Howie Kurtz Chats It Up Again

Earlier today, Howard Kurtz held his weekly online chat where he covered such topics as Paris Hilton coverage, a possible new Butterstick, and the similarities (or lack thereof) between the perjury trials of President Clinton and Scooter Libby. Some excerpts:

    Alexandria, Va.: I don’t understand the outcry over the media coverage of Paris Hilton. While I agree that Paris should not have buried news about Gen. Pace, there is a legitimate news angle to the Paris story. Unlike the fight about Anna Nicole’s baby or Lindsay Lohan’s latest trip to rehab, the Paris story contains legitimate issues of class and equal application of the justice system, as has been fleshed out in numerous articles in the L.A. Times. The 24/7 media generally spends too much time on celebrities, but in this case there was some justification.

    Howard Kurtz: Legitimate story? Legitimate angle? Absolutely. Worth dozens of hours of virtually nonstop cable news coverage — covering her car’s journey to the L.A. courthouse as if it were O.J.’s white Bronco — while other stories (such as the cashiering of the nation’s top military officer) are blown off? I don’t think so.

    Panda Preganant!: You recently have been talking on CNN about an article on certain “people” magazines which run stories on supposed pregnancies, divorces or other events in the lives of stars. The facts often do not back up the stories in the long run but the headlines are designed to attract the eye of unsuspecting readers. My question is: Didn’t the front page of the Washington Post Web site do the same thing when it ran a story last week about a possible panda pregnancy at the zoo? Thank you.

    Howard Kurtz: Hmmm..can a very large bear who eats bamboo really be in the same category as Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Katie Holmes? Does the panda have an agent? And if the story WASN’T true, why hasn’t the panda denied it?

    Chicago: In the Reliable Sources discussion on the JFK Terror plot, why wasn’t Keith Olbermann brought up? He was a TV person who looked into the story and had an expert on who said that the fuel system had lot of safety devices that would have prevented a mass explosion and also added that it takes a lot to ignite jet fuel. Olbermann’s story on the lexis of terror and politics and the media deserves to be looked into. Also, why do commentators make the comparison of the judgments against Clinton and Libby? Clinton copped a deal and I’m sure if Libby had copped a deal he wouldn’t be looking at 30 months, probably probation. It’s apples and orange, a lazy comparison, but one that I’m sure stirs up conservatives.

    Howard Kurtz: Clinton copped a deal? The special prosecutor decided not to bring charges. Libby chose to go to trial. In that trial, he was convicted, and then a judge sentenced him. It’s called the rule of law. I won’t even get into how one case was about sex and the other the outing of a CIA operative.

    We had a clip of Olbermann for that segment but wound up cutting it for time reasons. Nothing more complicated than that.