The Erratic Bernard Goldberg True to Form on Reliable Sources

Howard Kurtz had Bernard Goldberg on his Reliable Sources show (CNN, 2/22/09), weeks after the erratic right-wing media critic blew off his show. You could have had a better conversation about pro-Obama media bias with the drunk on the next barstool.

For example, when Kurtz says:

I think sometimes you’re selective in your evidence. For example, you write about Deborah Howell; she’s the former ombudsman at my newspaper, the Washington Post. You say, “She waited until after the election to write about the tilt on the Post op-ed page toward Barack Obama.” But–and she did, but on August 3, Deborah Howell wrote about the huge imbalance in photos favoring Obama at the Washington Post. On August 17, she wrote that Obama had a 3-1 advantage over McCain in front page stories. So she didn’t entirely wait until after the election.

…it’s really not much of a response for Goldberg to say:

No. But this was the–this was the information that would have done us a —it didn’t do us any good after the election, Howie. I mean, it was nice that she wrote it. It was nice that she acknowledged what just about everybody out in America already understood, that the media did side with one candidate over another.

And when Kurtz tells Goldberg:

You say that the media during the campaign didn’t show enough interest in Obama’s longtime relationship with the “unhinged,” as you put it, Jeremiah Wright, but as you acknowledge in the book, the tapes of those “God damn America” sermons were first aired by ABC‘s Brian Ross, who is a card-carrying member of the mainstream media establishment. And that that story, it seemed to me, kind of dominated the campaign news for several weeks.

…Goldberg’s response is: “It only dominated the campaign after the tapes came out. And the tapes came out way, way late in the campaign.” The story of Wright’s sermons should have dominated the campaign before the tapes of the sermons came out? Not to mention that nine months before the election is not exactly “way, way late in the campaign.”

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.