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
On Monday night, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC each devoted a segment of their Monday evening newscasts to the news that Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and some local government officials chose not to carry out a federal ruling that calls for gay marriages to be permitted despite a voter-approved ban.
Naturally, the networks provided favorable coverage to those in favor of gay marriage, proclaiming that this “standoff” in Alabama has become “a full-blown civil rights battle” with ABC and CBS comparing Moore to then-Alabama Governor George Wallace, who tried to block the desegregation of the state’s schools in 1963.
Late Sunday afternoon, CNN’s Brian Stelter reported the latest information in the ongoing Brian Williams controversy with the news that the NBC Nightly News anchor has cancelled an appearance on CBS’s The Late Show with David Letterman after reports initially suggested that he was planning to use it to clear the air and answer the many questions surrounding him.
The cancellation comes a day after Williams issued a statement announcing that he will be removing himself from the anchor desk “for the next several days” after realizing that it had “become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news due to my actions.”
On Saturday afternoon, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams released a statement announcing that he will be removing himself from NBC’s evening newscast “for the next several days” following the news that Williams lied about being in a helicopter that was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) over Iraq in March 2003. Later that night, all three of the major broadcast networks devoted briefs to Williams’s leave of absence in what were the first network evening news reports about him since the story was broken by Stars and Stripes on Wednesday.
Following zero coverage on Thursday evening of President Obama drawing a moral equivalency between ISIS and Christians, the networks continued their blackout into a second straight news cycle with no mention of it on any of their Friday morning newscasts. The evening broadcasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC combined to exclude any mention that the President told attendees at the National Prayer Breakfast that acts of terrorism carried out by Islamic extremists are similar to Christianity being the grounds for the Crusades, slavery, and Jim Crow.
Fox News contributors Bernard Goldberg and Charles Krauthammer appeared on separate Fox News Channel (FNC) programs on Thursday to weigh in on the controversy surrounding NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams severe case of lying with Goldberg declaring it “a special kind of lie” Williams committed and Krauthammer remarking that “what stuns me is how dumb this is.”
Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, President Barack Obama took the step of comparing terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists to Christianity being the justification for the Crusades, slavery, and Jim Crow laws in America. The “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC all ignored the President’s critique of Christianity during the Thursday evening newscasts with only ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir even mentioning that the event. Obama’s comments were a focus in the roundtable on FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik appeared on Thursday’s CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin and continued to hold little back in criticizing NBC's Brian Williams for having falsely claimed his helicopter was shot down in Iraq. While also speaking with CNN’s Brian Stelter, Zurawik minced no words in describing what Williams did as lying and something that is grounds for his dismissal from his positions at NBC after having insulted the “millions of military families in this country who suffer everyday diminished lives by the injuries and the wounds that people who fought honorably in those wars suffered.”
On Tuesday night, Lawrence O’Donnell devoted nearly four minutes of MSNBC show The Last Word to reading from and professing his complete admiration for President Barack Obama’s memoir Dreams From My Father as the “most honest,” “open,” “artful,” and “finest literary work ever authored by a President of the United States.” He spent no additional time on the book’s many inconsistencies, which stands in stark contrast to O’Donnell spending 32 minutes and 22 seconds of his program on January 27 and 28 obsessing over the late Chris Kyle’s book (turned hit movie) American Sniper and bringing on multiple guests to discredit Kyle and his story.
On Wednesday, Stars and Stripes reported that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams admitted to not being aboard a helicopter that was shot and had to be rescued following RPG fire during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Williams stated that he “feels terrible” and “was wrong” for not telling viewers that he was instead “on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG.”
The story comes after he reported on Friday's NBC Nightly News that he was reunited on the day prior with the U.S. Army Command Sergeant who was put in charge of his NBC News crew after the helicopter they “were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG” and had to be “rescued, surrounded, and kept alive by an armored mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry.”
