NewsBusters fails to meet its own standard for "class"

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

It's becoming increasingly likely that the cadre of crack "bias" sleuths over at NewsBusters don't even read their own blog. I'm not sure how else to explain this latest bit of staggering hypocrisy.

Two days ago, NewsBuster Matthew Balan lashed out at Baltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik, complaining that Zurawik "didn't even wait a full 24 hours after Robert Novak's death to launch a stinging criticism of the former Crossfire host on the newspaper's website on Tuesday." Balan wrote: "Even the liberal CNN, who, as Zurawik noted, chose to not renew Novak's contract, paid tribute to the veteran columnist. That might give you a hint as to how much class, or lack thereof, the TV critic has."

OK, so Mr. Zurawik demonstrated a lack of "class" by criticizing Novak less than 24 hours after the storied political columnist passed away. When I read this, I found myself a little confused, given that when Chicago author and broadcaster Studs Terkel passed away on October 31, 2008, Mr. Balan's fellow NewsBuster Michael M. Bates couldn't wait 24 hours before posting a screed attacking Terkel as "a guy who wouldn't say whether he was a Communist and, apparently, a guy who -- charitably -- exaggerated a great deal."

But I decided to give NewsBusters a break, thinking that perhaps their "24 hour" standard for decency had evolved after Terkel passed away. But checking the website again this morning, I found that NewsBuster Tim Graham had posted an entry attacking 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt -- who passed away yesterday -- as "a pioneer in hard-hitting liberal attack journalism" who kowtowed to "favored Democrats."

And this was after another NewsBuster, Brent Baker, heaped praise on Hewitt for once "reprimanding" Dan Rather.

So do they read their own blog? Who knows... What is certain is that they've piled hypocrisy on top of internal contradictions in pursuit of a confused product that, by their own standard, lacks "class."

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