From the desk of Howard Kurtz: Media walk tricky line on same-sex marriage
February 27th, 2013
11:16 AM ET

From the desk of Howard Kurtz: Media walk tricky line on same-sex marriage

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

Filed under: Blog • From the Desk of Howard Kurtz • Media • Politics • Same-sex Marriage
February 24th, 2013
12:32 PM ET

Stuart Stevens web exclusive

An exclusive interview with Stuart Stevens, former senior strategist for Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign.

Filed under: 2012 Campaign • Barack Obama • Media • Media Criticism • Mitt Romney • Politics • Reliable Sources
February 24th, 2013
12:30 PM ET

President Avoiding The Press

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.

February 24th, 2013
12:29 PM ET

MSNBC Hires Ex-Obama Aides

David Zurawik and Howard Kurtz on what the hiring of David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs means for the future of the left-leaning network.

Filed under: 2012 Campaign • Barack Obama • David Axelrod • Fox News • Herman Cain • Media • Media Criticism • MSNBC • Reliable Sources • Robert Gibbs
February 24th, 2013
12:28 PM ET

Romney’s Man on the Media

Howard Kurtz sits down with Romney campaign chief strategist Stuart Stevens to discuss media bias and the 2012 election.

Filed under: 2012 Campaign • Barack Obama • Media • Media Criticism • Mitt Romney • Politics • Reliable Sources
February 24th, 2013
12:27 PM ET

Stuart Stevens on the 2012 Campaign

More with Stuart Stevens as he tells Howard Kurtz what went right and wrong with Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.


Filed under: 2012 Campaign • Barack Obama • Media • Media Criticism • Mitt Romney • Politics • Reliable Sources
February 24th, 2013
12:26 PM ET

Newest Oscars Star: D.C.

Just hours before the Oscars, Ann Hornaday and Howard Kurtz look at how this year’s crop of contenders have a notably political flavor.


Filed under: Argo • Foreign Affairs • Hollywood • Iran • Lincoln • Media • Politics • Reliable Sources • Terrorism • The Oscars • Zero Dark Thirty
February 24th, 2013
12:25 PM ET

Media Monitor- February 24th

A bogus charge by Breitbart.com against Chuck Hagel, David Brooks lets emotion influence his writing, Bob Beckel’s insensitive comments about college rapes and Robin Roberts returns to Good Morning America.

Filed under: ABC • Bob Beckel • Chuck Hagel • Date Rape • David Brooks • Foreign Affairs • Fox News • GMA • Good Morning America • Hamas • Rape • Robin Roberts
What we're reading this week...
February 22nd, 2013
06:28 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Becky Perlow, CNN 

We know Sunday is only two days away, but if you're itching for some great news until then, here are some of the other stories the Reliable Sources team has been reading about:

Insulting a princess: During a recent lecture at the British Museum, English writer Hilary Mantel shared her worries that the Duchess of Cambridge was becoming "a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung" and that she "seems to have been selected for her role of princess because she was irreproachable: as painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character." Newspapers across the country instantly jumped to the royal's defense, with Prime Minister David Cameron weighing in as well. But is the criticism of Mantel fair? One Guardian reporter says it's worth taking a deeper look at the "lazy journalism" and "raging hypocrisy." She asks, for instance, "what has any paper done with Kate for the past decade but use her as decorative page filler?"

Why producers pre-tape: Every executive producer will tell you that the live interview is always better, but what about when your reporter passes out? Turns out the live segment makes for funny (or scary) TV, as when Australian weatherman Grant Denyer lost consciousness while reporting live from the cockpit of a stunt plane. Warning: this video is not for the faint of heart.

Nielsen adjusts ratings: With viewers trading in their traditional TV for web-based content, media executives are growing increasingly concerned with the fall of ratings (and ultimately, the fall of advertising sales). Nielsen stepped in to save the day, though, promising to consider people who "have a television set hooked up to the Internet, as 'television households.'" It doesn't seem like the new rule will have much affect right now as only 0.6% of households meet this new requirement, but as more homes incorporate tablet computers and internet streaming on their TVs, there's no doubt the media executives will be sleeping more soundly at night.

The re-invented resume: There's no shame in using every social media tool available to score a new job, but one journalist took it to new heights with the use of Vine, a six-second video sharing tool. Former political director for Fox News Radio, Dawn Siff created a "Vine resume" that promoted some of her best assets, from "idea machine" to "deadline Jedi."

So would you hire someone from a "Vine resume?" And what are you reading this week? Tell us in the comments below.

February 22nd, 2013
03:25 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Jamie Gray, CNN

President Obama’s golf outing with Tiger Woods last Sunday caused consternation among the White House press corps, who were denied access to the famous twosome.  Is the Obama White House keeping the president too far from the press or is this level of access par for the course? We’ll discuss with the Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik, Bill Plante of CBS News and Julie Mason of Sirius/XM radio.

We’ll also ask Zurawik whether MSNBC risks becoming seem as the de facto mouthpiece of the Obama administration, after David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, two of the president’s closest first-term confidantes, joined the payroll at the network.

Former Romney campaign senior strategist Stuart Stevens will sit down with Howard for an exclusive interview. He’ll look back at the highs and lows of the 2012 campaign and give his perspective on how the media covered the presidential race.

It’s Hollywood’s big night on Sunday as the Oscars are handed out. With political-themed movies well represented among the nominees, we’ll talk to Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday about how these films portray the inner workings of Washington.

Tune in Sunday morning at 11am ET.

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Filed under: Blog • Reliable Sources • Sneak Peek
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