There is always an unmistakable moment when desperation sets in for people or organizations that are undergoing difficult times. That moment came yesterday for Fox News and their advocacy of Donald Trump. The evidence is the commentary by their media correspondent (video below), Howard Kurtz, who hosts Fox’s MediaBuzz, has been a consistent proponent of Trump from the outset of his campaign.
Kurtz was interviewed on Fox Monday by Abby Huntsman who introduced the segment by asking “what is going on here” with the media bias against Trump. Kurtz responded fervidly that he had “never seen anything remotely like this, and I have been saying this for months.” He was visibly roused about what he perceived as an unusually shrill display of partisanship by the press. Continuing on that path he ranted about:
“The obvious distaste, bordering on disgust, that many journalists and commentators have for Donald Trump – he was able to defeat that during the primaries – but it’s been going on for quite a while. In the last ten days it is almost like the press put out a mob hit on Donald Trump. The imbalance is so overwhelming on almost every media site and outlet that it can no longer be denied.”
Is he freakin’ serious? First of all, there is only one person responsible for the media coverage of Donald Trump and that’s Donald Trump. Granted, the last ten days has been a veritable shitstorm for Trump. But no one in the press forced him to insult the grieving parents of an American hero. He wasn’t coerced by some reporter to lie about having seen palettes of cash being unloaded from a plane. His whining about “rigged” elections didn’t come from the media. Calling Hillary Clinton the devil was his idea. Declaring his affection for Vladimir Putin and his animosity for NATO can only be attributed to him. Absolutely none of that is the fault of the media, and covering it is not an expression of distaste or disgust. It’s actually called journalism.
Secondly, the general chaos and disunity of a Republican Party led by a self-absorbed bigot was not invented by a twisted journalist obsessed with destroying Trump. It was the predictable consequence of putting a pitifully ignorant and thoroughly unhinged narcissist at the helm of the GOP. If anything, the reporting on Trump has been insufficiently critical. Reporters too frequently resort to timid descriptions of Trump as merely being wrong or mistaken when in reality he’s a pathological liar. Likewise, they characterize his frothing, infantile insults as simply negative opinions.
For Kurtz to assert that reporting on the offensive and ludicrous behavior of Trump is in any way analogous to a mob hit is not only dreadfully out of bounds, it reveals Kurtz’s own partisan prejudices. He has been serving as The Donald’s chief fluffer for over a year now. Clearly his role at Fox News is to carry forward Trump’s hostility to the press from the inside. And Trump has returned the favor by largely limiting his press availability to Fox News.
Finally, Kurtz’s assertion of an overwhelming imbalance that can’t be denied is downright delusional. It is especially troubling for someone who professes to be a media expert. The truth is that Trump received far more coverage, and more favorable coverage, than any of his opponents, including Hillary Clinton. This was proven by a study conducted by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. What’s more, this is a study that any reputable media analyst would be aware of. So Kurtz’s failure to address it marks him as either disreputable or dishonest (or both). Which makes him the perfect media correspondent for a disreputable and dishonest network like Fox News.
UPDATE: Consistent with the right’s inclinations toward violence, Donald Trump was speaking today about the prospect of Hillary Clinton nominating Supreme Court justices. He complained that there was nothing that could be done about that if she were president. Then he added that “the Second Amendment people” could stop Clinton. It was a blatant call for someone to assassinate her. I really don’t know how his campaign survives crap like this.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.