Walking Duck is a digital news startup trying to find middle ground in U.S. politics

” We dont constantly try to show both sides, precision matters,” Wilke stated. Halperin stated that its less about making sure theres a 50-50 balance, and more about avoiding the constraints of a partisan lens.” Just go to any cable television news network and attempt to find a program thats talking to Trump voters and talking to Biden citizens,” Halperin stated. Furthermore, Upright (my other company) is a PR company that has more ladies than males, and were bringing some of them over to Walking Duck, and we discussed this issue with them and made sure they felt comfy and knew that a safe work environment was a priority.”
I likewise brought up the topic on our call, and Halperin said, “I acknowledge the expectations that people have.

Can any wire service bridge the different truths that the right and left seem to inhabit in U.S. politics? A new startup with the odd-yet-memorable name Walking Duck is going to attempt.
Strolling Duck (an inversion of a “lame duck” president– a phrasing that has earned criticism as ableist– and a recommendation to the duck test) was founded by reporter Mark Halperin, as well as Paul and Audra Wilke, who are also backing it with their PR company Upright Position Communications.
While the startup is producing a variety of material and occasions, including virtual town halls, there are three primary pieces to the Walking Duck strategy at launch– the Walking Duck site, which aggregates news from other publications, normally focused on a couple of essential stories for the day, with additional commentary; plus Halperins newsletter Wide World of News and his Newsmax program Mark Halperins Focus Group.
Halperin also works as Walking Ducks managing editor, and he stated that he and the Wilkes have a shared vision for a publication thats various from “the partisan media,” where “whatever is cast through the lens of the blue people or the red tribe.”
And yes, aggregation is an essential part of that vision, not just allowing the start-up to cover nationwide news with a relatively small group of five (for now), but also to use different perspectives. In truth, Halperin argued that any news organization thats being sincere will confess that its doing aggregation.
Image Credits: Walking Duck
” Even if you have a big scoop about something, people wish to know: Whats the reaction to the scoop, how is that scoop being dealt with somewhere else?” he said. “Aggregation can be smarter and faster and less ideological than exists in a great deal of places. You can aggregate for everybody and raise smart over mad.”
In my discussion with Halperin and Paul Wilke (Walking Ducks CEO), I suggested that the “both sides” method (which other new publications are likewise touting) has its restrictions: When youve got a (now previous) president looking for to weaken an election that he lost, and when his fans strongly storm the Capitol, simply providing 2 sides of an argument as if they were similarly legitimate seems insufficient.
” We do not always try to show both sides, accuracy matters,” Wilke said. Halperin said that its less about making sure theres a 50-50 balance, and more about preventing the limitations of a partisan lens. As an example, he argued that liberal outlets demonized previous FBI director James Comey after his memo might have cost Hillary Clinton the 2016 election, then reversed course and valorized him after President Trump fired him.
” I believe he must be covered on the specific occurrences in a manner thats constant,” Halperin stated.
All of that might sound incongruous from a journalist with a program on Newsmax– which, far from being a center-of-the-road network, has actually attracted an audience by being more pro-Trump and more going to spread election misinformation than Fox News. However Halperin and Wilke stated that by creating a show that brings four Trump citizens and 4 Biden voters (not professional pundits) from across the country together over Zoom and trying to discover typical ground, theyre exposing conservative audiences to brand-new points of view– and they d be pleased to do the very same for liberals if the show was on MSNBC.
” Just go to any cable news network and try to discover a program thats talking with Trump citizens and talking to Biden citizens,” Halperin said. “Were doing it each week. Thats the essence of trying to come to grips with how do these 2 groups speak with each other.”
Halperin does have an existing relationship with Newsmax, which came after he lost his contracts at more mainstream networks following various allegations of unwanted sexual advances.
When I raised the allegations in my preliminary email correspondence with Wilke, he stated,” [Marks] history is securely in his past. Hes expressed regret, been through therapy and has publicly (and privately) apologized to his victims, and they have … accepted his apologies. Furthermore, Upright (my other company) is a PR firm that has more women than guys, and were bringing some of them over to Walking Duck, and we discussed this issue with them and ensured they felt comfortable and knew that a safe workplace was a top priority.”
I also brought up the subject on our call, and Halperin stated, “I acknowledge the expectations that people have. If individuals are willing to let me work, I value the chances.

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