Sam Donaldson dismissed criticism of his support for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg and defended his reasons for doing so.
The veteran journalist spoke with Fox News’ Howard Kurtz on Sunday about his recent political ad for the former New York City mayor and the backlash that followed.
(Source: Fox News)
Kurtz noted on “MediaBuzz” how the 85-year-old retired journalist is “taking heat from former colleagues,” with one former editor stating that Donaldson’s visible endorsement of Bloomberg is “a misuse of your considerable journalistic credibility and reputation.”
“The idea after I retire, who knows me? You have to be about 60 years of age to have even seen me, that somehow I have this magnetism from a great career…that people will say, ‘yes, if he’s for Bloomberg, then I’m for Bloomberg,'” Donaldson responded.
“I think that’s silly,” he added.
Kurtz questioned whether some following Donaldson’s career, as ABC News’ Watergate correspondent and chief White House correspondent and beyond, would say they always knew he was a liberal when he “was shouting all those questions at Ronald Reagan at the helicopter.”
“For years and years I’ve considered myself basically a liberal as far as social issues go,” Donaldson replied, adding he had more conservative stances on taxes and spending.
“Do you think that reporters anywhere in Washington — do you think reporters at Fox News have personal opinions?” he added.
“Of course they have personal opinions,” Kurtz replied.
“They will present facts as I think they are facts. I think what kind of a ninny would be in the news business for all those years — and I’m not the brightest bulb, but I’m not really a ninny — and have no ideas,” Donaldson continued. “Of course, reporters are just like anyone else, but when you’re a working journalist as you know full well, because you’ve done it, Howard, and still doing it, you try to keep your personal opinions out of reporting the facts that you assemble as a reporter.”
“I agree with that and I agree that there are different standards now that you’re not working in the business day-to-day,” Kurtz said, asking Donaldson if he had any second thoughts on his endorsements after what most described as Bloomberg’s “disastrous performance” at the debate in Las Vegas.
The veteran ABC news anchor expressed his continued support of the billionaire 2020 contender and added a “prediction.”
“You can call me on it,” he said, predicting that Bloomberg will have “improved” and people will say they “now understand what he’s saying and where his heart is.”
“He’s still in the game, very much so,” he added.
Donaldson added that he felt Bloomberg was the one who could take on and defeat President Donald Trump, someone he thinks should be “retired to private life.”
“Some of your viewers probably don’t agree with that, it’s okay,” he said. “That’s what makes a horse race but that’s what makes an election and I think this election is very, very important.”
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