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 Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander reported on the current makeup of the Republican presidential field in 2016 on the heels of news that the Republican nominee in 2012, Mitt Romney, has begun reassembling his campaign staff to make a third bid for the White House.
In the course of mentioning former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as one of those possible candidates, Alexander declared that Huckabee was already out “preaching to the party's right-wing in his new book” and “skewering the First Family's parenting skills.”
In the Tuesday print edition of The New York Times, an article appeared on A11 about the “anti-Islam” and “anti-immigration rally in Germany” that took place in Dresden on Monday and, in addition to trashing their position, reporter Melissa Eddy failed to interview or quote any of the over 20,000 demonstrators.
Over course of the 650 word plus article, Eddy instead included quotes from Germany’s justice minister, a spokesman for the city of Leipzig, Chancellor Angela Merkel, a European Parliament member from “the rightist Alternative for Germany party” and an excerpt of “a declaration” from the group organizing the protests.
The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley on Monday trashed demonstrators in Germany for protesting against Islamic extremism, proclaiming they possessed an “anti-Muslim prejudice” that’s “on the rise in Europe.”
Reporting from Dresden, Germany, CBS News senior foreign correspondent Mark Phillips stated that the demonstrators chanted “we are the people” as not motivated by “a society being united” but rather as “a chant of exclusion.”
On Monday, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley did their best to move on from the Obama administration’s decision to not have President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, or Attorney General Eric Holder attend the march against Islamic terrorism in Paris on Sunday that drew well over one million people.
All told, ABC ran only a 42-second segment on the White House’s response to the criticism on Monday and CBS had a news brief. Along with one tease on CBS, their coverage combined for a scant one minute and three seconds.
In the midst of MSNBC’s coverage on the aftermath of the dual hostage situations in France that resulted in three terrorists being killed, MSNBC terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann railed against the “openly racist,” “prejudice[d],” and “hateful” National Front party in France as being “as much of the problem as jihadists are” for the country.
Following the airing of a speech by French President François Hollande, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes brought up the plans for a national unity march in Paris on Sunday that would feature all political parties with the exception of the National Front, which is currently led by Marine Le Pen.
On Monday’s NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams heaped praise on liberal Democratic Governor Jerry Brown of California, who was sworn in for a record fourth term. Williams hailed Brown as someone who was had “finally been able to turn around California's troubled finances.”
As highlighted on this site Monday night, the State of California’s finances are far from stellar when examined more closely. An article in the Los Angeles Times late Thursday on the Golden State’s soaring health care costs only further expanded on that.
In a news brief on Thursday, NBC Nightly News reported that one of Californi’s two Democratic Senators, Barbara Boxer, would not seek reelection in 2016 and instead retire following “a decade in the House” and her first election to the Senate in 1992. When it came to labeling where she stood politically, however, NBC shied away from labeling her a liberal or progressive.
Instead, anchor Brian Williams told viewers that she was “one of the most prominent” Democrats and likely caused fellow “prominent California Democrats” to hold “a lot of meetings and phone calls today.”
During Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, one of the segments focused on a movie set to be released in theaters January 16 starring Julianne Moore as a woman faced with Alzheimers. While the movie, entitled “Still Alice,” focuses on an important topic and covering upcoming movie releases is nothing new for the networks, an executive producer for the movie is none other than NBC News correspondent Maria Shriver.
In what was already a conflict of interest by covering the movie, the network also allowed Shriver to play the role of reporter in promoting a venture that could benefit her financially in a two-minute-and-28-second segment.
Following the deadly Islamic terrorist attack in Paris on Wednesday, major broadcast networks ABC and NBC joined other news outlets in not showing any of the controversial cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad from the Charlie Hebdo magazine during their evening newscasts.
Despite initially telling Buzzfeed that they would not be showing any of the cartoons, CBS News did go forward and displayed three of them on the air during the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. The three were shown as part of a report by CBS News foreign correspondent Elizabeth Palmer from Paris that led off the broadcast.
On Wednesday night, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored the contradicting statements made by President Obama in condemning the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris as an attack on free speech, but stating in a 2012 speech at the United Nations that “the future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”
When it came to discussing the terrorist attack in France on Wednesday, the President struck a different tone from 2012 when it came to the freedom of speech and expression: “Our universal belief in freedom of expression is something that can't be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few.”
On Tuesday night, each of the major broadcast networks devoted time to covering the swearing in of the 114th Congress and the race for House Speaker that saw John Boehner retain his post, but not without 25 conservatives voting in dissent against the incumbent Republican.
