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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.
On CNN, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders claimed that former CIA operative Valerie Plame "was not outed as part of a vendetta," adding: "It was gossip. We know where this came from, from Richard Armitage." However, Armitage was just one of several administration officials who disclosed Plame's identity to the press, and special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who investigated the leak, asserted that "multiple people in the White House" engaged in a "concerted action" to "discredit, punish, or seek revenge against" Wilson.
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.