Kurtz faithfully jots down misleading Fox attack on Maddow

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Sometimes, it's like Howard Kurtz doesn't even try to do his job. Check out this passage from the Washington Post media critic's profile of Rachel Maddow:

[S]he rejects the notion that she's explicitly pushing for change: "I think of it more in the tradition of muckraking. A lot of the best reporting since time immemorial has been driven by outrage about things not being the way they should be, by the shock at shameless, lying hypocrisy."

She adds: "For me it's a question of whether you're doing advocacy journalism or not. It's not activism -- you see a lot of that at Fox, using news coverage to inspire political participation."

Asked for comment, a Fox spokesperson says, "These feelings that she experienced about Fox News didn't stop her from applying for a job here."

Wait, what? A Fox spokesperson says Rachel Maddow applied for a job at Fox News? What does that mean? How long ago? What were the circumstances? Howard Kurtz doesn't explain; he just leaves it there. That's more than a little odd, particularly since the claim is meant to impugn Maddow's credibility.

Fortunately, Politico's Michael Calderone finished Kurtz's job for him:

So did Maddow, former Air America host and now a star of MSNBC's liberal prime-time line-up, really apply to work at Fox News?

"I never personally applied for a job at Fox," Maddow tells POLITICO in an email. "I have an agent who I assume talks to everyone on my behalf, so I have no reason to believe that Fox's claim that they were approached on my behalf is false, even if I never knew anything about it at the time."

So ... Yeah. It doesn't exactly sound like Maddow was stopping by Fox HQ twice a week to fill out applications and ask for an interview, does it? Actually, Maddow's version doesn't sound like anything that is typically meant by "applying for a job," which suggests that the Fox flak's statement to Kurt was quite misleading. Good thing -- for Fox, that is -- Kurtz didn't ask for an explanation.

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