This Week’s Kurtz Chat

Earlier today, Howard Kurtz held his weekly chat where he discussed subjects such as Bob Novak appearing in the Post, the cancelling of a Democrat debate on Fox News, and Katie Couric’s ratings. Some excerpts:

    Washington: Do you find it at all strange that The Post allowed Robert Novak to write an Op-Ed on the Scooter Libby trial? I know the trial was not directly about the Plame leak, but it still strikes me as a conflict of interest to have a guy who was involved in the whole affair writing on it the next day. Your thoughts?

    Howard Kurtz: First of all, The Post doesn’t “allow” or “not allow” Novak to write his pieces. He’s a syndicated columnist who actually works for the Chicago Sun-Times, and The Post is one of many papers that runs him. Second, why wouldn’t we want to hear the point of view of someone who was at the heart of the Plame case? It’s not like that was some deep dark secret that Novak failed to disclose.

    New Hampshire: Hello Howard. Your thoughts on the Democrats pulling out of the Fox debate? Do you think Ailes owes the candidates that he insulted an apology?

    Howard Kurtz: I think Roger Ailes’ ill-considered joke about Barack Obama was a bit of a pretext for a Nevada Democratic Party that was under strong pressure from liberal bloggers and MoveOn to kill the debate. John Edwards had already dropped out before the Ailes crack.

    Washington: I’m a huge fan of Katie Couric but am concerned with the lack of viewers that she has at CBS. What are your thoughts on what CBS eventually will do with her seat at the anchor desk, and how will this “expose” book being written about her shape any decisions?

    Howard Kurtz: She averages 7.5 million viewers a night. That’s more than triple the biggest newspaper in the country and more than triple the highest rated cable news show (O’Reilly). The problem for CBS is that it’s well behind the 9.5 million or so being drawn by Brian Williams and Charlie Gibson. But CBS made a long-term bet on Katie Couric and will stand by her.