Fomer ABC News president David Westin sounded off about charges of bias against journalists, including Martha Raddatz, on Monday.
He weighed in as the brouhaha about debate moderators continues to brew: conservatives criticized Martha Raddatz for having past ties to President Obama and now, both campaigns have raised concerns about Candy Crowley's role on Tuesday. Speaking to HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps, Westin drew a distinction between having a point of view as a journalist and being biased.
"No one can have a view from nowhere," Westin said. "But that doesn't mean that there isn't any difference between people who embrace their bias... and those who try to dig out their biases, recognize them and and try to be impartial as possible." Absolute objectivity, he remarked, is "an ideal that can never be achieved."
Westin defined being impartial as "holding all sides accountable," which he said is what Raddatz did on Thursday. "Too much of what I think we see right now is very rigorous in going after one side but doesn't apply the same rigor to the other side," he said.
He went on to disagree with Greta Van Susteren, who penned a blog post on The Huffington Post saying that every news broadcast is the result of biased decisions.
"I think if you expand the definition of bias that broadly, then it means nothing," he said, arguing that true bias interferes with a journalist's ability to tell the truth.