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Monday, November 29, 2010

Howard Kurtz, Uncaged and Free-Range?

When Howard Kurtz was at WaPo, I wasn't a big fan.

I took Kurtz to task for being As Deep Inside The Beltway As It Gets for his slobbering love note to Chuckie T., notwithstanding that Kurtz did blow the whistle -- after the game was over -- on the Obamamania in the media during the 2008 election.

But I've made the observation before that Kurtz, who now writes at The Daily Beast,
"seems to me to be much more relaxed in his writing and worth reading since he left WaPo."
Kurtz's post today about Sarah Palin confirms my impressions, Palin's 2012 Media Game.  Kurtz gives a pretty fair assessment of how Palin manages to get her message out unfiltered, and how Palin could turn her perceived faults into campaign strengths:
As Palin writes in a broad-brush passage in her book: “Most of those who write for the mainstream media and teach at universities and law schools don't share the religious faith of their fellow Americans. They seem to regard people who believe in God and regularly attend their church or synagogue as alien beings, people who are ‘largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command,’ as The Washington Post once famously put it.” (That was in a 1993 article that produced a much-needed apology.)
Why keep picking at this scab? There is a method to this madness, as her conservative base loathes the media and cheers every punch she throws....
That message, naturally, rankles the journalistic elite, which nonetheless serves as a megaphone for Palin’s musings.
Is this the new, free-range Howard Kurtz? 

Or is it my perception which has changed, now that Kurtz no longer writes from inside the mainstream media cage?

Update:  Don Surber likes the new Kurtz, sorta, too:  "Howard Kurtz is a smart man. He knows why she is avoiding the press; for the same reason I avoid rattlesnakes."
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  1. A worm by any other name is still a worm. Having seen Mr.Kurtz do back flips before I am always leery of converts in the press.From either side!

  2. 1. Money quote from Kurtz:

    John Ellis, a seasoned political analyst and a cousin of George W. Bush, puts it this way:

    “‘She's too stupid’ is what the Establishment GOP really thinks about Sarah Palin. ‘Good-looking,’ but a ‘ditz.’ This is unfertile ground, since Palin can turn the argument on a dime and say: ‘They drive the country into bankruptcy, they underwrite Fannie and Freddie, they bail out Goldman Sachs, they fight wars they don't want to win, they say enforcing the immigration laws is silly and they call me stupid! I'll give you a choice: You can have their smarts or my stupidity, which one do you want?’”

    Since I have come to base my opposition to a Palin candidacy on considerations of risk, I agree with Ellis & Kurtz. The worse things get, the less there will be to lose and I might reassess at some point: a point which, obviously, I hope not to see.

    (When someone at another site asked what poll numbers would imply a Palin victory, my response was, "Dow 4000.")

    2. IMO the opposite scenario--scenario, not prediction--bears keeping in mind:

    Together with his cosmetic moves toward the center, the sanity introduced by the Republican House assures Obama's reelection. GOP candidate Sarah Palin is successfully demonized by the MSM and most independents are alienated. The leftist base, demoralized in 2010, turns out in droves and flips Congress back to the Democrats.

  3. Is there a reason that Matt Drudge links to him as "Howie" Kurtz instead of Howard? Are they good buddies or is this intended as a kind of slam?