April 11th, 2009
01:36 PM ET
13 years ago

Kurtz: Should media steer clear of Palin-Johnston saga?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/11/kurtz.johnston/art.johnston.gi.jpg caption="Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin appeared together at the Republican National Convention in September."]

(CNN) - On last Sunday's "Reliable Sources," I made a last-minute decision to add an item about Bristol Palin's ex-boyfriend - not because I'm particularly fascinated by the ex-boyfriend, mind you, but because Sarah Palin had just ripped Levi Johnston apart.

"We're disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship," the Alaska governor declared.

Not since the last time she opened fire on a caribou has Palin used that kind of ammunition - which had the effect of boosting interest in the young man's appearance with Tyra Banks. And the Tyra sitdown got Levi an even bigger audience, with Maggie Rodriguez on CBS's "Early Show."

What a mess. But is it a highly personal mess involving two 18-year-olds that we in the media should avoid?

I put that question to Deborah Norville of "Inside Edition" and Washington Post gossip columnist Amy Argetsinger for a segment that will air Sunday morning at 10 ET on "Reliable."

Why would Levi Johnston, having just split up with the woman whose baby he fathered, seek out the TV spotlight?

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Filed under: Levi Johnston • Sarah Palin • State of the Union
March 7th, 2009
12:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Kurtz: Chung shocked by Condit's stonewalling

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/03/07/connie.chung.condit/art.chung.afp.gi.jpg caption="Stonewalling is what gets politicians in trouble, when they ... try to cover up," Connie Chung says."]
(CNN) - Nearly eight years later, Connie Chung still remembers being surprised.

It was one of those television moments that linger in the national consciousness, like Barbara Walters sitting down with Monica Lewinsky, Dan Rather with Saddam Hussein, or Jay Leno asking Hugh Grant what the hell he had been thinking.

Chung was with ABC then, and she got the "get" - the first interview with Gary Condit, the California congressman at the center of the Chandra Levy media frenzy.

The former Washington intern, you'll recall, had been found murdered in Rock Creek Park, and law enforcement sources let it be known that the married Condit had been having an affair with her.

In an interview airing Sunday on "Reliable Sources" (10 a.m. ET, during CNN's "State of the Union with John King"), Chung says she was surprised when Condit refused to acknowledge the romantic relationship.

"Stonewalling is what gets politicians in trouble, when they stonewall or they try to cover up," she says.

"I think that the general public and the news media wanted him to be honest, and if he could be honest about that part of the story, then he could be - then he would be believed when he was answering other questions as to whether or not he had anything to do with her disappearance."

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Filed under: State of the Union