Thursday, November 20, 2003

Not Good Enough, Mr. Kurtz

Apparently the flood of e-mail to the ombudsman and his own mailbox caught Howard Kurtz a little off-guard (see previous post, Howard Kurtz, Insensitive Hack). After sending my e-mail yesterday and getting no reply, I fwd’d a copy to Michael Getler, the WAPO ombudsman, who immediately responded with a one-line note that said, “I think Kurtz will be responding, and explaining, in his next column.” And so he did, as a footnote to his Media Notes column today:

Note: I may have left the wrong impression yesterday about the sad story of the discovery of the remains of Howard Dean’s brother. I’m genuinely perplexed as to how Charlie Dean was found now, after 30 years. But my heart goes out to Dean and his family and friends over this painful news.

Nice try, Howard, but that’s a non-apology apology. As for being “perplexed,” what difference does it make when Charley’s remains were found? Would it have fit more into your conspiracy theory if they had been found the weekend before the New Hampshire primary, or the Democratic Convention, or next October, two weeks before the election? Do you think anyone outside your fevered little hothouse world of punditry or the tinfoil-hatted loons on late-night AM radio is even thinking of that?

Speaking as only one long-distant friend of the Dean family, I accept your apology in the spirit in which is was given: too little, too late, too craven.