Kurtz: Gonzales Press Conference A “Charade”

Earlier today, Howard Kurtz held his weekly chat where he covered such issues as Alberto Gonzales’s press conference, the future of print journalism, and Erin Burnett’s uncomfortable exchange with Chris Matthews. Some excerpts:

Philadelphia: Why do reporters show up for statements by Bush and Gonzales when they aren’t allowed to ask questions? Without questions these statements are essentially press releases. Maybe if reporters stopped attending, then the president would start taking questions.

Howard Kurtz: They are clearly being used as props. I guess you can’t know beforehand, with absolutely certainty, whether a few questions will be allowed or not. But this is a farce. If the president or attorney general doesn’t plan to take questions, just release a videotaped statement and don’t ask reporters to participate in a charade.

Winnipeg, Canada: Just a comment, really. I don’t know what the future of print journalism is, but on the weekend I discovered just how important a daily newspaper is. I was washing windows and discovered once more that newsprint is absolutely the best material for that job. Those of us who read our news online should take a second to ask ourselves how effective our monitors would be at window-cleaning time.

Howard Kurtz: Somehow that doesn’t fill me with confidence for the future of the biz.

Chris Matthews: How does he still have a job? In any corporation in America, that’s blatant sexual harassment!

Howard Kurtz: I’m sure he felt he was kidding, but Erin definitely looked a bit uncomfortable, and even in our interview wasn’t sure what to make of it.