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 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]
On Thursday, all three broadcast news networks continued to ignore the latest outrage over ObamaCare and the Veterans Affairs scandal. Instead, CBS This Morning chose to file a 3 minute and 26 seconds report on what Malia Obama’s plans were for her 16th birthday on Friday.
Two audits released Tuesday produced scathing critiques of the health insurance marketplaces under ObamaCare while a top official at the Veterans Affairs Administration resigned Wednesday after refusing to take serious the early reports from whistle-blowers who brought the massive scandal to light. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, all three broadcast news networks and the two largest Spanish language evening network newscasts refused to cover disturbing news regarding ObamaCare. Two audits from the Health and Human Services Department’s Inspector General found Tuesday that 2.6 million unresolved problems in the applications of those seeking health care on the federal marketplace (used in 36 states).
While the news media are conducting a blackout on this troubling news about Obamacare, the networks gave plenty of coverage to President Obama’s so-called ‘victory-lap’ in April when the number of those ostensibly enrolled hit eight million people and weeks earlier when the deadline to receive initial coverage passed.
The broadcast network morning newscasts came and went on Tuesday with NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignoring President Obama’s latest rant against Republicans. This was despite the fact that both broke their regular scheduling on Monday to cover remarks in full.
For it’s part, CBS This Morning devoted a full 2 minutes and 45 seconds to Obama’s rant against House Republicans for refusing to accept his parameters for immigration reform and bucking their own Speaker on his willingness to take up the matter. In his report, CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante cast Obama in a heroic light, heralding how he: [MP3 audio here; Video and quote below the jump]
On Monday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, substitute host and NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander gave Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz the floor to sound off on the rulings from the Supreme Court on religious freedom and public employee unions. Not surprisingly, he refused to challenge the DNC Chair or even play devil’s advocate. Nor did Alexander bring on a Republican or conservative guest for the opposing perspective both before or after the segment. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
During Thursday’s edition of The Situation Room on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer committed an act of journalism in grilling IRS Commissioner John Koskinen with question after question about the growing IRS e-mail scandal. His questioning included one where he asked (via a Twitter follower), “[w]hy shouldn’t taxpayers use the crashed hard drive excuse when undergoing an IRS audit?”
The interview, which lasted 13 minutes and 47 seconds, is more time than ABC and NBC spent on the IRS e-mail scandal combined on both their morning and evening news programs since the outrage surrounding lost emails of IRS employees, including former employee Lois Lerner, broke on June 13. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Thursday’s edition of CBS This Morning featured the latest installment in the media’s love affair with President Barack Obama. CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante switched course from a constructive work of journalism he did Tuesday to a fluff piece on how Obama uses letters Americans send to the White House “to construct his political agenda.”
The story comes as Obama is going to Minnesota today where he’ll have lunch with a woman who wrote to him about how sending her two children to daycare costs more than her family’s mortgage payment. Plante marveled about how the woman’s letter “fit perfectly into the president's agenda to emphasize the difficulties facing working families.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Wednesday, NBC’s Today was the only broadcast network morning news show to give coverage to House Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama. Today devoted 19 seconds to the story, while both ABC and CBS ignored it completely.
During the 7:00 a.m. news brief, NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander reported that Boehner was considering a lawsuit against the President for “exceeding his constitutional authority when it comes to administering the laws that Congress passes.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Tuesday night’s edition of his PBS show, Charlie Rose interviewed former Vice President Dick Cheney and pushed him to “give the president some credit for trying” to negotiate for a contingent of American troops to stay in Iraq after the status of forces agreement expired in 2011.
Cheney reminded Rose that, in his mind, Iraq “was in pretty good shape” when he and then-President George W. Bush left office. From there, he said that there “was no follow-up” on the part of the Obama administration for a residual presence to give the Iraqi military “intelligence capabilities, some air assets, training and so forth that would allow them to maintain control over their own sovereign territory.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
It turns out that Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that he’s not wealthy and does not own any stocks, bonds, or a savings account isn’t entirely true. Unfortunately, only one network did the work to debunk his statement from a speech at the White House Summit on Working Families yesterday.
CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network show on Monday evening or Tuesday morning that looked into Biden’s claims, which CBS News Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante found to be partially false. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Mark Halperin, a frequent panelist on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, made an intriguing observation on Monday’s show about the IRS scandal. After saying that the recent news regarding the destroyed hard drive belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner would be “a test for the news media,” Halperin took a stance on the scandal that few on the cable channel would dare take.
“I think with a different administration, one that was a Republican administration, this story would be a national obsession and, instead, it's getting coverage here and a few other places, but it really deserves a lot more questions,” opined Halperin. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Friday’s edition of CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon, host Don Lemon and CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash made some unusual remarks about a Republican, but later retreated to downplaying one of the many scandals facing the Obama administration this midterm election year.
Discussing a hearing being held by the House Ways and Means Committee that featured testimony from IRS commissioner John Koskinen regarding the destroyed -- or as the IRS terms it "recycled" -- hard drive of former IRS official Lois Lerner, Lemon began by referring to Congressman Paul Ryan as “not a happy man today.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Despite the newest revelation in the Veterans Affairs scandal on Thursday that one in ten veterans have to wait at least one month before they can get an appointment to see a doctor, CBS and NBC refused to cover the latest news in both their evening news shows on Thursday night as well as their morning shows on Friday morning.
ABC News only gave 14 seconds of coverage to the issue in a news brief during the 7:00 am hour on Friday’s Good Morning America. CBS News chose to instead publish an article about it on their website Thursday afternoon. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Wednesday night, word came out via Politico that the hard drive to the computer of former IRS official Lois Lerner was destroyed and recycled. This follows the news that emails from Lerner and six other officials that were being investigated for the IRS' pointed targeting of conservative non-profits were lost. Without a doubt, this revelation is big news. But not in the minds of ABC, CBS, and NBC as all gave no mention to the matter.
Only ABC’s Good Morning America included a brief mention on the scrolling news feed at the bottom of the screen. The small headline read, ‘Computer Hard Drive Belong to Former IRS Official at Center of Targeting Scandal Was Destroyed, According to Politico.’
On Tuesday night, CBS and NBC led their evening newscasts with the arrest of the supposed mastermind of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya while ABC reported it right after two short stories on devastating tornadoes in the Midwest.
To their credit, CBS and ABC made a serious attempt at bias-free reporting but NBC’s Nightly News fell short. On top of that, the peacock network continued their biased perspective this morning on the Today show. [See video below. MP3 audio here]
An article appearing in the Wednesday print edition of the New York Times (“In Wichita, Koch Influence Is Revered and Reviled”), reporter Carl Hulse traveled to the hometown of businessmen and libertarian donors Charles and David Koch in Wichita, Kansas.
Much to the dismay of the newspaper that has an obsession with peddling Democratic attacks on the Koch brothers, Hulse was unable to find anyone besides three progressive activists that had anything negative to say about them. Instead, he found that the Koch brothers are held in high regard in the community where, among many generous donations, the Wichita State University basketball arena was renamed the Charles Koch Arena in 2003 after he gave $6 million to have it completely renovated. Here’s more from Hulse: