Former Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker said Sunday he chose not to run the story that former President Bill Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky because he and his staff didn't feel they were on firm enough ground.
"If we had gotten that wrong," Whitaker told CNN's Howard Kurtz on Reliable Sources, it "could have been a mortal blow to Newsweek's reputation" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Howard Kurtz considers himself to be a media analyst, yet on Sunday's Reliable Sources, he spent 22 minutes discussing Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain without once mentioning how the press handled Bill Clinton's actual sex scandals.
There are times when I'm sickened by what I see so-called journalists do on television.
Sunday was one of those times when Politico's Roger Simon, appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, said being "a little bit racist perhaps, gives you good bona fides in a Republican primary. It shows them you're on the same side as they are" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday mocked the hiring of sex scandal plagued former governor Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) by Fox News.
Hypocritically, the "Reliable Sources" host neglected to mention his own network's prior relationship with the prostitute loving former governor Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.) (video follows with transcript and commentary):
I'm not sure what press reports media analyst Howard Kurtz observed since Thursday's announcement that Moammar Gaddafi had been killed in Libya, but they certainly can't be what most people in this country have seen.
On CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, Kurtz actually asked his guests why the press aren't giving President Obama more credit (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, host Howard Kurtz and guest Erik Wemple of the Washington Post both took exception with FNC's Bill O'Reilly for recently calling some of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters "far-left loons" and "anarchists." Kurtz noted the contrast in how MSNBC and FNC have responded to the protests:
CNN's newest addition to its prime-time line-up, former CNBC anchor Erin Burnett, told Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz on Sunday that yes, she would be "more opinionated" at CNN than in the past. Burnett's show, "Out Front," airs for the first time on Monday Oct 3 at 7 p.m. EDT.
Kurtz interviewed Burnett at the bottom of the 11 a.m. hour on Sunday. He asked her "Are you going to be more opinionated, Erin Burnett, then you have been in your previous role as business correspondent?" She answered in the affirmative.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) caused quite a stir last week when she said if elected president she would bring back $2/gallon gasoline prices.
On CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman - without supplying any economic data to support his claim - called Bachmann's pledge "flat out nuts" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's Ed Schultz last week admitted deceptively editing a Rick Perry speech, but he never apologized to the Texas governor for using the doctored video to accuse him of making a racist remark about President Obama.
Howard Kurtz, ironically on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, falsely claimed, "To his credit, Schultz acknowledged his mistake and apologized" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
“I think there's a lot of time on radio and television and on the Web that actually is conservative points of view. There's not a lot of time for the left,” long-time CNN executive David Bohrman, the new President of Current TV, the channel co-founded by Al Gore which is Keith Olbermann’s new home, laughably claimed late Sunday morning in a live interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources.
Bohrman, who worked at ABC News and NBC News before joining CNN in the mid-1990s, admitted he “outed” himself as a liberal by jumping to Current TV, proclaimed “I also think that the left needs to recapture patriotism and not let the right own the flag and own patriotism” and even saw MSNBC’s prime time as too balanced.
Three noteworthy spins, charges and/or claims made on the Sunday morning interview shows.
> ABC’s This Week, with “ALL CUTS, NO TAXES?” on screen: George Stephanopoulos hit White House senior adviser David Plouffe from the left on how “this enforcement mechanism would not include revenue increases, would be just across the board spending cuts.” He fretted the deal “all but guarantee that the final product is all spending cuts and not the balanced approach the President wants.” Christiane Amanpour despaired President Obama “has moved all of the way to the language and the ideals that the Republicans espouse.”
> CBS’s Face the Nation: Bob Schieffer insisted “some people say that the Republican Party has been held hostage by the Tea Party” and he discerned “some truth” in an allegation he saw on Facebook that allowing House freshmen “‘to control this debate’” is “‘like letting the teenager in the family run the family budget.’”
Greta Van Susteren on Sunday took issue with CNN's Howard Kurtz for a report he did on "Reliable Sources."
In it, Kurtz falsely accused Fox News of going "out of its way to avoid a lot of reporting on its parent company's troubles" involving the British tabloid "News of the World" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Howard Kurtz began Sunday's "Reliable Sources" talking about Mark Halperin's infamous D-word said of Barack Obama on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday.
Rather hypocritically, there was absolutely no mention of the following F-bomb dropped during prime time on MSNBC's "The Last Word" just three days prior (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, vulgarity warning):
After being shocked that Republicans would actually prefer Obama jokes over those about Republicans, the "Reliable Sources" host expressed dismay that Fox News analyst Dick Morris would actually toe the GOP's line (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, some liberal media outlets were spreading the idea that a Barack Obama impersonator was pulled off the stage at a Republican event this weekend because he was telling racial and gay jokes.
