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Howard Kurtz        

Host of Media Buzz on FOX News

Howard Kurtz is the host of Media Buzz on FOX News, where he examines the bias and shortcomings of the news business. Kurtz scrutinizes the media's fairness and objectivity by questioning journalists of top news organizations, including those at FOX News, on subjects ranging from politics to technology, business, culture and sports. He appears frequently on such programs as the O'Reilly Factor and Special Report. Before joining FOX News, for 15 years, he served as the host of the weekly CNN program Reliable Sources.

Covering the media since 1990, Kurtz has served as Washington bureau chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, where he oversaw the website’s coverage of Washington and wrote about the intersection of politics and the media. Prior to joining The Daily Beast, Kurtz was the longtime media reporter for The Washington Post, where he wrote a regular column called Media Notes. He joined the newspaper in 1981 after the demise of The Washington Star, and covered urban affairs, the Justice Department and Capitol Hill. He also served as The Washington Post's New York bureau chief.

Kurtz is the author of five books on the media, most recently Reality Show: Inside the Last Great Television News War. He is also the author of The Fortune Tellers: Inside Wall Street’s Game of Money, Media, and Manipulation and Spin Cycle: Inside the Clinton Propaganda Machine, a New York Times best-selling book about how the Clinton White House dealt with scandal and the press. Kurtz also has written Hot Air: All Talk All the Time, described by The New Yorker as "the definitive book on the talk show explosion." His first book, Media Circus: The Trouble with America's Newspapers, was voted the best recent book about the media by American Journalism Review in 1995.

He has sparred with the likes of Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, George Clooney, Barbara Walters, Ted Koppel, Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Jim Lehrer, Keith Olbermann, Jimmy Carter, and John McCain. He has also written for such magazines as Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, The New Republic, the Washington Monthly, New York magazine and Columbia Journalism Review.

Speech Topics


Obama and Expectations

Washington has been paralyzed by two political parties beholden to big-money interests, their own extremes and a cable culture that amplifies inflammatory attacks. Kurtz examines how President Obama was swept into office on a wave of unrealistically high expectations, only to be stymied by the reality of Beltway gridlock, relentless partisanship and a fickle media. With an eye to the future, Kurtz looks at what lies ahead for a second Obama term in conjuction with a divided Congress and how today's news will affect all parties.

The New Age of Blogging and Twittering

While others decry a Wild West environment where anyone can say anything, Kurtz applauds the technology that empowers ordinary citizens and breaks the stranglehold of the establishment media. Journalists dismiss this movement at their peril, while consumers must learn to navigate this universe of insta-news and perpetual punditry by sorting facts from rumor and slander.

The Collapse of the Mainstream Media

The old journalistic establishment is dying from a series of self-inflicted wounds: arrogance, inaccuracy, blandness and the failure to adapt to a digital revolution that is slowly strangling newspapers. A reporter who predicted that newspapers faced irrelevance in the early 1990s, Kurtz offers a cold-eyed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the YouTube age and whether print publications can survive.

Why Liberals Now Hate the Press

After decades of conservative distrust, the media are now feeling the heat from disgusted liberals who see journalists as part of a corporate elite that abetted the Iraq war, coddled the Bush administration and are undermining the Obama White House. Kurtz explores the vitriolic atmosphere, the shortcomings of the press, and how some partisans on both sides are more interested in demonization than fairness.

My Journey on Facebook and Twitter

In this presentation, Kurtz examines how he became active on Facebook and Twitter and wound up with over 30,000 Twitter followers. He discusses how these social networks, especially Twitter, have become an important source of breaking news; given more influence to ordinary folks to distribute and comment on news; how network anchors and other media hotshots are trying to tap into the culture and share more of themselves; and how it's also become a land mine that has ended some journalistic careers.

2014 Political Showdown

Howard Kurtz examines why President Obama's failures put the Democrats in a deep hole in the midterm elections. He scrutinizes the media coverage of both parties, the civil war between establishment Republicans and the Tea Party, and controversies surrounding such GOP figures as Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee. Kurtz also looks at why the President has flopped in his second term, how he lost the support of media liberals, the administration's crackdown on press access and its pushback against Fox News.

The New Age of Twittering

While others decry a Wild West environment where anyone can say anything, Howard Kurtz applauds the technology that empowers ordinary citizens and breaks the stranglehold of the establishment media. Journalists dismiss this movement at their peril, while consumers must learn to navigate this universe of insta-news and perpetual punditry by sorting facts from rumor and slander.

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