Last February, NewsBusters reported the resignation of retired Col. Ken Allard from NBC News as a result of the military analyst's view the network was undergoing a "precipitous retreat from journalistic and ethical standards."
On Sunday, Allard was more specific, claiming, "I thought they really had moved very slowly to the left, and I also thought that when they had the chance to clarify to the fact that they were not moving to the left, they didn't do so."
CNN's Howard Kurtz set this up on "Reliable Sources":
CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer came under fire recently for telling viewers Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) wasn't in trouble just days before the investment bank tanked. He has finally admitted some fault.
"No! No! No! Bear Stearns is not in trouble," Cramer said on his program March 11. "If anything, they're more likely to be taken over. Don't move your money from Bear."
The following weekend, confidence in the investment bank disintegrated. On March 17 it was announced JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) would take over Bear Stearns at $2 a share after the Federal Reserve agreed to back the takeover.
Cramer appeared on CNN's March 23 "Reliable Sources" to maintain that he meant not to move your money from Bear Stearns the investment bank - not Bear Stearns' common stock - on his stock-picking show. However, Cramer told host Howard Kurtz he was wrong about the general health of Bear Stearns.
Who's watching the watchers? Well, the Media Research Center, and Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz says he's "sort of like the internal affairs cop." But just how tough is he? You can be the judge reading his column.
"We try to hold them accountable, exactly what they do to politicians - why did you do that? Why did you make that mistake? Why did you jump the gun?" said Kurtz, who's also the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources," in a March 12 appearance on "The Colbert Report." Kurtz was on to plug his new book, "Reality Show," about television news.
Host Stephen Colbert baited him: "The three big anchors still really matter, and I agree. ...Who are they, again?"
I'm not sure what got into Howard Kurtz Sunday morning, but the Washington Post/CNN media analyst, and "Reliable Sources" host, really laid into the press for their horrible coverage of the presidential campaign.
Maybe more surprising, Kurtz voiced his displeasure with both print and television news coverage, as well as what was being written and said about the candidates on both sides of the aisle.
So go get some popcorn, and prepare yourself for a media bashing guaranteed to put a smile on your face:
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann was Howard Kurtz's guest on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, and unfortunately, viewers were treated to a litany of hypocrisies from both media personalities, so much so that it seemed like a lengthy advertisement for the controversial "Countdown."
Although Kurtz did present his guest as being mostly liberal and decidedly anti-Bush, he never once mentioned "Countdown's" actual ratings, or how Olbermann is often in last place in his time slot behind "The O'Reilly Factor," "Nancy Grace," and whatever is being offered by CNN.
You would think that since Kurtz works for CNN, he might have mentioned this.
But that wasn't the only hypocrisy Sunday morning, for when Olbermann made clear just how biased he is, Kurtz seemed to be totally oblivious (video available here, liberal website warning):
Discussing NBC News reporter Lee Cowan’s admission that “it's almost hard to remain objective” in covering Barack Obama, on Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN former CBS and PBS reporter Terence Smith agreed Obama is “absolutely” benefitting from “sympathetic” coverage and ex-Washington Post political editor John Harris revealed Post reporters “needed to go through detox” after coming back to the newsroom enthralled with the liberal Democratic presidential candidate. Recalling his days at the Post before helping to launch The Politico a year ago, Harris told ex-Post colleague and Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz:
Almost a couple years ago, you would send a reporter out with Obama, and it was like they needed to go through detox when they came back: “Oh, he's so impressive, he's so charismatic,” and we're kind of like, “Down Boy.”
Harris, however, held his journalistic colleagues accountable: “What Lee Cowan said is it's hard. Okay, it's hard. Do it. Detach yourself. Nobody cares about our opinions.”
As NewsBusters reported Monday, one of the media members that seemed to fall hook, line, and sinker for Hillary Clinton's crying game in New Hampshire was Kate Snow who covers the junior senator's campaign for ABC News, and posted a sycophantic blog about the weepy candidate's emotional performance virtually moments after it happened.
Six days later, appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Snow continued to shill for Hillary, and took the pimping a step further by parroting statements made recently by Bill Clinton about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
After host Howard Kurtz showed a clip of the now infamous teary scene in that New Hampshire diner, Snow was asked how she saw the event, and responded with a statement that sounded like it had been written by one of Hillary's staffers:
As monthly reported troop deaths began falling in Iraq a few months ago, CNN's Robin Wright was in an early October interview with the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources" that was blogged on by NB's Noel Sheppard.
In it, Wright explained why September's US troop death figure, at the time the lowest in over a year, did not deserve significant news coverage:
We've had five years of the Pentagon telling us there is progress, there is progress. Forgive me for being skeptical, I need to see a little bit more than one month before I get too excited about all of this.
