Kurtz Acknowledges CNN’s Lack of Tea Party Coverage -- On His CNN Show
With the Tax Day tea party rallies just three days away, outside of the Fox News Channel, the coverage has been lacking. And, it was something that even Washington Post media columnist and host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" Howard Kurtz acknowledged on his April 12 program.
"The folks at Fox News have found something to be for in this age of Obama," Kurtz said. "They are firmly in favor of tea parties. On Wednesday, that would be April 15th - there will be tax protests around the country on the theme of the original Boston Tea Party. TaxDayTeaParty.com says it was inspired by that rant against President Obama's mortgage aid plan by CNBC's Rick Santelli."
However, Kurtz didn't condemn his network and other networks for lack of coverage - but instead explored the notion that Fox News was giving it too much coverage.
"Now, the hosts at Rupert Murdoch's network all make up their own minds, right? But soon the tax protest became a full-fledged Fox fight." Kurtz said.
Kurtz questioned the Fox News Channel hosts for speaking out about the deficits President Barack Obama has ran up, but noted they were less willing to former President George W. Bush for the deficits he ran up. However, as Conn Carroll pointed out for The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry blog - Obama's proposals will far outpace the government deficit spending under Bush.
"These hosts said little or nothing about the huge deficits run up by President Bush, but Barack Obama's budget and tax plans have driven them to tea. On the other hand, CNN and MSNBC may have dropped the ball by all but ignoring the protests."
Perhaps it was an oversight by the folks at "Reliable Sources," but MSNBC has devoted airtime to the tea parties - but only to ridicule them. First MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" on April 9 devoted 13 minutes to lame "teabagging" puns in an effort to denigrate the tea parties. But they weren't to be outdone by Newsweek's Daniel Gross and "Countdown" fill-in host David Shuster the following night on April 10.
So that begs the question - if Fox News deserves a critique in Kurtz's view for promoting their tea party coverage, should MSNBC be critiqued for mocking them? Nonetheless, Kurtz urged the on-air personalities at Fox News to give Obama credit, when credit was due.
"Glenn and company joining the somewhat over-caffeinated tea parties," Kurtz said. "They are commentators who are paid for their point of view, and these aren't Republican Party events - at least not officially. Obviously, they're playing to their conservative base. The test for me is whether these Fox hosts occasionally find something nice to say about President Obama - in the interest of being fair and balanced, of course."