August 1, 2013

Politico’s Patrick Gavin yesterday tweeted that he’d be hosting the long-running CNN program “Reliable Sources” this Sunday. He is among the crowd that is filling in following the departure of Howard Kurtz* for Fox News. Gavin’s guest-hosting stint follows that of George Washington University big shot and former CNN correspondent Frank Sesno, which followed that of NPR reporter David Folkenflik, which followed that of CNN contributor John Avlon. All of them precede the New York Times’s Brian Stelter.

What could all of these light-complected males possibly have in common?

The lack of diversity among the fill-in crew at “Reliable Sources” makes sense on one level. Media/TV criticism has its share of guys, after all — from the Carrs and the Shaferses to the Byerses and the Folkenfliks to the Kurtzes and the Degganses. (Disclosure: The Erik Wemple Blog is a white male). But who says the next “Reliable Sources” host needs to have spent years slinging blog posts and columns on paywalls, ethics, conflicts of interest and cable-news-anchor hirings?

What, for instance, is keeping CNN from screen-testing a talent like Karen Tumulty, the veteran Washington Post political reporter? Doesn’t she know something about the media? Ditto for Politico’s Maggie Haberman, the sine qua non of Politico’s excellent video coverage of the 2012 presidential election. While we’re in Rosslyn, doesn’t Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown present herself pretty well on television? Wanna stir things up? Then poach Kirsten Powers from Fox News — she’ll shout down those who would excuse media bias. Joy-Ann Reid of MSNBC has been known to carry a discussion or two on various topics. And hey, what’s wrong with Molly Ball of The Atlantic? Get a mic on that woman! The New York Times’s Amy Chozick — didn’t she do an okay job of covering the media?

There are many, many more suggestions. Keep the riff going; CNN clearly needs some help here.

• Upon Kurtz’s exit, The Erik Wemple Blog had a couple of pre-pre-preliminary interactions with CNN officials about this position, but they have not progressed.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.