Howard Kurtz and his take on “Media Madness”

The following is an excerpt from my Full Measure story with media critic Howard Kurtz. Watch the video and read the full story at the link at the end of this article.

In recent days, after President Trump withdrew US troops from Syria, some of the criticism was accompanied by dramatic video on the news. ABC News aired video they claimed showed attacks by Turkish troops on Kurdish civilians, telling of slaughter and ‘horrific reports of atrocities’. But ABC removed the video and apologized on Monday after online viewers seemed to find the video wasn’t shot recently and wasn’t even from the Mideast… but from a gun show demonstration in Kentucky in 2017.

The network did not explain -how- such a mistake could have happened. President Trump tweeted: A big scandal at @ABC News. They got caught using really gruesome FAKE footage of the Turks bombing in Syria.

The war between the media and Donald Trump sometimes looks like one of mutually assured destruction. And sometimes, truth is a casualty.

We talk about that with Fox News media critic Howie Kurtz, author of: Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press and the War Over the Truth.

Sharyl: Is there such a thing as an objective press?

Howie Kurtz: There may not be such a thing as a purely objective press, because everybody brings their own biases. But, I think there is such a thing as a press corps that strives to be fair. I think there are reporters and journalists and even some anchors that do try to be fair, even in this hyper-polarized environment, where whatever you say or do, you get hammered by one side or the other as being pro-Trump or anti-Trump. It happens to me every hour or so. But, I think we’re seeing fewer and fewer organizations committed to the notion of trying to be fair. There is this tone. Sometimes, it’s snarky. Sometimes, it’s disgusted about, what did he do today? How is he undermining democracy? Look, there’s a lot to investigate in this administration. There was a two-year investigation of the Russia matter. Even when Bob Mueller came out and recommended no criminal charges, it seemed like there was a brief pause, and then the press was back at it night after night, day after day, in what Trump supporters would see as pretty hostile coverage.

Sharyl: You were on the leading edge in a way. You wrote before the Special Counsel Robert Mueller Report came out that the press had overreached too often when reporting on that.

Howie Kurtz: I don’t think there is any question, even though I never said that this is a witch hunt or the Mueller investigation was somehow illegitimate or a coup. I’ve never bought into any of that language. Of course, there were a number of indictments. But, it seemed to me that every little development, somebody hiring a lawyer, some new peripheral player being interviewed, some subpoena battle on Capitol Hill, got the breaking news banners, crisis treatment, constantly, to the point where I think it exhausted the country. Especially, now, the President is not going to face any criminal charges, I think a lot of people are just tired of it. But, the media are not tired of it, and I think it’s still working for them as a narrative and working for them as a business model. (Continued…)

Watch the story and read the rest of the article by clicking the link below.

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