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, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, Drudge Report, Fox Nation, The Mark Levin Show, Mediaite, Red State, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Townhall.com, Washington Examiner, and Washington Free Beacon.
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
CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes profiled the North Carolina Senate race during Wednesday night’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and devoted much of her report highlighting the fact that the race between incumbent Democratic Senator Kay Hagan and Republican challenger and State House Speaker Thom Tillis has become the most expensive Senate race of the cycle.
Specifically, Cordes blamed “[t]he Supreme Court” as it “paved the way for unlimited outside spending in a 2010 decision commonly known as Citizens United, which overturned parts of a campaign finance law authored by Republican John McCain.”
ABC and NBC failed to cover the upcoming midterm elections during their Wednesday evening broadcasts, but instead devoted over three-and-a-half minutes to going after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) for confronting a protestor earlier in the day during an event marking the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.
Christie, who has received some rare praise from the mainstream media for a Republican, was not that person this evening as ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir reported he was “unscripted” and “lashing out” as he engaged in “a war of words” with the heckler in what “was supposed to be a mission accomplished moment” for promoting the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore.
NBC Nightly News showered praise on President Obama regarding his Ebola response on Tuesday night, declaring that Obama was “hitting back” and “[came] out swinging in this fight over quarantines” against those who demanded and then implemented quarantines for aid workers returning from West Africa.
The rhetoric followed NBC’s Today from Tuesday morning in which Matt Lauer slammed Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for quarantining health care workers that return to the United States through his state after treating those stricken with Ebola in Africa.
With the midterm elections one week away from Tuesday, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley profiled the race in Wisconsin for governor as incumbent Governor and Republican Scott Walker faces off against Democratic candidate Mary Burke.
While it’s certainly worth covering governor’s races across the country, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds chose to use the occasion to go after Walker and his policies by asking Burke if a victory over Walker would “send a message to the rest of the country about the kind of policies and politics that he practices.”
As of Monday night, the major English and Spanish broadcast networks have blacked out all mention of remarks made by Hillary Clinton on Friday at a campaign event for Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley that businesses and corporations do not create jobs.
Speaking at the campaign event, Clinton told the audience that: “Don't let anybody tell you that, you know – it's corporations and businesses that create jobs. You know, that old theory, trickle down economics. That has been tried, that has failed.”
On Monday night, CBS News national correspondent Chip Reid continued to promote an ad by a liberal organization that claims Republicans in Congress are responsible for cutting funding for research hoping to find an Ebola vaccine.
Reid stated at the conclusion of his report on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley how: “One independent liberal group released an ad criticizing Republicans for cutting spending that they say could have led to an Ebola vaccination. Scott, that ad is titled “Republican Cuts Kill," which shows just how tough the political battle over Ebola has come.”
During his MSNBC show on Thursday night, Chris Matthews discussed a soundbite of Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst stating her stance on the Second Amendment from two years ago and interpreted it as “pretty radical” to the point that “[s]he has talked about killing politicians she doesn't agree with.”
First, here is what Ernst actually said (which was uncovered in a Huffington Post story from Wednesday): “I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, nine millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere, but I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family, whether it's from an intruder, or whether it's from a government should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”
On Thursday night, ABC and NBC continued to make no mention of a damning report by USA Today that the Obama administration covered up the release of illegal immigrants from prisons who had committed numerous violent crimes, including rape and murder.
At the conclusion of the morning newscasts of the major broadcast networks, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today had no coverage while CBS This Morning mentioned it in a news brief that lasted for just 21 seconds. By the time the evening newscasts had aired, ABC's World News Tonight with David Muir and NBC Nightly News followed their morning counterparts and said nothing about the report.
On July 24, it was discovered that Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) had plagiarized his thesis statement as part of earning a master’s degree from the United States Army War College and led to the College revoking his degree on October 10. Back on August 7, Walsh announced that he would not be seeking reelection (as he originally planned) and would leave office after his term ends.
Throughout the whole scandal, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC combined for only one story in the form of a news brief on CBS This Morning on July 24 that lasted for 31 seconds.