While discussing answers by former and likely future presidential candidates on whether they have ever used drugs, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell invoked President Barack Obama’s book Dreams From My Father on Tuesday to provide Obama’s answer to the question in what became a gushing tribute that included a nearly three minute reading from the book. O’Donnell proclaimed that the memoir was the “most honest,” “open,” “artful,” and “finest literary work ever authored by a President of the United States” despite the book not containing “the whole truth of Barack Obama's life.”
On Tuesday’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes continued the liberal spin that the only anti-vaxxers are Republicans. In between soundbites from numerous figures in the Republican Party stating their support for vaccinations and only Republican Senator Rand Paul (Ky.) offering a slightly different take during an interview on Monday, Cordes ruled that the party has been sending “mixed messages” which could, in turn, benefit Hillary Clinton.
Following the unveiling of President Obama’s 2016 budget proposal, two of the three major broadcast networks made time to mention the story during their Monday evening newscasts, but only in the form of short news briefs.
ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir dedicated 16 seconds of airtime to the subject and while it brought up how much of the President’s proposal centers around tax increases, anchor David Muir failed to note that the prospects of the budget proposal coming to fruition is slim to none.
During a live interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Sunday, President Obama told her how, at the White House, “[w]e make beer – The first president since George Washington to make some booze in the White House.”
While it may be true that beer was brewed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the President’s statement about former President George Washington also making beer there was far from accurate. Washington did, in fact, brew his own beer, but not from the White House since he never lived there (as John Adams was the first president to occupy it in 1800).
The nation’s major broadcast networks continued their blackout on Friday morning of not covering the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Keystone XL oil pipeline with zero mentions on their morning newscasts.
Following the Senate’s passage of the bill on Thursday by a bipartisan margin of 62-to-36, the networks passed on even devoting a news brief to the topic during their Thursday evening news programs. When it came to their no coverage on Friday, plenty of other things seemed to capture their attention.
On Thursday night, the major broadcast networks declined to cover reports that one of the five Taliban detainees swapped for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in May 2014 has been seeking to rejoin the terrorism ranks by contacting Taliban members back in Afghanistan.
The news, which was broken by CNN Thursday afternoon, came following reports on Wednesday from Fox News and NBC News that the Army could be pressing desertion charges against Bergdahl for leaving his post prior to his capture in 2009. Since those stories arose, the Pentagon has denied those allegations.
The U.S. Senate took the step Thursday of approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline in a bipartisan fashion by a margin of 62-to-36, with nine Democrats joining 53 Republicans to pass it for the first time after failing to do so under the previous Congress.
When the major English and Spanish language networks aired their Thursday evening newscasts, however, the news of the bill’s passage was nowhere to be found. Not a single second of coverage on Keystone appeared on English language networks ABC, CBS, and NBC in addition to Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision.
On Wednesday, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley was the lone network evening newscast to cover the confirmation hearings of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch before the Senate Judiciary Committee and while that was the case, it was not without bias.
Even though CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes featured numerous soundbites from Senate Republicans questioning Lynch, she failed to include how Lynch stated her support for people being able to seek work in the United States, regardless of their legal status.
During the daily White House press briefing on Wednesday, Deputy Spokesman Eric Schultz had an exchange with ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl where he declined to label the Taliban as a terrorist organization, instead insisting it's “an armed insurgency.”
In an admission that surely would be covered if it were uttered by a spokesman for a Republican president, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC all failed to cover this story during their Wednesday evening newscasts.
Filling in for John Heilemann on the Monday edition of Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect, Campbell Brown took a shot at House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for “whining about President Obama” in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
Following a clip from the interview, Brown first credited Boehner for “holding a very diverse, you know, House together,” but she then quickly reversed course and made this swipe at Boehner and McConnell: “[I]n terms of being messengers for the party right now, it sounds a lot like whining.”
Tuesday marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and, naturally, the event attracted plenty of media coverage. In addition to each of the three major networks devoting segments to it on their evening newscasts, both The Washington Post and The New York Times published stories on the topic.
Over on cable, CNN covered it multiple times throughout the day for a total of 10 minutes and 27 seconds worth of airtime. At the other end of the coverage spectrum, MSNBC pathetically made no mention of the occasion or the ceremony that took place in Poland at the site of the former Nazi concentration camp