WaPo‘s media columnist and CNN “Reliable Sources” host Howard Kurtz has been getting walloped with bad press as of late. The most recent thwack came Wednesday when Columbia Journalism Review in a lengthy story by Zachary Roth slammed him for staying silent on TNR Editor and Owner Martin Peretz’s blog post earlier this month: “Muslim life is cheap. I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”
CJR sharply criticizes Kurtz for making a big splash on former UPI White House scribe Helen Thomas’s slur that got her tossed out, but staying mum on Peretz. FishbowlDC has requested comment from Kurtz. CJR further pounds away at Kurtz’s “top media critic” status, writing:
A clear pattern of racism on the part of the editor of a major political opinion magazine would seem to be an important issue for America’s best-known media critic to address, so yesterday CJR gave Kurtz another bite at the apple. We asked whether he’d now had a chance to focus on the question, or even whether he’d like to comment more narrowly on the appropriateness of Peretz’s most recent anti-Muslim diatribe. Kurtz hasn’t responded.
But CJR‘s criticism of Kurtz is a walk in the park with puppies and babies if you consider the Washington City Paper‘s recent slicing of the longtime media writer…
In the WCP piece, blogger Moe Tkacik, in what appears to be an elaborately emotional outpouring of wildly colorful description, calls Kurtz “extraordinarily awful” for his story on the late columnist Jack Anderson who is written in the book, Poisoning the Press. “Oh for fudge sake, Howie,” Tkacik screams at him toward the end of the piece. “We’re not in bleeping Mayberry anymore. Even you seem to understand this.”