Veteran media reporter Howard Kurtz is joining the Fox News Channel on Monday, July 1, to serve as the anchor for a new version of the “Fox News Watch” Saturday program that has looked at media issues.
“I’m excited to be bringing my independent brand of media criticism to Fox News,” Kurtz stated in an article in the New York Times. “The chance to create a revamped program and establish a strong online presence was too good to pass up. I hope to add a new dimension to Fox’s coverage and have some fun while diving into the passionate debates about the press and politics.”
As NewsBusters has been reporting, it's been a hoot this week watching the same liberal media members that were apoplectic in 2005 when George W. Bush's domestic surveillance program was revealed contort themselves into almost impossible positions defending Barack Obama's far more intrusive scheme seven and a half years later.
Glenn Greenwald, the liberal author who first broke the news of this program, spoke to Howard Kurtz on CNN's Reliable Sources about this blatant hypocrisy (video follows with CNN.com transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, liberal media members have been absolutely apoplectic over the thought of the Koch brothers buying the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.
CNN's Howard Kurtz gave a somewhat more reasoned view of such an eventuality on Reliable Sources Sunday saying, "Let's remember that more liberal businessmen such as Warren Buffett have been snapping up newspapers without compromising their journalistic mission" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Politico’s Dylan Byers reported “The Daily Beast is dropping Howard Kurtz, the veteran media critic who made headlines this week for his erroneous report about NBA star Jason Collins.” Kurtz erred in suggesting Collins hadn’t been forthcoming about his fiancee, even though he discussed her on both ABC and in the Sports Illustrated cover story that made “history.” Kurtz’s story was retracted on Thursday.
On top of Kurtz losing his $300,000-a-year Beast gig (which started in October of 2010), TV Newser reported “A source at CNN tells TVNewser that Kurtz’s current deal with the cable channel will likely be his last.” The New York Times had a source claiming it wasn't just a Collins thing:
As part of the Fox News Channel's coverage of the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas on Thursday, Dana Perino, co-host of the channel's “The Five” weekday program and a White House press secretary for the 43rd president, interviewed her former boss “not to break any news here” but for viewers to meet and get to know him “as I do.”
That seven-minute discussion immediately drew fire from Howard Kurtz of CNN and the liberal Daily Beast website. He asked on the Tweeter social site whether the softball interview might have made a “mockery” of Fox's coverage of the event.
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz doubled down on his December column that the media needed "to be leading the conversation" on guns in the wake of Newtown. He even compared the gun debate to the conversations on civil rights and, recently, same-sex marriage. Is gun control the new civil rights movement?
Of course, Kurtz claimed objectivity although since Newtown the media have been anything but fair to gun rights advocates in the "conversation" on guns: "I would say that it's important for journalists, whether you like the phrase 'leading the conversation' or not, to push controversial issues that the politicians otherwise might prefer not to talk about."
Yet New York Times columnist Ross Douthat countered that the media is overwhelmingly one-sided when it tries to push issues into the spotlight, and pointed to the selective outrage behind the Newtown shooting versus the horror stories coming from the Gosnell trial. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, hours after CNN finally covered the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell for the first time in weeks, CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin scoffed at the notion of a liberal media bias responsible for the cover-up.
"Well, the people making those criticisms by and large are conservatives, who are saying the liberal media is trying to protect abortion rights by not showing this horror show. I don't buy that at all," Toobin asserted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Many media observers were wondering if CNN's Howard Kurtz was going to expose on his Reliable Sources program Sunday the press's horrible coverage of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial.
As fate would have it, Kurtz's reporting was just as pathetic as virtually everyone else's to date giving the matter a total of 90 seconds while sharing bogus statistics including the truly preposterous claim, "The conservative media didn't do much either" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the media predictably gush and fawn over the thought of Hillary Clinton as president, there's something extremely obvious they've been missing.
Rather surprisingly, Roger Simon, the perilously liberal chief political columnist at Politico, asked the $64 million question on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, "How good a job did she really do as Secretary of State?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Sunday's Reliable Sources was absurdly generous to the media for their coverage of the same-sex marriage debate, calling them "in the middle" and denying having seen any "rudeness" toward social conservatives.
Host Howard Kurtz teed up gay rights activist John Aravosis by asking, "Are the media waking up to the fact that this is a civil rights issue?" Meanwhile, Aravosis claimed the press is "still being objective and in the middle" on the issue while the Washington Post's "conservative" blogger Jennifer Rubin denied having seen any media "rudeness or abruptness" toward social conservatives. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Sally Quinn sure has a low opinion of the Catholic Church for someone that edits the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog.
Having claimed last week on CBS's Face the Nation that "so many priests are gay," Quinn this Sunday on CNN's Reliable Sources said the lack of media vetting and background checks of Cardinals meant Pope Francis "could possibly have been involved in a scandal" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, the CNN panel scoffed at the media for getting "manipulated" by the White House last week into hyping Obama's meetings with the GOP as a "charm offensive." CNN's own reporting shows that it played right into those talking points.
"I love how easily the press corps is manipulated," remarked The Washington Post's Dana Milbank. "So, the President takes a few senators out to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel and has lunch with Paul Ryan, and suddenly, he's reaching out and there's all these efforts to have kumbaya. He's had two meals." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Howard Kurtz made a comment Sunday that might raise some conservative eyebrows.
