You would think a high-profile media reporter like Howard Kurtz would hold himself to a certain standard when it comes to what he aggregates out to the world. Well, not when it comes to trashing the Catholic Church. Yesterday, without comment or criticism, Kurtz aided and abetted Andrew Sullivan's crusade to smear the Catholic Church with this tweet.
Kurtz's tweet leads to this story, which not only misidentifies Sullivan -- one of Obama's highest profile supporters -- as a conservative, but is nothing more than an aggregation of Sullivan's latest smear campaign (more on that here). This is Sullivan's stock-in-trade: with no evidence or reporting to back them up, Sullivan manufactures vicious rumors against the right, knowing his media pals will report those smears until they gain traction in the outside world.
To defend his aggregation of Sullivan's baseless attack, the Daily Download's Chris Sinclair tweeted me a link to a story from last month, in which the Daily Download criticized Sullivan's smear of Pope Benedict. But of course they did! The media also tsk-tsk'd Sullivan's trashing of Sarah Palin's family. But they also made him pay no price for it. Instead, the Palin smears won him all kinds of mainstream media attention, just like the Church smears.
It's a game the media plays so they can have their cake and eat it. Out of one side of its mouth the Daily Download criticizes Sullivan, while out the other they help him aggregate out to the world what they know to be false.
The media loved Sullivan's baseless attack on Palin's family, and now Howard Kurtz and the Daily Download are loving his baseless attacks on the Church. Why else would Howard Kurtz aggregate Sullivan's latest without comment or criticism? Why else would they identify him as a conservative when the whole world knows he is not?
We now live in a media environment in which a full-blown smear-merchant is treated with more respect than Bob Woodward.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC