Saturday, June 04, 2005

King Howie

There is one key rule in contemporary journalism - thou shalt not speak ill of Howie Kurtz. In fact, better to just appoint yourself his personal fluffer and then elevate him to Godhood as CQ has done. CQ Weekly doesn't even bother with the standard "both sides criticize him so he must be doing something right!" line. Consider this paragraph. See if you can wrap your brain around it:

But success is complicated. Kurtz is the target of both fair criticism from industry peers and unfair criticism from some liberal bloggers, who question whether he is tilting toward the right now that he is married to a Republican. (Kurtz says that his wife, public affairs consultant Sheri Annis, hasn’t worked in partisan politics since they married, and their careers are separate.)

See, there are fair critics, they're called "industry peers," and unfair critics, who we will call "liberal bloggers."

Then we get:

From my reporting, Kurtz appears to meet the burden of fair coverage — no one has found a pulled punch to date.

Blogoland starts us off with a few criticisms. My favorite all time Howie Kurtz moment was, of course, when he said this to poor Josh Marshall who dared to point out that the Ari Fleischer was a lying sack of shit and that there was no evidence of the "white house trashing" by Clinton staffers on the way out.

KURTZ: Well, joining us now, Joshua Marshall, Washington Editor of The American Prospect and a write for, and Chris Caldwell, senior writer for The Weekly Standard.

Josh Marshall, you don't know the extent of damage or vandalism by departing Clinton White House aides, and neither do I. So, in writing in Slate Magazine that the press wildly overplayed this story, it kind of sounds like you're acting as a knee-jerk Clinton defender.

Here are the Clinton rules of journalism in full force. We have no way of knowing if these allegations are true, but the real sin is daring to point that maybe a 24/7 media feeding frenzy led by Drudge on an allegation for which there is no actual evidence may constitute overplaying a story.