05/04/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Think Again: On TV News, "Right" Makes Right

So ABC News apparently thinks it's appropriate to invite former political advisor to George W. Bush, Matthew Dowd, to guest host ABC's This Week next week. Dowd found himself on the outs with Bush when he joined ABC in 2007, but he has never denounced the political principles that led him to join the most right-wing administration in American history to begin with. Nor insofar as I am aware, has he demonstrated any particular commitment to the principles of journalism. According to The Huffington Post, he remains a corporate consultant for ABC, and an ABC spokesperson says that Dowd can be depended upon to provide "independent and fair analysis on issues confronting the country...He has tremendous ability to speak to and understand all sides of an issue."

Well, perhaps. I really could not say. But he's the first person that ABC has asked to host the program who is not a journalist. Recent temporary hosts have included Elizabeth Vargas, Jake Tapper, Terry Moran, Barbara Walters, and Jonathan Karl--not a Bush administration official or a corporate consultant among them. So the question is why Dowd? And what about his potential conflicts of interest with his previous clients among Republican power brokers or his current ones in the corporate world?

We've seen this movie before. MSNBC had to drop Richard Wolffe as a substitute host for Keith Olbermann over this issue exactly. Wolffe had a consulting business going, and he touted his role as an MSNBC analyst on the firm's website. (Of course when you're hosting This Week, you don't need to tout it to clients. It's known.)

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