A History Lesson for Howard Kurtz: Honest Reporting Died Long Ago


A History Lesson for Howard Kurtz: Honest Reporting Died Long Ago
By Austin Bay • 08/18/16 8:00am

“The horror! The horror!” Joseph Conrad’s fictional trading post agent Mister Kurtz whispered as he died, delirious with jungle fever, in the novel Heart of Darkness. On August 9 Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz emerged (at least momentarily) from the New York-Washington-Los Angeles media jungle. In a commentary delivered that day, our non-fictional Kurtz revealed a troubling discovery: the big time media journalism he loves and advocates isn’t the journalism he loves and advocates—at least not in the 2016 presidential election.

In his commentary Kurtz laments the loss of the “credo” of fairness by mainstream media “reporters, editors and producers.” It takes a long quote to get a sense of his deep and abiding shock—he discovers his beloved journalists are “flat-out” unfair.

Congratulations, Howard, you’re emerging from the media jungle. However, you’ve a chronic case of historical amnesia, one that often accompanies life in the mainstream media’s heart of obliviousness. So what do you say we do a little historical research, sir, to establish an even more lamentable context? Remember the 2008 campaign? In February 2008 The New York Times and Washington Post both ran poorly-sourced but innuendo-laced stories about John McCain’s relationship with a lobbyist.

Let’s consider 2012. Obama versus Romney. George Stephanopoulos, Howard. Is he a reporter? No. He’s a Clinton operative, and early on in 2012 he inserted the “war on women” meme into the campaign. …

… George performed a strategic political operation for the Democratic Party. His contraception insertion (so to speak) set the stage for another “war on women” outrage tsunami later in the campaign. Do you recall the media-wide outrage …

2004. Specifically Dan Rather in 2004, with RatherGate’s fabricated Air National Guard documents that supposedly proved George W. Bush had shirked military duty.

Wasn’t ole Dan a reporter, Howard? Or supposed to be a reporter? And recall Democratic candidate John Kerry was running as Vietnam War hero

Austin Bay could indeed have kept going. He could have brought up the MSM denigration of 1992 economic growth when GHWB was running for reelection that was double the growth rate under Obama that the MSM has called “robust”. He could have brought up the MSM being WJC’s attack dog against Kenneth Starr. He could have brought up the MSM’s portrayal of Reagan, in 1980, as a dangerous warmonger who would bring on a nuclear holocaust. He could have brought up the MSM’s lionization of LaSheehan in 2006 (and dumping her after November, 2006). He could have brought up the MSM’s portrayal of Reagan as heartlessly refusing to fund AIDS research, when in reality it went from minimal funding to massive funding under Reagan.

So the NYT’s public musing about dropping all pretense of non-partisanship is unique only in stating that they would cease the pretense. MSM partisanship has been going on blatantly for decades, they’ve just denied it heretofore. How Kurtz could/would not recognize and acknowledge it I do not understand.


It’s even older than that! My own father recalled clearly how the American press were isolationist concerning what became WW II (They called it “the war in Europe”) until Hitler began to threaten the Soviets. Then, they couldn’t encourage us to get involved fast or vehemently enough . Then there was the totally-absent “support” for the Korean War. Why? Because it was communist expansionism which the press corps FAVORS. Then there was the sleazy dumping on Joseph McCarthy because he was exposing the communists and communist-sympathizers in the State Department and the Department of Defense. The Verona Papers proved that he was completely right all along and NONE of those he accused of communist sympathies were ever shown to be innocent of that charge…not a single one. JFK had the temerity to physically oppose soviet expansion into the western hemisphere and HE was taken out. LBJ was pretty popular with them UNTIL he decided to increase our presence in Vietnam to half a million troops to keep the communists from taking control of Asia’s “rice bowl.” Cronkite’s “reporting” was designed to undermine support for our efforts there–even if he had to outright LIE about what was going on. We know NOW that the KGB was financing virtually ALL of the anti-war activities around the world…but especially right here at home. Not a peep from the so-called “media” while it was going on–and damned little comment now that it’s known.


The term “fairness” should really be stricken from the English lexicon. Fairness is a wholly subjective term. It calls for a value judgment. The earliest of political publications in this country - back to the period of our Revolution and formation of the government - have been vehicles of advocacy.

About the only objectivity present in media are sports scores, team standings and yesterday’s weather report.


Not even “yesterday’s weather report”, Doc. If it was unusually cold, hot, rainy or dry, they will inevitably blame it on “climate change.”


PD - you might be right!! LMAO


Except for Donald Trump most people stop thinking “Fairness” is reasonable to expect after the 3rd grade, a free and independent press is the best one can hope for but anything made up of humans will contain bias.


Mondale was talking about “fairness” in the 1984 presidential campaign. The Democrats have been talking about it every since then. If you are going to support you stealth Hillary campaigh, you need to do better than this.


I said adults quite using the “fairness” complaint, Democrats are not adults as Trump and his supporters prove every day.


As I requested in another thread, could we critique candidates, ideas expressed, etc., rather than other RO members? Thanks.