Suddenly, Today correspondent is an entry-level job?

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

George W. Bush's daughter has a new job:

NBC's "Today" show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent - former first daughter Jenna Hager.

The daughter of former President George W. Bush will contribute stories about once a month on issues like education to television's top-rated morning news show, said Jim Bell, its executive producer.


Bell said Hager won't be covering politics. He said he didn't consider the job as a down payment for a future interview with her father, who has been living quietly in Texas since leaving office earlier this year. Attacks on NBC News by conservatives for the liberal bent of MSNBC also had nothing to do with it, he said.

Right. With no journalism experience and a couple of years as a teacher under her belt, Jenna Hager was simply the most qualified person available to cover education for the nation's top-rated morning news program. Didn't have anything to do with who her father is, or with appeasing conservatives. Sure.

Speaking of MSNBC and conservatives, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz was up to his old tricks again last week, ignoring the existence of Joe Scarborough in order to portray the cable channel as a hotbed of liberalism. Here's Kurtz in last week's online discussion:

Bethesda, Md.: The issue does not seem to be that the traditional media is 'impotent.' It is that it is increasingly difficult to determine what the traditional media is and is not. CNN, MSNBC, others have 'news' hours and 'opinion' hours so interchangably that no attempt to divide these is successful in dispelling the perception that the media outlets simply report opinions and slant as news facts. ...

Howard Kurtz: You're right about the first part--CNN (where I'm a contributor) has Dobbs, MSNBC has Olbermann and Maddow, Fox has Hannity, O'Reilly and Beck. As for American news organizations being seen as having a slant, that is in the eye of the beholder. But I will tell you that there are many news organizations that try hard to deliver balanced reporting.

MNSBC also has Joe Scarborough, of course -- and Mika Brzezinski, who says conservative Palin supporters (unlike the rest of us) are "real Americans."

Now, if this was just a one-time thing, Kurtz's omission of Scarborough would be no big deal, even though he does set up a contrast between MSNBC's liberal hosts and Fox's conservatives.

But this isn't a one-time thing. Kurtz has a long track record of pretending Scarborough doesn't exist in order to portray MSNBC as liberal. It's a track record I've documented extensively. It's a track record Kurtz has been criticized for in previous online discussions, and via Twitter.

Now, with Jenna Bush's new gig, Kurtz has someone else to ignore when discussing the political leanings of MS/NBC journalists.

Joe Scarborough, Howard Kurtz
Today Show
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