Overall, the networks lamented how the group presented “a thorny obstacle to Boehner's leadership” and, in turn, will force him to be “more confrontational with President Obama” instead of "working with the President on some issues, including tax reform and trade."
During his MSNBC show All In on Monday, Chris Hayes put up his best defense of far-left New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio against criticism from NYPD officers and their union, lamenting that de Blasio has been subject to “brutal attacks” over the past few weeks while praising him for a drop in crime during 2014.
At the start of a segment about the drop in crime and a changing of tactics, Hayes chose to chastise the NYPD’s top union for speaking and acting in opposition to the Mayor: “If, the Mayor has taken to dreading the spotlight over the past few weeks as he's come under brutal attack by New York’s police unions, today's press conference was probably one he looked forward to because, today, he got to announce what appears to be a major victory for the very policies that helped kick off an NYPD backlash.”
While there were six governors sworn into office on Monday, it was liberal Democrat Jerry Brown taking the oath of office for a record fourth term in California that caught the fawning eye of NBC Nightly News and anchor Brian Williams who, in turn, spent a news brief gushing over how his first stint in office was during the Ford administration and that he had improved the state’s finances.
Following a brief on news that the owner of the St. Louis Rams plans to build a stadium outside Los Angeles, Williams pivoted to the Golden State at-large and Brown’s fourth inauguration: “Then there's Jerry Brown, today at age 76 he was sworn today to a record fourth term. He first came into office when Jerry Ford was President his first time around. No one has led the most populous state in the Union longer than Jerry Brown, who's finally been able to turn around California's troubled finances.”
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Jan Crawford reported on former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s resignation from a number of corporate and nonprofit boards ahead of a possible campaign for president in 2016 but also found time to lament about the challenge the GOP primary could present for Bush.
“Now, the challenge of Bush is going to be running a center right campaign for the Republican nomination,” Crawford stated. She then added that the reason for possible troubles in the Republican primary is because “this is a time when the party is enthusiastically embracing more conservative candidates.”
Each of the network morning shows devoted some time on Wednesday to looking back at the biggest news stories of year and, while they certainly could not have included every story in the allotted time, they all failed to spend even a few seconds on topics such as Jonathan Gruber, pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, President Obama’s unpopularity, and the Hobby Lobby case to name a few.
In addition, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC each mentioned the midterm elections and how Republicans were able to win control of the Senate (in addition to the House), they devoted a scant 21 seconds to the topic over the course of their roundups, which totaled 42 minutes and 50 seconds.
Between Monday night and Tuesday morning, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC covered the news that a golf outing by President Obama at a course in Hawaii forced a Army to move their wedding location after planning to have it on the 16th tee.
While they covered the news, each network made sure their were plenty of laughs and golf-related puns throughout their 12 minutes and 4 seconds of coverage that included “golf diplomacy,” “no one was teed off,” and “the golf club owner really missed the fairway.”
On Monday afternoon, CNN’s Wolf covered the controversy surrounding President Obama’s playing of golf on a Hawaii golf course that forced an Army couple about to be married there to move their wedding during which CNN’s Chris Moody called the optics of the move “hilariously bad.”
Following a panel discussion on the 2016 presidential campaign, substitute host Brianna Keilar introduced the topic and after some background on what happened, Keilar and Time’s Zeke Miller did their best to defend the President and the White House, pointing out that there was “no way that the President” or the White House knew of this decision beforehand by the golf course.
On the most recent edition of Fox News Sunday, Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley blasted President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and activist/MSNBC host Al Sharpton for having “a vested interest in pushing a false narrative, which is that racism is an all-purpose explanation of what drives what's wrong in black America.”
When asked by host Chris Wallace to explain why there remains a debate in the U.S. over race and the criminal justice system, Riley pointed out that the “the left has no interest in being post-racial” despite pretending to be in favor of it.
With Christmas three days away, one liberal atheist took to the far-left website Salon to dismiss the existence of a “war on Christmas” spotlighted annually by conservatives and news pundits, led by the Fox News Channel’s (FNC) Bill O’Reilly. At the same time, however, the author seemed perfectly fine attacking Christmas himself, claiming that Jesus Christ never existed and wondered if “anyone” would “truly mourn the holiday if we did without it.”
In a piece entitled “Let’s Make Bill O’Reilly’s Head Explode: We Desperately Need a War on Christmas Lies,” Atlantic magazine contributing editor Jeffrey Tayler began by summarizing one of O’Reilly’s latest segments regarding the “war on Christmas” that discussed into a series of billboards being sponsored by the American Atheists.