Howard Kurtz: The right would have exploded if Obama attacked media the way Trump does

Fox News host Howard Kurtz said Thursday that there would have been an "explosion" in the Republican Party if former President Obama acted how President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE has toward media coverage he doesn't like. 

“If President Obama had said, ‘Hey, Fox News, you should get rid of Roger Ailes, because I think your coverage of me is unfair,' there would have been an explosion on the right,'" Kurtz said on Fox News's "America's Newsroom," referring to the network's former CEO.  

The comments came shortly after Trump called for the firing of CNN President Jeff Zucker early Thursday morning. 


“The hatred and extreme bias of me by @CNN has clouded their thinking and made them unable to function. But actually, as I have always said, this has been going on for a long time,” the president tweeted.

“Little Jeff Z has done a terrible job, his ratings suck, & AT&T should fire him to save credibility!” 

Trump later targeted NBC and MSNBC Chairman Andrew Lack in a subsequent tweet, saying that the "good news is that Lack(y) is about to be fired."

The tweets came as Trump ramped up his criticism of the media over a CNN report in July about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. In a piece for CNN co-written by veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, the outlet reported that Trump's former lawyer and "fixer," Michael Cohen, was willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Trump knew about a June 2016 meeting between his son Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: The center strikes back Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE. 

But Lanny Davis, Cohen's attorney and a source for the CNN story, has since said it was a "mistake" to make the assertion. CNN and Bernstein, however, have stood by their reporting, despite Davis undercutting at least part of the reporting. (Davis is an opinion contributor for The Hill.)

Kurtz said Trump "has every right" to push back against this specific report from CNN.  

“But a president of the United States should not be calling for the firing of two heads of private companies simply because he disagrees and doesn’t like their media coverage of him," Kurtz added. 

“That is a step too far. It’s using the bully pulpit in a way that feels like a personal grudge."