Washington Post media critic again gave his other employer, CNN, a pass for its promotion of Birther conspiracy theories during his online discussion today:
Newark, N.J.: While I think the Birthers story will die down, I feel it's always going to under the surfaces. This won't die and were just one more YouTube.com clip of a similar event to that town hall in Georgetown, Del., with a cousin of "Crazy Eileen" (yes, that is actually her real nickname; look it up) and a crowd yelling about our Kenyan-Indonesian-anything but American president to bring this back into the spotlight on a slow news week.
Howard Kurtz: The media can only control their own behavior, not whispering campaigns and YouTube clips. I am baffled why this fringe of a fringe, arguing something that has factually been disproven, has gotten as much attention as it has. Lately, liberal programs have spent more time on the birthers than conservative ones, in an effort to spotlight what they view as craziness on the right.
The most prominent promoter of the notion that Barack Obama still needs to produce a birth certificate is Lou Dobbs. Lou Dobbs hosts a decidedly-not-liberal program on CNN. CNN's president Jonathan Klein has defended Dobbs' Birther comments as "legitimate." Howard Kurtz also works for CNN on the side. And Kurtz has never mentioned, in any of his many forums, Klein's comments.
And now Kurtz claims to be "baffled" why this fringe of a fringe has gotten media attention. The answer is clear: CNN president Jonathan Klein says obsessively insisting that Obama produce a birth certificate is "legitimate" journalism. The fact that Howard Kurtz refuses to say that is really something the Washington Post's Ombudsman needs to address.
It's also another reminder that the conflict of interest inherent in Kurtz's dual employment by both CNN and the Washington Post comes into play even when he never mentions CNN -- in this case, it's difficult to avoid the conclusion that it's the reason why he didn't mention CNN.