When the Washington Post's "conservative" blogger Jennifer Rubin last Sunday accused the right-leaning media of being "embarrassingly bad this election cycle," it seemed a metaphysical certitude CNN's Howard Kurtz would soon have her on to advance her view.
True to form, exactly one week later there was Rubin on Reliable Sources with the host saying, "This indictment suggests, my reading of it, that the conservative media, parts of the conservative media are essentially corrupt" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Manchester Union Leader endorsing Newt Gingrich this week, that’s a very big deal in New Hampshire prompting you Jennifer Rubin to write on your Washington Post blog, "The track record of the right-leaning media including talk shows and blogs, embarrassingly bad this election cycle, and amounts to circling the wagons rather than reporting accurately the serious missteps of people atop the polls.” Why would that be?
JENNIFER RUBIN, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think part of the conservative media operates in opposition to what they see as the liberal media. That is their cause, that’s the way they gather an audience. That's entertainment for many of their viewers, and I think sometimes that overrides their other function or their other role which is news coverage, news analyzation, and the rest. So, I think we've had a lot of sort of defensive media from the right. I actually think that is changing however somewhat over the last few weeks. And the last few days, rather. And I think you see a more critical vein now that he is rising in the polls, now that there is a lot of questions about his past, now that his past representation of Freddie Mac, now that his positions on global warming, on the individual mandate are coming out, you're seeing a much more critical voice begin to emerge.
KURTZ: Among some, but you did say in the original piece that there were some exceptions. But Bill Press, this indictment suggests, my reading of it, that the conservative media, parts of the conservative media are essentially corrupt. In other words they’re more interested in protecting or promoting certain Republican politicians than they are in being candid.
In fairness, Kurtz did later ask guest Steve Roberts, "Is it any different than what a lot of people would call the liberal media being in the tank for Barack Obama?"
The problem with that is the conservative media are up front in their ideology and are not trying to hide it. When you listen to a Rush Limbaugh or a Sean Hannity for example, you know you're listening to a conservative. They're certainly not trying to disguise that fact.
By contrast, much of the liberal media are hiding behind a dishonest veil of impartiality.
Also of note, Kurtz chose not to ask Rubin about how the Post edited her article on this subject to make it even harsher. As NewsBusters reported Monday:
When you go to Rubin’s blog, you quickly notice that this has not been merely excerpted. It’s been rewritten. The Posties did not alter the general thrust of Rubin’s indictment of the conservative media, but she touts some conservative media figures and adds nuance – which the Post removed. It can’t be said that passages were removed for space. It was rewritten to pack a wallop.
For some reason so-called media analyst Howard Kurtz didn't bring up any of these alterations made by the Post.
Why might that be?