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."
In a recent column, Newsweek's Keith Naughton stated as fact that Sen. Barack Obama's "assertion that Japanese cars average 45mpg, when the actual mileage is closer [to] 30mpg" was a "factual gaffe," echoing the Chicago Tribune's Jim Mateja. Likewise, The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz uncritically reprinted part of a Power Line post that highlighted Mateja's claim. However, a report from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change stated that the 2002 average fleet fuel economy value in Japan was 46.3 miles per gallon when converted to the U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard.
In his "Media Notes" column, Howard Kurtz uncritically reprinted responses by conservative bloggers to Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' (D) assertion that the Kansas National Guard was not able to respond quickly to the Greensburg tornado because much of its equipment is deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kurtz did not cite statistics reported in a New York Times article that support Sebelius' claim -- an article he had previously mentioned -- much less try to sort out the merits of the competing claims.
On CNN, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz asked: "Republicans were willing to participate in an MSNBC debate with a guy [Chris Matthews] who used to work for Jimmy Carter and Tip O'Neill. Should Democrats be refusing to debate on Fox News?" Similarly, an Associated Press article implicitly contrasted Matthews, presented as not overtly partisan, with MSNBC colleague Keith Olbermann. Neither Kurtz nor the AP mentioned the numerous instances in which Matthews has showered praise on several of the Republican presidential hopefuls.