Dr. Sanjay Gupta made the right decision -- even if it was a little slow in coming -- when he took himself out of consideration today for surgeon general of the United States.
Gupta, a CNN correspondent and neurosurgeon on faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, made the move so as "to continue devoting time to his medical career and of course his work at CNN," Jonathan Klein, president of CNN, said in a statement on the CNN Web site announcing Gupta's move.
The offer from President Barack Obama to Dr. Gupta has been known since January. Gupta reportedly first met with Obama in November to discuss the possibility of him joining the administration.
That is a long time for CNN viewers to wonder whether or not they should trust Dr. Gupta on any story he reported that had any political ramifications. And many medical stories these days do.
The press is facing a real crisis of credibility with Washington reporter after reporter joining the Obama administration in recent months after having covered the Obama campaign during the election. And media critics, themselves feeling the economic pressures that have driven their colleagues to sign on with the very people they once covered, have been politely looking the other way. And don't think the public hasn't noticed.
With the credibility of cable news anchors and correspondents being further diminished by the actions of such partisans as MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who has indicated that he might run for the U.S. Senate in 2010, it is encouraging to finally see someone from the world of 24/7 cable TV news behave like a journalist who believes you don't allow youself to be seen as beholden to or involved with the folks you cover.
Gupta joined CNN in 2001, accroding to the cable channel's press material. As chief medical correspondent for the medical unit, he is the chief correspondent on breaking medical news. He also provides regular health and medical updates for American Morning, as well as anchoring the medical affairs program House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.