Saturday, May 29, 2010

Connecting the Dots: Inside Washington Paranoia

I'm a regular viewer of the TV news program Inside Washington, hosted by Gordon Peterson -- who, until 2006, coanchored the evening news on Washington TV station WJLA with Kathleen Matthews.

For years, I've had paranoid suspicions about the following regulars on Inside Washington: Charles Krauthammer, M.D. -- a psychiatrist; Evan Thomas, Newsweek editor and biographer of Edward Bennett Williams, founder of the law firm of Williams and Connolly; and Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio's Supreme Court reporter.  I am moved to inquire: What do these people know and when did they now it?  I can ask questions like that.  I'm paranoid.  In fact, I get paid to be paranoid. 

Charles Krauthammer (born March 13, 1950) is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist and political commentator. His weekly column appears in the The Washington Post and is syndicated in more than 200 newspapers and media outlets. He is a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and The New Republic. He is a Fox News contributor, a regular panelist on Fox’s evening news program Special Report with Bret Baier and a weekly panelist on Inside Washington.

Krauthammer was born on March 13, 1950 in New York City.  He was raised in Montreal, Canada, where he attended Herzliah High School and McGill University and obtained an honors degree in political science and economics in 1970. From 1970 to 1971, he was a Commonwealth Scholar in politics at Balliol College, Oxford. He later moved to the United States, where he attended Harvard Medical School. Suffering a paralyzing diving accident in his first year of medical school, he was hospitalized for a year, during which time he continued his medical studies. He graduated with his class, earning an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1975, and then began working as a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. In October 1984, he became board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

From 1975–1978, Krauthammer was a Resident and then a Chief Resident in Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. During this time he and a colleague identified a form of mania resulting from a concomitant medical illness, rather than a primary inherent disorder, which they named "secondary mania" and published a second important paper on the epidemiology of manic illness. The standard textbook for bipolar disease (Manic Depressive Illness by Goodwin and Jamison) contains twelve references to his work.

I wonder if Dr. Krauthammer has ever heard of that rare clinical entity known as asymptomatic paranoid schizophrenia -- which, in my case, was preceded by a bout of asymptomatic bipolar disorder?

In 1978, Krauthammer quit medical practice to direct planning in psychiatric research for the Jimmy Carter administration, and began contributing to The New Republic magazine. During the presidential campaign of 1980, Krauthammer served as a speech writer to Vice President Walter Mondale.

In January 1981, Krauthammer began his journalistic career, joining The New Republic as a writer and editor. His New Republic writings won the 1984 "National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism." In 1983, he began writing essays for Time magazine. In 1985, he began a weekly column for the Washington Post for which he won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

In 2006, the Financial Times named Krauthammer the most influential commentator in America, saying “Krauthammer has influenced US foreign policy for more than two decades. He coined and developed 'The Reagan Doctrine' in 1985 and he defined the US role as sole superpower in his essay, 'The Unipolar Moment', published shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Krauthammer’s 2004 speech 'Democratic Realism', which was delivered to the American Enterprise Institute when Krauthammer won the Irving Kristol Award, set out a framework for tackling the post 9/11 world, focusing on the promotion of democracy in the Middle East.”

In 2009, Politico columnist Ben Smith wrote that Krauthammer had "emerged in the Age of Obama as a central conservative voice, the kind of leader of the opposition that economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman represented for the left during the Bush years: a coherent, sophisticated and implacable critic of the new president. “ New York Times columnist David Brooks says that today "he's the most important conservative columnist.”

Apart from the Pulitzer Prize and the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism, Krauthammer has received numerous other awards, including the People for the American Way's First Amendment Award, the Champion/Tuck Award for Economic Understanding, the first annual ($250,000) Bradley Prize, and the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism, an annual award given by the Eric Breindel Foundation.  (Until February 2007 Elliot Mincberg, Esq., for whom I worked at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, served as Vice President, General Counsel and Legal Director of People For the American Way and People For the American Way Foundation.)

On July 6, 2009, former MSNBC television personality Dan Abrams launched a website service, Mediaite, reporting on media figures. The site ranks all print and online columnists in America by influence. Krauthammer ranks, as of March 27, 2010 at #7.

Evan Thomas (born 25 April 1951) is an American journalist and author. He currently teaches journalism at Princeton University.

Thomas was born in Huntington, New York and was raised in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. A graduate of Phillips Andover, Harvard University, and the University of Virginia School of Law, since 1991 he has been the assistant managing editor at Newsweek. He formerly worked for TIME. Thomas began his reporting career at The Bergen Record in New Jersey. He won his numerous journalism awards, including the National Magazine Award in 1998 for Newsweek’s coverage of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and the 2009 Clarion award.

Thomas is the author of The Man to See, a best-selling biography of the legendary lawyer, Edward Bennett Williams, founder of the Washington, DC law firm of Williams and Connolly.

Thomas is a regular panelist on the weekly public affairs TV show Inside Washington.

On June 5, 2009, while being interviewed by Chris Matthews -- who is married to Kathleen Matthews, formerly of WJLA-TV -- on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Thomas provoked controversy by stating that Barack Obama was "sort of God."

Nina Totenberg (born January 14, 1944) is an American legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR). Her reports air regularly on NPR's newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition. She is also a panelist on the syndicated TV political commentary show Inside Washington.  

Totenberg is the daughter of the classical violinist Roman Totenberg.

Roman Totenberg is a Polish-born Jew.

(I wonder if Totenberg knew Heifetz?  That would be a fine symmetry, wouldn't it?)

Interview of Roman Totenberg:

Nina Totenberg is the widow of the late Democratic Sen. Floyd Haskell (Colo), whom she married in 1979.  In March 2010, Totenberg's sister Amy Totenberg was nominated by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

From a letter I wrote in the year 2000:


Matthews is a local anchor woman on WJLA-TV (channel 7). About two years ago I was walking down Connecticut Avenue at about Porter Street; the studio is located a few blocks north on Connecticut. Matthews was walking north on Connecticut and appeared to recognize me. It was at about lunch time.

She looked at me intently and, I would say, admiringly. That struck me as very odd. I wondered how she could possibly know me.

I subsequently found out the following facts about Matthews:

She is married to Chris Matthews, a nationally-prominent reporter and political commentator. Just a few weeks ago Chris Matthews filled in for Dave Bloom on the weekend Today Show on NBC, from the New York studio.

Kathleen Matthews is a graduate of Stanford University; Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton's daughter currently attends Stanford. On occasion, Matthews interviews prominent persons; she may have interviewed Mrs. Clinton at some time.