Reporters are supposed to be truth-tellers. They report events and then provide an accurate context for the event to give it meaning. Reporters tell us what happened and then interpret – to the best of their ability and as more facts become known – the meaning of the event. Truth is a goal, a process, a conversation between the journalist and the public.
Mark Halperin, Managing editor, Bloomberg Politics, is usually a pretty fair guy. He’s not over the top in tone (as are a lot of Political Hill reporters) and doesn’t appear to take sides most of the time. Halperin can be cynical but persuadable.
But when Halperin blows it, he really blows it. Now this story won’t appear at Brent Bozell’s Media Research Council (MRC) monthly publication or even at their website. MRC is a right-wing group that monitors media bias; they have written on Halperin’s bias before but on unrelated matters. MRC’s president, Brent Bozell, was part of the “Gang of 22” who wrote a slam piece on Trump in National Review’s “Special Edition: Against Trump.” Yeah okay, whatever.
But back to Halperin. Halperin showed a South Carolina focus group an edited section of a video where it bleeped Trump to make it look as if Trump said the “F” word, when in fact, Trump only mouthed it, but never said it. Trump has never used the “F” word in a public campaign speech. This wrongly edited section of the video evoked gasps, whispers, and a horrified reaction from the largely religious and conservative group.
Watching this Halperin moment with his focus group made me think I was watching one of Frank Luntz’s kangaroo focus groups on Megyn Kelly’s Fox show. A man like Mark Halperin should be above this fake propaganda. Halperin needs to apologize to Trump for this lie and set the record straight. Halperin’s greatest asset is his own credibility. He needs to restore it.
Here’s the full article and video from Halperin: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/videos/2016-02-11/cruz-interesting-trump-inevitable-in-s-c-focus-group
Here’s Halperin’s Tweet on it:
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) February 11, 2016
Here’s how Trump reacted:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2016
Here’s the Unedited Video that clearly shows Trump never used F word:
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, https://flic.kr/p/AhjSrs