You’ll almost never see Howard Kurtz scrutinize CNN in that way. Of course, he’s employed by the network.

On Sunday, Kurtz was brought on to the NPR show “On the Media” to discuss Anita Dunn’s comments. (Alas, “On the Media” offered no analysis of its own, taking instead the lazy approach of a bland chat with Kurtz.) Kurtz observed that

in that original Time Magazine article where Anita Dunn took her first shot at FOX News, she also took shots at The New York Times and The Washington Post. They are frustrated and, frankly, I think it’s because they are not used to what is the typical aggressive and sometimes almost confrontational coverage from the media.

This is what we do. We’re not supposed to get along with these people. They’re not our friends. We’re supposed to hold them accountable. So FOX stands in the White House pantheon as the most aggressive and unfair, they would say, news outlet, but they’re not all that happy with the rest of us, either.

So there it is: Fox is no different from the Times or Post. They’re all just doing their job.

In fact, in not holding demagogues accountable, none of them is doing its job. That might be why the Obama administration felt compelled to engage the issue in the first place.


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Michael Massing is a contributing editor to CJR and the author of Now They Tell Us: The American Press and Iraq.