We are all Roger Ailes now

Mistah Kurtz today:

Knoxville, Tenn.: Why do so many media outlets, when mentioning “Fox News”, say “which some say has conservative views”? This seems to be the equivalent of saying “The Washington Post, which some say is a newspaper…”

Why is the rest of the press corp afraid to call a spade a spade, particularly when (as in this case) it is so virulently blatant?

Howard Kurtz: Because some say a distinction must be made between Fox’s opinion shows (O’Reilly, Beck, Hannity) and its news programming. Just as you have to make a distinction between The Post’s news pages and its left-leaning editorial page.

Let’s leave aside the fact that the “left-leaning editorial page” of the Post was one of the biggest cheer-leaders for the Iraq war and so on…why on earth would Howie want to compare the Washington Post to Fox News?

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63 replies
  1. 1
    Eric U. says:

    defining “left-leaning” down. If the opinion page of the WaPo was any more right-leaning, the WSJ would call to complain about unfair competition. They are “left-leaning” the way fox is fair and balanced.

  2. 2
    Kryptik says:

    Left…leaning…edito-

    Ok, I give up, what has Kurtz been smoking?

    why on earth would Howie want to compare the Washington Post to Fox News?

    Because they keep getting scooped by Ailes and co.! What happened to their guys on the Beck beat? Move! Now! Chop-chop, before another ACORN scandal erupts!

  3. 3
    J says:

    Sorry, my head just exploded and it is impossible to leave aside any description of the WaPo’s craptacular and wingnutty Op-Ed pages as “left-leaning.”

  4. 4
    valdivia says:

    Fuck Howie Kurtz. That is all.

  5. 5
    curious says:

    because for some reason he thinks they are both credible news organizations.

  6. 6
    SpotWeld says:

    Because some say a distinction must be made between Fox’s opinion shows (O’Reilly, Beck, Hannity) and its news programming.

    …does Fox?

  7. 7
    Third Eye Open says:

    Shorter Kurtz: “If the bottom falls out of the WaPo, I may need a job with FOX.”

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    Just how extreme does something need to be to be counted as right-leaning these days? If the Republican party used paramilitary death squads to get their point across would Kurtz refer to them as centrists?

    This country is starting to scare me, and not in the abstract sense.

  9. 9
    Kefauver says:

    It’s Howie Kurtz. Need you ask?

  10. 10

    Did anyone take Howie to task for calling the Kaplan Test Prep Post‘s op-ed page left-leaning?

  11. 11
    Why oh why says:

    The WaPo has Kristol, Krauthammer, Wills, regular op-eds by Sarah Palin… but they don’t have Glenn Beck yet, so they count as “left-leaning” aka communist.

  12. 12
    clonecone says:

    I’m sure Fox is the channel of record in the Kurtz household. Kurtz doesn’t see the bias because Fox reinforces his own conservative world view.

  13. 13
    Mojotron says:

    Unless one of Krauthammer’s tires is flat I don’t know what he means by “left-leaning”.

  14. 14

    @Third Eye Open: Well … his wife is a Republican operative .. so you might be right .. either that .. or he’ll have to go begging to CNN to pay him more

  15. 15
    Ugh says:

    “some say”

    WHO MUTHERFUCKER?!

  16. 16
    PeakVT says:

    Just as you have to make a distinction between The Post’s news pages and its left-leaning editorial page.

    Hack.

  17. 17
    Joey Maloney says:

    One of you kids correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this where one says “lolwut???”

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    why on earth would Howie want to compare the Washington Post to Fox News?

    Because Fox News is making money. Ratings are way up. People want to associate with winners.

    Because he may need a job soon. Fox may be able to afford to hire someone.

    Because all news organizations are to be treated equally. Just as all pundits are given the same credence. Like Orly Taitz is given time to speak her mind, along with someone rational.

    Because “conservative” is considered “good,” therefore it’s good to be seen as conservative.

  19. 19
    Warren Terra says:

    why on earth would Howie want to compare the Washington Post to Fox News?

    Maybe his CNN contract renewal is coming up and Howie wants another bidder for his favors? Maybe he’s eyeing Bernard Goldberg’s gig, complete with Regnery book contract?

    When I was home visiting family over the new year they had Fox News on, and O’Reilly was doing some sort of best-of-2009 clip show, including a segment in which he mocked his guest Bernie Goldberg for being an obvious and total nutcase. If Goldberg has too little credibility to serve O’Reilly’s purposes, Fox may need a new guy to do the job – and given Howie Kurtz’s noteworthy flexibility about conflict of interest, maybe he figures that he can keep his Washington Post and CNN contracts and pick up Bernie Goldberg’s jobs?

  20. 20
    Cris says:

    Because some say a distinction must be made between Fox’s opinion shows (O’Reilly, Beck, Hannity) and its news programming.

    Some are apparently hopelessly naive.

  21. 21
    Malron says:

    Because some say Howard Kurtz is an impartial, well-informed journalist but most empirical evidence points to him being beltway bobblehead who relies on fake equivalence to avoid admitting the truth about his conservative overlords.

  22. 22
    Ella in NM says:

    …why on earth would Howie want to compare the Washington Post to Fox News?

    Because “some say” he’s an Overpaid-Beltway-Bubble-Cocktail-Party-Set tool?

  23. 23
    Charity says:

    @Violet: And higher ratings indicate that Fox et al must be “correct.”

  24. 24
    CalD says:

    Good-bye! Fox does straight news programming? The Washington Post has a left-leaning editorial page. I gotta admit, whatever bizarro universe that assessment came from, it sure sounds like a nicer place than here… Hello and have a nice day.

  25. 25
    fraught says:

    It’s because Kurtz can’t dilute the saturation level of denial which the villagers must maintain that The Post is not the same cozy and warm liberal outpost that it was when Kay Graham was running it. Sally Quinn needs to have it that way and by god that’s the way it will be until she clears out and those nutty Weymouth women become the social leaders of the town.
    Howie can’t risk losing his entree to the dinner tables of Georgetown by saying the Post’s editorial page is fascisticalist.

  26. 26
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Kurtz is such a douche, if that statement doesn’t qualify him for Wanker of the Week, nothing will.

    His statement about the so-called left-leaning post Editorial board is to give him and the rest of the (com)Post cover their righty reporters past and present hoping we rubes will overlook the obvious.

    As I’ve said before, I’ve been reading my home town newspaper since the 60s. It’ll never see a dime of my money again and if it goes down the toilet, I’ll applaud.

  27. 27
    Kryptik says:

    So can we expect Bolton to become a semi-monthly addition to the op-ed page? After all, we haven’t glassed Iran yet.

    Hell, why not give Eugene Robinson the boot and install Jackson Diehl full time in his slot. Pulitzer Prizes come a dime a dozen anyways. I’m sure we can get zombie Falwell to tell us why God abhors Universal Health Care and wants a Republican Majority again.

  28. 28
    MattF says:

    No, Howie’s right– there is a distinction, and it’s nontrivial. The ‘opinion’ shows are honestly batshit, the ‘news’ shows are dishonestly batshit.

  29. 29
    WereBear says:

    It’s rats rearranging the dried flowers in the first class lounge of the liner that is sinking…

  30. 30
    Michael G says:

    When he covers such hard-hitting topics like Leno v. Conan, the question occurs to me: exactly what qualifies Howie Kurtz for his job as “media critic”, over, say, any random blogger out there?

    I think Kurtz is “Joe the Plumber” with a slightly better vocabulary.

  31. 31
    Zifnab says:

    I thought “… some say …” has always been news speak for “We think, but don’t want to admit we think that…”

    Once again, the wingers are feeling the slightest brush of pressure on their left flank and absolutely freaking out about it. I look forward to more condemnation of this obvious and derogatory left wing media bias.

  32. 32
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @beltane:

    If the Republican party used paramilitary death squads to get their point across would Kurtz refer to them as centrists?

    Well… now that five thoroughly befuddled and/or hopelessly corrupted SCOTUS members have decided corporations really are MORE human than you or I and therefore really DO HAVE first amendment rights… it prolly won’t be long before they (the corps) start exercising their SECOND amendment rights too.

    Sooooooo… you might have yer death squads sooner than you think… fortunately Xe already has its guns, and prolly some tanks, and if I’m not mistaken, at least one fighter jet hidden away somewhere… ‘course, even they’ll have problems when they decide to move on S-Central LA…

    Can’t WAIT to see THAT footage on the evening news…

  33. 33
    Shalimar says:

    Wow. Kurtz is on some serious hallucinogens if he doesn’t even know his own newspaper. Maybe The Post was left-leaning 20 years ago, but it isn’t even close now.

  34. 34
    Ana Gama says:

    @Kryptik:

    Ok, I give up, what has Kurtz been smoking?

    Sure wish he’d pass it this way.

  35. 35
    valdivia says:

    sort of OT but Benen FTW with this memo to the Dem leadership.

  36. 36
    satch says:

    Thanks to Woodward and Bernstein’s MOST ungentlemanly treatment of Richard Nixon during Watergate thirty five years ago, this rag will be always and forever be known as “The Liberal Washington Post”.

  37. 37
    fraught says:

    @Michael G: The same for most of the leading columnists. Why Modo and not Digby? Why Herbert and not John Cole? Why not Glenn Greenwald instead of Frank Rich? (Well, not such a great example.) These folks are mirages left over from the days of print hegemony. they’re like photographic negatives. Hold them up to the light and you can see right through them.