On Wednesday, the results of the St. Louis County autopsy of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who died after being shot by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, were leaked to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper and largely supports Wilson’s claims that he had a physical altercation with Brown inside his police SUV.
When it came to the major broadcast networks offering any mention of this big development, CBS and NBC failed to cover the story on both their morning and evening newscasts, respectively.
On Tuesday, ABC and NBC made no mention of the upcoming midterm elections, which were two weeks away from Tuesday and include numerous Senate races that will decide whether Republicans or Democrats control the U.S. Senate.
ABC’s Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, NBC’s Today, and NBC Nightly News made no mention of the midterm elections in their evening newscasts while the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley ran not one but two segments on the topic during its Tuesday night broadcast.
With the midterm elections two weeks away from Tuesday, the major broadcast networks on Monday night ignored gaffes from Democratic Senator Mark Udall of Colorado and Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis as both seek to make up deficits against their Republican opponents Cory Gardner and Greg Abbott, respectively.
On Monday night, ABC and NBC offered segments on Monica Lewinsky’s first public comments in years that came during a conference in Philadelphia for millennials by Forbes and explained how she was the first victim of cyberbullying during her affair with then-President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s.
During the segment that aired on NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell declared that the “timing” of Lewinsky speaking out now (in hopes of becoming an advocate against cyberbullying) “couldn’t be worse for Bill and Hillary Clinton.
On Thursday night, MSNBC host Chris Hayes took to bashing Republicans as the main culprits (and not the media) for causing fear in Americans over the current global Ebola outbreak during the first half of his show All In. Following an interview with Democratic Congresswoman Diane DeGette (Colo.) in which the two stated their oppositions to a ban on travel from West Africa and that DeGette was denied the request to have an Ebola hearing in early September, Hayes turned his attention to alleging Republicans of leading the emergence of “a kind-of Ebola trutherism” while “President Obama continues to resist Republicans’s calls for a travel band.”
CBS and NBC continued on Thursday night to harp on the so-called refusal of Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott to initially debate his opponent, Democrat and former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, on Wednesday because of Crist’s usage of a fan that broke the rules of the debate.
After each of the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) mentioned it on their morning newscasts, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News aired new segments and included NBC’s Brian Williams stating that what transpired on Wednesday night “may say more about the broken state of our politics these days than we'd like to admit.”
On Wednesday night, Bill O’Reilly blasted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Thomas Frieden and the federal government’s response to the Ebola epidemic during his Talking Points Memo at the top of his Fox News Channel (FNC) program. He reiterated his call for Frieden to resign in the wake of the CDC’s response and called him out for “spouting nonsense” and being “almost incohent” during an interview on FNC’s The Kelly File on Tuesday night.
Major broadcast networks ABC and NBC both refused to cover the news on Tuesday night that the lone individual the United States has in custody relating to the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya has been charged with murder on multiple counts with 17 total charges that could bring the death penalty if convicted. As for those that did cover it on their Tuesday evening newscasts, both CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and the Fox News Channel’s Special Report with Bret Baier offered news briefs on the subject.
Following a segment that aired on Sunday night’s NBC Nightly News on President Obama’s unpopularity ahead of the midterm elections, the evening news program with two more midterm election segments on Tuesday. Both segments, however, were not without liberal bias, as one segment promoted the “close” Kentucky Senate race and the other discussed three Senate races to watch that present “big hurdles” for a Republican Senate majority.
On Friday afternoon, Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis and her campaign released a new ad that took aim at her Republican opponent Greg Abbott as a “hypocrite” for supposedly not caring about the disabled after becoming a paraplegic in 1984.
Since the despicable ad aired, only one story has been offered on the morning or evening newscasts of the major broadcast networks through Monday night. That single story came on Tuesday morning during the 7:30 a.m. half-hour of NBC’s Today by NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander and lasted just over two minutes.
On Sunday, NBC Nightly News took the unusual step of running a story that not only discussed the upcoming midterm elections but also President Obama’s unpopularity on the campaign trail as Democrats struggle to keep control of the Senate.
The problem with the story, however, was that it aired on Sunday night, when millions of Americans are watching football, spending time with family or at church and thus not watching the news.