After 41 years with ABC News, next week Sam Donaldson will retire from the network, though he will continue to appear monthly on This Week, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported Monday. Often seen by conservatives as the embodiment of liberal media bias -- especially during the Reagan years -- Donaldson was an open-minded guy who respected conservatives and was willing to make fun of himself, so for many years he debated Bob Novak on liberal bias at CPAC and, in 2004, he appeared at the MRC's “DisHonors Awards.”
At our March 18, 2004 gala held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., as MRC President L. Brent Bozell III made closing remarks he was interrupted by Donaldson, who bound on stage in mock anger, railing at Bozell and the MRC for attacking the news media. Donaldson pledged, “I promise you that during this campaign we will treat both sides equally: the compassionate, intelligent liberals and you crazy, right wing kooks will get the same kind of treatment!”
He also insisted: “This Mark Halperin is going to be fired!” That was a reference to a “The Note” posting by Mark Halperin, then ABC's political director, who conceded that the Washington press corps holds liberal views on all the key issues separating President George W. Bush and Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, thus giving an advantage to Kerry and a disadvantage to Bush. Full excerpt in the February 12, 2004 MRC CyberAlert.
Donaldson ended with how he writes under the “pen name” of Charles Pierce. That was reference to the winner of the “Ozzy Osbourne Award (for the Wackiest Comment),” which went to the Boston Globe's Pierce Charles for a January 5, 2003 Boston Globe Magazine profile of Senator Ted Kennedy in which Pierce effused:
If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.
More about that profile and a longer quote in the January 13, 2003 MRC CyberAlert.