Howard Kurtz, who fancies himself a leading media critic, ended his CNN run and will now move to Fox News. His final edition of ‚ÄúReliable Sources‚ÄĚ featured predictable and telling praise for Fox‚Äôs ‚Äúcall for balance‚ÄĚ in covering last week‚Äôs Supreme Court rulings on marriage.
As noted by Media Matters, Kurtz said when¬†”the Supreme Court issued a pair of rulings boosting same-sex marriage, the only real question was how far the media would go in treating it as a victory.” He also questioned whether journalists are “being fair to the other side of this emotional debate.”
Then came the praise for his new masters at Fox, where ‚Äúthere were few outright denunciations of the rulings, but there was a call for balance.‚ÄĚ
So he acknowledges that there were, in fact, denunciations of the rulings on Fox, but that‚Äôs OK? And does anyone really think ‚Äúthe other side‚ÄĚ in this debate has been treated unfairly considering their long history of attacking our families, often unchecked by mainstream media?
Does Kurtz think that a few minutes of positive coverage on CNN makes up for 40 years of anti-LGBT propaganda on television, radio and in magazines and newspapers? Forty years or more of portraying us as sick, as pedophiles, as threats to national security, as immoral and worse? He seems very concerned about MSNBC celebrating the rulings, but where was his voice on LGBT media attacks over the past few decades that he‚Äôs been covering the media?
And now he‚Äôs headed to Fox News, which every casual media observer knows is a mere extension of the Republican Party PR machine. As for Kurtz‚Äôs new co-workers, they are a laughable lot known for their phony sanctimony.
As someone who‚Äôs appeared on Fox‚Äôs leading show ‚ÄúThe O‚ÄôReilly Factor,‚ÄĚ I can attest to the fact that Bill O‚ÄôReilly‚Äôs schtick is just that ‚ÄĒ an act. Before the cameras are turned on, O‚ÄôReilly is chatty, friendly and even a fan of the Blade. But as soon as we go live, he transforms into an angry faux populist.
From O‚ÄôReilly‚Äôs faux populism to Shepard Smith‚Äôs faux heterosexuality, nothing at Fox is as it seems. Most of us are clever enough to see through the charade, but Kurtz is willing to turn a blind eye in order to collect another paycheck. (How many employers is that for Kurtz? He‚Äôs running out of venues willing to pay for his brand of media ‚Äúcriticism.‚ÄĚ)
Fox News will make a perfect new home for the so-called critic who has wasted no time in kissing the ass of the new boss. Kurtz should take some time this summer to read one of the many good books chronicling the media‚Äôs long anti-LGBT bias.