Guests Need No ‘Title’, Kurtz Says

Amy Holmes.JPG.jpg Simon.jpg

A report out today by Politico called “Kurtz’s Teacher’s Pets” questions CNN “Reliable Sources” host Howard Kurtz’s choices of guests on his show. The report shows who has appeared on Kurtz’s show most often, listing a Top 20 since January, 2000. For instance, Amy Holmes, co-anchor of America’s Morning News run by Talk Radio Network, is indeed one of the pets coming in at number 13 out of his top 20 guests. Kurtz has had Holmes on the show 18 times since January, 2000. Politico‘s Roger Simon comes in first place with 33 appearances.

The report questions why the same litany of people appear as guests on Kurtz show when there are other capable journalists in Washington who would be just as worthy.

Kurtz remarked to FishbowlDC why he has Holmes on his show so much: “Amy is a smart and savvy person who’s appeared on my program periodically for years. The vast majority of my guests aren’t CNN contributors–they’re reporters, commentators, radio hosts, bloggers, freelancers and others with something to say. We don’t make these decisions based on someone’s title.”

In January of 2009, CNN schedules were still listing Holmes as a CNN contributor. Holmes has not been a CNN contributor since the 2008 election cycle. Networks often bring on contributors for a finite period of time such as an election cycle. While big, splashy announcements are made when someone signs on as a contributor, such announcements are not made when someone falls from that title.

During Kurtz’s show, as CNN does with most guests, a graphic provides further details on each guest. For Holmes, the graphic informed that she was a former speechwriter to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and former guest columnist for USA Today.