MediaWatch: May 1996

Vol. Ten No. 5

Revolving Door: Snow on Sunday

To moderate its new Sunday morning public affairs show, Fox News Sunday, the network tapped Tony Snow. Those hired by the media who have liberal ties don't raise a concern in the journalistic world. But the selection of the conservative Snow prompted some reporters to question the slant of the show, although Marty Ryan, former Executive Producer of NBC's Today, will hold the same title with Fox News Sunday. "A rabidly conservative columnist and former speechwriter for President George Bush, Snow knows that his right-wing image may put off lefties," declared Philadelphia Inquirer television reporter Gail Shister on April 8. Shister explained that "as for some critics' contentions that Snow could be `tainted' by his Bush connections, he says: `I've worked for half as many politicians'" as Meet the Press host Tim Russert, who toiled for former Governor Mario Cuomo and Senator Daniel Moynihan, both New York Democrats. The show, which premiered April 28, is aimed at younger viewers and will include questions sent via the internet.

Filling the Slate

Michael Kinsley, Editor of Microsoft's new online publication, Slate, has built his team. Among those tapped by the liberal former co-host of CNN's Crossfire: Jodie Allen, Editor of the Washington Post Outlook section since 1990, who served under President Carter as Deputy Secretary of Labor for policy evaluation and research. For Slate, to debut May 31 on the internet, she'll be the Washington editor.

Revolving Online

First she reported the news, then she spun the news. Now Kathleen deLaski will do both in cyberspace in a post which involves covering Clinton's re-election effort. America Online, the on-line computer service, National Journal reported March 16, "has hired deLaski to direct campaign coverage for its politics channel." In 1988 she became an on-air Washington reporter for ABC News. She jumped to the Clinton team in 1993 as Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Defense Department. For the past year she's been Deputy to the Undersecretary for Policy Liaison.

Recalling Candidacy

Since late last year Walter Shapiro, Press Secretary to Carter Labor Secretary Ray Marshall and a Time Senior Editor from 1987 to 1993, has penned a twice-weekly news section column for USA Today. 20 Shapiro began his April 12 "Hype & Glory," in which he fawned over Victor Morales, the Democratic Senate nominee in Texas, by recalling his own early partisan foray: "Nearly a quarter of a century ago, at the height of the Vietnam War, I was seized by the quixotic notion that anti-war students deserved representation in Congress." At the time he was a 25-year-old graduate student at the University of Michigan. Shapiro lost, but he noted "I did come within 1,400 votes of winning a six-way Democratic Primary. My partisan days are long behind me."

Willie Hortonizing CNN

CNN announced in March that Ken Bode, a top aide in Democrat Morris Udall's 1976 presidential run, will be a national political analyst. An April 26 Washington Week in Review look at Bob Dole's claim that Clinton has nominated liberal judges, offered a preview of Bode's analysis. From his perch as moderator of the PBS show, Bode asked: "So, federal judges are going to become this year's Willie Horton?"