Kurtz: Mother of Benghazi Victim Ignored While Parents of Slain Muslim Soldier Made Headlines

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Media analyst Howard Kurtz on press coverage of Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, and the Khan family, parents of Captain Khan.

HOWARD KURTZ: Two parents, both touched by tragedy, gave impassioned speeches on big stages. Khizer Khan, a Muslim father whose soldier son was killed in Iraq denounced Donald Trump at the Democratic Convention.

KHAN: Have you even read the United States Constitution?

KURTZ: Patricia Smith, whose son was killed in Benghazi, denounced Hillary Clinton at the Republican Convention.

SMITH: I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son.

KURTZ: But only one of them drew enormous media attention. Khan's speech made the front page of The New York Times and he was invited on NBC's Meet the Press and CNN's State of the Union.

KHAN: That's again, the height of ignorance on the part of a candidate for the highest office of this nation.

KHAN: The way he showed disrespect towards the Gold Star mother of this country, that says it all.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Your wife?

KHAN: My wife?


KURTZ: He was referring to Trump's appearance on ABC's This Week.

TRUMP: If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say. She probably -- maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say.

KURTZ: The Washington Post said Ghazala Khan said she was too emotional to speak. Some analysts said Trump had escalated the controversy.

JOE TRIPPI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: This wouldn't be a big story if Trump hadn't stepped in it and gone after the family.

KURTZ: But what about Patricia Smith? True, she castigated Clinton before in numerous interviews, but her speech was widely ignored and in some cases, attacked.

KELLY RIDDELL, WASHINGTON TIMES: A GQ writer tweeted, 'I would like to beat her to death.' Later had to apologize for it. And MSNBC said she ruined the night and it's a gross accusation to bring up Benghazi.

KURTZ: Clinton took a softer approach on FOX News Sunday.

CLINTON: Chris, my heart goes out to both of them. I don't hold any ill feeling for someone who, in that moment, may not fully recall everything that was or wasn't said.

KURTZ: And today, Khan was back on the TV circuit. He's ripping Trump for pushing a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants, which is unpopular with most of the media. Smith is personally blaming Clinton for Benghazi, which the media says is unfair, and that seems to show in the coverage.

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