Howard Kurtz is unhappy with Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and the veteran newsman has good reason.
The latest ad from Menendez features a clip of Kurtz tearing apart specious allegations from 2012 that the New Jersey Democrat paid underage prostitutes for sex during a visit to the Dominican Republic. As Kurtz noted during the featured CNN appearance, the FBI found no evidence for those charges.
This is especially clever. Menendez is using the words of a Fox News host to disarm attacks from his Republican challenger, Bob Hugin.
This is also incredibly dishonest. Menendez has recycled old soundbites from Kurtz to shield himself from new allegations. The indicted Democrat, it turns out, has been accused of having sex with underage girls more than once.
Kurtz was addressing the first accusations as he made clear in these tweets:
Senator Bob Menendez is using an old clip of me in a campaign ad (without permission) in a misleading way /1— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) October 24, 2018
I did challenge a disputed story that Menendez had sex w/ Dominican prostitutes; a local lawyer claimed he'd been offered $5K to pay women to lie about the senator /2— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) October 24, 2018
But the Menendez ad clearly implies I was defending him on bribery & corruption charges years later that ended in a mistrial. I most certainly was not /3— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) October 24, 2018
Kurtz was not addressing this second set of allegations which were lodged by the Obama Justice Department and are the basis of this latest Hugin attack ad:
Whether or not Obama’s DOJ was right about Menendez and prostitutes, Menendez has supplied more than enough evidence to show himself untrustworthy. He was indicted for trading visas to a donor who was massively ripping off the government, in exchange for private flights on chartered jets and luxurious nights in Paris hotels. He only avoided hard time because of a hung jury. Now, he has been caught twisting the words of a journalist to try and clear his name.
Kurtz and others won’t forget about this sleight of hand.