In a Reliable Sources discussion about comments Fox News's Roger Ailes made in a new book about him, Kurtz said, "I think this president works very hard and doesn’t take many vacations" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Ari Fleischer responds to accusation Milbank made about him in this segment.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank made an interesting observation Sunday about the vulgarity prominent in the current presidential administration.
Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, Milbank said, "The number of F-bombs being dropped by this White House, scholars are going to look in the national archives in 20 or 30 years and they're going to be shocked by the language that was coming out of this place" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN harped on the controversy over Fox News head Roger Ailes calling President Obama "lazy" and Vice President Biden "dumb as an ashtray." The network covered it on five shows on Wednesday and Thursday, but three of the shows ignored that Ailes used Obama's own words.
In making the "lazy" remark, Ailes cited a 2011 interview with Barbara Walters where Obama said that "deep down, underneath all the work that I do, I think there's a laziness in me." Erin Burnett was the only CNN anchor to promptly give that context in her report; on Thursday's Starting Point, conservative panel member Will Cain first brought it up, and co-host John Berman affirmed it. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Howard Kurtz mocked the media – including his own network – on Sunday's Reliable Sources for uncritically channeling government hysteria over the sequester cuts.
"[I]f the press had put in, let's say, 10 percent of the effort that was devoted to investigating, I don't know, Beyonce's lip syncing into the actual measurable effects of these budget cuts, I think we would have seen a somewhat different picture," quipped Kurtz. [Video below. Audio here.]
As NewsBusters reported, Fox News host Sean Hannity was rudely treated by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) Tuesday.
Rather shockingly, the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn, in a video posting at the website Daily Download, said Wednesday that Hannity was "in the right" and that it was indeed Ellison that behaved poorly (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Bill Plante, CBS News Senior White House Correspondent, made a rather shocking statement Sunday about the Obama administration's media strategy.
Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, Plante said that to the extent the White House is able to "put out their own material" without the Washington press corps, "they're undercutting the First Amendment...it's state-run media" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN media critic Howard Kurtz ripped the press infatuation with Sen. Marco Rubio's water sip as "profoundly depressing," but on Sunday's Reliable Sources he wouldn't call out his own network's attempt to use the incident to drive headlines.
Last Wednesday, CNN's The Situation Room took the trivial and blew it up. CNN showed a still-shot of Rubio sipping water with headline flashing "Career-Ender?" Host Wolf Blitzer asked his panel if the incident was a "big deal." The headline stoked outrage on Twitter and CNN jumped to explain it as a "joke," but Kurtz didn't mention any of this hullabaloo.
NewsBusters reported on the media's earlyvalentine for outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz focused on their "romance" on Sunday's Reliable Sources.
"[T]hings were so lovey-dovey, it almost sounded like a therapy session," Kurtz described Clinton's 60 Minutes interview. He added the media "are almost portraying her [Clinton's] exit as walking on water." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Despite CNN waging a crusade for gun control over the past month, and host Piers Morgan drawing attention with his incessant activism and bullying of his opponents on the gun issue, CNN’s own poll shows that support for some gun control measures has dropped over the past month.
CNN.com reported on its poll Wednesday: "According to the survey, 56% support a ban on semi-automatic guns, but that's down from 62% in a CNN poll taken in the days after the shooting at Sandy Hook. The same is true for a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips - 62% in December, down to 58% now - as well as a requirement for all gun owners to register their firearms with the local government - 78% last month, down to 69% now."
TVNewser's Gail Shister had some harsh words for MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Sunday.
Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, the TV critic said, "Joe Scarborough talks when he inhales. I've never seen anybody this side of Chris Matthews who interrupts as much as he does" (video follows with CNN transcript and commentary):
The GOP-bashing tag team of Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann was once again welcome on CNN on Sunday. Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz did challenge the duo's leftist indictment of the media, but Ornstein and Mann had plenty of time to insist the press has "embarrassingly failed" to hold Republicans accountable.
When Kurtz posed "Most people think the press does lean to the left," AEI's Ornstein responded with this laugher: "And I think the mainstream media want to do everything they can to avoid any reinforcement of that." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast has some tough talk for the D.C. Police investigating NBC's David Gregory. In an interview with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre on Sunday's Meet the Press, Gregory had produced an high capacity magazine on-air in violation of D.C. gun laws, thus attracting a police investigation.
Kurtz lamely implied that although Gregory broke the law, he shouldn't be prosecuted for it. "But the D.C. Police Department apparently has nothing better to do than examine whether he violated the city’s gun laws," Kurtz scoffed in his column at the Daily Download.
At The Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz compares the gun debate to civil rights and the gay marriage issue. This despite his wanting the media to be "fair to all sides" on the issue.
After suggesting a "media agenda" on the gun issue, Kurtz notes "There was certainly a media agenda during the battle for civil rights in the late 1950s and 1960s. Television helped shine a spotlight on Alabama Gov. George Wallace and other Southern politicians who were fighting to preserve a segregationist society." Oh, so is the NRA the new George Wallace?
Now that former NBC News president Jeff Zucker is set to take over as president of CNN, the fate of the cable news network is an open question. In a Sunday discussion about the transition, CNN media critic Howard Kurtz and his guests passed over the network's left-of-center reporting, implying instead that CNN is somehow devoid of bias compared to its primary competitors, MSNBC and Fox News.
During a segment on “Reliable Sources,” panelist David Zurawik -- media critic for the Baltimore Sun newspaper -- asserted that the news organization is “the nation's last bastion of television journalism.”