Pick a Pundit Profile

Which television poli-pundit profile to read first: “Chuckie T’s” or Turd Blossom’s?

Howard Kurtz profiles NBC’s political director Chuck Todd (the “goateed guru”) in today’s Washington Post and Fox News’ Karl Rove (whose “new role as a media star marks another step in the evolution of mainstream journalism, where opinion, ‘straight news’ reporting and unmistakable spin increasingly mingle, especially on television”) graces the front page of the New York Times.

I hadn’t really thought of Todd as a “pundit” per se but Kurtz quotes an Obama spokesman calling Todd “one of the most clear-eyed, honest-dealing pundits in the media.” And, in the Times, there is this backhanded compliment for Rove-as-pundit: “[U]nlike many of his fellow commentators, Mr. Rove has avoided many big predictions.”

And, turns out, both Todd and Rove have made it in spite of their chins.

“I don’t want to sound like I’m faking being humble, but I never thought of myself as a TV guy,” Todd says. “I just assumed I didn’t fit the stereotype.”

Meaning? “The looks thing. I’ve got facial hair — that’s supposed to be a no-no. I’ve got too many chins.”


As an on-camera presence, Mr. Rove is not necessarily a natural. Neither his doughy chin nor his ashen complexion would be confused with those of, say, Brian Williams of NBC News.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.