ABC's Dan Harris Denies Any Conscious Liberal Bias; Claims There Are 'Very, Very Powerful' Conservatives at ABC

ABC "Nightline" co-host Dan Harris appeared on the Steve Malzberg show Friday on Newsmax TV to promote his new book promoting meditation called "10 Percent Happier." After the two communicators discussed having panic attacks while they were broadcasting, Malzberg concluded the interview by asking about liberal media bias.

Harris repeatedly said he was "open" to the idea, but insisted it was subconscious, and that "very, very powerful" people at ABC are conservatives. [See video below.]

MALZBERG: Is there a media bias in your view...do you acknowledge that there’s a bias?

HARRIS: I think – [In] my experience the bias is toward doing the, let’s just say, sexiest story possible, so that could have a conservative slant, that could have a liberal slant. What we want is viewers. We operate in a capitalist context, and what I find is, generally, if there’s a bias, it’s toward doing stories that will get the most eyeballs.

This is a common dodge: we only like the sexy story. It’s certainly true that “Nightline” looks more like People magazine (or Cosmopolitan) than “60 Minutes.” See Scott Whitlock’s video that really exposes it. They've gone silent for 20 weeks on Obamacare.


Malzberg brought up some examples of bias, like how former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was convicted of corruption, and California state Sen. Leland Yee is being probed for gun-running, and there's no Democrat label in the stories. Malzberg also brought up how Larry King denied he'd ever seen liberal bias in half a century.

Harris wanted to sound less ridiculous than King: "I am open to your argument....I think what Larry is referring to, and I don’t know him, is if there’s bias, it’s probably subconscious, and I’m open to that argument."

So Malzberg asked aren't more journalists liberal? Harris replied:

HARRIS: I don’t know, liberal might be overly strong. We actually have some very, very powerful voices, and I’m not going to say who, within our building, who are conservative. Very, very powerful....

MALZBERG: On air?

HARRIS: Yes. So –

MALZBERG: Name one?

HARRIS: No. But I wouldn’t name one I thought was liberal either. So I’m just being fair. Having said that, I’m open to the possibility – very much open to the possibility that there is absolutely a subconscious bias that manifests in just exactly the thing you’re talking about. But in my time there, I’ve never heard someone say ‘We’re gonna go get this guy because he’s a Republican.” 

Please see our list of the five worst Dan Harris media-bias outrages. I vote for his silliness about Saddam Hussein getting 100 percent of the vote!

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis