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Howard Kurtz of CNN rejects logic

Howard Kurtz, of CNN, the Host of Reliable Sources rejects logic in his attempt to avoid giving an opinion. Mr. Kurtz rejects the idea that you necessarily either have an opinion or you don't . He thinks there is some third option. He rejects the law of the excluded middle. At the same time, he claims it is his job to reveal contradictions in a politicians thinking. How can use logic if he denies the law of non-contradiction and its corollary, the law of the excluded middle? He appears to have a contradiction on contradictions.


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Kurtz reveals in a round about way

that the msm as it exists today is irrelevant. He clearly has no position on a very important issue so his very job is irrelevant. It IS possible to take a public position AND be objective like Judge Napolitano,for example. CNN and the like are dead to me.

"If you want detailed information" on some issue or subject

go to newspapers, internet, anywhere but TV. TV only has time for sound-bites. Got It! A long time ago.

How about integrity? Uh, can't help u there, Jan...

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

a lot of you miss the point of Jan's line of questions

Jan asks 3 or 4 questions that are often small, and lead to the real question.

I would say that many of his interviews never get past the 1st or 2nd question, because the interviewee dodge them with everything they can muster. (and by dodge, I mean crafty non-answers)

He doesn't ask meta questions, because when you ask an over arching question, this gives latitude to the interviewee to articulate like a politician or pundit, with long, gray, hedged answers that are vague and overly broad.

Instead, he usually asks a simple question, that gets to the heart of a principle.

What is truly bizarre is how many people behave as if he is trying to trap them. Usually, if you answer the initial questions truthfully, and without dodging, he's going to give them time to give longer nuanced answers to the more difficult questions that build on the initial easy ones.

I've got a couple of friends who are masters at this technique, and it results in many people stomping off, or cussing them out. I've been exposed to it countless times. I play along, and answer truthfully, and then once you get to the point where my principled answers at the beginning of the interview collide with cold hard reality, I just tell it like it is.

Unfortunately people don't want to hear the ugly truth. And I suppose politicians, pundits, and talking heads all avoid it like the plague. Vague, generic statements is all they can tolerate. Because they are afraid. They are afraid of their corporate masters, they are afraid of losing their audience, or their sponsors, or they are afraid of how their peers might react, who also are afraid.

Jan is a genius. It's unfortunate that 90% of interviews terminate early because the other person is going to get exposed for not having thought very deeply through an issue, or even worse, are on the wrong side of an issue, once you clear away the new speak.

I think this interview was OK. It was really about the role of television news, it got away from him a little bit this time. I think the opening question might have been too long, and thus gave the interviewee a broad base to launch an answer from. The interviewee answered honestly up front, about it being theater. This was a good tactic, because it allowed him to avoid the first landmine, and bought him some time to create more nuanced answer. Jan also asks questions like "shouldn't we increase the debt?", "or shouldn't we have better programs to feed the poor?" ..or in this case "shouldn't you have an opinion?" It's not that Jan wants journalists to have bias/opinion, or bloated federal programs that do a lousy job of feeding the poor, or that he wants increased debt ...he wants to see if the interviewee will get sucked into that answer. This particular interviewee was adept at avoiding those landmines, but he did contradict himself. First he admitted that tv news (in the arena of politics) was largely theater. (I'd argue that TV period, is largely theater). But then later he tries to argue how "yea, we do play an important role in showing the differences in the candidates like Ron Paul" ...which might have been the moment to go for the jugular. Because we all know that the media essentially ignores Ron Paul, and does not want to highlight his differences between him and the rest of the candidates, who are all alike. But remember this Socratic method stuff, is hard. You have to be mentally agile.

Good stuff.

Got him to admit they don't cover squat. LOL

The Real Issue...

I have no problem whatsoever with Howard Kurtz or any other reporter not giving us his opinion on public policy. Reporters should not be shaping opinion, and their proper role is simply to inform. The interviewer should not have gotten sidetracked over that matter. That wasn't the right question to ask.

But the real problem here is that Howard Kurtz thinks that it's fine and dandy for Television coverage and TV Reporting to not go into any depth or substance on critical public policy issues, and instead confine themselves to just mere "horse race" and "sound bite" trivia. That's a damning admission.

Howard Kurtz says if you want serious information, then you're on your own -- go read a newspaper or go search around online. He thinks Television News has no obligation and no public interest responsibility to provide substantive information.

It is precisely this attitude that has led to the dumbing down of American Society, and the loss of our Republic. Television Reporters happily promote ignorance and divert public attention from what really matters.

That is the real problem. I don't care what Howard Kurtz thinks. I do care what information goes entirely unreported or is treated as a non-event that has in fact destroyed our Country, and permitted Banking Elites and War Criminals to loot us blind and enslave us in their system of corruption.

To protect that, surely is not the Media's job!

Totally agree with your

Totally agree with your assessment. Thanks for saving me the typing time!

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Your Problem Is

too many "should" in your post. It is much closer to a wise central planner than a baby of liberty.

Your Problems

Hey pal, your problem is that you don't know what the hell you're talking about (among other things).

Freedom and Liberty require an informed public. I didn't say that, Thomas Jefferson did:

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. . .The People cannot be safe without information. When the press is free, and every man is able to read, all is safe."

-- Thomas Jefferson

Clearly you know nothing about Liberty. The proper role of the 4th estate here is to act independently of these corrupt interests, and to finally and fully inform the public on critical policy matters. It is not to deliberately keep the public uninformed, and to protect the Establishment.

The fact the Television decides to let critical information go entirely unreported or treated as a non-event has in fact destroyed our Country, and permitted Banking Elites and War Criminals to loot us blind and enslave us in their system of corruption.

The fact that you oppose what I and Jefferson stated demonstrates that you're the Central Planner here, and the one who wishes to see the Establishment continue to be coddled and protected.

Go back to RedState, and the waiting arms of Rush Limbaugh...

Jan Helfeld failed to see a bigger picture

1) The media is in a business of making profit by attracting audience. Knowing American audience (as any audience) to be of low sperm count and attention span, the media is not equipped for long philosophical or economic discussions.

2) In Ron Paul's free-market, the media WONT be a "responsible" fact checking information delivery service. It would be even more ruthless business for profit, due to fierce competition.


"he media is in a business of making profit by attracting audience." hahahahaha. that's a good one. no agenda here, just trying to get ratings. ha.

That is what it is. Trust me,

That is what it is. Trust me, I work in it and I'm a Ron Paul guy.

There's no media Gods that dictate message. Fox News is right wing and MSNBC is left wing because it works and makes money. Period... Do they get party talking points? Yup... Why? Because they're FREE to use and well-researched. If the GOP and Fox News share the exact same audience, why not use each others research? Plus, it helps get them access. The Democrats don't want the GOP getting tons of free press so then they in turn beg for time as well. Ethics? That's a completely different question... But most of the "MSM" is simply business.

What feels more conspiratorial is the people who claim to believe in free markets and then make up conspiracy theories because they don't want to believe that superficial stories of faux controversy and celebrity obsession are more important to Americans than philosophy and intellectual debate.

I've tried for years to put more "in-depth" stuff on TV. I've succeeded too. We've promoted it well and done everything right. Want to know what happens? Nobody gives a ****. Most of our in-depth specials and shows bomb. Completely bomb. And that's both in prime time and in off time periods.

Advertisement-driven television is simply not a medium for in-depth, intellectual television. It never brings in the $$$ the way crappy reality TV or sensationalized news does. Never.

the problem

might not be the depth of the programing. I'll concede that TV isn't a great medium for in-depth, intellectual TV. Although channels like the history channel and discovery I think indicate a desire to find that. Anyway... The problem isn't the depth, it's the lies.

Ron Paul doesn't have the ability to go in-depth in interviews, but he doesn't repeatedly repeat propaganda. Why can't others speak in soundbites about the truth? Why does TV always have to speak in soundbites about propaganda?

Look, if you control the airwaves you have the ability to limit the debate. Hire a bunch of people that believe your propaganda and tell them to go out and make money. Well they are going to spew their propaganda as they fight for ratings, they will hire others who believe the propaganda, and voices of decent will be weeded out (Jerry Doyle getting dropped from a bunch of Radio Programming after he started speaking out for RP is a great example). All you have to do is make sure voices for your propaganda are the only ones fighting for ratings. To me that isn't free markets.

With all the controls on TV through the FCC, the huge bariors to entry, and the large corporate dominance (enabled through big government connections and regulations)... with all that, if you think there is anything "capitalist" or free market about TV media, then I strongly disagree.

haha, ha-ha

you sound like socialist-progressives, who always criticized capitalist media for agenda to dumb down the populace into buying things they do not need in order to make them more materialistic. In contrast, socialists were advocating a new type of a man - hard working responsible individual bound together by a collective goal for EQUAL goodness and FAIR distribution for everybody.

May be it is a good time for you to reassess and switch to the left, since in free-market capitalism Jews and Israel will be more prosperous.

hold up there

I am not criticizing "capitalist" media. I am criticizing the media we have now for dumbing down the populace into the blah blah blah stuff you said.

