Kurtz says journalists show 'almost a sense of gratitude' when questioning Biden

Calls out 'cool kids club' among reporters who bashed Trump for last four years

Fox News’ “Media Buzz” host Howard Kurtz predicted Friday the pressure mainstream reporters felt to critically cover President Trump would vanish when Joe Biden took office.

Appearing on "America's Newsroom," Kurtz said New York Magazine correspondent Olivia Nuzzi was correct when she said many Washington journalists will feel "uncomfortable" pushing Biden officials in a way they never did with the Trump administration.

"She's also right that there is a backlash from more left-wing journalists against any working reporter who dares to portray anybody from Trump world with a little bit of sympathy, treating them as human beings," Kurtz said. "It's like if you don't trash Jared [Kushner] and Ivanka [Trump], you're out of the cool kids club. And that's been a dangerous trend, and suddenly we will not see that during the Biden administration."

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Noting the comparatively gentle tenor of questions to Biden during the campaign and transition, Kurtz said reporters liked the return of "normalcy" they think Biden's victory symbolizes.

"I don't think most reporters want to be patted on the head," he said. "I do think they like to be respected and not attacked as enemy of the American people and all of that ... but there's little question that much of the news business for the last four years has treated President Trump as a dangerous liar and used that to justify a blatant double standard in the coverage.

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"Most reporters happen to like Joe Biden personally. He's been around forever, everyone here in Washington knows him. I've covered him since the 1980s, he's a very nice guy. But there's almost a sense of gratitude in the tone of the questions to Biden for bringing back a sense of normalcy after years of what they would call Trumpian chaos."

In sharp contrast to the mutually antagonistic relationship between most reporters and Trump, Biden's question-and-answer sessions have been cordial. In his first interview since winning the election, NBC News anchor Lester Holt complimented the diversity and experience of his proposed Cabinet.

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Other mainstream pundits and reporters also praised Biden's potential Cabinet during their coverage this week. PBS Newshour reporter Yamiche Alcindor cited a Democratic source comparing the group to the Avengers superheroes who will "save us all" to approving laughter from MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace. ABC's Martha Raddatz called them "humble" and "lifelong public servants."

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Kurtz was also critical during the campaign of journalists for their lack of demand for access to Biden, who gave far fewer press avails than Trump.