Give Fox's Kurtz credit for Ailes departure coverage
© Courtesy of Fox News

There was speculation going into Sunday's edition of Fox News' media affairs program, Media Buzz, over how much coverage the stunning resignation of the network's former CEO and Chairman, Roger Ailes, would receive on the show. 

We got our answer in the first half-hour of the program. 


"Let me be blunt," Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz said in addressing his audience directly. "This has been a painful and embarrassing period for the network." 

All told, Kurtz devoted an entire segment of the resignation of Ailes, which included various soundbites from various reporting and analysis on other networks (CBS, NBC, MSNBC) on the story, along with some reporting of his own. 

"I can confirm reports that a number of female Fox employees who were interviewed for the internal review made allegations of inappropriate conduct," said Kurtz. 

On CNN's Reliable Sources, a program Kurtz hosted before leaving for Fox News in 2013, host Brian Stelter spent almost the full hour of the show on the Ailes story. This, after devoting two minutes at the top of the program to the exploding Wikileaks story that eventually resulted in the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as Democratic National Committee chairwoman (she will serve as honorary co-chair to the Clinton campaign instead). 

One of Stelter's guests included Gabriel Sherman, who — as Stelter correctly put it — was "alone and out front" in breaking the story around the Murdochs' plans to oust Ailes early last week. Sherman appeared in two segments. 

Covering the story for almost the entire program was hardly unexpected for a rival network like CNN, and Stelter blanketed every aspect with seven guests coming on to share their perspectives. 

For Kurtz — there was no winning hand here. If he spikes the story, he gets slammed for ignoring the biggest media story of the year. He had to cover it. 

And to his credit — he did. And not with some throwaway line right before going to a commercial break, but in one substantial fact-filled segment. 

Covering the media lately is a job that never has any slow days, particularly during this election. But as Kurtz can likely attest, the tricky part is when the big story is the dubious departure of the guy who hired you. 

Concha is a media reporter for The Hill.

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