Howard Kurtz is probably -- and this is really sad -- the most high-profile news media critic in the USA. He has a column in the furiously oxidizing Washington Post and a weekly media criticism show on CNN.
I realize a media critic has to accept a paycheck from somewhere, but perhaps only one of the largest news organizations should be paying him and not two.
Wonkette noticed that Kurtz Twittered quite pissily about Obama's appearance on David Letterman's show Monday night. Some of his comments were unbelievably ignorant, churlish, and misplaced -- he seems to forget that Obama appeared on five hard news Sunday shows the day prior, and that Late Night with David Letterman is a comedy talk show. Here's Kurtz' real-time media "criticism" of a late night gabfest:
Hey, Howard, if the show regularly features "Stupid Pet Tricks," it's not likely going to include harshly interrogatory questions. Go figure, Mr. Media Critic.
I wonder if Kurtz' disappointment with Letterman's grilling of Obama was in any way related to the fact that Howard's wife is a Republican operative of long standing? I'm sure Sheri Annis was pulling for Letterman to unload on Obama, and perhaps her standard-issue Republican ire rubbed off on Kurtz a little bit?
Yes, Howard Kurtz' current (second) wife is Sheri Annis, a professional Republican operative now working at (running?) an outfit called Fourth Estate Strategies. She's written for National Review, was a spokesperson for the Arnold Schwarzenegger, and helped run anti-affirmative action, anti-bilingual education, and anti-immigration campaigns.
If she's also worked against gay marriage, Howard married the Full-Metal-Wingnut!
How can someone married to this person be one of the most important news media critics in the USA? It would be like having an oncologist whose husband was a pro-cancer lobbyist.
So, now I wonder if Sherri Annis and her Fourth Estate Strategies are dealing with any insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, or any health industry-related organizations of any kind. I wonder if I could trust Howard Kurtz to reveal his wife's client list accurately?
Iin the midst of a massive health care legislative push, it would be a real shame if Howard Kurtz's bank account depended in any way upon the outcome of legislation and if his healthcare coverage was slanted by his wife's pillowtalk. It's bad enough that his wife is a Professional Republican Operative.
Howard Kurtz and Sheri Annis were married in May 2003 [PDF file]. Purportedly Annis " gave up political work after their marriage. " But, if so, she only gave up working for specific political candidates, and continued to work advocating for Republican positions on public policy issues.
For instance, as recently as 2007, Sheri Annis was representing Americana Consumer Institute, with a push to kill carbon cap and trade legislation -- another hot issue in DC nowadays.
American Consumer Institute appears to be an astroturf organization (Surprise!) also fighting Net Neutrality.
That's what I could find with a quick Google. I presume all her clients wouldn't be so easily located. And Howard Kurtz hasn't always been sensitive when he's dealing with his wife's clients during his work.
If only David Letterman could have Howard Kurtz on and ask him how his family's financial future could be altered by whatever issues his wife may be lobbying for or clients she may be representing.