Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center
Curtis Houck currently serves as the Managing Editor of NewsBusters after almost two years as a news analyst in the Media Research Center’s News Analysis Division. During that time, he served as the sole evening news analyst, chronicling the best and worst of the network evening newscasts, primetime cable shows, and late-night comedy programs. From January 2016 to April 2016, he also acted as the Sunday news analyst for NewsBusters.
In the roughly two years that he's been with NewsBusters, his work has been featured on various Fox News Channel programs and outlets such as The Blaze, Breitbart, Conservative Review, The Daily Caller, The Daily Wire, Drudge Report, The Federalist, FoxNews.com, The Mark Levin Show, Mediaite, New York Times, Red State, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Resurgent, Townhall, Washington Examiner, The Washington Post, Washington Free Beacon, and The Wrap. He’s also appeared on Cheddar, NRA-TV, and Newsmax TV plus hundreds of radio appearances from coast to coast on both local and syndicated programs.
He returned full-time to the MRC after serving in summer 2013 as an intern with CNS News. Curtis is a 2014 graduate of Penn State University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Political Science. He also had the pleasure of interning with The Heritage Foundation in fall 2013. A proud native of Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, Curtis is also an Eagle Scout and lives in Vienna, Virginia.
Latest from Curtis Houck
During his MSNBC show All In on Monday night, Chris Hayes unleashed a nine-minute monologue in light of the Jonathan Gruber videos to defend what he saw as an assault on ObamaCare by Republicans and went as far as comparing ObamaCare’s passage to that of the Rosetta space probe that landed on a comet on November 12.
Hayes hailed what transpired in 2009 and 2010 as “a remarkable and improbable legislative success story, possible one of the greatest of our time” and “about as likely as landing a tiny rover on moving comet, hurdling through space hundreds of millions of miles away from Earth.”
On Monday, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir and NBC Nightly News continued to ignore the news surrounding videos unearthed of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber praising “lack of transparency” as a “political advantage” and insulting voters as stupid regarding the law’s passage and contents. With tonight’s omissions, the blackout of coverage on Gruber from these two programs now stands at ten days.
Thus far, ABC has only mentioned Gruber once since the first video surfaced on November 7 and it was saved for its Sunday morning political talk show This Week with George Stephanopoulos. When it comes to NBC’s total number of mentions, they have only been able to muster two total mentions of Gruber with one on its Sunday morning talk show Meet the Press and another on Monday morning’s Today.
As of Saturday afternoon and a full eight days after the first video of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber surfaced, major broadcast networks ABC and NBC and the Los Angeles Times have persisted in keeping their audiences in the dark on this story.
Over the course of Friday evening and Saturday morning, news outlets that previously had ignored Gruber arrived on the scene included the Associated Press (AP), the print edition of The New York Times, and USA Today. The New York Times posted a second entry on one of its blog sites (known as The Upshot) and published its first print story on A12 of Saturday’s newspaper.
During her Fox Business Network (FBN) show on Friday afternoon, Melissa Francis told viewers that she “was silenced” by executives at CNBC when worked there after she criticized ObamaCare on-air and told viewers that the “math of ObamaCare simply didn’t work.”
Speaking in regards to what ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber said about relying on the “stupidity” of voter and the need for lying to get the law passed, Francis opined that while: “It is shocking, but it actually doesn’t surprise me because when I was at CNBC, I pointed out to my viewers that the math of ObamaCare simply didn’t work. Not the politics by the way, just the basic math and when I did that, I was silenced.”
Early Friday morning, ABCNews.com published an exclusive article that unearthed a secret email listserv maintained by two of Hillary Clinton’s possible 2016 presidential campaign advisers that, among other things, allowed them to express their desires to “smite Republicans mafia-style” and “punish those voters.”
With these emails now public, the question will be: Will any of ABC’s newscasts or Sunday morning political talk show This Week even mention this story? If a secret email listerv were discovered involving political operatives for a or future 2016 GOP Presidential candidates, let alone a Republican elected official, it’s a safe bet the liberal media would have multiple helpings of coverage.
As ABC and NBC continued to censor any mention of the disparaging comments made by ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber from their Thursday night newscasts, CBS aired second story on Gruber with this one (and the other coming from Thursday’s CBS This Morning) airing on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.
While the report by CBS News national correspondent Wyatt Andrews covered what Gruber said, how Democrats and Republicans have responded, and that he was a paid White House adviser on ObamaCare, Andrews did not attempt to point out the contradiction House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi createdThursday when she denied ever having heard of Gruber when she had in fact praised him in 2009.
Major broadcast network NBC broke its silence and joined fellow networks ABC and CBS on Wednesday night in covering the news that the Alaska Senate race has been called with Republican challenger Dan Sullivan being declared the winner over Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Begich.
NBC Nightly News aired a 23-second news brief on the election result, which gives the GOP at least 53 Senate seats in the next Congress, with a 54th seat possible if Republican Congressman and challenger Bill Cassidy defeats Democratic incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu in the runoff election on December 6 in Louisiana.
During Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, NBC’s chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson enthusiastically promoted the global warming agreement between the United States and China that was announced earlier in the day, but fretted that Republicans were “already putting up roadblocks if congressional action is needed.”
Anchor Brian Williams hyped that it was “[a] surprise announcement” and “a history making deal” that will “greatly reduce carbon emissions.” Those generous descriptions segued into Thompson’s report as she mentioned that deal was between the two nations that were responsible for “producing 39 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases last year.”
On Wednesday night, ABC News continued to promote a new book with the “astonishing” claim that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and had two children together with a flattering one-and-a-half minute segment on ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir.
