News & Politics

Shales Pooh-Poohs Kurtz’s Critiques

Howard Kurtz has a TV show, writes a media column for the Style section, and often critiques journalists on television. 

Tom Shales is the Post’s top TV critic, perhaps best in the game. They have occasionally sniped at each other, then blew up one morning on the Post’s radio station.

Kurtz was the first to give his radio take on Katie Couric’s debut as CBS Evening News anchor. Then came Shales.

“Howie just put me to sleep,” he said. “I’m the TV critic here.”

Some days that’s hard to tell. Lisa de Moraes does the daily TV column. Style writer Darragh Johnson did a TV “review” one day; Shales wrote a “preview” the next.

Does Shales, now writing on contract, feel squeezed out?

“I think we could actually use more people,” he tells Post Watch. “It’s gotten to be an awfully heavy load.”

Kurtz didn’t hear Shales call his Couric critique a snore, but he did respond: “Tom Shales skewers people for a living. I suppose I’m honored to have made the list.”

Shales then told Post Watch: “Howie’s so eager to be on the air, I expected him to start doing recipes.”