On CNN's Reliable Sources, while discussing the November 15 Democratic presidential debate, Howard Kurtz did not challenge university professor Steve Roberts' dismissal of criticism of Tim Russert's questions to Sen. Hillary Clinton at the October 30 debate, even though at least two of the questions Russert posed included falsehoods.
Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote that NBC Washington bureau chief Tim Russert "was ripped by liberal bloggers" after "he repeatedly pressed Hillary Clinton during a presidential debate." But Kurtz did not note that at least two of the questions Russert posed to Clinton included falsehoods.
Discussing Sen. Hillary Clinton's performance during the Democratic presidential debate, Chris Matthews claimed that Clinton made herself "look like a switcher" when responding to questions about her views on Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. In fact, Clinton maintained that Spitzer's plan "ma[de] sense," explaining that "what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform" and claiming: "I believe we need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform because no state, no matter how well-intentioned, can fill this gap. There needs to be federal action on immigration reform." Matthews and other media figures invoked Sen. John Kerry's alleged "flip-flopping," suggesting that Clinton made inconsistent statements.
Discussing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's new television advertisement, Howard Kurtz began an article: "In a stark, black-and-white ad that pictures her in a mask at Ground Zero, Hillary Rodham Clinton is treading on Rudy Giuliani's turf." Similarly, on CNN's American Morning, John Roberts said that Clinton's ad "really is a shot across Rudy Giuliani's bow to say, 'You're not the only one who has a claim to 9-11 here.' But is she going too far? Is she politicizing 9-11?" Roberts did not ask whether Giuliani, who has repeatedly discussed 9-11 in campaign settings, is "going too far" or "politicizing 9-11."
During a discussion of Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS, CNN's Howard Kurtz asked if it was "plausible" that CBS made Rather "a scapegoat to placate the Bush administration" over the controversial 60 Minutes II report about President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard, as Rather alleges. Kurtz's guests -- conservative radio host Laura Ingraham and former CBS Evening News executive producer Rome Hartman -- disputed Rather's assertion. But neither Kurtz nor his guests mentioned two other instances in which CBS allegedly acted to placate the White House in 2004.
On CNN's Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz repeated a pattern in which he suggests that the media skew coverage against Republicans by asking -- regarding scrutiny of Rudy Giuliani's actions related to 9-11 -- "Why all the press scrutiny of the mayor's performance that day?" and "Is there any possibility that he's being kind of Swiftboated here?" He also asserted: "[M]y impression is that these stories are being driven by New York Fire Department officials and others in the city who just don't like Rudy." But scrutiny of Giuliani has not been confined to "the mayor's performance that day," and it is not just "Fire Department officials" and others "who just don't like" him who have said that his actions have been inadequately scrutinized.
On Glenn Beck, Howard Kurtz said that Keith Olbermann has described Fox News as a channel that "poses as a news organization and puts out dangerous misinformation [and] is a cheerleader for the Bush administration, that it is misinforming our society." Kurtz added: "But you know what? They're entitled to do that."