  38. 38
    WereBear says:

    @valdivia: Excellent article.

  39. 39
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Seriously…

    I haven’t owned a teleobision machine for 5 or 6 years now.

    I was at a friend’s house yesterday and watched most of both playoff games… and between halves, I was flipping channels and came across the The McLaughlin Group™ on my local PBS outlet…

    My Gawd… it was repulsive and creepy. I’ve seen bits of video on-line and read transcripts, but until you actually watch the chattering heads for 5 or 10 minutes straight, it really doesn’t hit you – just how completely and utterly those freaks are out of touch w/ reality.

    Pat Buchanan… WTF??? Isn’t he the one who actually wrote an editorial defending Hitler last year? Why isn’t this man cleaning sewers in Abu Dhabi? I can only tell you how nauseous I felt watching Pat and the Great McLaughlin Himself™ discuss Sarah Palin’s attractiveness and whether or not she had been eclipsed by the uber-hottie Scott Brown at this point…

    Oooooooooooooops…

    ***Jumps up and runs to bathroom… retching sounds in back ground***

    Sorry… couldn’t help it…

    Where was I?

    Oh… yeah… that crowd… they were like corpses that no one’s told them, they’re DEAD already, so STFU

  40. 40
    Keith G says:

    Doug, that made me laugh….a sad, hopeless laugh. As a centre-lefty, I feel I got nothing. The lefty media is either nonexistent, lost somewhere, or Democracy Now (god help me).

    I have President who a great guy but seems to not be running a very good White House. They can not focus a message or control a press cycle to save their/his ass. And I do not see this changing minus some historic event.

    Congress, meh.

    I haven’t missed a SOTU address since I can remember. I am not sure I can watch this one.

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    Because some say a distinction must be made between Fox’s opinion shows (O’Reilly, Beck, Hannity) and its news programming.

    Fox has news programming? Is this something new?

    Kurtz is so full of it. The sad fact is that many Fox viewers assume that the crap spewed out on the station’s opinion shows are “facts” and “news.”

  42. 42
    jibeaux says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity:

    Personally, I think progress marches on, and eventually the SCOTUS will find a right for corporations to gay marry. The upside is that it doesn’t take much to incorporate, so Adam, P.L.L.C., can marry Steve, P.C. And then pierce his corporate veil. **
    The downside is that the merger of Harpo Productions with Martha Stewart Omnimedia would no doubt unleash some sort of terrestrial apocolypse.

    ** Apologies for the lawyer joke.

  43. 43

    Just as you have to make a distinction between The Post’s news pages and its left-leaning editorial page.

    I would caution people about the hair-splitting Kurtz is doing here. Notice he said the “editorial page,” not the op-ed page. The distinction would be that the “editorial” position of the Post is “left-leaning.” “Op-ed,” means the page opposite the editorial page, frequently a place for people who don’t agree with the editorial position of the paper.

    So he can say what he said with a straight face and be technically correct.

    It’s a distinction that is lost on most people (especially given that their editorial page editor is the execrable Fred Hiatt), but a distinction nonetheless.

    ETA: Here’s the page with the Post’s actual editorials. Judge for yourself whether “left-leaning” or not.

  44. 44
    jg says:

    A known right winger said the wapo ed page is left leaning and so I is? Why does the left allow this? How hard is it to point that just because the right doesn’t hear their talking points being vocalised it doesn’t mean the lefts voice is being heard?
    I say this over and over to rightis and get nothing but incredulous stares: find me a lefty who likes the so called liberal media. It can’t be liberal if liberals have a problem with it right? The right loves them some common sense, this argument should appeal to them.

  45. 45
    JohnR says:

    “Maybe The Post was left-leaning 20 years ago, ”

    Nah; even then, it was tacking to the right. Even when Woodstein was working there, only a Nixon guy would have called the Post left-leaning. What it was, 30-odd years ago, was a newspaper with interesting editorials and opinion columns. Now it’s less interesting and accurate than the Daily News, and the editorial page is mostly cowflops with occasional flashes of thought. Kurtz is a nothing, and Hiatt is a sad little man who thinks he’s intellektchul.

  46. 46
    licensed to kill time says:

    __

    Howard Kurtz: Because some say a distinction must be made between Fox’s opinion shows (O’Reilly, Beck, Hannity) and its news programming.

    There’s that famous philosopher SomeSay, at it again.

  47. 47
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    jibeaux

    The upside is that it doesn’t take much to incorporate, so Adam, P.L.L.C., can marry Steve, P.C. And then pierce his corporate veil. **

    Indeedy… indeedy… ‘n no doubt this will increase the, huh, liquidity of their assets…

  48. 48
    ChrisWWW says:

    “[The Post’s] left-leaning editorial page.”

    Isn’t Kurtz approaching Big Lie territory with that whopper?

