Kurtz's Law

Check out Howard Kurtz and his panel from Sunday's Reliable Sources (Time Magazine's Mark Halperin, WaPo's Jonathan Capehart, and Townhall's Amanda Ca

Check out Howard Kurtz and his panel from Sunday's Reliable Sources (Time Magazine's Mark Halperin, WaPo's Jonathan Capehart, and Townhall's Amanda Carpenter). Why would you have a person from the right wing "Townhall" to explore the attacks on the Frost family from the right wingers? No balance there---read the transcript and notice how he never criticizes Malkin or the right even though Howard says he's against attacking a sick, 12 year old boy. And he always asks questions as they are framed by the right wing blogosphere.

KURTZ: But is it partisan, Mark, for criticism to be made and for the media to cover questions about the eligibility of the family or their financial circumstances when, after all, the Democrats did try to make Graeme Frost the poster boy for why we need an expansion of the program?

KURTZ: The consensus seems to be that the questions were fair, but certainly the tone can be mean-spirited in a lot of these controversies and it is really striking when a 12-year-old boy is involved.

Whose consensus, Mr. Kurtz? A bunch of right wing apologists for the Bush administration? Those were false charges leveled at the Frost family and not simply questions about their eligibility. And what about their personal information being released? If he was appalled, it never seemed to raise his ire.

Then there's this from the WaPo:

Howard Kurtz: But every guest was offered the opportunity to weigh in. Was it fair to question a family's qualifications for the S-CHIP insurance program after Democrats had made the 12-year-old boy a symbol by having him deliver its weekly radio address? My feeling is yes; you can't say one party can trot out such a symbol and no one can criticize. I also recited instances in which I felt the criticism was misleading: yes, the kid attends a private school, but on scholarship. Yes, the dad owns a home but bought it for $55,000 in a rundown neighborhood in 1990. In short, I tried to put the debate into perspective.

There's a big difference between misleading criticism and vitriolic attacks which Kurtz is certainly trying his best to tone down. The Frost family qualified for SCHIP under the existing parameters, so why should their eligibility be up for discussion? He's just enabling the right wing's tactic of ad hominem attacks. Yet, he was so utterly flabbergasted about some Cheney comments left on the Huffington Post, which he used Michelle Malkin as his source, the extremist right winger who was the driving force in the Frost story, but Howie refused to criticize.

This is really sick.

I know we're living in a polarized time. I know there are people who absolutely detest George Bush and Dick Cheney. I know they like to vent their spleen online, sometimes in vulgar terms, and hey, that's life in a democracy.


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But some of the comments posted after a suicide bomber blew himself up at Afghanistan's Bagram Air Force Base, while Cheney was there--killing as many as 23 people--are nothing short of vile.

The comments appeared on the Huffington Post, which, to its credit, took them down. But some were preserved by Michelle Malkin, and I reproduce them here..

It goes on and on from there....And Howard, Michelle isn't really into you...

Kevin Drum was looking for some help in naming the practice of cherry-picking comments: COMMENT TRAWLING

A reader notes that the practice of trawling through open comment threads to find wackjobs who can be held up as evidence of "crazy liberals" is on the rise. Needless to say, this practice is almost self-discrediting: if the best evidence of wackjobism you can find is a few anonymous nutballs commenting on a blog, then the particular brand of wackjobism you're complaining about must not be very widespread after all. So how can we mock this practice effectively enough to make people ashamed to indulge in it?

So the question is: can someone invent a catchy phrase to basically mean, cherry-picking crazy comments or emails? Or, if one of your readers could find the right way to turn it into a "law," then maybe it could become "X's Law" — a fitting prize for the winner.

I say we give the label to Howard. He certainly is outraged more by those nasty comments about Cheney that do no actual harm than the despicable attacks on and threats to Graeme Frost and his family. Let's possibly call it a Kurtz, The Kurtz Law, Kurtz's Law or Kurtzing. You can come up with a label of your own....Email Howard and ask him why he was so outraged by some anonymous comments left on the Huffington Post, but is playing it sooo cool over the smearing of Graeme Frost. Maybe someone can start a new Wikipedia page for him....

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