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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Is Howie Kurtz Shifting to the Right?

Is Howie Kurtz shifting to the right? Honestly, after roughly 15 years of watching Kurtz on Reliable Sources -- which just ended on CNN last weekend -- he seems fairly centrist to me. Maybe a tad left-of-center. Kurtz was never really "political," per se because there is no right-left about plagiarism. But as he left to go to Fox one cannot help but notice that the last episode of RS was definitely right of center. For instance:

1) Kurtz called for balance in the national media on the DOMA Supreme Court ruling issue. Wha-a-at?! He actually criticized the national media for not allowing a person of faith or, I suppose, a bigot, to balance out the coverage. It seems to me that this would be the equivalent of asking a racist on TV in the early 60s to balance out a discussion of civil rights. This is a civil liberties and morality issue, one that even Antonin Scalia, one of the most conservative people in the world, sided on the side of morality. What is Howie thinking?

2) On the same episode -- the last RS on CNN -- Kurtz (and his panel) ripped into David Gregory for a minor journalistic offense regarding the Glenn Greenwald issue. The punishment was far greater than the crime. Further, Kurtz took the opportunity to sneak in the words "some in the establishment media in Washington and New York." His new Masters at Fox should be proud. But to those of us who have watched RS for 15 years, it was an uncharacteristic move on the part of the Howie we knew and loved.

3) Finally, Kurtz attacked the mainstream media -- ?! -- for praising Wendy Davis of Texas. "On his final appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Howard Kurtz exposed the mainstream media’s bias in favor of pro-choice politicians, during a brief commentary on Democratic Texas state senator Wendy Davis," is how Reed Irvine of the right wind AIM wrote. Of the three issues discussed, this one probably has the most merit but it is, with the other two instances, quite a right-of-center view for Kurtz to take, suspiciously close to his move to Fox News.

Is Howie Kurtz going right to please his new corporate masters at NewsCorp? Only time will tell. But if his final appearance on Reliable Sources is any indication, the awkwardly even-keeled Howie Kurtz that we grew to love as slightly left-of-center over the last 15 years may be a thing of the past.

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