In Howard Kurtz’s online chat this afternoon, a reader asks how new Postie Michael Gerson is different than “Krauthammer, Novak, Ignatius, Hiatt, Samuelson and Malaby? Maybe it is explained in the ellipsis in the memo? What is your count of the ‘independent voiced conservatives’ vs. the ‘independent voiced centrist’ vs. ‘liberals’ on The Post’s op-ed. Was the hire run by Donald Graham?”
Howard Kurtz: I don’t know the answer to the last question. But it seems to me that liberals are pretty well represented on the Post op-ed page through Gene Robinson, E.J. Dionne, Richard Cohen, Harold Meyerson and (until his recent surgery) Michael Kinsley. I think it’s fair to raise questions about Gerson’s independence, as I did, but we also should reserve judgment until we see what he actually writes.
Some additional Howie nuggets from today’s chat:
New Hampshire: “With regard to your statement about access and ‘but by and large, government officials have to deal with us whether they like what we write or not.’ Ask Helen Thomas about this…”
Howard Kurtz: “There’s a misconception about Helen Thomas. When she worked for UPI, she always got the second question at presidential news conferences. Now that she’s an opinion columnist for Hearst, she is rarely called on (although Bush did recognize her at his last session) and it’s no secret the White House doesn’t like her liberal views. But columnists are not generally called upon at presidential news conferences, period.”
Re: Media: “I’m curious: Since you work in both print and TV, which do you find more informative/objective? And although I am sure you enjoy working in both, which do you personally prefer?”
Howard Kurtz: “Print allows more room for complexity, context and nuance. Television is more immediate and has more impact, particularly with stories that rely on pictures, but struggles when a story involves lots of facts and figures or has no visuals. I enjoy each one for different reasons.”