Who’s Reachin’ Out To Capture A Moment? Everyone Knows It’s Howie

Howard Kurtz held his weekly chat earlier today and discussed his interview with Tony Snow (quite extensively, it would seem), the media’s coverage of Barack Obama and the lack of Chris Matthews health updates from his network.

    Annapolis, Md.: Howard,

    I enjoyed and was frustrated with your interview with Tony Snow. I thought you asked some great questions. I thought Snow did his typical obfuscating and deflecting of questions.

    Were you frustrated by his answers as well? How would you propose that the press should react to non-answers? Right now, it seems as though a lot of media shoulder shrugging goes on without holding the administration’s feet to the fire. In other word’s any words from the administration will be reported rather than not reporting anything.

    Howard Kurtz: Tony Snow is a spokesman for the president. His job is to put the best face on things for the administration. My job is to press him as aggressively as I can. I did get him to acknowledge that, despite his criticism, he thinks David Gregory tries to be fair, and to back off from arguing that Bush was not misleading reporters when he said a week before the election that Don Rumsfeld would be staying on until the end of his term. The great thing about a television interview (and the Reliable Sources video is on several Web sites today, including Huffington Post and National Review Online) is that people can watch and make up their own minds. Was Snow quoting selectively from the Baker report in disputing the notion that it sharply criticized administration policy, or was he pointing out important facts that the media have downplayed? I thought it was an illuminating interview that benefited from our devoting 16 minutes to it.

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    Washington, D.C.: Howard,

    I’ve seen gushing stories done on politicians before, but the Obama stories really take the cake. The Sun story with the quote about Obama being the messiah? Come on! Any chance the Senator will be returning to Earth anytime soon?

    Howard Kurtz: You mean he’s not the messiah? I only know what I read in the papers.

    Jersey City, N.J.: Hi Howard

    I wonder If I might take you just a bit off course from politics for a minute. For the past two weeks, Chris Matthews has been missing from his Hardball perch, yet there has been no mention as to the reason. Now I know that there have been web messages posted citing complications from diabetes as one reason, along with some other not so believable ones.

    So my question is wheter you can tell those of us who are Hardball fans what happened to Chris or, in the alternative, if there is a privacy issue, could you discuss the lack of ANY information from MSNBC on his absence? I mean, I’m sure it won’t violate his privacy to have the substitute anchor say something like I’m ____________ sitting in for Chris Matthews, who’s under the weather this week” or something, rather than absolutely nothing.

    Howard Kurtz: The Post’s gossip column had this update yesterday:

    Chris Matthews is out of the hospital and ready to start interrupting people again. The “Hardball” host was sidelined by complications from diabetes, which caused him to miss more than a week behind the mike. As of press time he hadn’t called back to let us know how he’s doing.