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) – As same-sex marriage has become accepted in a way that would have been unthinkable a decade ago, the media have - perhaps unwittingly - played a crucial role.
It's not that most journalists lean left on such social issues as gay rights, though that's hard to dispute. It's that the power of pictures can neutralize political propaganda.
Once same-sex marriage was legalized in such early states as Iowa and Massachusetts, the photos and footage of happy couples celebrating made clear that no one was really threatened by such unions. The visuals put a human face on the debate.
Even as stories quoted people who remained staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage, the pictures conveyed that the sky was not falling - and by the time New York, Maryland and Washington legalized same-sex unions, it was, well, less newsworthy.
But that's hardly true everywhere, as a stunning backlash in Mississippi makes clear.
Want to read more about what happened in Mississippi? Find out here.
An exclusive interview with Stuart Stevens, former senior strategist for Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign.
After the press are denied access to President Obama’s golf outing with Tiger Woods, Bill Plante, Julie Mason, David Zurawik and Howard Kurtz discuss how open this White House has been to the fourth estate.
Howard Kurtz sits down with Romney campaign chief strategist Stuart Stevens to discuss media bias and the 2012 election.
More with Stuart Stevens as he tells Howard Kurtz what went right and wrong with Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
Just hours before the Oscars, Ann Hornaday and Howard Kurtz look at how this year’s crop of contenders have a notably political flavor.
Keli Goff, Will Cain and Howard Kurtz on the coverage of the 2013 State of the Union address.
Jane Hall, Paul Farhi, Frank Sesno and Howard Kurtz discuss the CNN host's interview with the Fox News anchor.
Jane Hall, Paul Farhi, Frank Sesno and Howard Kurtz debate the split media coverage that jumped between the Dorner manhunt and President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address.
By Cassie Spodak, CNN
Hillary Clinton marked her final week as Secretary of State with a plethora of exit interviews on all the major networks that mostly stayed away from the hard issues. Should Steve Kroft and co. have given her such an easy ride?
Al Gore went on a media blitz this week to promote his new book, but the environmental activist also faced questions about his sale of Current TV to the fossil fuel-producing Qataris of Al Jazeera. Were the media tough enough on him or did they let some apparent contradictions slide? Also, MSNBC faced accusations that they selectively edited video of a Sandy Hook shooting victim’s father giving testimony. Was he really heckled?
We’ll examine all these topics with Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, Amy Holmes of “The Blaze” and former PBS correspondent Terence Smith.
Geraldo Rivera set media tongues wagging when he said that he was “truly contemplating” a run for one of New Jersey’s Senate seats. Is he serious? We’ll ask SiriusXM political talk show host Pete Dominick and Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter for their take.
Finally on Super Bowl Sunday we’ll preview the big game in the second part of our interview with long time NBC Sports host Bob Costas and examine why companies are now releasing their Super Bowl ads before the big game kicks off in a discussion with Barbara Lippert of MediaPost.
This Sunday at 11am ET.