FNC’s Kurtz Cautions Media Against Calling Trump Tweets ‘Racist’ — ‘Goes to Motive,’ People ‘Smart Enough’ to Make Up Own Minds

Tuesday during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” network media critic and “MediaBuzz” host Howard Kurtz questioned the media’s use of “racist” as a declaration to describe President Donald Trump’s recent tweets.

Kurtz argued journos should add a caveat instead of the outright descriptive term “racist.”

“There has been thunderous media condemnation of President Trump’s attacks on these four freshmen, as he knew there would be, as he actually wanted in my opinion because it gets the Democrats to defend the four freshmen,” Kurtz said. “And then he can argue they are siding with women who he calls socialists who hate America. As far as the straight-news people … many, many outlets have just skipped the ‘critics say’ part, and they say ‘racist attacks,’ ‘racist tweets.'”

“I think a better approach is for journalists — and I’m not defending the tweets by the way – is to lay it out but not say it’s racist because that goes to motive,” he continued. “I prefer the way that our colleague John Roberts did it at the White House when he said to the president, ‘Does it concern you that these tweets are seen as racist and are being embraced by white nationalists?”

He went on to add that it should be left up to the audiences of these media outlets to determine as to whether they were “racist” or not.

“[P]eople are smart enough to make up their minds for themselves,” Kurtz said. “Since the president denies any racist intent, people can accept or dismiss that. It’s fine to say ‘racially charged,’ ‘incendiary,’ ‘divisive,’ all of those are fine, but I don’t think the media have to go so far as to say, ‘We don’t believe the president. We think it’s racist.’ Opinion people can do that. I think news organizations need to be more cautious.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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