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
Ed Schultz used his opening monologue during his MSNBC show on Tuesday to paint Republicans as the “desperate” and “delusional” party in trouble ahead of the midterm elections and informed his audience that “people are better off today than they were four years ago” (before dismissing the struggling wages in the country as “a different thing”).
He began by dismissing the idea that Republicans are better positioned to gain ground in Congress following the midterm elections and strangely bashed The Washington Post and The New York Times for predicting GOP victories. He said The Washington Post was “trying to convince the world” that Republicans will succeed in November while the liberal New York Times apparently “doesn’t seem to get enough of it.”
On Monday night, ABC and NBC continued its blackout of Vice President Joe Biden’s latest gaffes regarding U.S. allies in the Middle East that led to the White House forcing Biden to call and apologize to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates over the weekend.
Additionally, NBC continued to not cover Biden’s other gaffe made in the same speech at Harvard University, in which he uttered an expletive when remarking to Harvard’s student body vice president about being the second person in command.
At the conclusion of the 6:30 a.m. news briefing during Friday’s New Day on CNN, substitute news reader John Berman played video of Vice President Joe Biden jokingly asking Harvard University’s student body vice president if he finds his job “a b****” after the student introduced himself to ask a question.
Following the video and Berman iterating that Biden later clarified that he does indeed like his job and “the guy that he works for,” New Day host Chris Cuomo gushed how he “still love[s] Biden for what he is” and that “I think his candor is refreshing.”
Following President Obama’s speech on the economy on Thursday, the PBS NewsHour offered a 48-second news brief on the subject, in which co-anchor Gwen Ifill offered no opposing viewpoint to the President’s claim in his speech that “by every measure, the country is better off than when he took office.”
The show then played a soundbite of the President, in which he lamented that “millions of Americans don't yet feel enough of the benefits of a growing economy where it matters most, and that’s in their own lives and these truths aren't incompatible. Our broader economy, in the aggregate, has come a long way, but the gains of recovery are not yet broadly shared.”
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams conducted a question and answer session on Facebook following Wednesday night’s program and defended his over 4-minute-long interview with actor and activist Ben Affleck that aired on Tuesday night after a woman asked him why such an interview would air “promoting his new movie on a hard news show.”
Williams responded by equating his show to a newspaper in that “newspapers have sections, and life’s too short.” He said that he “could EASILY [emphasis his] fill the entire 30 minute slot with nothing but hard news, especially in our post 9-11 era. But there’s variety to life.”
After the major broadcast networks offered no coverage of jailed Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi’s mother testifying before Congress on Wednesday, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes concluded his primetime show All In by discussing the case with retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander and talk show host Montel Williams (who also testified). In describing the case, Hayes determined that Tahmooressi’s plight has become a “kind of cause célèbre in conservative media” (instead of suggesting that it deserves to be a national one).
On Wednesday night, the major broadcast networks failed to report on news that an internal memo was sent to members of the intelligence community by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper praising their efforts on identifying the rise of ISIS after President Barack Obama blamed them for not doing so in an interview on Sunday’s 60 Minutes.
The memo was able to be obtained by Fox News and its chief intelligence correspondent, Catherine Herridge and it detailed how government intelligence has, for two years, “monitored, assessed and called attention to the expansion of ISIS.”
On Tuesday night, NBC Nightly News concluded its program by pushing an over four-minute-long fawning segment on Hollywood actor and activist Ben Affleck that included banter between anchor Brian Williams and Affleck on New York and Boston sports teams, gushing over Affleck’s life and “restless mind,” and his disappointment about the United States “nation-building elsewhere” when it should be doing that in places like Detroit.
Williams’s coverage of Affleck came as the show refused to cover the growing protests for greater democratic rule in Hong Kong and any news regarding the midterm elections, which are five weeks away from Tuesday.
Tuesday marked the deadline for hundreds of thousands Americans with insurance through ObamaCare to provide proper verification of their income levels or risk losing their government subsidies used to purchase health care plans. When it came to marking this critical deadline for ObamaCare, the major broadcast networks dodged coverage of the story in both their morning and evening newscasts.
According to an article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration “told more than 300,000 individuals who obtained coverage through the federal HealthCare.gov site that they may lose some or all of the subsidies if they don't provide additional income information” that matches what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has on file.
On Monday’s ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, the program not only spent the fewest time covering the democracy protests in Hong Kong than fellow networks CBS and NBC, but it spent nearly twice as much time gushing over the newest member of the Clinton family than the protests that now number in the tens of thousands.
ABC’s evening newscast ran a news brief on the Hong Kong protests for greater electoral independence from Communist China that lasted for a scant 15 seconds, while two teases plus a mention during the program’s “Instant Index” segment totaled 32 seconds.
Throughout the day on Monday, several sources in the intelligence community disputed President Obama’s comments in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday night that the intelligence community and Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper are to blame for not recognizing the threat posed by ISIS.
On the Monday evening newscasts of the major broadcast networks, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir chose to ignore the story all together while the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley simply re-aired Obama’s comments from 60 Minutes the night prior without acknowledging the criticisms since the interview aired. NBC Nightly News offered a stark contrast as it aired a two-and-a-half-minute segment that included not only Obama’s comments, but congressional testimony from intelligence officials over the past year warning of ISIS and reports from NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel going back to January that both cited the falling apart of the Iraqi army in being able to hold territory and losses in territory to terrorists that U.S. troops had secured during the Iraq war.
CNN joined ABC and CBS on Wednesday night by offering up its own softball sit-down interview with former President Bill Clinton and promoting his Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) organiztion. This time, CNN went beyond ABC and CBS in running a tapped, hour-long program entitled President Bill Clinton: A CNN Special Town Hall.
Outfront host Erin Burnett hosted the program in prime time and asked plenty of easy questions, including asking Clinton how he will “baby-proof the White House” with their daughter Chelsea’s pending birth to her first child and the assumption that Hillary Clinton will become President after the 2016 presidential election.
During his speech to the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly on Wednesday, President Barack Obama made a striking, unusual and ridiculous comparison between the reign of terror taking place in the Middle East at the hands of the brutal Islamic terrorist group ISIS and the unrest that took place in Ferguson, Missouri last month after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
As far as the any of the major broadcast networks bringing up this absurd comparison on their evening newcasts, neither ABC, CBS, or NBC gave that portion of the President’s speech any attention or allowed it to see the light of day.
When President Barack Obama stepped off of Marine One today in New York City on Tuesday for a series of meetings at the United Nations, he chose to salute the two U.S. Marines saluting him at the bottom of the helicopter with a coffee cup in hand in what many have seen as an unprofessional gesture. By the time Tuesday night came and the evening newscasts of the major broadcast networks aired, two of them omitted the story from their programs.
Both CBS and NBC failed to mention the story in their respective programs while ABC World News Tonight with David Muir mentioned the story for 13 seconds and combined with two teases earlier in the program for a total of 25 seconds of coverage.
During the Monday night newscasts of the major broadcast networks, both CBS and NBC provided coverage of the far-left global warming marchers in New York City who wanted to draw attention their liberal environmental causes and their disdain for Wall Street.
Leading the way in promoting them was NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who told viewers in a 25-second news brief that the “coordinated marches calling attention to climate change drew some huge crowds in big cities” and brushed off the fact that “nay-sayers” were citing the “mountains of trash left behind and the carbon footprint of the traffic jams that were caused by the march” as reason to criticize the hundreds of thousands marching.
Starting on Monday night, a series of town hall meetings in Ferguson, Missouri began taking place in light of the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in conjunction with the Department of Justice (DOJ) that will be closed to the media. When it came to the major broadcast networks reporting this censoring of the press, none of them chose to cover it.
According to an article posted on MSNBC’s website, an agency within the DOJ known as the Community Relations Service (CRS) has been “working behind the scenes to cool racial tensions in the city” by coming in and closing “the meetings to the media and non-residents.”
On Monday night’s NBC Nightly News, the program took a look at how Utah is now allowing teachers to obtain concealed carry permits to have firearms in their schools after training and continually passing background checks. As the media has done countless times, they found a way to turn it into coming across as a bad thing.
NBC News senior legal and investigative correspondent Cynthia McFadden interviewed special education teacher Casey Hanson and seemed intrigued by her decision to purchase a pistol “to defend my students” after being shaken by the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012.
On Friday morning, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski joined the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein in calling for equal news coverage if Christie is officially exonerated in numerous investigations into his involvement of the scandal known as Bridgegate to the non-stop coverage when it broke in January.
During a discussion with their panel on Friday’s Morning Joe, they discussed news that a source informed NBC News on Thursday that a federal investigation has found no evidence that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) knew of or ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013.
On Wednesday night, it was reported that two Marine Corps veterans are walking from northern North Carolina to Washington D.C. and the White House to demand that President Obama take action to ensure the release of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from a Mexican prison. However, none of the major broadcast networks have stepped up and covered the actions of the these veterans.
One of the two veterans, retired Lance Corporal Terry Sharpe, gave an interview to Greta Van Susteren on her Fox News Channel (FNC) show On the Record Wednesday and told her that he and fellow veteran Alan Brown hope to arrive at the White House to verbally deliver the message to the President within the next seven days. As of the interview, the pair were 100 miles south of Washington.
An enormous development in the Bridgegate scandal broke late Thursday afternoon when federal officials reported that they have cleared New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) of any wrong-doing relating to the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013.
When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this huge development, ABC and CBS punted on the story and refused to cover it in their Thursday night newscasts. NBC Nightly News did cover the story, however, but only in the form of a news brief that lasted for 38 seconds.