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?"
CNN reported a claim by Saddam Hussein's lawyer that the release of the verdict in his trial on charges of crimes against humanity two days before U.S. congressional midterm elections is timed to influence that vote, but CNN did not provide evidence that might lend credence to such an accusation: If true, this would be far from the first time that the Bush administration has timed an Iraq- or national security-related event for political advantage.
Michael Medved claimed that two recent CNN specials, Broken Government and War on the Middle Class, are evidence that CNN "has been anti-[Bush] administration." In fact, both specials included criticism of and attacks on Democrats.
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.
On CNN's Reliable Sources, National Review contributor editor David Frum baselessly suggested that Democrats, unlike Republicans, "have the impulse to protect and shield their own when their own are guilty," comparing the Democrats' response to allegations that Rep. William Jefferson accepted bribes with the Republican leadership's handling of the Foley matter to make his point.
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.