Kurtz Says John McCain Told Him 99% Of Reporters Are ‘Fair’

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By: E&P Staff

At his online chat today at www.washingtonpost.com, media reporter Howard Kurtz responded to a number of questions about the political leanings of the press, from Rupert Murdoch on down.

But one particular question drew a revelation about a recent talk he had with candidate for president Sen. John McCain. Kurtz said that McCain had told him that 99% of reporters actually do a “fair” and “objective” job.

Later in today’s online chat, another reader responded to McCain’s claim: “He’s just sucking up to the press corps, trying to get back on the front page. He misses being a media darling.”

Kurtz replied: “The second part may be true, but his answer to my question wasn’t exactly going to land him on the front page. Nobody even mentioned it but me.”

Here is the “99%” exchange.
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Seattle: You let a questioner posit that newspapers are left-leaning without challenging that assertion. Can you please go back and set him or her straight?

Howard Kurtz: Depends on the newspaper, the story and the reporter. I don’t dispute the notion that many journalists are left of center on social issues and sometimes that can be reflected in their copy or the way they frame stories. I absolutely dispute the idea that most journalists are partisan in a political sense. But hey, don’t take my word for it. John McCain told me on his campaign bus a couple of weeks ago that he believes 99% of reporters try to do a fair and objective job.

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