SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
Need to create a login? Want to change your email address or password? Forgot your password?
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
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.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Average number of days an oiled seabird survives in the wild after cleaning and release:
Epilepsy drugs can extend the life of worms by 50 percent.
A deaf dog belonging to a deaf owner was shot and killed in Alabama, and an Indiana dog’s skin troubles were found to be caused by an allergy to humans. “It’s just not his fault,” said the owner of Lucky Dog Retreat.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”