Kurtz at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Knife Fight
Howard Alan Kurtz
August 1, 1953
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater|| University at Buffalo (BA)|
Columbia University (MA)
|Spouse(s)||Mary Tallmer (1979–?; 2 children)|
Sheri Annis (2003–2018; 1 child)
Howard Alan Kurtz ( // ; born August 1, 1953) is an American journalist and author best known for his coverage of the media.
Kurtz is the host of Fox News's Media Buzz program, the successor to Fox News Watch . He is the former media writer for The Washington Post and the former Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast . He has written five books about the media. Kurtz left CNN and joined Fox News in 2013.
Kurtz was born to a Jewish familyin the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, the son of Marcia, a homemaker, and Leonard Kurtz, a clothing executive. He is a 1970 graduate of Sheepshead Bay High School and the University at Buffalo (SUNY). In college he worked on a student newspaper, the Spectrum, becoming the editor his senior year. Kurtz earned a B. A. (psychology and English) in 1974. He then attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
After college, Kurtz went to work for the Record in New Jersey.He moved to Washington D.C. to work as a reporter for syndicated columnist Jack Anderson. Kurtz left Anderson to join the Washington Star , an afternoon paper. When the newspaper closed in 1981, Kurtz was hired at The Washington Post by Bob Woodward, then the Metro editor. Kurtz has also written for The New Republic , The Washington Monthly , and New York magazine.
Kurtz joined the staff of The Washington Post in 1981 and left in 2010 (29 years). He served there as a national affairs correspondent, New York bureau chief and deputy national editor.Kurtz covered the news media between 1990-2010 for The Washington Post.
From 1998 until 2013, Kurtz served as host of the weekly CNN program Reliable Sources , a cable television program that explores the standards, performance and biases of the media.Kurtz led the scrutinizing of the media's fairness and objectivity by questioning journalists of top news organizations, including those at CNN. The show premiered in 1992 when it originated as a one-hour special to discuss the media's coverage of the Persian Gulf War.
In October 2010, Kurtz announced he was moving to the online publication The Daily Beast .He served as the Washington bureau chief for the website, writing on media and politics until 2013. His salary at The Daily Beast was reported to be $600,000 a year. On May 2, 2013, the site's editor-in-chief Tina Brown announced that Kurtz and The Daily Beast had "parted company". It occurred in the aftermath of a controversy in which Kurtz incorrectly accused NBA player Jason Collins of failing to acknowledge a former heterosexual engagement when he came out as a homosexual, but Kurtz stated the parting was mutual and "in the works for some time". Sources inside the Daily Beast newsroom have stated that Kurtz's departure became inevitable once he began writing for and promoting a lesser-known media website called Daily Download. Brown later said on Twitter she fired Kurtz for "serial inaccuracy".
On June 20, 2013, Kurtz left CNN to join Fox News Channel to host a weekend media program and write a column for FoxNews.com.Kurtz's Media Buzz replaced the Fox News Watch program hosted by Jon Scott.
Media Circus: The Trouble with America's Newspapers (1993, ISBN 0-8129-2022-8)) identifies problems afflicting U.S. newspapers and offers suggestions. Among issues identified are timid leadership, a spreading tabloid approach to news with a growing focus on celebrities and personal scandal, poor coverage of racial issues and the Persian Gulf war, increasing bureaucracy and a pasteurization of the news.
Hot Air: All Talk, All the Time (1997, ISBN 0-8129-2624-2) describes failings of the talk-show and political talk-show format even as it had been rapidly proliferating on television and radio. Some problems he identifies include superficiality, lies, hysteria, lack of preparation, sensationalism, and conflicts of interest.
Spin Cycle: Inside the Clinton Propaganda Machine (1998, ISBN 0-684-85231-4) describes various techniques used by the Clinton White House to put spin the controversies and scandals surrounding the Clintons and to refocus the attention of the media on topics other than non-issues focused on by the media.
