Sunday, September 21, 2008

What’s in Howard Kurtz’s “closet?”

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air blog:

Howard Kurtz issues a rather amazing analysis of John McCain’s ad connecting [former Fannie Mae chief executive] Franklin Raines to Barack Obama.

The Washington Post media analyst calls the basis of the McCain ad a “disputed premise” — despite his own newspaper’s reporting on the Raines-Obama relationship:
Analysis: This John McCain ad is based on a disputed premise.

There’s no dispute that Obama has no background in economics — but then, neither does McCain, which makes this an odd charge for the Arizona senator to hurl.

Fannie Mae did collapse, requiring a government takeover, and Raines, its former chairman, paid $25 million in April to settle a case brought by federal authorities investigating his role in the agency’s accounting problems. But he has never been a close adviser to Obama.
Morrissey follows Kurtz’s “analysis” with praise for Kurtz whom he says “usually tries to approach [his work] without bias, and mostly succeeds[.]"

Morrissey has more praise for Howard Kurtz before saying:
So when I tell you that Howard is talking out of his hat [on the McCain ad], I say it with respect and affection.

Why do I say that? His own newspaper has twice reported the relationship between Raines and Obama, and on one of those occasions, Raines was their source:

• 7/16/08: “In the four years since he stepped down as Fannie Mae’s chief executive under the shadow of a $6.3 billion accounting scandal, Franklin D. Raines has been quietly constructing a new life for himself. He has shaved eight points off his golf handicap, taken a corner office in Steve Case’s D.C. conglomeration of finance, entertainment and health-care companies and more recently, taken calls from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters.”

• 8/28/08: “In the current crisis, their biggest backers have been Democrats such as Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (Mass.). Two members of Mr. Obama’s political circle, James A. Johnson and Franklin D. Raines, are former chief executives of Fannie Mae.“

Howard never mentions these articles. What are we to make of this omission, and of Howard’s declaration of the relationship as a “disputed premise”?
Morrissey answers his rhetorical question:
It seems that the lesson is that readers shouldn’t trust the reporting at the Washington Post. After all, these articles contain no corrections and have not been retracted, and more to the point, never raised an objection from Barack Obama until now. (all emphasis Morrissey’s)
Morrissey does a fine job letting readers know Kurtz’s “analysis” is indisputable bosh.

Now my rhetorical question: Why does an intelligent, articulate media critic like Howard Kurtz jump into print and the Net with an “analysis” that’s such indisputable bosh?

IMO because, for all his protestations of non-partisanship, there are Democratic Party “clothes” in the Kurtz “closet.” And from time-to-time such as now, Kurtz slips them on under his non-partisan cover. But his Dem "clothes" are showing through.

Morrissey's closer: "Howard needs to rethink his analysis, or the Post needs to start issuing retractions."

What do you think?

Morrissey's entire post's here; Kurtz's "analysis" is here.


Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, the Republicans were relatively reasonable people,standing for balanced budgets, avoiding military adventures, and the like. Over the last generation, they’ve somehow turned into a cult, with divinely chosen, divinely inspired leaders.

nick said...

Just for comparison between them.

Anonymous said...

John, This is off-topic but I think it is should be noted.
"Dems Threaten Anti-Iran Rally Organizers With IRS Attack if They Let Palin Speak

Newsbusters ^ | 09/21/08 | Warner Todd Huston

News has emerged that the organizers of that anti-Iran rally that famously got snarled up in Senator Hillary Clinton's ire at Governor Sarah Palin last week were [threatened by New York Democrats with IRS action against their tax-exempt status]if they allowed Palin to speak.

CBS local NY news reported this little fact and so did NBC but most of the national news has ignored this outrageous threat to use the IRS to silence Governor Palin."