Tuesday :: May 20, 2003

Howie Kurtz: Hypocritical Ostrich


by Steve

Howard Kurtz, who has masqueraded as a media columnist for the Washington Post while holding the Bush Administration to a lesser standard than he did the previous one, weighed in with a largely flattering reaction to Ari the Rat’s departure from the White House DisInformation Office. Kurtz allowed an unnamed Administration official to say something in defense of Ari and his testy relationship with the press:

"They took their entire resentment for the secrecy of this organization out on him, and he took that to the podium every single day," says one Bush insider.

Oh boo hoo! Hand me the Kleenex Ma! Will Lassie be coming home soon?

Kurtz then noted what Jake Tapper reported last night in Salon about the White House reporters who said negative things anonymously about Fleischer. And then Kurtz, showing himself to be the hypocritical water carrier for the GOP that he is, closed with this:

We'd be more impressed if some of these big, tough reporters put their name to the criticism.

Then why doesn’t that same rule apply to "Bush insiders?"

Oh, come on Howie! You’ve been sitting on your ass these last several years watching the most retributive, intimidating White House media operation ever punish the likes of Helen Thomas and your paper’s own Mike Allen and Dana Milbank for publishing negative stories and asking tough questions. For the most part, you continue to look the other way when this happens. And then you have the gall to belittle criticisms of Ari the Rat by reporters because they declined to allow themselves to go on the record with Tapper?

Here’s a challenge for you Howie. With Ari on his way out, how about a straight-shooting story from you as to how this White House treats reporters who ask tough questions? Just walk down the hall and talk to Milbank and Allen. It will not cost much.

How about a hard-hitting story about how this White House has been subjected to a lesser standard of behavior than its predecessor has? How about a book on this White House’s media management operation just as hard hitting as the number you did on Clinton in “Spin Cycle”? How about a follow-up to the Elizabeth Buhmiller piece over the weekend in the NYT on how the White House uses taxpayer dollars to stage-manage media events to benefit the president that masquerade as legitimate business?

In other words Howie, how about you take off that collar around your neck leashed to Karl Rove? Why not recognize the environment those reporters are operating under, and do your job to report what is going on, free from your concerns of losing access to a few Georgetown cocktail parties?

But then, that would require you to go on the record and show some guts. And we know that is not going to happen, don’t we Howie?

Steve :: 7:38 AM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!