The Fortune Tellers: Inside Wall Street's Game of Money, Media and Manipulation (2000, ISBN 0-684-86879-2) addresses the growing public fascination with stock market trading as fueled by cable television shows and internet sites providing platforms to pundits, stock touts, and brokerage firm stock analysts. The potential for manipulation of the media and the public by stock market insiders is discussed.
Reality Show: Inside the Last Great Television News War, (2007, ISBN 0-7432-9982-5) chronicles the struggles at TV networks ABC, NBC and CBS to enhance the stature, credibility and audience draw of their anchors of the evening network news programs. The book's focus is on ABC's Charles Gibson, CBS's Katie Couric and NBC's Brian Williams.
Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press, And The War Over The Truth, which was released in January 2018, discusses Donald Trump's ongoing fights with the news media during the first year of his presidency.The book argues that the media unfairly treated President Trump. According to a review by Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine, "To Kurtz... the “massive imbalance” between Trump’s coverage and coverage of other presidents can only be explained by media bias. He treats this premise as definitionally true — not defending it outright, but simply building his case as though no other explanation could even theoretically exist. And so the strange mission of his book is to analyze the hostile relationship between Trump and the mainstream news media without in any way acknowledging that Trump lies on a historic scale, or has in any other way departed from the historic norms of presidential behavior."
This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (January 2018)
Kurtz has publicly declined to state his political affiliation.As a high-profile media critic and analyst, Kurtz's political leanings and multiple employers and possible biases have been discussed by fellow media critics and pundits. Both liberal and conservative viewpoints have been observed in his writing. Journalist Mickey Kaus, reporting on and partially quoting from a letter by journalist Charles Kaiser in The New Republic , wrote that Kurtz "has large, non-technical conflicts of interest, since he free-lances and takes money 'from the people he writes about, from Time Warner to Condé Nast.'... One seemingly conflicting interest is Kurtz co-hosting CNN's Reliable Sources, in which he obtains monetary supplements as well as national renown."
Kurtz has received criticism for his apparent support of syndicated radio host Don Imus. Former Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly has called out Kurtz for criticizing Fox News. The network covered a story about the United States Justice Department regarding its prosecution of members of the New Black Panther Party for accusations of voter intimidation during the 2008 United States Presidential Election. O'Reilly criticized network news media outlets, particularly Bob Schieffer of the CBS News talk show Face the Nation, for not asking Attorney General Eric Holder about the story. When Kurtz discussed the topic on Reliable Sources, he mentioned that Fox News was "pushing" the story. O'Reilly criticized Kurtz's description that Fox pushed the story and said that Kurtz's newspaper, The Washington Post, had its own ombudsman Andrew Alexander say that it regretted not pursuing the story earlier due to newsworthiness.
KURTZ: I think the argument that I've heard Olbermann make in the past about Fox News – it's not an argument that I embrace – is that, because it poses as a news organization and puts out dangerous misinformation is a cheerleader for the Bush administration, that it's misinforming our society. But you know what? They're entitled to do that.
Kurtz's 2008 Reliable Sources interview of Kimberly Dozier, a CBS reporter wounded in Iraq, was criticized by several members of the media because Kurtz's wife had been paid as a publicist for Dozier’s memoir. During the interview, Kurtz praised Dozier and read passages of her book.
Kurtz married Sheri Annis in May 2003. Annis, a media consultant and political commentator, served as campaign spokesperson for Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and has worked on various conservative political initiatives, including California's Proposition 227 and Proposition 209.
American Media, Inc. (AMI) is an American publisher of magazines, supermarket tabloids, and books based in New York City. Originally affiliated with only the National Enquirer, the media company's holdings expanded considerably in the 1990s and 2000s. In November 2010, American Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to debts of nearly $1 billion, but has continued to buy and sell magazine brands since then.
Fox News is an American conservative cable television news channel. It is owned by the Fox News Group, which itself was owned by News Corporation from 1996–2013, 21st Century Fox from 2013–2019, and Fox Corporation since 2019. The channel broadcasts primarily from studios at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City. Fox News is provided in 86 countries or overseas territories worldwide, with international broadcasts featuring Fox Extra segments during ad breaks.
