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):
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'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.]
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, guest David Zurawik mocked "out of town reporters" who met with the White House about sequestration and simply repeated the administration's talking points back to their local channels, "like an Obama commercial."
However, CNN displayed that same uncritical journalism over and over on the sequester. Obama administration officials freaked out about looming budget cuts to their respective agencies and CNN simply relayed the hype to its viewers, comparing the cuts to the asteroid and calling them a "man-made disaster." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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.]
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.]
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.”
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, late night comedians make fun of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney more than twice as much as they do Barack Obama.
CNN's Howard Kurtz defended this on Sunday's Reliable Sources saying, "Obama is just not that easy to ridicule... Whereas jokes about a rich guy with a 1950s lingo -- well, gosh, golly, gee whiz, isn't that hard to make people laugh" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For a political perspective that claims to love peace and tolerance, left-wing Democrats sure seem to be a rather angry lot. We saw it last week during the explosion over a black actress endorsing Mitt Romney for president. History repeated itself just a few days later when outraged Democrats lashed out at journalist and author Buzz Bissinger for doing the same thing.
Things were a bit different this time because in addition to people savaging him on Twitter, Bissinger also found himself being called a “traitor” by his supposedly objective media industry colleagues. The experience appears to have taught Bissinger the reality of left-wing media bias and he repeatedly admitted as much during an interview with CNN’s Howard Kurtz.
In an irony of ironies, a CNN roundtable on media bias featured a liberal figure of the institutional media, Chrystia Freeland, claiming that Paul Ryan has gotten "pretty fabulous treatment" at the hands of the media. Her statement came on Sunday's Reliable Sources.
"I think he's had pretty fabulous treatment in the press and maybe actually a lack of scrutiny of what he's actually saying," Freeland opined, pointing to the "image" of him as "superwonk." She ironically addressed media bias as a liberal member of the mainstream press. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The media have "nostalgia" for Bill Clinton and a "tedious marriage" with President Obama, according to panel members on Sunday's Reliable Sources. Is media bias any more evident when reporters admit the media had a past love affair with the current Democratic president and pine for the days of his Democratic forerunner?
CNN's Howard Kurtz mused that "the extraordinary media reaction to Bill Clinton's speech" from the past week's DNC "says to me journalists missed the guy." The Hill's managing editor Bob Cusack admitted "I think there was definitely some nostalgia here," and added "the media reaction was a little bit much, because he [Clinton] did meander." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Sunday's CNN Reliable Sources, host Howard Kurtz spoke of President Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention:
Bob Cusack, Obama gave a pretty good speech overall. The media acted like it was terrible. And it seems to me that perhaps we have set a standard for him that (if) he doesn't he doesn't hit the stratosphere, he has somehow failed.
The media acted like it was terrible? Kurtz must not have been watching CNN immediately after Obama's speech. Observed CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer: "Anderson, he clearly still has that oratorical skill that he's always had over these many years." CNN chief national correspondent John King opined: "I think a very smart, well-crafted speech, both strategically and tactically." CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said, ". . .I thought it was a very strong speech."
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz lashed out at CNN’s own host Fareed Zakaria for committing plagiarism in a gun control article for Time magazine. Kurtz gave credit to us: “A conservative watchdog site Newsbusters, acting on a tip from the NRA, broke the story that Fareed's column was not entirely his own work.”
Kurtz put the two passages side by side on the screen to underline Zakaria’s copycat routine and pounded Zakaria for committing a “cardinal journalistic sin,” and the “latest case study of an insidious journalistic disease.” It’s too bad journalists aren’t this upset about sloppy bias. (Video and transcript below)
CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday asked liberal talk radio host Stephanie Miller a question that most right-thinking Americans pray the answer is "Yes."
"You are a liberal in a conservative media...dominated by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham," said the Reliable Sources host. "Won't people like you and Ed Schultz and some of the few liberal national voices on talk radio be drowned out in this election?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Those tolerant liberals! It’s not news that in the arts and the soft sciences academia is intractably left-wing. It is noteworthy to see the bias categorized and quantified.
The journal Perspectives on Psychological Science has published an article by researchers Yoel Inbar and Joel Lammers, psychology professors at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. It’s based on their study showing the abundance of anti-conservative animus in its own field of social psychology.
Napp Nazworth of The Christian Post picked up on the story and highlighted some of its alarming results.
CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz made the ludicrous assertion that reporters shouting loaded questions outside of a sacred site in Poland were still a "model of decorum" compared to Mitt Romney aide who cursed at them to "show some respect" for the place.
"So, the press doesn't look so great there in Poland, but the reporters were a model of decorum compared to Rick Gorka, the Romney spokesman, who later apologized for the kiss crack," Kurtz began his segment on Sunday's Reliable Sources. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Radio and Current TV host Bill Press got thoroughly exposed on CNN Sunday as a shill for President Obama.
After Press shamelessly uttered the typical liberal line regarding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) unsubstantiated claims about Mitt Romney not paying taxes, Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz smartly interrupted saying, "That's a Democratic talking point. That's a Democratic talking point" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Astronaut Sally Ride kept her sexual orientation secret right up to the moment she died.
Yet CNN's Howard Kurtz on Reliable Sources Sunday actually scolded the New York Times for withholding this fact until the 38th paragraph in its obituary for Ride (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In his Sunday show Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz smacked the network for debating gun control less than 24 hours after Friday's tragic Aurora shooting.
"I feel so strongly about this – how about waiting a decent interval, maybe a day, until, you know, the families have had a time to absorb the shock, the victims have been identified," opined Kurtz, after calling out CNN by name. "Why this rush to do it immediately?" [Video below the break.]