Fox News’ Howard Kurtz Compares Ferguson Protesters to Lynch Mob
Howard Kurtz is a journalist who used to work for The Washington Post and CNN, hosting the show Reliable Sources, which critiques media coverage to help separate sensationalism from journalism. However, he recently joined Fox News to host a show called MediaBuzz and either they are forcing him to fit an editorial narrative or they’ve uncaged the beast within.
In an appearance on The Kelly File, Kurtz and Kelly discussed the release of the name of the police officer who shot Michael Brown – the unarmed teenager whose death sparked (so far) 10 days of protests – and showing his home on television. Without any irony at all, Kurtz said that it was a “blunder” because “in this tinderbox environment…anyone with a gun can try to settle a score,” despite the fact that no police officers have been shot throughout these protests. More than they can say for the citizens of Ferguson.
In the ensuing discussion, wherein they admit that reporting live from a subject’s home is a long-standing news trope, Kurtz and Kelly express more concern for Officer Brown’s life than the entire network has for Michael Brown, again despite the fact that very few police officers have been harmed since the protests began.
To be fair, however, their concerns are not completely unfounded, because in Ferguson, Missouri it seems that anything can happen. However, Kurtz goes on to say – again, with no trace of irony – that the most black protesters are “forming a lynch mob mentality” about Darren Wilson. He gets away with this apparently, because words don’t mean things anymore.
Of course, anyone who graduated junior high or even watched any movie deal with race in America’s past knows that “lynch mobs” were groups of white people who hanged black people for offenses like “looking at a white woman” or anything really. To use that term to describe the animus felt by a mostly black community towards what they view as a killer police officer – or a person who represents the system that excludes and/or persecutes them – is simply ludicrous.
While, like anyone, Darren Wilson does not deserve to have his case tried in the court of public opinion, the inept handling of both this case and ensuing protests by the police – Ferguson PD, St. Louis County Police, Highway Patrol, among others – is more to blame than any media narrative.
As far as Howard Kurtz goes, it’s not been more clear that he’s no longer one of those reliable sources.