Washington Babylon — October 20, 2007, 11:11 am

Report: Kurtz Blog Induces Coma-Like State

Doctors hail discovery; believe reading media critic’s blog could replace more dangerous anesthetics

Not only is Howard Kurtz promoting his new book Reality Show on TV and in the pages of the Washington Post, he’s also got his very own blog to do so as well. If you’re the sort of person who lies awake at night and wonders how Kurtz spends his day, this blog is for you! “Providence, Portland, San Francisco, D.C., Cleveland, Minneapolis, Nashville, L.A., Raleigh, Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit,” reads one riveting post. “Those are the cities where I conducted radio interviews before 10 this morning. And that was before my half-hour on Sirius or my hour with Ed Schultz (or my five minutes with Glenn Beck).”

Kurtz promises to track opinion about his book, which he divides into two categories: “praise” and “smears.” Presumably any criticism of his book falls into the latter category, though so far Kurtz hasn’t shown much interest in tracking his critics.

For example, his first real post, on October 7, was titled “Making Waves” and said that his book was “already picking up steam. Drudge is trumpeting a big item.” His blog never mentions the subsequent reports showing that the “big item” hyped by Drudge (and in the Post), an alleged scoop about former anchorman Dan Rather threatening CBS if it refused to air the Bush/National Guard story in 2004, had actually been published three years earlier in a book by David Blum.

Another thing Kurtz didn’t mention on his blog, at least thus far, was the lunch he hosted for the book yesterday at Charlie Palmer Steak, one of the preferred Washington meeting places for the lobbyists and politicians that Kurtz is so friendly with.

Kurtz links to his self-interview about Reality Show on “Reliable Sources,” which Gawker called an “Auto-fellating stunt.” Kurtz doesn’t link to the Gawker item, but he does discuss the interview at Huffington Post, writing on his blog: “Rachel Sklar calls the Kurtz vs. Kurtz debate on Reliable Sources ‘goofily endearing’ but also inviting ‘sneers from the sneering class.’ The heck with the elite media! Ordinary Americans liked it.”

I’m wondering how Kurtz determined that “Ordinary Americans” were so enamored with his self-interview. Do any ordinary Americans actually watch Reliable Sources? And I love Kurtz, the Washington Post columnist and CNN host, sneering at “the elite media.”

Reader comments, almost universally hostile, are the only thing really worth reading on Kurtz’s blog. Here is a sampling:

—Sweet jesus, are there that many people interested in reading the twaddle you produce about three cardboard cutouts? The mind reels…still, I guess if The Rock can write bestseller, it shouldn’t be beyond your powers.

— Will this book be available on the remainders shelf of “Books a Million” this weekend?

— I don’t care what these other people say, I love your blog! Mom

Yes, it’s Howard Kurtz, hero of Ordinary Americans.

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Postcard October 16, 2013, 8:00 am

The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2015

Weed Whackers

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Tremendous Machine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Goose in a Dress

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Genealogy of Orals

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Romancing Kano·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:

The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.

leadership
service
integrity
creativity

Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.

Article
The Prisoner of Sex·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“It is disappointing that parts of Purity read as though Franzen urgently wanted to telegraph a message to anyone who would defend his fiction from charges of chauvinism: ‘No, you’ve got me wrong. I really am sexist.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Gangs of Karachi·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
Article
Weed Whackers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Defining 'native' and 'invasive' in an ever-shifting natural world poses some problems. The camel, after all, is native to North America, though it went extinct here 8,000 years ago, while the sacrosanct redwood tree is invasive, having snuck in at some point in the past 65 million years.”
Photograph by Chad Ress
Article
The Neoliberal Arts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“College is seldom about thinking or learning anymore. Everyone is running around trying to figure out what it is about. So far, they have come up with buzzwords, mainly those three.”
Artwork by Julie Cockburn

Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:

65

An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.

A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today