Fox’s Kurtz on Stelter’s Canceling: Only One Media Analysis Show Left!

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The news of CNN canceling Brian Stelter’s Reliable Sources show wasn’t just relegated to chatter on CNN, towards the end of the only other national media analysis show MediaBuzz on the Fox News Channel, host Howard Kurtz had his own thoughts to share. What many people may not remember is Kurtz hosted CNN’s Reliable Sources before Stelter took the reins and ruined the show’s reputation. So it’s fitting that he spoke out about the show’s inevitable demise. 

Kurtz started by informing viewers why he’s kept quiet about CNN’s Reliable Sources since coming to Fox: “When I came to Fox nine years ago to launch MediaBuzz, I made it a personal policy not to talk about the rival show on CNN. Well, that program has now been canceled.”

Quick not to look like he’s gloating, Kurtz quickly followed up by noting “TV is a tough business. Ratings bounce around, talents get let go, including hard working staffers, so I’m not going to get personal, not going to knock anybody, just wish them well.”

He then addressed new CNN president Chris Licht’s desire to have “less extreme partisanship on the network.” Kurtz agreed that a return to the network’s roots “makes sense” but “the problem is after six years of bitterly anti-Trump and relentlessly anti-Fox programming, CNN had surrendered that reputation.” 

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When it came to coverage of CNN canceling Reliable Sources, Kurtz noted that most media outlets “except for The Washington Post didn’t bother to mention MediaBuzz.

This goes to the heart of the left’s treatment of Fox News. They only focus on shows that they can use to paint the network as a “right-wing opinion” channel. Any focus on a serious show like MediaBuzz undercuts their narrative. 

According to Kurtz, “many also didn’t mention that the other show on CNN had been my show. I helped build that franchise, and I was very proud of being fair to conservatives, liberals, independents and everyone else.”  

Kurtz ended by gloating that his show is the last media analysis show standing: “We’ve shown there’s a loyal audience that grades fairness over partisanship. So now there’s only one media analysis program on national television, and you’re watching it.” 

Well deserved! Congratulations to Howard Kurtz and the entire Fox News team! This shows viewers want serious media analysis and criticism, not someone who will defend the media and apologize for them even if they’re wrong. 

To read the transcript click “expand”:    

FNC’s MediaBuzz
August 21, 2022
11:54:56 a.m. Eastern

HOWARD KURTZ: Now for another story you might have heard about, when I came to Fox nine years ago to launch MediaBuzz, I made it a personal policy not to talk about the rival show on CNN. Well, that program has now been canceled. Look, TV is a tough business. Ratings bounce around, talents get let go including hard working staffers, so I’m not going to get personal, not going to knock anybody, just wish them well. 

But I will say this: Chris Licht, the new president of CNN made clear when he took over in the spring that he wanted less extreme partisanship on the network. A return to its roots. And that makes sense. The problem is after six years of bitterly anti-Trump and relentlessly anti-Fox programming, CNN had surrendered that reputation, and it had plenty of company in the business. Then the sugar high of Trump-driven ratings wore off with the former President’s departure. 

Now, when you have two media shows going head to head and one with less than half the ratings is taken off the air, that might be considered part of the story, but most mainstream accounts, except for The Washington Post didn’t bother to mention MediaBuzz, which is fine. Many also didn’t mention that the other show on CNN had been my show. I helped build that franchise, and I was very proud of being fair to conservatives, liberals, independents and everyone else. It was a different era at CNN.

Now, everybody makes mistakes, including me, but fairness is the brand I brought here. With our also very strong opinions of commentators as well as many journalists who try their best to play it straight in this hyper-polarized era which I’m reminded every few minutes. Not everyone wants balance, they just want you to be on their team. But I believe we’ve shown there’s a loyal audience that grades fairness over partisanship. So now there’s only one media analysis program on national television, and you’re watching it. 

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