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February 8th, 2013
10:47 AM ET

From the desk of Howard Kurtz: Enough with stories about who's fat

Editor's note: Howard Kurtz is the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and is Newsweek's Washington bureau chief. He is also a contributor to the website Daily Download.

(CNN) - Can the media get over their collective obsession with weight?

Fat chance.

For some strange reason, here we are again, talking about Michelle Obama's derriere. And, for good measure, Chris Christie's girth.

It's easy, it's fun, it's good for clicks and ratings. It's also kinda cheap.

The Washington Post used a pretty flimsy peg - Alabama high school football coach Bob Grisham caught on tape - to run a Style section piece on the weighty issue. "Fat butt Michelle Obama," the coach is heard saying, declaring her overweight. Grisham was suspended by the school (he says he misspoke).

But this is national news? Really? Find out Howie's thoughts here.

February 1st, 2013
02:54 PM ET

From the desk of Howard Kurtz: Be a little skeptical on immigration reform

Editor's note: Howard Kurtz is the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and is Newsweek's Washington bureau chief. He is also a contributor to the website Daily Download.

(CNN) - The mainstream media - you know who you are - are rooting for immigration reform.

They like the idea of doing something to accommodate the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants, who, despite conservative rhetoric to the contrary, were never going to be banished.

They swoon over the kind of bipartisanship that brings together John McCain and Marco Rubio on the one hand and Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer on the other.

They believe the Republican Party needs to moderate its harsh rhetoric about immigrants - if only to salvage its political future - and are welcoming the GOP's new realism.

But is that enthusiasm causing media organizations to overestimate the prospects for reform?

Find out Howie's two cents here.


Filed under: Blog • From the Desk of Howard Kurtz • Immigration • Politics
January 9th, 2013
03:00 PM ET

From the desk of Howard Kurtz: Why Al Gore's Al Jazeera deal doesn't seem right

Editor's note: Howard Kurtz is the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and is Newsweek's Washington bureau chief. He is also a contributor to the website Daily Download.

(CNN) - So Al Gore starts a liberal cable network, which turns into a complete and utter flop, then sells it to a Middle East potentate in a deal that will bring him an estimated $70 million.

Is America a great country or what?

There is something highly unusual - OK, just plain weird - about a former vice president of the United States doing this deal with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Al Jazeera, owned by said emir's government, is trying to buy its way into the American television market by purchasing Current TV for a half billion dollars. The only thing stranger would be if Gore had sold Current to Glenn Beck - oh wait, Beck did try to buy it and was told no way within 15 minutes.

Continue reading Howie's two cents here.

From the desk of Howard Kurtz: Hijacking the media - Trump shows how easy it is
January 4th, 2013
01:19 PM ET

From the desk of Howard Kurtz: Hijacking the media - Trump shows how easy it is

Editor's note: Howard Kurtz is the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and is Newsweek's Washington bureau chief. He is also a contributor to the website Daily Download.

(CNN) - After a year of national gridlock that ended on the precipice of a cliff, Donald Trump went nuclear.

The man who called Barack Obama's re-election a travesty said Republicans could gain control of the budget showdown because they "are sitting there with a nuclear weapon": the specter of voting against a rise in the debt ceiling in the coming weeks. In other words, the GOP could get its way by again threatening to push the country into default.

The remarkable thing here is not Trump's apocalyptic advice but that the man who still doesn't concede that the president was born in Hawaii draws attention no matter what he says. The colorful businessman has a knack for hijacking the media - and he's hardly alone.

So who else does Howie think hijacked the media? Find out here.

December 20th, 2012
05:10 PM ET

From the desk of Howard Kurtz: Will media stay focused on gun story?

Editor's note: Howard Kurtz is the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and is Newsweek's Washington bureau chief. He is also a contributor to the website Daily Download.

(CNN) - The conventional wisdom is that Newtown has just a few more days to run as a major media story.

The reporters are pulling out of the grief-stricken Connecticut town, which means no more live shots every hour. The White House press corps responded to President Obama's announcement Wednesday of a task force on gun control with the first three reporters asking about the impending fiscal cliff. And after every previous mass shooting, from Columbine to Aurora, the media's attention has soon drifted away.

But will this time be different? Find out what Howie thinks here.

December 6th, 2012
10:12 AM ET

From the desk of Howard Kurtz: The subway picture worth a thousand words

By Howard Kurtz, CNN

Editor's note: Howard Kurtz is the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and is Newsweek's Washington bureau chief. He is also a contributor to the website Daily Download.

(CNN) - It was a horrifying front-page photo in every sense of the word.

It felt cheap, degrading and exploitative in a way that words could never match.

The photo captures a Queens man, Ki-Suck Han, after he had been pushed onto the subway tracks Monday as an oncoming train roared toward him. The screaming headline says it all: "DOOMED."

But the New York Post had every right to run the picture.

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