At CNN, Howard Kurtz will call it a day!

MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2013

One of the strangest shows ever: Next Sunday, Howard Kurtz will end a 15-year run as host of the weekly CNN program, Reliable Sources.

Kurtz will be going over to Fox, where he will start hosting the weekly program, Fox News Watch.

Kurtz is smarter than most major journalists. Over the years, he has sometimes done good work—and he has hosted one of the strangest programs in cable news history.

The strangeness of Reliable Sources has rarely been mentioned within the guild which is known as the “mainstream press corps.” All your favorite fiery “liberals” have also agreed to stare into air as this program proceeded.

What made this long-running program so odd? Just this:

On Reliable Sources, Kurtz claimed, week after week, to be conducting a show “which trains a critical lens on the media.” But here’s how CNN did that:

First, they hired Kurtz, a member of the upper-end press corps, to host the weekly program. And then, each week, they would assemble a panel of three or four other press corps members to help him conduct his discussions.

Could any other industry even dream of presenting a program like this? Can you imagine a weekly show about health care in which a hospital executive served as host, with three or four other hospital executives serving as his panel?

In any other industry, a show like that would be known as an infomercial. For the past fifteen years, CNN has called its show “a critical look at the media.”

We first posted this obvious point in 1999. Have you ever seen even one of your favorite liberals second this obvious point?

Your favorite stars want to get on TV. Toward that end, they may not tell you the obvious things they are thinking.

It’s your role not to notice these things. After all, they’re on your side!


  1. Where have you gone Jeff Cohen, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you...

  2. Right on Bob. I also noted the slant of Kurtz's positions and avoided his program.

  3. You know, it really seems to me that Somerby is letting his petty hates and myopia prevent him from doing something valuable and interesting. In the wake of the NSA whistleblower and all the attendant coverage, he could turn that critical eye to the way in which that story and its comensurate issues have been covered. Because it bears critical analysis: in my opinion, the public is being ill-served by the MSM who are being cowed much as they were in the aftermath of 9/11. MSNBC commentators like David Corn and Chris Matthews have practically been carrying the President's water.

    And yet since the story broke, Bob has made only a handful of comments. Instead it has been the same tired old hates about Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow, and Maureen Dowd. And of course Chapter 1001 of How Al Gore Got The Shaft.

    Bob, as a long time reader, I'm starting to wonder if you're now too bitter to be of any use. Please seize the moment.

    1. This is how "IT" happens. The tribe that normally opposes government abuses decides the current government is doing enough of what the tribe approves of, so they turn their fire against "paranoids" and their "wild imaginings."

      This is how "it" happens.

    2. If Maddow is lying to me, and Somerby points it out that's "hate."

      Yes, I am as stupid as I sound.

      Long time reader, long time bullshit artist.

    3. Anon 742,

      When was the last time anything on this blog was "valuable and interesting?"

      Just a link would help...with or without comments.

    4. Mostly, the stuff above the fold is valuable and interesting almost all the time.

      The comments, in stark contrast, are generally rubbish, dominated by the likes of DavidinCA's pseudo-libertarian meanderings and irrelevant personal anecdotes dressed as important data points, and augmented by yawn-worthy complaints from "long-time readers" supposedly now disaffected by Bob's doing exactly what he's always done.

    5. Anon@1205: "The comments ...are generally rubbish ...."

      Including yours.

  4. Kurtz is the worst.

    He's a goddamn tone-deaf idiot.

    1. Way to elevate the discourse.

  5. "Could any other industry even dream of presenting a program like this?"

    Well, yes, the American Medical Association for instance. My father was a physician and if we wanted to watch the veins in his forehead bulge we would just mention the AMA.

  6. "Kurtz is smarter than most journalists."

    Damned with faint praise.