Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER
I've criticized Howard Kurtz a lot in this space, and in my columns, but he sometimes does good work. For example, Kurtz occasionally makes the valuable point that the increasing affluence of high-profile reporters sometimes affects their coverage of political issues. Here he is during yesterday's online discussion:
As journalists have become more affluent -- a trend to which I don't necessarily object -- they are more likely to hobnob with the big shots, send their kids to the same private schools, and hang out at the same parties. This undoubtedly affects their view of the world and the people they cover.
We need only remember Charlie Gibson's embarrassing performance during the Democratic presidential primary debates last year to conclude that Kurtz is on to something here.
Now, with that in mind, let's look again at today's edition of Kurtz's "Media Notes" column, shall we? Kurtz:
And even though the administration has done a good job in, at the very least, neutralizing opposition from doctors and hospitals, it's still asking members of Congress to impose substantial pain, which politicians hate to do.
The trillion or so dollars to cover a major chunk of the uninsured has to come from somewhere. Some would be squeezed through lower Medicare and Medicaid payments from docs, hospitals and drugmakers, and they have political clout. The rest would either be drained by a surtax on the wealthy or taxing the most generous employer-provided benefits -- both of which are making many Democrats nervous.
[TNR's Jonathan] Cohn may underestimate the difficulty of raising taxes on the affluent, especially since the added sting of losing their Bush tax cuts could push the top rate to an onerous 47 percent.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Kurtz's use of the word "onerous" certainly seems to tip his hand.
Now, given that Howard Kurtz says that journalists' affluence "undoubtedly affects their view of the world," and given that Howard Kurtz opines that potential tax increases on the wealthy would be "onerous," and given that Kurtz is one of the Washington Post's star reporters and hosts a CNN television show, it's impossible not to wonder just how affluent Kurtz is, isn't it? Perhaps Kurtz should disclose that information the next time he decides to criticize tax policy -- or at least keep his own statements about journalists' financial situations influencing their reporting in mind before he so opines.