The Media Research Center (MRC) is an American politically conservative content analysis group based in Reston, Virginia, founded in 1987 by L. Brent Bozell III. It characterizes itself as a media watchdog, but Politico considers it an anti-mainstream advocacy group and the Columbia Journalism Review considers it "propaganda clothed as critique".
Sean Patrick Hannity is an American talk show host and conservative political commentator. Hannity is the host of The Sean Hannity Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show. He also hosts a commentary program, Hannity, on Fox News.
John David Roberts is a Canadian-born television journalist currently working for the Fox News Channel, as its chief White House correspondent.
Louis Carl Dobbs is an American television commentator, author, conspiracy theorist, anti-immigration advocate, radio show host, and the anchor of Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business Network.
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism is a 2004 documentary film by filmmaker Robert Greenwald about Fox News Channel's and its owner's, Rupert Murdoch, promotion of right-wing views. The film says this bias belies the channel's motto of being "Fair and Balanced".
John Phillips Avlon is an American journalist and political commentator. He is a Senior Political Analyst and anchor at CNN and was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast from 2013 to 2018. Avlon was previously a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun and chief speechwriter for former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Mark Reed Levin is an American lawyer, author, and radio personality. He is the host of syndicated radio show The Mark Levin Show, as well as Life, Liberty & Levin on Fox News. Levin worked in the administration of President Ronald Reagan and was a chief of staff for Attorney General Edwin Meese. He is the former president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, a best-selling author of seven books, and contributes commentary to various media outlets such as National Review Online. Since 2015, Levin has been editor-in-chief of the Conservative Review and is known for his incendiary commentary.
The Daily Beast is an American news and opinion website focused on politics and pop culture. In a 2015 interview, former editor-in-chief John Avlon described The Beast's editorial approach: "We seek out scoops, scandals, and stories about secret worlds; we love confronting bullies, bigots, and hypocrites." In 2018, Avlon described the Beast's "Strike Zone" as "politics, pop culture and power".
Reliable Sources is a Sunday morning talk show on the cable/satellite news network CNN that focuses on analysis of the American news media, currently hosted by Brian Stelter. The show is aired from 11:00 am to noon ET, from CNN's Time Warner Center studios in New York City. It is also broadcast around the world by CNN International.
Megyn Marie Kelly is an American journalist and attorney who was a news anchor at Fox News from 2004 to 2017, and a talk show host and correspondent with NBC News from 2017 to 2018. She currently self-reports on her Instagram page and YouTube channel.
The Daily Caller is a right-wing news and opinion website based in Washington, D.C. It was founded by now Fox News host Tucker Carlson and political pundit Neil Patel in 2010. Launched as a "conservative answer to The Huffington Post", The Daily Caller quadrupled its audience and became profitable by 2012, surpassing several rival websites by 2013. The Daily Caller is a member of the White House press pool.
Peter Brian Hegseth is an American Fox News Channel contributor.
One America News Network (OANN), also known as One America News (OAN), is a far-right news and opinion channel owned by Herring Networks, Inc., launched on 4 July 2013. The network is headquartered in San Diego, California, and operates news bureaus in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
The Federalist is an American conservative online magazine and podcast that covers politics, policy, culture, and religion, and publishes a newsletter. The site was co-founded by Ben Domenech and Sean Davis and launched in September 2013.
Media Buzz is an hour-long news media criticism program hosted by Howard Kurtz and featuring Fox News contributor Lauren Ashburn. The show airs Sundays, live at 11am and replayed at 5pm, airing in competition with Reliable Sources. The show replaces the similarly-themed Fox News Watch, the last edition of which aired on August 31, 2013.
William Shine is a former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Most of his career was spent as a producer and executive at Fox News. Most recently, he was co-president of Fox News, a position he held for 9 months before he was forced out on May 1, 2017. On March 8, 2019, the White House announced that Shine was resigning to advise President Trump's 2020 presidential campaign.
Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War Over the Truth is a book by Howard Kurtz, released on January 29, 2018. The book details Donald Trump's ongoing fights with the news media during the first year of his presidency.