Fox’s Howard Kurtz helped validate the BS.
Why the heck was Kurtz, supposedly the media reporter/analyst, interviewing Ron DeSantis in the first place? And in the second place, how the heck did Kurtz not challenge DeSantis’ obvious lies about the media and other things?
You may recall that last Thursday, I wrote about how Murdoch world has been sending loud warnings to DeSantis that he’s running such a terrible campaign, the Murdochs are on the verge of throwing their support, and Fox News’, of course, behind another Republican.
The fact that DeSantis appeared on MediaBuzz instead of, say, Fox News Sunday yesterday smacks of a tossed bone. On the other hand, Kurtz made FNS host Shannon Bream look like Edward R. Murrow.
First up, Kurtz did DeSantis the solid of suggesting his campaign’s problems are all the media’s fault. Never mind that Rolling Stone reported Rupert Murdoch “has privately winced at DeSantis’ nonstop cultural-grievance strategy, arguing that it is being executed sloppily.”
Kurtz’s first question began, “When you are asked about polls, you say the media do not want you to be the nominee and have created a narrative that the race is somehow already over.” Kurtz cited reports in The Washington Post of “doubts” about DeSantis’ campaign and The New York Times reporting that some staff have been cut, yet said nothing about Rolling Stone. Which suggests the Murdoch reporting is accurate. Nevertheless, Kurtz continued by “asking,” “But is all this doom and gloom hurting your campaign?”
Pardon me, but that is a shockingly stupid question coming from a so-called media expert.
Because of course DeSantis said it wasn’t. “Clearly, you see an effort to create these narratives,” DeSantis said. But, he added, “I think the good thing about it is Republican primary voters are very smart. They know where these corporate outlets stand on the political spectrum. And so the extent that they become convinced that the media does not want me to be the nominee above all else, that will, in the long run, absolutely help me.”
If Republican voters are so smart that they see through the supposed media ploys, why is DeSantis doing so badly now? Instead of challenging that dubious claim, Kurtz asked, “Why, specifically, would the media oppose your nomination compared with their mortal enemy for seven years, Donald Trump?” It was sort of a challenging question but in reality it served as an opening for more DeSantis spin.
“Because I think they know that I would beat Biden and beat him soundly,” DeSantis said. Actually, the polls show otherwise. But Kurtz said nothing, letting DeSantis go on about how he’s beaten the left so soundly in Florida.
During his long response, DeSantis made this alarming comment: “The corporate press … [doesn’t] want someone like me to come in and dismantle the administrative state.”
We already know that DeSantis wants to turn the Department of Justice and the FBI into puppet agencies. Rather than ask just how much dismantling of the U.S. government DeSantis plans, Kurtz gave DeSantis a pat on the back for his handling of the media.
“You are well known for taking on the national media, 60 Minutes for example, after a pretty shoddy story. But your critics say you don’t stray much from conservative media. I appreciate you being here on a straight news show,” Kurtz said.
If this was a straight news interview, then I’m the queen of Sheba.
But wait, there’s more. “Media expert” Kurtz said nothing about the offensive ad that repulsed even Republicans, arguing that Donald Trump has been too soft on LGBTQ matters. It was not made by the DeSantis campaign but he stood by it. Here’s how Kurtz described DeSantis’ run to the right of Trump: “You signed a six-week abortion ban in Florida, tough approach on parental rights when it comes to trans issues or school books. But if Congress passes a national abortion ban after six weeks, would you sign it?”
In short, not only would DeSantis sign it, he plans to push Congress into passing it. “Look, the Congress is probably not the place you want to put your hopes and dreams if you’re supporting pro-life,” DeSantis said. “So, I think we’re gonna really have a strong bottom-up approach.”
Finally, Kurtz asked a semi-tough question about the campaign’s lost steam: “What happened to that momentum when Trump was first indicted?”
DeSantis blamed the indictment for his miserable standing in the polls. “Look, I think that the end of the day, the Bragg indictment [for hush money to Stormy Daniels] just elevated him. And it wasn’t so much that people were doing it because he’s indicted. I think a lot of people, including me, believe that it was a miscarriage of justice,” DeSantis said.
Kurtz seconded the theory: “I also would say that when Donald Trump was indicted a second time on the classified documents case, which is more serious, in my view, the same thing happened,” he agreed.
That would have been a perfect opportunity to get DeSantis to talk about the serious classified documents case. Instead, Kurtz furthered the “blame the media” narrative. He continued, “The news was Trump 24 hours a day and that made it harder for all the candidates.”
Sure, harder for the candidates unless you don’t think it might be a good idea to call out a rival for stealing government secrets, stashing them in the bathroom of your country club and sharing them with someone who doesn’t have a security clearance, all of which has been alleged in the 37-count indictment.
You can watch this pathetic excuse for journalism below, from the July 16, 2023 MediaBuzz.