On last Sunday’s, 4/13/2014, episode of Media Buzz, there was an issue of inconsistency on the part of host Howard Kurtz and co-host, and Fox News contributor, Lauren Ashburn.
A segment called video verdict, contained three separate segments that ultimately displayed an analytical inconsistency on the part of Kurtz and Ashburn.
In one segment, the two analyzed a round table conducted by MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski to discuss the president’s equal pay act.
“How do women speak out?” Mika asked. “How do they say something? I could say something. It was easy.” Mika then talked about how she had a powerful job, with powerful alliances, that allowed her to speak out.
Fox News contributor, Lauren Ashburn, responded that she would’ve liked to see some contrarian points of view, such as that which came from the American Enterprise Institute (that pointed out that the president’s figures regarding unequal pay are inflated) but Ashburn added:
(Mika’s) a liberal, and she says that she’s a liberal, therefore it is to be expected. It would’ve been nice to have (the contrarian viewpoint) addressed, but we know (Mika’s) politics.”
The next segment involved Joy Behar publicly criticizing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie from behind a podium. To this, Kurtz said:
Joy Behar is a liberal comedian, everybody knows that.”
In the final segment of these three, the two analysts condemned the conservative news site Breitbart.com for featuring a photo shopped portrayal of Nancy Pelosi, scantily clad, twerking in a Miley Cyrus pose. After showing this doctored photo, Kurtz said that:
People on the right and the left should denounce this kind of ugliness.”
So, people on the right and left should condemn the ugliness that occurs on the right, but the ugliness displayed on the left is understood because we all know they’re biased? We can be sure that the writers at Breitbart.com are not going to put out a call for Media Buzz to recognize that they’re just as partisan, but they would surely ask why their partisanship should be singled out for universal condemnation among these three incidents.
To be fair, Kurtz did preface his comments on Mika’s presentation with:
I like Mika, but for her to moderate an event set up by the White House, ask no skeptical questions, and make a big pitch for this equal pay bill kind of makes it look like (she’s) part of the administration’s propaganda machine.” Kurtz also said of Mika’s obvious partisanship: “…It’s about appearances. If Sean Hannity had gone to the Bush White House and moderated a round table of Karl Rove, he would have been barbecued.” He then concluded with: “But because there was a fair debate with Joe Scarborough, I’ll give it a three.”
Most of us didn’t see the original broadcast of this MSNBC round table, because most of us don’t regularly watch MSNBC, so it’s impossible to comment on whether there was a “fair” debate that occurred somewhere in the broadcast. Those of us that have seen various other “fair debates” on MSNBC, however, are forced to disagree with Howie, as we have never found Joe Scarborough to be a decent representative of the other side.
While it is admirable, and somewhat unprecedented, that a liberal, like Mika Brzezinski, announces her politics on a continual basis, and it does give her some license to be unfair in her presentations, in the same manner Sean Hannity has license to be unfair with his unapologetic political admissions, should those that analyze either of their comments be so flippant in their dismissals?
Prior to this video verdict segment, For News contributor, and former Bush administration spokesman, Rick Grenell made an interesting point when he stated that the media used any outgoing Bush administration official’s retirement as an opportunity to rehash all of the failures that occurred during their tenure in the Bush administration. With Sibelius’s resignation, the media simply moved on to discussions of the next nominee.
The Wall Street Journal” and “the Washington Post” both had stories about the (Sibelius) resignation really in the context of who’s next. They completely just forgot about the fact that she was a failure, and they went on to the next nominee.”
Believing that Grenell was somehow suggesting that Bush officials received less criticism than Sibelius, liberal, syndicated radio host Bill Press said:
Boy, I remember a lot of beating up on Donald Rumsfeld. I don’t know where you were at the time, but I don’t think he was treated gingerly by the press.”
Anyone that has paid any attention to politics over the last decade had to laugh as Grenell began saying: “That’s my point. That’s my point … ” We’ve all misheard people that speak before us, and we’ve all erroneously responded on that basis, but if Bill Press genuinely believed that a former Bush administration spokesman would claim that one of theirs didn’t receive as much criticism from the media as one of Press’s Democrat friends, then we have to believe that Press may not have been paying any attention to politics, the media and politics, or at least, the Republican portrayal of the media and politics over the last decade. One has to wonder if this syndicated radio host has been hearing what he’s wanted to hear, in this manner, throughout his career, or if his laughable flub should be dismissed because he’s a liberal radio host, and everybody knows this.