  49. 49
    batgirl says:

    @licensed to kill time: I think SomeSay should become a tag! Or better yet Famous Philosopher SomeSay.

  50. 50
    Church Lady says:

    Have no idea, although I’d say the Post’s editorial pages are about 50-50, notwithstanding their “cheerleading” for the Iraq War. I would think a more proper analogy would have been comparing Fox News to MSNBC. Both have ideological opinion programming in the evening and more or less straight news programming during the day, although both sometimes cast a partisan slant on their news programming.

    One of the few differences I’ve noticed between the two during their evening opinion shows is that the Fox shows will have on dissenting voices, but MSNBC’s shows very rarely do. I’m trying to recall ever seeing a Conservative appear of Countdown and be allowed to present their side. Has it ever happened?

  51. 51
    ChrisWWW says:

    Church Lady,
    You’re right that Olbermann doesn’t bring on dissenters, but Maddow does. Not sure about Schultz, I’ve never watched his show.

  52. 52
    AngusTheGodOfMeat says:

    why on earth would Howie want to compare the Washington Post to Fox News?

    For the same reason that anyone would refer to Howie for an opinion on any truth about the media?

    For the same reason that a dog licks his balls? Because he can, and it seems to feel good?

  53. 53
    licensed to kill time says:

    @batgirl:

    Famous Philosopher SomeSay say, “All your strawmen are belong to us!”

  54. 54
    Chad N Freude says:

    Regarding “some say”, I believe some say that this is now being taught in journalism schools as citing your sources.

  55. 55
    Chad N Freude says:

    @licensed to kill time: I like that one.

  56. 56
    Church Lady says:

    @ChrisWWW:

    “Not sure about Schultz, I’ve never watched his show.”

    I don’t think you’re the only one. :)

  57. 57
    AngusTheGodOfMeat says:

    @ChrisWWW:

    Ed does bring on dissenters, and engages with them.

    I don’t care for the style of the engagements, but at least he is trying. Trying to do it, not trying my patience.

    Ed’s people seem to think that having two or three people talking over each other all at once is an interesting segment. If they can keep the flow under control, it is actually pretty interesting.

  58. 58
    Preston says:

    So maybe the Brit, Neil Sankey can succeed where the Russian immigrant (from the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic) has failed, bring it on.

    Poor little Birthers (still in denial about their losses), Judge Land and now judge Carter, smack down the crazies (case dismissed).

    Not even “Fake News” Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly believes the crazies, how funny.

    To all the birthers in La, La Land, it is on you to prove to all of us that your assertion is true (TOUGH WHEN YOU KEEP LOSING CASES), if there are people who were there and support your position then show us the video (everyone has a price), either put up or frankly shut-up. I heard Orly Taitz, is selling a tape (I think it’s called “Money, Lies and Video tape”). She is from Orange County, CA, now I know what the mean when they say “behind the Orange Curtain”, when they talk about Orange County, the captial of Conspiracy Theories. You know Obama has a passport, he travel abroad before he was a Senator, but I guess they were in on it.

    In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over the most extreme religious right (people who love to push their beliefs on others while trying to take away the rights of those they just hate) and that’s who they need to extract from their party if they real want to win. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”.

    I wonder if she is a mail order bride, just like her law degree? She is perfect reporter material for “Fake News”, where unfounded rumors and innuendo reign supreme , unlike a our US courts of law, where you need to present documented facts, not half baked lies (prepare for more failures).

    A lawyer, dentist, realtor and black belt, WOW I must say a JACK of all trades master of none

    I heard that she now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC). She wants to re-establish a family values party.

    I can only hope that Taitz will resist the state collectors that will be hounding her like the “ruff ruff” that she is to collect the $20K.

  59. 59
    mistersnrub says:

    Kurtz answers four – four!! – Conan/Tonight Show related questions in this chat. This just blows my mind. The fact that this schmuck has two well-paying, prestigious jobs in today’s economic situation just so spectacularly epitomizes what is wrong with our media/political power structure. The smugness, vacuousness, laziness and intellectual dishonesty – all wrapped up in this one person, Mr. Howard Kurtz. Blegh.

  60. 60
    Nellcote says:

    Kurtz and friends are AFRAID of Roger Ailes. They know Fox can go jihad on their asses at the drop of a hat.

  61. 61
    DougJ says:

    Have no idea, although I’d say the Post’s editorial pages are about 50-50,

    That’s about right, I think.

  62. 62
    Mike in NC says:

    Howie long ago drank a barrel of the “Center-Right Nation” Kool-Aid that passes for conventional wisdom among Serious Thinkers inside the Beltway.

  63. 63
    Steeplejack says:

    @DougJ:

    [. . .] why on earth would Howie want to compare the Washington Post to Fox News?

    I think he was just following on from the caller’s comparison between them.

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