someone who seems to be trying to bring truth to people would do such a thing, but I can’t really explain your behavior any other way. As I said on the show, you and I agree on almost everything we discussed. On most of the points of disagreement, I respect your position and accept our disagreement.
But on two points in particular, you seem to be purposefully avoiding the truth.
These two paragraphs of your posting I find really offensive.
“Not only do I think that Mark Halperin is very liberal, I don’t think it is possible to conclude anything else. By his own admission, the newsrooms of elite media are overwhelming liberal. He went to an overwhelmingly liberal university after growing up in an overwhelmingly liberal family. He won’t answer any questions on public policy issues and his most famous publication –his direction to cover Bush differently from Kerry– is a matter of record, though in our interview he offers a different explanation for that memo. Still he believes –strongly– that the covering of his opinions is so complete that we in the public cannot but yield to his protestation of innocence and declare him the exception that proves the rule.”
“I will of course offer him the opportunity to appear on the program to express his outrage, but a friend ought to take him aside and remind him of that old Irish saying: ‘If everybody says you’re drunk, you’d better sit down.'”
We talked at length in the interview about what the memo I wrote in 2004 said — and what it didn’t say. Among the things it did NOT say, and I would never advocate, is that ABC News should “cover Bush differently from Kerry” based on bias. The memo says the opposite, as I said in the interview. Are you purposefully disregarding my plain language? I would ask your readers and listeners to review that portion of the interview and not have their minds closed by you and others who have mischaracterized what I wrote and said.
As for your repeated insistence that you could reach no other conclusion but one that says that I am “very liberal,” I’m sure if you think it over, you will reconsider. You went to a liberal school and you appear to not be liberal. And I am sure you have heard of people having different political views than their parents.
Again, I respect much about you, but I am mystified by your determination to lump me in with others. Acknowledging the liberal bias that exists in the Old Media — as John Harris and I do in The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 doesn’t necessarily prove that I am not liberal, but I would think you would be open to giving me the benefit of the doubt, when you have no actual evidence to the contrary.
If you plan to once again make things up and insult me in a tag to this posting (which you were kind enough to offer) please let me know.
And I’m still waiting for the offer to appear again on the show.
Thanks so much,
Mark Halperin


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