Earlier today, Howard Kurtz held his weekly chat where he covered such topics as the media’s coverage of Gen. Ricardo Sanchez’s comments on Iraq, his appearance on the Daily Show, and the fate of Washington Post radio. Some excerpts:
- New York: I wanted to write a congrats to your colleague Josh White on his story about Ricardo Sanchez’s comments. For a speech that was more than half devoted to criticizing the absolutely awful job the media has done in Iraq, Josh White was able to write two sentences on the topic — in the 17th paragraph of a 17-paragraph story. (Which is two sentences more than your competition at the New York Times was able to write.) Let me just say that I completely agree with Gen. Sanchez when he said in his speech:
“This is the worst display of journalism imaginable by those of us that are bound by a strict value system of selfless service, honor and integrity. Almost invariably, my perception is that the sensationalistic value of these assessments is what provided the edge that you seek for self agrandizement or to advance your individual quest for getting on the front page with your stories. … The media’s unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda driven biases contribute to this corrosive environment. All of these challenges combined create a media environment that does a tremendous disservice to America.”
Howard Kurtz: I would like to see more coverage of Sanchez’s criticism of the media and also more detail from him on what he finds so objectionable.
Glen Burnie, Md.: Howard, your interview in “The Daily Show” seemed a bit abrupt at the end. Was it edited from its original length?
Howard Kurtz: Some really good stuff! Jon Stewart was so engaged in debating the role of network news with me that he went on for another six or seven minutes beyond our allotted time, telling me that it would be edited out. He was arguing that network news people need to dig harder for the truth and not be dissuaded by pressure from those in power. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, but unfortunately it was relegated to the cutting room floor.
Greenbelt, Md.: At first, I thought WaPo radio sounded like a good idea too. But after reading an article in the paper in the morning and participating in the web chat at lunch, I didn’t really feel like listening to the same person on the same subject again while driving home.
Howard Kurtz: Well, the challenge was to go beyond what was in the paper and provide insight and color in an entertaining way. Sometimes we did that, and sometimes we fell short. Many people here had little experience with radio so it was a work in progress, and we ran out of time.