Howard Kurtz has jumped to Fox News before he could be pushed out of CNN. The marriage between the nation’s highest profile fact challenged media reporter with it’s facts optional cable news network was bound to happen.
After The Daily Beast dumped Kurtz for writing what has been described as, “the world’s worst column” on Jason Collins, CNN claimed that they were reviewing his status at the network. Kurtz’s contract at CNN expired several weeks ago, and no new deal was done. (I suspect that one wasn’t offered.) Howard Kurtz has done what any journalist who has shown a distaste for facts would do in the same situation. He bolted to Fox News. Kurtz will take over the completely unwatchable Fox News Watch program in July.
In a statement, Fox News made it sound like they had just pulled off the hire of the century, “Howie is the most accomplished media reporter in the country. He’s also a master of social media trends, information good and bad, and a veteran political reporter. Altogether, he will add even greater depth to a very accomplished team of reporters and anchors.”
Kurtz promised to bring his independent style of media reporting (stop laughing) to Fox, “I’m excited to be bringing my independent brand of media criticism to Fox News. I want to thank CNN for giving me such a prime opportunity over the years and was tempted to continue, but the chance to create a revamped program and establish a strong online presence was too good to pass up. 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.” (I said stop laughing.)
The problem with Howard Kurtz is that over the last few years, his reporting has gotten progressively more sloppy. In 2011, Newsweek/The Daily Beast had to retract a story Kurtz wrote that contained quotes from Nancy Pelosi that she never said. Kurtz waited six weeks to correct the quotes in another one of his stories, because he thought he was interviewing Rep. Darrell Issa when he was really talking to Issa’s spokesman.
Facts don’t seem to matter much anymore to Howard Kurtz. So, his brand of inside the beltway, pro-GOP talking points media criticism will fit in well with Fox News. Kurtz will tell Fox viewers that both sides do it, and he will play up the evils of MSNBC, while offering the corporate media’s version of self criticism.
People stopped taking Kurtz seriously years ago, and now his journey from media critic to Fox News puppet is complete.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association