A Fox News pundit criticized his own network Sunday for its coverage of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who started a rebellion by refusing to pay the government grazing fees and then was later caught making racist remarks.
Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz said on his show, MediaBuzz, that the network took too long to respond to a New York Times report — backed up by video — in which Bundy speculated as to whether blacks weren’t better off as slaves. Fox had championed the rancher as a folk hero before the comments came to light.
Bundy later apologized.
“In my view, Fox News fell seriously short on this story on Thursday,” Kurtz said on Media Buzz. Ignoring the story all day long, as the network did, “gives ammunition to Fox’s detractors.”
The show played a prime time clip of Fox host Sean Hannity — who had been the ardent champion of the Bundy rancher – telling his viewers that he found the comments “beyond disturbing,” repugnant and deplorable. “I give him credit for saying that,” Kurtz conceded.
Republican politicians who initially supported Bundy did an about face after his comments became public.
One guest on Kurtz’s show, journalist Matt Lewis, predicted the storm is not over: MSNBC and other liberal media outlets, he said, “will spend weeks on this, pushing the narrative that conservatives are evil, racist, mean people.”