The most engaging part of Howard Kurtz's appearance on The Daily Show last night was Jon Stewart's introduction of the Washington Post media critic: "My guest tonight, Howard Kurtz, known of course... as the inventor of the curtsy." Heh. Kurtz was on the show promoting his new book about the protracted and bloody conflict that has occupied the hearts and minds of the American people for the last four years: The deadly battle for network news ratings. He made his first mistake by saying, without a hint of the irony required to survive on-camera with Stewart, "Well, you've heard of Katie, Brian and Charlie." Stewart, we think, thought Kurtz was a Big Three suck-up whose book didn't so much analyze the networks as adulate them. You can see Kurtz reinforce that impression in this clip, where he extols the bravery, the responsibility, dammit, the independent thinkers, of network news journalists. Stewart, for his part, dealt Kurtz his special brand of passive-aggressive napalm by calling his book "interesting." Twice.
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