Howard Kurtz: 'Is Paul Ryan a Ticking Time Bomb?'

Howard Kurtz considers himself to be a "media analyst."

So what's the deal with his highly-opinionated hit-piece published at the Daily Beast Tuesday with the highly-inflammatory title "Is Paul Ryan a Ticking Time Bomb as Mitt Romney’s Running Mate?"

We have learned, in the three short days since Paul Ryan was catapulted into the national spotlight, that he skins and butchers animals to make his own Polish sausage (courtesy of The New York Times). That he is “pretty low-maintenance” (as his wife, Janna, tells People). That he is “kind of hot” (thank you, Politico), and that the second–most popular search term for Ryan is “shirtless” (fun fact from The Washington Post). Not to mention he’s a former altar boy and a fitness buff.

So began Kurtz - a so-called "media analyst" - who seemed dismayed by Ryan getting - horrors! - some good press:

It’s not that the mainstream media have ignored Ryan’s long record of wanting to drastically shrink and revamp government programs, especially Medicare and Medicaid, while pushing tax breaks that disproportionately favor the wealthy. But this somewhat radical agenda is wrapped in the gauzy overlay of an earnest young man who genuinely wants to keep the country from marching off a fiscal cliff.


"Tax breaks that disproportionately favor the wealthy."

Excuse me, Howard: how would one create tax breaks for the almost 50 percent of the nation that currently don't pay any federal income taxes?

As you can only cut taxes on those actually paying them, it seems a metaphysical certitude that any such reductions would likely favor the wealthy since they pay most of the federal income taxes collected.

I guess simple arithmetic and budgets aren't this "media analyst's" expertise.

As for Ryan's "radical agenda," exactly what is radical about trying to balance the budget while saving Medicare from insolvency?

More importantly, should a "media analyst" be offering such an opinion or sticking to - ahem - analyzing how the press are covering this story?

Apparently, Kurtz wasn't wearing his "media analyst" hat Tuesday:

Democratic attacks will paint Ryan as a man who would squeeze the middle class and the elderly while fiercely protecting the hedge-fund crowd. Keep in mind that half the country has never heard of Paul Ryan, so his political persona has yet to be defined.

That’s why any celebration of Romney’s pick may prove to be premature...It was a far riskier choice than some of the more glowing profiles would suggest.

Does this sound like "media analysis" to you or Kurtz auditioning for his own daily program on MSNBC?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.