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 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.
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On CNN, Howard Kurtz suggested that no Republican presidential candidate has hired "conservative bloggers who have said some outrageous things." In doing so, Kurtz overlooked Sen. John McCain's hiring of conservative blogger Patrick Hynes, who has made numerous inflammatory statements regarding religion and Democrats.
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?"