Anchor David Muir began by stating that it “has sparked a fiery debate among the faithful” while ABC News chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran characterized the book’s central premise as an “astonishing and, to many, blasphemous claim” that “Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had two sons with her, is history.”
During a discussion on MSNBC’s The Cycle about the disparaging comments ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber made about the law’s passage and the “stupidity” of voters, New York Times writer and substitute Cycle co-host Josh Barro sought to defend him by blasting the expectations that Americans have about health care as “completely incoherent” and lying was the only solution to make them happy. Barro told fellow panelists and guest Lauren Fox of National Journal that “what drives me crazy about this story” was that: “Jonathan Gruber was right. Public opinion on health care policy is just completely incoherent.”
On Tuesday, NBC Nightly News channeled President Barack Obama from the day after the midterm elections and pointed to the low voter turnout for the election that saw Republicans gain control of the United States Senate as well as make additional gains in the House of Representatives.
In a news brief, anchor Brian Williams highlighted the latest turnout estimate for “last week’s wave election for the GOP” as being “very bad” at “36.3 percent.” Williams noted that it would be the lowest in both “the modern era” and “since 1942, when a unified and preoccupied nation” was engaged in World War II when only 33.9 percent came out to vote.
Following a story on campaign spending ahead of the midterm elections on October 30, CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes filed a similar report on Tuesday night’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley with the topic focusing specifically on the “dark money groups” that are not required to disclose their donors.
In setting up Cordes’s story, anchor Scott Pelley pivoted from a report on corruption and brutal crackdowns by the authoritarian Communist regime in China to saying that “[w]ell, government even in America is becoming murkier because of campaign finance laws that have become nearly a free-for-all.” When the report ended, he hailed it as “insight from Capitol Hill” from Cordes.
During his MSNBC program on Monday night, Chris Matthews referred to a weekend gathering of the Israeli American Council (IAC) that is backed by Las Vegas casino owner and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson as his own “whore bar” where Republican figures “say anything for that guy, because he’s a hawk, to get his money.”
Matthews made the disparaging comments during a discussion with The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart and David Corn of Mother Jones about foreign policy and his belief that some in the Republican Party are eager to start a war with Iran.
On Friday, the group American Commitment uploaded a video to YouTube of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber telling a group of healthcare economists in 2013 that the “lack of transparency” regarding the bill’s contents and “the stupidity of the American voter” were critical to its passage through Congress in 2010.
Since the video was uploaded, the major English and Spanish broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, and Telemundo have chosen not to cover this devastating video on either their morning or evening newscasts. During the day on Monday alone, Gruber’s comments were covered on cable news channels CNN and the Fox News Channel (FNC) in addition to news sites ranging from The Daily Signal to Forbes to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
At the conclusion of her MSNBC show on Thursday night, Rachel Maddow was absolutely beside herself over the fact that Republicans made massive gains in state legislatures across the country and excoriated Democrats for appearing to have no such strategy or interest in winning seats on the state level.
Following Tuesday’s midterm elections, Republicans gained a total of 310 seats in states from coast to coast and, by Wednesday, the GOP completely controlled 30 of the 50 state legislatures in the country (by early next year) with Democrats having less than ten now to their credit.
On Thursday night, NBC Nightly News played up the current political state of affairs in Washington as both Republicans and Democrats having “dug in” to their policy preferences, but focused only on how Republicans want to repeal “the President’s signature accomplishment” and are angered that he will go through with an executive order on illegal immigration.
Anchor Brian Williams first teased the upcoming segment by NBC News senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing by wondering “how's that cooperation going that everybody promised after the election results.”
During Thursday’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, Nancy Cordes continued to disparage conservatives, as she referred to some of the newly elected House of Representatives members as being to Speaker John Boehner’s “far right flank” and joining returning Representatives who stifled “Boehner’s own attempts” to address illegal immigration (that President Obama will now act upon in an expected executive order).
Her choice of words regarding conservatives comes after she badgered Boehner at his weekly press conference earlier in the day, during which she asked him how he will “deal with” this “new crop of conservatives” that she portrayed as having said “among other things, that women need to submit to the authority of their husbands, that Hillary Clinton is the anti-Christ” and “don’t think you’re conservative enough.”
During Thursday’s edition of The Five on the Fox News Channel (FNC), co-host Bob Beckel displayed his middle finger toward fellow panelist Jesse Watters during a discussion about how race-baiting by Democrats in the runup to the 2014 midterm elections backfired.
The discussion erupted following a point from Watters that the Democratic Party uses race in trying to convince voters to not vote Republican because they’re afraid to lose scores of African-American voters that have routinely voted for Democrats. Co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle added that such rhetoric doesn’t work in bringing Americans together.
During MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on Wednesday night, the show’s panel fretted over the droves of Democrats that ran campaigns against President Barack Obama in the midterm elections (instead of embracing him) and that led The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel to wonder if such a tactic affected turnout among certain demographics due to “the dissing of a President.”
Vanden Heuvel first brought up an article where Democratic leadership in Congress sought the President’s help on something (she said it was legislation; the New York Times story she referred to cited ambassadorship approvals) only to be refused any help to show as an example of how many in the Democratic Party have been harboring “a lot of resentment” toward Obama.
Early Wednesday morning, liberal CNN political commentator Cornell Belcher groaned during CNN’s midterms elections coverage that the Democratic Party’s top campaigner in President Barack Obama was unable to defend attacks against his record and help Democrats on the campaign trailer because he “was basically locked away in the White House."