MSNBC's Keith Olbermann was Howard Kurtz's guest on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, and unfortunately, viewers were treated to a litany of hypocrisies from both media personalities, so much so that it seemed like a lengthy advertisement for the controversial "Countdown."
Although Kurtz did present his guest as being mostly liberal and decidedly anti-Bush, he never once mentioned "Countdown's" actual ratings, or how Olbermann is often in last place in his time slot behind "The O'Reilly Factor," "Nancy Grace," and whatever is being offered by CNN.
You would think that since Kurtz works for CNN, he might have mentioned this.
But that wasn't the only hypocrisy Sunday morning, for when Olbermann made clear just how biased he is, Kurtz seemed to be totally oblivious (video available here, liberal website warning):
As NewsBusters readers are infinitely aware, the use of the word "delicious" has been a source of some controversy at this website.
Either by e-mail, private message, or in comments sections, some have requested an immediate cessation of the appearance of this adjective in my articles.
There have even been some blog posts at other websites concerning this matter, including one Canadian liberal that strongly recommended I get a thesaurus.
On the other hand, many readers have commented that they like this descriptive, and see it as being one of my signatures. In fact, some have voiced satirical frustration at its absence.
With this in mind, I almost fell out of my chair this morning when Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources" said the following:
Almost a couple years ago, you would send a reporter out with Obama, and it was like they needed to go through detox when they came back: “Oh, he's so impressive, he's so charismatic,” and we're kind of like, “Down Boy.”
Harris, however, held his journalistic colleagues accountable: “What Lee Cowan said is it's hard. Okay, it's hard. Do it. Detach yourself. Nobody cares about our opinions.”
As NewsBusters reported Monday, one of the media members that seemed to fall hook, line, and sinker for Hillary Clinton's crying game in New Hampshire was Kate Snow who covers the junior senator's campaign for ABC News, and posted a sycophantic blog about the weepy candidate's emotional performance virtually moments after it happened.
Six days later, appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Snow continued to shill for Hillary, and took the pimping a step further by parroting statements made recently by Bill Clinton about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
After host Howard Kurtz showed a clip of the now infamous teary scene in that New Hampshire diner, Snow was asked how she saw the event, and responded with a statement that sounded like it had been written by one of Hillary's staffers:
As monthly reported troop deaths began falling in Iraq a few months ago, CNN's Robin Wright was in an early October interview with the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources" that was blogged on by NB's Noel Sheppard.
In it, Wright explained why September's US troop death figure, at the time the lowest in over a year, did not deserve significant news coverage:
During an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw pointed out that before the invasion of Iraq, even "people who were critical of the war" thought that Saddam Hussein "had weapons of mass destruction," as he responded to criticism that the media were not aggressive enough about challenging President Bush before the Iraq invasion.
"CNN's 'Reliable Sources' is one of television's only regular programs to examine how journalists do their jobs and how the media affect the stories they cover." -- from CNN's "Reliable Sources" website [emphasis added].
When it comes to "how journalists do their job," the story of the week was Wolf Blitzer's spectacular failure to do his. Going into Thursday's debate, the big question was how Hillary was going to deal with the inevitable grilling over her flip-flopping on the issue of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. But when Blitzer finally got around to the issue, well into the debate, he didn't bother to ask a single follow-up question to Hillary's terse "no" answer.
So surely Reliable Sources's host Howard Kurtz would put that question squarely on the table on today's show, right? Wrong.
An interesting discussion occurred on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday when host Howard Kurtz raised the issue of MSNBC intentionally moving to the left politically, as well as its failed attempt to hire Rosie O'Donnell.
Maybe most shocking was conservative radio talk show host Michael Medved saying of the recent events at MSNBC, "I think it shows that they're getting smart."
Coming in a close second was Jennifer Pozner of Women in Media and News stating with a straight face "the majority of the people who host shows on MSNBC are either centrists or conservative," and that Keith Olbermann "is a liberal host, but he doesn't necessarily promote liberal candidates or promote liberal projects."
Deliciously, that might not have been the most absurd statement from Pozner this day (partial transcript follows with emphasis added for your entertainment pleasure):
On CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, host Howard Kurtz asked ABC's Claire Shipman about California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger grabbing her hands during an interview about the wildfires. "Would he have done that to a male correspondent?" And when Kurtz served up Glenn Beck's wildfires comments on CNN Headline News, CBS's Harry Smith was so non-plussed he changed the subject. First, the Shipman exchange:
KURTZ: What were you thinking when Schwarzenegger grabbed your hand and accused of you hating good news?
SHIPMAN: Well, my first thought was, this is unusual. You know? And then I thought, when is he going to let go of my hands? He held my hands for the entire answer.
Is NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams really a conservative? "Washington Post" media analyst and CNN "Reliable Sources" host Howard Kurtz implied that he is.
On the one hand, I was very pleased to see CNN's Howard Kurtz mention on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" the recent decision by the BBC to cancel "Planet Earth," a proposed daylong special to focus attention on anthropogenic global warming.
On the other hand, I was surprised when Kurtz chose not to include one of the key reasons this project was scrapped, namely, the failure of Al Gore's Live Earth concerts.
Here's what Kurtz said on the subject:
"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric couldn't possibly expect to be criticized by a fellow, female, liberal journalist when she went to Iraq last week to report firsthand what was going on in that embattled nation.
Yet, on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh ripped the leading member of the media sisterhood for "lobbing kind of softball questions," and not "working terribly hard to go beyond that kind of puff piece drop in for a few days kind of journalism."
In fact, Walsh demonstrated what happens when a discernibly liberal press representative dares to do an impartial, balanced report which doesn't exclusively bash Republicans, the president, and the war: