Accuracy in Media


Hillary Clinton’s national press secretary Brian Fallon admitted that he didn’t know the difference between a liberal and a progressive, despite saying that Hillary is a “progressive who gets results.”

Fallon made his comments during an interview with Bloomberg TV’s With All Due Respect co-host John Heilemann:

Heilemann: Would Hillary Clinton call herself a liberal?

Fallon: I think in the last few years you’ve seen Democrats really rally around the term progressive to define their commitment to working class.

Heilemann: What’s the difference between being a progressive and being a liberal?

Fallon: I’m not sure, but I think Republicans have tried to turn liberal into a dirty word,” Fallon said. “But I think progressive is a term that Democrats pretty proudly wear.

Many liberals have, in recent years, chosen to redefine themselves as progressives, as the L-word has taken on a more negative connotation with the public, to the annoyance of true progressives.

The basic difference—and Fallon should have known this—is that liberals want to use taxpayer money for subsidies, transfer payments, and payments to take care of those in need, while progressives feel that government fiat—think increased regulation and minimum-wage laws—are the answer. While the two terms are used interchangeably, they are very different.

Clinton, who has previously referred to herself as “moderate,” is embracing the progressive label in an attempt to fend off what has been an unexpectedly stiff challenge from socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his left-wing supporters, not because she really believes in progressivism.

Or in other words, “What difference does it make?”

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  • Steven Barrett

    I know a lot of liberals and progressives in western Massachusetts, home to the Five Colleges Inc. of UMass/Amherst, Amherst, Hampshire, Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges who’d delight in giving Fallon their opinions, albeit from different perspectives, about the distinct differences between the two. If he can’t distinguish between the two, what more do we need to know about the intellectual vapidity of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle. Come to think about it, what DOES Clintonism stand for? Or is there any difference between a mere love for all things HRC and Experience-ism for its own sake. Remember the old “where’s the beef,” line of the ’84 campaign? Where’s Hillary’s judgment? After all, if she and her top media flack can’t tell the difference between a progressive and a liberal, that should tell us much about the kind of shallow political thinking that goes on inside the inner ranks of Clinton, Inc.