In the ultimate example of the pot calling the kettle black, Howard Kurtz of Fox News is criticizing MSNBC for having Rachel Maddow co-moderate the most recent Democratic presidential debate.
In a column on FoxNews.com, Kurtz wrote:
Rachel Maddow did a pretty good job in questioning Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at MSNBC’s Democratic debate last night. But she shouldn’t have been on that stage as a moderator, sitting next to Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director and moderator of “Meet the Press.”
But she is an unabashedly liberal commentator who rips the Republicans every night on her program. She should not have been put in that position.
Maddow’s questions, which often were framed from the left, were well phrased but invariably ended with a polite query. Perhaps that’s just her style.
Imagine the reaction on the left if the Fox News moderators at a debate were Bret Baier and Sean Hannity, an unabashed conservative. The criticism of Fox for fielding such a team would have been intense.
Rachel Maddow handled herself professionally in New Hampshire, which is no surprise. What’s surprising is that her network saw fit to cast her in the role of unbiased journalist.
Fox News is the most biased mainstream media outlet in the United States. Pro-conservative bias is at the heart of the Fox News business model. Fox News doesn’t exist because the country needed another 24-hour news network. Fox News exists because it is a conservative 24 hours news network. Fox is the network that introduced the concept of bias as branding into cable news, so for Kurtz to complain about Maddow’s bias is laughable.
Everyone who has moderated a Republican debate on Fox News or Fox Business has been a conservative. There were some inconsistencies in Kurtz’s criticism. Kurtz claimed that Maddow rips Republicans every night on her show, but yet, he doesn’t understand that her polite way of asking questions is how she always conducts herself. How can Kurtz know that Maddow rips Republicans, but have no idea how she asks her questions? It is a contradiction that makes one suspect that Howard Kurtz has never watched much of the Rachel Maddow show.
Kurtz compared Maddow’s presence at the Democratic debate to Fox News having Bill O’Reilly at a Republican debate, but the comparison is inaccurate. Maddow isn’t the MSNBC version of O’Reilly. Maddow has much more in common with the image that Fox is building for Megyn Kelly, and Kelly is at every Fox News debate.
When biased Fox News is whining about the performance of a liberal, that person must have done a good job. There is a reason the RNC runs back to Fox News for more debates on a regular basis. Fox is the home of right wing bias.
The problem isn’t that Rachel Maddow moderated a debate, but that Fox News has no one with the credibility of Maddow at their network. The future of cable news isn’t in the endless Megyn Kelly/Donald Trump feud. The future is in insightful journalist thinkers like Rachel Maddow.
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