From Stephen Hunter’s washingtonpost.com chat:
Washington, D.C.: Stephen,
Speaking of the MSNBC piece. Your name was listed as donating money to the RNC. Then you give a highly negative review of Sicko. Interesting juxtapostion. In hindsight, shouldn’t you have resisted making such a donation? Thanks.
Stephen Hunter: I’m well aware of the “interesting juxtapostion” of those two events, even if the donation was several years ago and not repeated. For the record, I do not look for opportunities to dump my own righty views on all my poor liberal readers (and, by the way I’m not aware of some shortage of liberal film criticism!) and indeed tried to beg off reviewing “Sicko.” I was overruled and tried to write a fair review, understanding that most people understood my politics from acquaintanceship with my work.
From Howard Kurtz’s washingtonpost.com chat:
Mt. Rainier, Md.: Figured you would have commented on Stephen Hunter’s review of “Sicko” in The Post after you wrote about his donation to the RNC (maybe you did and I missed it). Did The Post have any responsibility to arrange for another reviewer write about this movie? Should Mr. Hunter have “recused” himself, as he said that he attempted to do?
washingtonpost.com: ‘Sicko’: Michael Moore’s Anemic Checkup (Post, June 29)
Howard Kurtz: I don’t have any problem with the review. Hunter made the contribution three years ago, recognizes that it was a mistake and has not made any political donations since then. He’s a terrific, Pulitzer-winning critic and you can’t expect him not to review movies that have any political content.