Do you seriously think that the TV and radio media we have now is capitalist? I think the internet better resembles a "capitalist" system, where the consumer is more in charge. That is why RP thrives in a "capitalist" system (internet) and is blacked out in the fascist system of TV and radio.


It's good to see that CNN's Howard Kurtz is a straight shooter that doesn't allow his personal opinions to cloud his fair and impartial professionalism!

Here's a couple of examples of his unbiased and analytical journalism...





I love these interviews by Jan Helfeld. They are instant classics no doubt.

I am Ron Paul

I agree with Howard that if

I agree with Howard that if he cannot give an informed opinion, then it might be better if he just keep his uninformed opinion to himself. The problem is that too many "journalists" have obvious opinions and biases that are clearly revealed when they do interviews or make any comments. To pretend that they do not have opinions or that their opinions do not influence their work is disingenuous.

He said

its his job to see when the politicians are "dodging" questions...Speaking of dodging questions LOL


I think it might be a good idea to acknowledge what the interviewee is saying, and then cut to the chase.

In this case, "I understand that you have an opinion, but that you don't want report with a bias towards your opinion of what you think is right, is that correct?"

"Well, yes." (give him a chance to clarify)

Then you can say, "Well you understand that it is the nature of media to have an agenda and spin a story in a way that fits their agenda, agreed?"


Then Jan, what is your next point?

Perhaps it's: What then is your employer's agenda?

The thing is we all know MSM's agenda is to blackout truth (as he was doing himself by failing to mention RP TWICE) and promote internationalism and a destruction of freedom and the Constitution, and destroy the family, and national sovereignty.

So I'm not sure what you want to accomplish. He works for the devil. He knows it. He's sold out long ago. This line of questioning will not make the devil's servant feel any better.

You might have asked him, "What have you omitted RP's name twice? Are you under orders to not mention his name?"

I'm not sure what you want to accomplish. We (and he) already knows the truth. He's a presstitute.

If you're looking for a soundbite, a "gotcha" quote, you might ask him why is there no coverage of key issues of our day, and then name a few.

1) Global warming hoax
2) Invading Libya as a dictator (no approval from Congress)
4) Patriot Act
5) The gov't prosecuting raw milk providers!
6) U.S. gov't 'legally' murdering their own citizens.
7) The doctrine of nullification
8) Defense Secretary saying on video that he/Obama admin doesn't have to go to Congress to declare war.

Those are just a few that come to mind.

Then ask him, why aren't you covering this? The answer PROVES his agenda and opinion.

Which is my point, what he covers, what he emphasizes, what his employer reports on PROVES their agenda. That's not in debate.

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a rEVOLution before tomorrow morning." - Henry Ford

Could not have said this

Could not have said this better. Jan should have gone down this track.

SteveMT's picture

An approach to consider with these apparently "neutral"...

on-the-fence people is: what is their news organization's position on this issue? CNN, Fox, and the rest all seem to like these undeclared wars. Reason: They don't confront the candidates about the cost of these wars or ending them, or bringing the troops home. If they disagreed with our current policy of warmongering around the world, then they would aggressively confront the candidates about this important issue. Kurtz is supporting, albeit tacitly, CNN's pro-war stance because they are pro-Obama).

I think Howard Kurtz has some

I think Howard Kurtz has some very good answers but I would have taken this opportunity to ask some better questions.

I would like to know why they always have a 2 experts: One democrat and one establishment conservative. With Ron Paul being a serious candidate for the GOP nomination. Why not invite a libertarian leaning expert too???

The problem with many

The problem with many journalists and especially CNN journalists is they don't have a stand which is horrible...what's wrong with reporting everything as it and in the same time expressing own opinions.

I think it was said best by Jon Stewart:


They are always so rude and condescending

And stupidiotic.

LOVE Helfeld!

Absolutely love that guy.

Um, you twisted this interview

Well, thanks for doing the interview. I agree that the CNN debates are loopsided and should discuss the issues instead of just state positions. But what the reporter was talking about his role as a journalist was pure common sense. I'm a bit disappointed that Jan twisted it up with some funny logic. I expected better. Hope you can get back to doing the right thing for Paul.

lol thanks for revealing the

lol thanks for revealing the um..logic in your critique. Better luck next time, sparky.

"The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that." — Alan Greenspan



Hey GOP, where's my vote?

They can not help themselves

Did you catch how in his first answer, he mentions 3 candidates and excludes Ron Paul's name. They can not help themselves. They have been so deeply influenced to ignore Ron Paul... It's like breath in, breath out, ignore Ron Paul.