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
Over the weekend, leaders from the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees reached an agreement on legislation to reform the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs with the full details unveiled during a press conference Monday afternoon. When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this breakthrough in their Monday morning news shows, NBC’s Today decided not to inform their viewers of the story. Maybe it was because NBC was too concerned telling them how Congress wasn't working to notice.
Between the two networks that did cover the latest in the VA scandal, ABC and CBS, ABC’s Good Morning America clocked in with the lowest amount of air time (no surprises here) with only a 16 second news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour. Meanwhile, CBS This Morning had a report from CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes on the bipartisan negotiations and included numerous details of the plan. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Friday, both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the news that Meriam Ibrahaim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian man, fled Sudan with an Italian diplomat on an Italian jet to Rome Thursday and received a blessing from Pope Francis in a private meeting at the Vatican.
Meanwhile, CBS This Morning did cover the story and provided a 29 second news brief at the conclusion of the 7:00 a.m. half hour. Co-host Norah O’Donnell reported that: “And an extraordinary turn of events for a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death in Sudan. Well, she is now free and this morning, she's on her way to the United States after meeting with the pope. Meriam Ibrahim flew to Rome Thursday after being allowed to leave Sudan. She and her family had a private moment with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Ibrahim faced execution in Sudan for marrying a Christian. The decision was overturned last month. Ibrahim has in-laws in New Hampshire.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
The CBS Evening News reported Thursday night on the issue of children fleeing from Central America and crossing into the United States illegally and included an interview with an Fulbright scholar who conducts research on why these children are leaving in large numbers for the U.S. However, an important detail left out by CBS News correspondent Manuel Borjorquez was that the scholar has scores of fans in the liberal media.
Borjorquez interviewed Elizabeth Kennedy, who refers to herself as “an activist scholar,” and asked her if the Obama “administration coming out and saying, ‘you can't stay here we're going to deport you,’ will actually decrease the flow.” Kennedy said that it would not and responded by saying that: “Until root causes are addressed, until people can feel safe at home, until they are not afraid for their lives, people are going to keep migrating because it is a human instinct to want to survive.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Both ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News failed to mention a new, troubling report from the Census Bureau on Thursday night that sales of new homes decreased by 8.1% in June and that May’s originally reported double-digit increase was revised lower, from almost 19% to only 8%.
The CBS Evening News did cover this story, but it only was in the form of a 12-second news brief from anchor Scott Pelley. Pelley grimly reported that: “Today's report on the housing market is raising concerns about the economic recovery. Sales of new homes dropped sharply last month, more than 8%, and that's the largest decline in nearly a year.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Ed Schultz spent a portion of his opening monologue on his MSNBC show Thursday attacking Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his latest policy proposal to reform government welfare programs, declaring that Ryan is “more radical than ever” and he’s “out there selling turd in the punch bowl.”
After trumpeting the long-standing liberal policy of increasing the minimum wage (which never works), Schultz moved to attack Ryan and a speech he made Thursday in which he offered, among many topics, plans to consolidate government welfare programs and reform federal education spending. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today continued to ignore President Obama’s fundraising trips across the country Wednesday morning as he spent Tuesday raising money for Democrats in California and Washington state. While CBS This Morning did mention that Obama was on the West Coast for fundraisers and that it has drawn criticism from Republicans, it lasted for only 27 seconds.
Among the news stories covered at the top of the 8:00 a.m. hour, co-host Gayle King read a news brief in which she stated that “President Obama faces criticism this morning for following through with a fund-raising trip to the West Coast.” King mentioned that Obama made stops in two states to raise money for Democrats and added that: “Many Republicans say that his priorities should be focused on the tensions with Russia and the turmoil in the Middle East.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning both ignored the news Tuesday morning that President Obama’s nominee to become the next Secretary of the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs will testify today on Capitol Hill in his confirmation hearing.
NBC’s Today did cover the news, but only in the form of a 24 second news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour from news reader Natalie Morales. Morales reported that: “VA Secretary nominee Robert McDonald will be in the spotlight today when he goes before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee for a nomination hearing. The former Proctor and Gamble Chairman, President, and CEO was nominated by President Obama last month as the permanent replacement for Eric Shinseki. Shinseki resigned in May in the scandal for long waits of appointments and secret waiting lists at VA medical centers.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On the Monday edition of his MSNBC show, Jose Diaz-Balart rolled out the red carpet for liberal activists in favor of amnesty by broadcasting from the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) conference in Los Angeles. This included inviting an illegal immigrant activist to promote her agenda and pushing another guest to blame House Republicans for the lack of immigration reform. Oh, and he failed to mention that the NCLR was giving him an award at the conference’s closing gala.
Towards the end of a second segment on immigration (more on the first later), he was congratulated by the NCLR’s Clarissa Martinez de Castro for something neither Diaz-Balart nor his guests mentioned. What was the "congratulations" for? Well, turns out, the congratulations was for the NCLR selecting him to receive the Ruben Salazar Award for Communication, which is given “each year to an outstanding communications professional dedicated to portraying news relevant to US Hispanics.” With this being the only mentioning of it on his show (and a vague one at that), talk about a major conflict of interest. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Friday’s Now With Alex Wagner, the editor of the far-left magazine The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel, declared to viewers that they keep in mind that the President of Ukraine has waged war “against his own people in southeastern Ukraine” and even though Russian President Vladimir Putin “is an authoritarian leader,” demonizing him “is not a policy” that the United States should continue.
Vanden Heuvel’s ridiculous comments came during a discussion with Wagner and Politico Magazine editor Susan Glasser about Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine Thursday, apparently by Russian-backed separatists in the region. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Thursday night’s episode of his PBS show, Charlie Rose began by showering guest and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with praises from the likes of Henry Kissinger, the late Maya Angelous and, naturally, Charlie Rose himself! From reading a glowing quote from Henry Kissinger to reading a Maya Angelou poem all about her to Rose announcing “I consider Hillary Clinton a friend,” it was a slobbering start to a softball interview.
After summarizing the premise of her book about her time as Secretary of State, Rose gushed that “few people have spent the past 20 years as she has” with all the positions of power she’s held. It was then that read the following quote from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger: “[W]hen I call Mrs. Clinton Hillary, I do that not so much to indicate familiarity, but to use a name that the whole world uses. It shows to what extend she has succeeded in her people-to-people work.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today chose to ignore the latest news in the IRS scandal Thursday morning that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be investigating the disappearance and destruction of emails pertaining to former IRS official Lois Lerner.
Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America did cover the news, but only devoted 22 seconds to the story in the form of a news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Amy Robach reported “[a]nd in Washington, a major development in the IRS targeting scandal. The agency is accused of targeting conservative groups. Well now there is word the Justice Department will investigate the disappearance of e-mails the agency claims were lost when a computer crashed. The e-mails were to and from Lois Lerner, a key former IRS official who has refused to testify.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Wednesday’s New Day on CNN, co-host Chris Cuomo invited on Pinal County, Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu and proceeded to accuse him of misinformation, “blowing” the crisis of illegal immigration “out of proportion,” distracting his community “about the plan from Obama” and “villainizing these kids” by wondering if some were members of drug gangs.
In the nearly 12-minute interview, Cuomo continued to stand against anyone who disagreed with his own personal agenda on immigration, which apparently includes anyone who raises questions to the federal government about the status of illegal immigrant children in the United States.
On Tuesday morning, NBC’s Today refused to cover the latest news in the Veterans Affairs scandal as the House Veterans Affairs Committee heard testimony Monday night from additional whistle-blowers who faced punishment from superiors for identifying allegedly manipulated response times for veterans who filed benefit and disability claims.
Coverage of the latest news saw only two minutes and 26 seconds of air time total with only 23 seconds of that from ABC’s Good Morning America. Meanwhile, CBS This Morning spent two minutes and three seconds on the story during the 7:00 a.m. hour. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Monday, viewers of CNN saw the hosts of New Day continue their championing of the Obama administration on illegal immigration with co-host Chris Cuomo asking for the rule of law to be set aside. Cuomo also mocked Republicans for being obsessed with the IRS scandal and not responding with compassion to the “flood of child humanity.”
Speaking with CNN contributors Kevin Madden (a Republican strategist) and Dan Restrepo (a former adviser to President Obama on Latin American affairs), Cuomo began by wondering: Dan Restrepo, where is the humanity? People want to argue law. They should. They should also remember it was President Bush that signed this victim protection act that makes it difficult to repatriate kids, but let’s put the law aside because where is the humanity in this? How did kids get lost in partisan politics? [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Thursday’s edition of New Day on CNN included co-host Kate Bolduan continued efforts to loyally follow the Obama administration by lobbying and mocking anyone who dared suggest that they do not support the President or his immigration policy. Today’s guest in the hot seat was Texas Governor Rick Perry.
From start to finish in the eight minute plus interview, Bolduan attacked Perry on everything from securing the border to solving the issue of the undocumented illegal immigrant children to whether he “could get past the politics” and support President Obama. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Thursday morning, ABC and NBC refused to cover the latest scoop in the IRS scandal. Politico reported on Wednesday afternoon that former IRS official Lois Lerner cautioned her colleagues about what they write in emails in case any of them come under congressional investigation.
CBS This Morning did not do much better, as the news warranted only a 19 second mention during the 7:30 a.m. half hour when covering headlines from publications across the country. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Wednesday, CNN’s Brooke Baldwin interviewed Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and continued the liberal media’s line of blaming House Republicans for the immigration crisis by not taking up the Senate bill passed last year. In addition, Baldwin repeatedly challenged Denham to make exceptions for allowing illegal immigrant children to be granted permission to stay in the United States. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
During the barely two minutes of coverage they allotted to a House hearing on VA scandal whistle-blowers, ABC, CBS, and NBC on Wednesday morning refused to report that the VA officials who tried to silence their colleagues for reporting wrongdoing within the agency received over $100,000 in bonuses in 2013.
Coverage of the House of Veterans Affairs Committee hearing from Tuesday night totaled 2 minutes and 24 seconds with only 44 seconds of that from NBC’s Today and a scant 26 seconds from ABC’s Good Morning America. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Reporting on the news Tuesday that recreational marijuana is now legal in Washington state, ABC news correspondent Neal Karlinsky filed a story to ABC’s Good Morning America that stands as the latest pro-marijuana story out of many over the last few months across the networks. Reporting from a pot shop in Seattle, he gushed that Tuesday was “bound to be an interesting day.”
Karlinsky provided no opposing viewpoint to sale of marijuana in The Evergreen State or the drug as a whole. Instead, he interviewed a grandmother who showed up at one pot shop a full 24 hours before it goes on sale and a man who came out of retirement to become a marijuana grower. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Monday, all three broadcast network morning news shows gave mention to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Washington state with sales set to begin on Tuesday. In particular, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today devoted entire segments to the drug and not only were both stories positive, a statement from the former President of Drug Watch International on Today was the only sort of opposing viewpoint provided.
The four-minute-and-eight-second piece by CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen was the latest in what truly has been a network oscillating back and forth between critical stories and puff pieces on pot. Without question, Monday’s report belonged in the latter. After mentioning that sales will begin Tuesday in Washington, Petersen went on to profile the writers of The Cannabis, a website run by The Denver Post that is “about all things pot.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]