On FNC, MRC’s Houck Lambasts CNN’s ‘Arrogance’, Notes Lawsuit Ahead of Debate

News & Politics

Making his second appearance in less than a week on the Fox News Channel’s Fox News @ Night, NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck ripped CNN for both its “arrogance” and “petulance” ahead of its Thursday night presidential debate as well as the legal trouble the network has found itself in with allegations of defamation (reported by our own Nick Fondacaro).

Houck and former longtime local news anchor Dee Sarton began with the viral outburst of CNN This Morning host Kasie Hunt abruptly ending her interview with lead Trump campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt when the Trump aide merely pointed out former President Trump is heading into the debate against not only President Biden, but biased debate moderators.

Sarton told host Trace Gallagher what stood out was Hunt’s “body language, everything that was happening there was something that I was surprised to see from” someone who’s “been in the business a long, long time and I think that it kind of reveals the pressure cooker that maybe is happening there at CNN that she would get so defensive and get so angry”.

Houck concurred this was “shock[ing]” for even Leavitt to have seen considering “she was trying to move on…to the preparations of the former President for the debate” and Hunt was hung up on Leavitt (accurately) pointing out one of the moderators — Jake Tapper — had recently compared Trump to Adolf Hitler.

“And it just showed petulance, and it showed an arrogance from Kasie Hunt. She wasn’t around for the days of Jeff Zucker, but it really harkened back to those kinds of days of Jim Acosta in the briefing room and the like, making snarky commentaries. I think she defended her colleagues because, if she didn’t, she would have heard from Jake Tapper,” Houck added.

Houck later weighed in on HBO’s Real Time host Bill Maher slamming Biden for pandering to black voters about “democracy” and racism despite polls showing he’s hemorrhaging voters in that demographic:

He is a straight shooter…[H]e is going to tell his side things that they don’t want to hear…He recognizes that for black voters and young voters, things like the economy and the border, those are things that happen to people of all races and those are things that are right in front of them. You can’t deny that gas prices are where they are. You can’t deny that things are expensive — is where they are. 

Houck closed by tying this to the Tapper (and Dana Bash) debate: “It’s a question of whether CNN and Jake Tapper — to tie back to our previous discussion about whether they make things like the economy, the focus of this debate, or do they stick to the Biden agenda of focusing on abortion, and claims — fearmongering about democracy.”

The two stuck around for the show’s closing segment, “The Nightcap”, with the question posed to panelists was whether Trump should be nice or “nasty” during the debate.

For his part, Houck said Trump should “[l]et Biden talk” and either let him wilt on the vine or stand out the way if he’s bouncing off the walls like he was during the State of the Union.

Houck then worked in the CNN lawsuit for a segment that aired on Tapper’s show, The Lead:

Someone’s going to slip up here and if the moderators start getting agitated, maybe Trump brings up the fact that Jake Tapper’s in some legal trouble facing a defamation case. [GALLAGHER LAUGHS] But I look for a funny Trump. You know, if Trump’s going to talk, he should tell some jokes.

To see the relevant FNC transcript from June 25, click here.

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