Note that Mark Halperin doesn’t issue the apology from his relatively lofty perch at Bloomberg News, but from blog/ ebook site Scribd:
We wanted to talk with Senator Cruz about his outreach to Latino voters the day after he spoke at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. My intent was to give the Senator a chance to speak further about his heritage and personal connections to the community through some casual questions. I rushed through the questions, and that was a mistake — it led to poor tone and timing. I also understand why some felt the questions were inappropriate. As for asking Senator Cruz to welcome Senator Sanders to the race in Spanish, that was meant to be the type of light-hearted banter that he’s done with us before on the show. In no way was I asking Senator Cruz to “prove” he was an “authentic” Latino. I apologize to those that were offended, and to Senator Cruz. I promise that I will work to make the tone and questions better next time.
So Halperin believes his real problem was that he “rushed” through the questions and his “tone and timing?” And then includes the classic non-apology I’m sorry “to those that were offended” weasel words? Thanks for the first-class non-apology apology.
At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey asks, “How bad does a mainstream media reporter have to screw up to get Think Progress to defend Ted Cruz?”
Actually, TP doesn’t defend Cruz other than to say that his Cuban heritage may be newsworthy in the context of actual policy positions, which is still a little questionable, but not whether he can identify Cuban cuisine on a menu. They call this the most racist interview of the 2016 cycle, but it’s still early yet.
Ed also spots Philip Bump of the Washington Post “all but [accusing] Halperin of mailing it in after getting a big contract from Bloomberg:”
When Halperin joined Bloomberg, it was reported that he was earning seven figures for the privilege, largely on the strength of his “Game Change” book recaps of 2008 and 2012 with fellow Bloomberg recruit John Heilemann. It’s the sort of stamp of approval that could make anyone overestimate the usefulness of their insights. It’s hard to believe that this isn’t hat’s happening here.
In summary: We give Halperin a D on style and an F on substance. But there’s always another grading period, and, besides, that’s still a B overall. Bueno.
Heh. John Nolte of Big Journalism compares Halperin’s disgusting “interview” with Cruz to the scene in Blazing Saddles where the railroad foreman demands Cleavon Little’s character sing a chorus of “Camptown Races,” and adds, “This morning Halperin was back enjoying his usual role as an NBC News elder statesman on MSNBC, and it’s business as usual at Bloomberg.”
They don’t call MSNBC “Jim Crow TV” for nothing.
Update: How bad was Halperin’s “interview?” Dylan Byers, Politico’s dispenser of left-leaning conventional media wisdom, looks at Halperin’s video show and concludes:
That “With All Due Respect” is bad, nearly everyone can agree on. But why is it so bad? I’d argue that it’s a matter of style and substance — or rather, the balance between style and substance. Both Halperin and Heilemann have substance in spades: they’re good reporters, they’re well sourced, they’re capable of getting great scoops and, sitting around Charlie Rose or Joe Scarborough’s table, they’re capable of providing well-informed analysis.
But “With All Due Respect” isn’t a substance play. From the get-go, it has aggressively marketed style. It tries very hard — too hard — to promote itself against the rest of cable news as a non-conventional, just two dudes sittin’ around talkin’ politics program. The show doesn’t try to be smarter than the competition, it just tries to be cooler. Heilemann has a Wu-Tang sticker on his laptop (so cool!). Guests are asked to play games or weigh in on pop culture (so fun!). A Senator from Texas who graduated Princeton and Harvard is asked to speak “en espanol.”
Despite its best efforts, the show isn’t cool or fun. It’s just smug. It’s smug in the way it treats politics like a joke, and politicians like clowns (see the inaugural episode, where Nancy Pelosi tastes different kinds of ice-cream and Mitt Romney is asked to comment on Downton Abbey.) It’s smug in the way it thumbs its nose at journalism by failing to fulfill the obligations of that profession while being handsomely compensated for it. It’s smug for assuming that journalists from other news organizations would want to participate in this circus by taking part in a “parody sports-style game show.” And it’s smug for treating Sen. Cruz like a trained seal.
But just think of the unhinged MSM interviews to come. No wonder Roger L. Simon, our otherwise cool and calm Maximum Pajamahadeen Emeritus is one mad voter today.