CNN's Howard Kurtz noted Fox News' role in advancing the "bogus charge" -- first made in an article on InsightMag.com -- that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was behind an allegation that Sen. Barack Obama was educated for several years in a madrassa. And a CNN report flatly disproved the Obama-madrassa allegation. But CNN did not report on air that Glenn Beck had also promoted the "bogus charge" against Clinton.
On Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz continued his pattern of raising the issue of media bias by repeating conservative claims in the form of questions when he asked on November 12 if "journalists [are] quietly rejoicing over the Democratic takeover of Congress." He then wondered: "[W]ill they cover Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid as aggressively as they once scrutinized Newt Gingrich?"
CNN host and Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz suggested that an account of the scandal surrounding Rep. Mark Foley on Harper's magazine's website is evidence that "Democratic operatives" were "involved in spreading the story to the press" and may have had "partisan" reasons for doing so. But Kurtz ignored the evidence in the Harper's article leading to its author's conclusion with "absolute certainty" that "there was never a plan to undermine the G.O.P. or to destroy [House Speaker J. Dennis] Hastert personally," as well as ignoring a report by his own newspaper, The Washington Post.
In their coverage of the Clinton-Wallace interview, the media largely ignored the substance of former President Clinton's criticism of the Bush administration's efforts to combat terrorism, instead focusing on Clinton's behavior during the interview or the possibility that his reaction was motivated by politics.
In discussing former President Clinton's interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Howard Kurtz wrote in his column that Clinton gave an "impassioned, finger-wagging answer" to Wallace's question about why he failed to "do more ... and put [Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda] out of business." On CNN's Reliable Sources, Kurtz asserted, "[I]t would seem that ... the former president just went overboard." But in neither instance did Kurtz indicate that Clinton gave a substantive defense of his administration's anti-terror efforts in response.
On CNN's Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz asserted that CBS News' "Jim Axelrod, and some of the other White House correspondents, sounded almost offended that Bush delivered what they considered to be a partisan speech on the 9-11 anniversary." But there was a reason reporters might have reacted as they did to Bush's speech: Before the address, the White House had repeatedly pledged that Bush's September 11 address to the nation would not be "political," but rather a "reflection" of what the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks meant to him and to America.
On CNN's Reliable Sources, host Howard Kurtz suggested that "liberal hypocrisy" was inherent in Democrats' objections to ABC's "docudrama" The Path to 9/11. Kurtz highlighted radio host Michael Medved's criticism of Democratic objections to the film and appeared to adopt Medved's assertion that Democrats are seeking to "censor" the film. But Kurtz neglected to discuss the "hypocrisy" in the reaction to the film by some conservatives -- including Medved.
In their coverage of Ann Coulter's attacks on the widows of 9-11 victims, both Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz and ABC's Jake Tapper denounced Coulter's inflammatory rhetoric while asserting that her underlying point -- that Democrats deliberately put forward "infallible" advocates in order to squelch honest debate -- is "valid" and "perfectly acceptable." But a closer examination of the specific examples of "infallible" advocates cited by Coulter turns up evidence that, in every case, these individuals have faced strong Republican opposition and, quite often, ad hominem attacks from conservatives.
Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz presented Fox News' Brit Hume as the "Low-Key Voice of Conservatism on Fox News" who rarely -- if ever -- runs afoul of the facts on his nightly news program. Kurtz's profile of Hume largely ignored the numerous false and misleading statements Hume has made during his tenure as a Fox News host and commentator, and even presented some of Hume's falsehoods as the truth.
On CNN's Reliable Sources, while discussing Rep. Tom DeLay's intention to resign, Howard Kurtz asked conservative Power Line blogger Scott Johnson if "the press" was "to blame for the fact that the congressman is under indictment" in Texas, because "a lot of people have criticized those charges." Later, while discussing media coverage of Rep. Cynthia McKinney's recent altercation with a Capitol Police officer, Kurtz asked Johnson whether "some in the media" have "gone easy on McKinney ... because she's a liberal Democrat." The comments are not the first Kurtz has made suggesting that the media's purported liberalism controls their coverage of political events or scandals.
Responding to readers' comments on The Washington Post's falsehood-laden April 9 editorial on President Bush's authorization of intelligence leaks, Post media writer Howard Kurtz -- instead of reporting on the editorial's numerous falsehoods -- stated: "I don't care what Post editorials say, except as a reader."
In keeping with a pattern at The Washington Post, Shailagh Murray and Howard Kurtz dismissed suggestions that the Post should follow up on a National Journal article on an internal Bush administration review, which found that President Bush had been specifically advised that claims he made during his 2003 State of the Union address about Iraq's nuclear program might not be true. Despite the Post's failure to report on the revelation, Murray suggested readers already knew "that Bush had some indication" the intelligence he cited "was faulty."
CNN Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz noted that Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll, released on March 30 by Iraqi insurgents who had held her for 82 days, had "been criticized and had her motives questioned by skeptics, critics, and conspiracy theorists here at home." But Kurtz seemed to have forgotten that he had joined numerous right-wing media figures in questioning the motives behind her statements.