Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Media Bias Against Dean

I was trying to post an item about this yesterday when my service crashed, and now it's possibly REAL old news, but here goes anyway.

Howie Kurtz ran an item on his site yesterday about the exit polling being done in New Hampshire for a consortium that includes CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and AP. Here's Kurtz:

"Are the media biased against Howard Dean? Those who think so are getting some new ammunition today. The New Hampshire exit poll that the major networks are using today asks mostly straightforward questions: Are you male or female; white, black or Hispanic; liberal, moderate or conservative? Who did you vote for? When did you decide? Did you pick your candidate because you think he can defeat George Bush or because he agrees with you on the major issues? But on one of the two questionnaires being used, there's this zinger: 'Regardless of how you voted today, do you think Howard Dean has the temperament to serve effectively as president?' "

Zinger indeed. CNN, for just one example, actually used results from this particular question last night on its coverage, with Wolf Blitzer freely interpreting the numbers to mean that Dean has stirred deep concerns that he's too crazy, or words to that effect.

But, then, there's this problem with Howie Kurtz himself, it seems. Kurtz, who hosts Reliable Sources on CNN and writes regularly for the Washington Post, is accused of having more than just a mere conflict of interest. According to his nemesis Eric Alterman, who got his information from MediaWhoresOnline, "MWO has learned from highly informed Washington sources that Howard 'Mistah' Kurtz faces numerous dangerous charges of conflict-of-interest and influence peddling in his media column at the Washington Post ... The charges stem from documented instances of Kurtz's involvement in what appears to be insider trading of information aimed at enriching his wife, GOP right-wing media consultant Sheri Annis ... 'No one has used the word "fired" yet,' one source close to the investigation told MWO, 'but Kurtz better be watching his back.' "

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