The Washington Post used to have the best media reporter in the country in Howard Kurtz.
Now it was Erik Wemple writing what the paper calls "a reported opinion blog on news media."
I'll leave it to others to speculate on what that might suggest about the trajectory of the Post.
But I was on Kurtz's "Reliable Sources" CNN media show Sunday, and Wemple didn't like what I said about the debut of Chelsea Clinton as a "special correspondent" for NBC News.
You can read his post here. In it, he called me "childish and misanthropic" for my criticism of Clinton.
That's OK, even though the last part is a big conclusion to make about someone based on the few comments I made about her on a TV show. (You can see what I said in the video below. It comes near the end -- after the discussion of Christiane Amanpour.)
For those of you without a dictionary at hand, "misanthropic" means "marked by a hate or contempt for humankind." I just hate her work and have contempt for NBC News for hiring her. Much hate and huge contempt.
But I have been called worse by folks writing "opinion" blogs -- allegedly reported or otherwise.
What troubles me is that Wemple bases his blog post on an assumption about me having "rehearsed" my opening comments about Clinton. I don't know why he assumes that, but I wish he had called me and asked if that assumption was correct. There is a rich discussion to be had about what's rehearsed and what isn't on a live TV show with as lightning-quick a questioner as Kurtz.
Calling me, asking about his assumption and, oh my goodness, actually including some of my response, might have actually justified the "reported" part of his blog's description. It would have gone a long way toward making him at least seem like a reporter instead of a water carrier for the Clintons.
I know one thing: Kurtz would have called and asked.