Pressed by Kurtz, Huffington Rationalizes Appearing w/ Olbermann While Demanding Civility
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz pressed guest Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post on her hypocrisy for calling for more civility in political discourse even while she is a regular guest on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show on MSNBC. After Kurtz asked if MSNBC was as much of a problem as FNC, she charged that "misinformation" disseminated by FNC is "monumental" compared to MSNBC:
Definitely not as much of the problem. Have they exaggerated? Yes, they would admit it themselves. But the constant barrage of misinformation being put out by Glenn Beck, by O'Reilly, by Hannity is just monumental. I mean, this is a factual record that has been compiled of what they're saying.
She also rationalized her appearances with Olbermann by giving him credit for a lame apology the MSNBC host once addressed to Jon Stewart after Stewart called him out for viciously attacking Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Huffington: "Well, Keith Olbermann actually apologized for that statement, for that particular statement. Have you ever seen anybody apologize except maybe Glenn Beck when he called the President a racist?"
Kurtz also challenged Huffington on her suggestion that Jon Stewart does not generally present his Daily Show from a liberal point of view as she tried to argue that being tough on President Obama was proof that Stewart does not have such a bias from the left with Kurtz describing him as a "disappointed liberal":
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: Well, actually, if you watch his interview with the President, that was a tough interview. He exposed the Achilles Heels of the President. That's not a cheerleader interviewing the President.
HOWARD KURTZ: Well, no, but it was, he came off as a disappointed liberal.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, October 31, Reliable Sources on CNN:
HOWARD KURTZ: So Stewart makes this impassioned plea against what we just saw. Now, aren’t you part of that world? Don’t you go on these liberal shows and bash Republicans?
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: Oh, you can go on shows and disagree with Republicans or disagree with Democrats. And I do both. The question is what are you saying? Is what you are saying based on facts? However passionately you may express it, is it based on facts. That is really the key distinction that we need to make. And also, in the process, are you disagreeing with your opponents? Or are you demonizing them?
KURTZ: So you think it’s about the tone?
HUFFINGTON: For me it’s about, first of all, it’s about facts. Is it factual? That’s key.
KURTZ: But conservative who disagree with you certainly think they’re being factual.
HUFFINGTON: No, they can’t possibly think they’re being factual when they say that Barack Obama wasn’t born here, or when they are saying that Barack Obama is taking us down the communist path. These clearly are not factual statements, and that is really the first distinction...
KURTZ: All right, but let me ask you this, because in that montage, and there was a lot more that we didn’t show, Jon Stewart played Keith Olbermann almost as much as he did Glenn Beck. You go on the show pretty regularly. Do you think he’s part of the problem.
HUFFINGTON: Well, Keith Olbermann actually apologized for that statement-
KURTZ: For that particular one, yes.
HUFFINGTON: -for that particular statement. Have you ever seen anybody apologize except maybe for Glenn Beck when he called the President a racist?
KURTZ: That took him a while.
HUFFINGTON: But it took him a while to apologize, but the question is-
KURTZ: But do you agree with Jon Stewart that Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz of MSNBC are as much a part of the problem as much as O’Reilly and Beck and Hannity on Fox?
HUFFINGTON: Definitely not as much of the problem. Have they exaggerated? Yes, they would admit themselves. But the constant barrage of misinformation being put out by Glenn Beck, by O’Reilly, by Hannity is just monumental. This is a factual record that has been compiled of what they’re saying.
KURTZ: Well, Olbermann tweeted yesterday that Jon Stewart had jumped the shark He said that, you know, basically, MSNBC was needed because otherwise you have Fox onesidedness, which he says led to the Iraq War, but Stewart seems to blaming both sides. You, sitting here with me, seems to be saying that Fox is the problem.
HUFFINGTON: No, I’m not saying at all that Fox is the problem. I’m saying that mainstream media, cable media, everybody is part of the problem that Stewart identified at the end, which is magnifying the relevant or the demonic or magnifying the evil that’s going on.