Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz caused a little stir on Friday by questioning the excess of media goo over Michelle Obama. But when he tried to assemble a panel for his CNN show Reliable Sources on Sunday, everyone agreed that Michelle goo was great fun to watch. Liberal blogger Keli Goff and liberal BBC journalist Matt Frei were not surprising. But sadly, the "conservative" on the panel, Danielle Crittenden of NewMajority.com (Mrs. David Frum), was enjoying the fawning over Michelle as much as the liberals:
KURTZ: Danielle Crittenden, she's been compared to Jackie O., to Princess Diana. Isn't the coverage getting a little breathless? DANIELLE CRITTENDEN: Well, it's probably a little breathless, but it's fun. I happen to enjoy reading it. I think it's more actually the analogy is that this -- they are like the Brangelina of politics right now. We call them Barchelle -- go to Europe. She's also, I think, the first post-feminist first lady we've had in that she seems to really be embracing her role as first lady. She finds it fun. It's a great job.
Crittenden actually echoed the liberals again when Kurtz tried to ask about the crowding out of substance on the G-20 summit:
KURTZ: Do you think, Danielle Crittenden, that one of the reasons we focus on this, besides the fact that it's fun, is that it's hard to judge the complicated global economic issues being debated at the G-20 summit? What did this summit actually accomplish? In other words, that's hard, this is easy? CRITTENDEN: Well, yes, but I think if you go back, the press throughout time has always focused on these things. And human interest is about personality and story. I did think it detracted a little bit from more criticism of what Obama actually achieved at the summit. That did get lost, and I think that's a shame. But on the other hand, I think everybody's just so excited.
Crittenden’s husband worked as a speechwriter for George W. Bush, and wrote a book about the Bush White House. But somehow, she seems to think George and Laura Bush do not seem to have a very good marriage:
I was thinking as I was watching them that this is the first time in a long time, maybe since Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, that we've had a first couple who seem actually very connected to each other, a very good marriage, doing the job together in a way that sort of is exciting. And you get the sense with them that when they go back to their hotel at night, they talk it all over, and it's a real joint project in a way that we have not seen a long time. That's very fascinating.
If Kurtz was attempt to assemble a panel with some disagreement on it, he utterly failed. But he succeeded if the goal was creating a fake balance where the "conservative" would heartily toe the Obamas-are-great line.