Okay, maybe Ms. Wright can work up some "excitement" about this (Source: icasualties.org) --
During an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw pointed out that before the invasion of Iraq, even "people who were critical of the war" thought that Saddam Hussein "had weapons of mass destruction," as he responded to criticism that the media were not aggressive enough about challenging President Bush before the Iraq invasion. And while commenting on racial issues, giving his view that "we need to have a dialogue in this country" about race, Brokaw lamented the problems posed by "political correctness" which means "you're in danger of being a racist if you go against the merits of some issues and just try to look at it objectively." Brokaw added: "Within the black culture, there's a fear about speaking out, about what some people see as wrong, because they say, don't go there, you know, it will only hurt our people." (Transcript follows)
"CNN's 'Reliable Sources' is one of television's only regular programs to examine how journalists do their jobs and how the media affect the stories they cover." -- from CNN's "Reliable Sources" website [emphasis added].
When it comes to "how journalists do their job," the story of the week was Wolf Blitzer's spectacular failure to do his. Going into Thursday's debate, the big question was how Hillary was going to deal with the inevitable grilling over her flip-flopping on the issue of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. But when Blitzer finally got around to the issue, well into the debate, he didn't bother to ask a single follow-up question to Hillary's terse "no" answer.
So surely Reliable Sources's host Howard Kurtz would put that question squarely on the table on today's show, right? Wrong.
An interesting discussion occurred on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday when host Howard Kurtz raised the issue of MSNBC intentionally moving to the left politically, as well as its failed attempt to hire Rosie O'Donnell.
Maybe most shocking was conservative radio talk show host Michael Medved saying of the recent events at MSNBC, "I think itshows that they're getting smart."
Coming in a close second was Jennifer Pozner of Women in Media and News stating with a straight face "the majority of the people who host shows on MSNBC are either centrists or conservative," and that Keith Olbermann "is a liberal host, but he doesn't necessarily promote liberal candidates or promote liberal projects."
Deliciously, that might not have been the most absurd statement from Pozner this day (partial transcript follows with emphasis added for your entertainment pleasure):
On CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, host Howard Kurtz asked ABC's Claire Shipman about California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger grabbing her hands during an interview about the wildfires. "Would he have done that to a male correspondent?" And when Kurtz served up Glenn Beck's wildfires comments on CNN Headline News, CBS's Harry Smith was so non-plussed he changed the subject. First, the Shipman exchange:
KURTZ: What were you thinking when Schwarzenegger grabbed your hand and accused of you hating good news?
SHIPMAN: Well, my first thought was, this is unusual. You know? And then I thought, when is he going to let go of my hands? He held my hands for the entire answer.
Is NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams really a conservative? "Washington Post" media analyst and CNN "Reliable Sources" host Howard Kurtz implied that he is. Kurtz appeared on the October 10 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor" to promote his new book "Reality Show: Inside the Last Great Televsion News War." When Bill O’Reilly inquired on the lack of conservative representation on the network news, this exchange followed.
BILL O’REILLY: What news man at CBS or NBC is conservative?
HOWARD KURTZ: I wanted to make- first of all, Brian Williams, we can talk about him in a moment, probably President Bush’s favorite anchor.
O’REILLY: He just likes his ties.
KURTZ: Has quoted Rush Li- has quoted Rush Limbaugh, reads conservative blogs as well as liberal blogs.
O’REILLY: I know Brian Williams. He’s about as conservative as Les Moonves.
On the one hand, I was very pleased to see CNN's Howard Kurtz mention on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" the recent decision by the BBC to cancel "Planet Earth," a proposed daylong special to focus attention on anthropogenic global warming.
On the other hand, I was surprised when Kurtz chose not to include one of the key reasons this project was scrapped, namely, the failure of Al Gore's Live Earth concerts.
"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric couldn't possibly expect to be criticized by a fellow, female, liberal journalist when she went to Iraq last week to report firsthand what was going on in that embattled nation.
Yet, on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh ripped the leading member of the media sisterhood for "lobbing kind of softball questions," and not "working terribly hard to go beyond that kind of puff piece drop in for a few days kind of journalism."
In fact, Walsh demonstrated what happens when a discernibly liberal press representative dares to do an impartial, balanced report which doesn't exclusively bash Republicans, the president, and the war:
As the 2008 presidential campaign moves into high gear, a common conservative complaint has been that Democrat candidates have so far been largely asked softball questions by liberal moderators at their debates, while the Republicans have actually been vigorously challenged by media personalities in theirs.
On CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday morning, former Capitol Hill correspondent for ABC, and current contributing editor to the National Journal, Linda Douglass, made it quite clear that she agrees with such concerns.
Host Howard Kurtz, after playing a video clip of musician Melissa Etheridge asking Hillary Clinton (D-New York) a question at a recent debate, posed the following:
Linda Douglass, my question is with those kinds of personal, first-person, emotional queries, do we really need journalists at these debates? Aren't these questions sort of better than the kind of questions that reporters ask?