Although CNN's Howard Kurtz at least figured out that the real reason Reggie Brown was yanked was because he was starting to insult Republicans, the "Reliable Sources" host seemed shocked Republicans would rather hear jokes about Obama than about Republicans (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Andrew Breitbart-hating media certainly got its comeuppance Monday when Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) finally admitted that he had indeed been sending lewd pictures to young women via his Twitter account.
Sensing that he was seated with one such press member, CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" told a mopey Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, "You're just annoyed because Breitbart, who doesn't like the liberal media, has actually gotten some credit on this story" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Amy Holmes of America's Radio News Network made a fabulous observation Sunday concerning the New York Times and the Washington Post asking readers to go through Sarah Palin's email messages to assist them in finding dirt on the former governor.
Appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Holmes marvelously concluded, "The media it seemed to me it was like they were putting out an 'America’s Most Wanted' tipline to try to find something to try to nail Sarah Palin...I think the media needs to go to rehab with Anthony Weiner and get over their obsession with this woman" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay pointed out, the Weinergate scandal showcased a variety of liberal media conspiracy theories. One of the most prevalent theories focused on besmirching conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story wide open Monday with a series of posts on BigGovernment.com featuring lewd photos of Rep. Anthony Weiner.
"Look, Breitbart is a proven liar, okay?" bellowed MSNBC anchor Cenk Uygur on June 1. "He doctored the Shirley Sherrod tapes. He's done this over and over again. Why would anybody take this fool seriously?"
Old and new media clashed on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday.
After CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes blamed Andrew Breitbart for her network's slow response to the ongoing Weinergate scandal, Gawker staff writer Maureen O'Connor said, "I think even if that's the case, it was very quickly that you could have looked into this story and verified it for yourself" (video follows with trancript and commentary):
Two days after liberal Democratic politician/CNN host Eliot Spitzer told fellow CNN host Fareed Zakaria it “brought a smile to my face” and “makes my heart warm” to learn President Obama “calls you for wisdom and advice about issues around the world,” Zakaria took to CNN’s Web site for his Sunday show, Fareed Zakaria GPS, to issue a “clarification on my conversations with the President” in which Zakaria, an in unusual late Saturday afternoon posting, declared: “The characterization that I have been ‘advising’ President Obama is inaccurate.”
Zakaria maintained that all he’s done is “had a couple of conversations with the President, off-the-record. At no point did President Obama ask me for advice on a specific policy.” Apparently, “conversations” that are “off-the-record” do not constitute “advising.”
The next day, on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz accepted Zakaria’s explanation and only offered a gentle reprimand for not making the meetings known. Kurtz relayed how Zakaria claimed “that the two meetings he's had with Obama in recent months give him a sense of the President's thinking, and that he used to have the same kinds of meetings with, for example, Condi Rice.”
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz used the killing of Osama bin Laden to revisit how the media were too deferential to the Bush administration. Kurtz questioned the validity of the terror alerts in the years following 9/11 and wondered if they were used for political gain. Kurtz, comparing the press coverage of the bin Laden assassination and the War on Terror, pondered if there was a "climate of fear" post-9/11 and asked "did the media contribute to that?"
"Is it possible that the Bush administration, for political reasons, chose to play up the War on Terror in a way that the Obama administration has chosen not to?" Kurtz asked guest Brian Ross of ABC News. Ross didn't see the same conspiracy theory on the Bush administration, simply saying that they had a "different mindset" in the matter than Obama.
Vulgarity sure seems to be more and more commonplace on cable these days.
On CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, CNN not only let an audible "bulls--t" go totally unedited, but host Howard Kurtz didn't even acknowledge that it had occurred (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Howard Kurtz is either astonishingly naive or so strongly in the tank for Barack Obama that he's willing to ignore the totally obvious to assist the President's reelection efforts.
On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Kurtz actually discussed with far-left guests Joan Walsh of Salon and John Aravosis of Americablog.com - without ever disclosing the painfully inconvenient truth! - why the "so-called liberal media" don't report divisions within the Democrat Party especially left-wing disappointment with the current White House resident (video follows with transcript and lots of commentary):
In spite of former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann’s history of using distortion and even misinformation to attack conservatives, and his infamously recurring conspiracy theory that the Bush administration made terrorism-related announcements to distract from politically embarrassing news, CNN host Howard Kurtz on Sunday’s Reliable Sources defended Olbermann’s Countdown show and MSNBC generally when right-leaning guest Amy Holmes of America’s Morning News pointed out the excesses of left-wing MSNBC anchors during a discussion of FNC host Glenn Beck’s upcoming departure from the network.
Kurtz: "Now, I don't put Keith Olbermann in the same category as Beck at all. His MSNBC show, agree with it, disagree with it, was a very well-researched program."
He later added: "I've got to push back on this, though. You say that some of the people at MSNBC, just as bad. Now, they may be as opinionated, they may be as strident, they may occasionally be irresponsible. But they are not trafficking conspiracy theories, they're not making things up."