Chalk up another acquisition by Fox News of an outcast from some other news network. As has been noted here at News Corpse, Fox “seems to regard the discards of other networks as their richest vein of new talent.” Today it was announced that Fox has scooped up CNN’s media analyst Howard Kurtz, who was recently censured by CNN, and jettisoned by The Daily Beast, for “sloppy” reporting that disparaged Jason Collins, the newly out NBA player. So of course Fox News would leap at the chance to add Kurtz to their roster. Other recent rejects by CNN that have joined Fox include Erick Erickson, Lou Dobbs, and Tucker Carlson.
Kurtz has a spotty reputation at CNN where he has, on occasion, had some profound commentaries that expose media hypocrisy and bias. But he has just as often proven to be a tool of the Washington villagers who dismisses serious failings and neglects the shortcomings of his colleagues. He is the ultimate insider who is married to a right-wing PR consultant, a fact that he does not disclose when reporting on related matters. In statements marking the new relationship, Fox and Kurtz were typically effusive of one another:
Fox VP Michael Clemente: Howie is the most accomplished media reporter in the country.
Kurtz: I’m excited to be bringing my independent brand of media criticism to Fox News. [...] I hope to add a new dimension to Fox’s coverage and have some fun while diving into the passionate debates about the press and politics.
Not everyone at Fox has the same opinion of Kurtz as Clemente does. Sean Hannity sneered that Kurtz was a “nitwit,” and railed that “I don’t like him. He’s full of crap. He thinks he’s a sanctimonious, self-righteous, phony establishment journalist.” Bill O’Reilly, upset that Kurtz had criticized his epically erroneous analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare, said “Kurtz does the bidding of Media Matters, and, I don’t know, maybe I should just ignore that and, as you say, move along down the highway, but it certainly disturbs me a little bit.” It should be noted that associating Kurtz with Media Matters is about the worst thing that O’Reilly could ever say about anyone. He regards Media Matters as “vicious, far-left, dishonest, smear merchants.” The question now is, will Kurtz provide fair and balanced coverage of those programs as a Fox News anchor?
On Fox, Kurtz will assume the anchor role on Fox News Watch, a weekend program that is distinguished by its panel of five devout conservatives against one alleged liberal. The five conservatives (Judith Miller, James Pinkerton, Cal Thomas, Richard Grenall, and host Jon Scott) are weekly regulars while the “liberal” seems to be whatever phony they can manage to scrape up that week. If they stick to this format it should be an easy transition for Kurtz who is used to covering for Fox’s biased reporting.
Full disclosure: I was once mentioned in a Kurtz column when he was with the Washington Post. Kurtz was aggregating reactions from a Laura Bush speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner:
The colorfully named News Corpse says the media should take a deep breath:
“The humor-challenged media is tripping all over itself to to praise the First Lady’s appearance before the White House Correspondents’ Association. Apparently their funny bone twitches uncontrollably at the sight of Laura being able to read from a sheet of prepared jokes. The talk in the television press has ranged from, ‘ Get this woman her own show .’ to, ‘ Maybe she should run against Hillary .’. . . .
“I suppose it’s too much to ask that the people who brought us Monica Lewinsky, Chandra Levy, Michael Jackson, Terri Schiavo, the Old Pope, the New Pope, and Jennifer ‘Runaway Bride’ Wilbanks, would suddenly chose to avoid blowing things up beyond all sense of proportion.”
Colorfully named? Maybe Kurtz will get the joke now that he is working in the News Corp empire. And just so nobody forgets, this is what Fox News thinks about their new colleague: