iOS app Android app

Joe Cutbirth
Dr. Joe Cutbirth writes about politics, examines the social impact of mass media and follows the University of Texas Longhorns on, a blog by a Texas expat adjusting to life as a New Yorker.

Cutbirth has lectured internationally on the increasingly complex relationship between satire and traditional journalism in American politics. He's been cited as an expert on the topic by The New York Times, the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., CBC, CTV and Toronto's Globe and Mail.

During the 2008 presidential campaign he was a recurring analyst for Politics Live with Sam Donaldson and Rick Klein on ABC News NOW. He has blogged on The Huffington Post since 2006.

He's also former communications director for the Texas Democratic Party, where he worked for Gov. Ann Richards' 1994 reelection campaign and the Clinton-Gore '96 Texas coordinated campaign.

Before that, he spent more than a decade reporting on government and Texas politics, largely for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. His work also has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Texas Observer, Education Weekly, and Northwest Magazine. He was a contributer to the politics section of The Lonely Planet Phrase Book and a co-editor of Beaches, Bureaucrats and Big Oil: One Man's Fight for Texas.

He's a former faculty member at the University of Virginia and the University of British Columbia and has been an adjunct professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and New York University.

Cutbirth earned a doctorate in communications from Columbia University; a master's degree in communication, culture and technology from Georgetown University; and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

His epitaph should read, "He was a Longhorn and a Democrat."

Entries by Joe Cutbirth

Mayor Parker's Wedding Completes An Amazing Arc of LGBT History

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 4:44 PM

That muffled cough and gravelly rumbling noise you heard last Wednesday had to be the sound of former-Houston Mayor Louie Welch rolling over in his grave.

Occasionally, something happens that affirms the positve arc of human history, and something beautiful and historic happened when Houston's current mayor

Read Post

Requiem for the Cover of Rolling Stone

(10) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 3:06 PM

The cover of Rolling Stone used to mean something big. Very big. It was Valhalla, Olympus, a place of honor for the lords of youth culture and politics and for the legends of American music and the entertainment industry. Dylan, Morrison, Joplin, Clapton, Springsteen, Madonna, Gaga, the Beatles, the Stones,...

Read Post

How Could the New York Times Screw Up Ed Koch's Obituary?

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2013 | 5:47 PM

Love him or hate him -- and plenty of people did both -- former New York Mayor Ed Koch deserved better than he got from The New York Times on Friday. So did we.

By mid-afternoon, the Times had made at least three revisions to Koch's obit, ...

Read Post

Let Me Start by Apologizing to Jodie Foster

(20) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 3:08 PM

I owe Jodie Foster's family an apology. Like a lot of people and virtually all the media last night and this morning, I missed the real significance of what happened at the Golden Globes.

It wasn't that Jodie Foster came out. That was all settled five years ago, at a...

Read Post

The First National Gay Election -- And We Won!

(3) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 9:45 AM

Tuesday was huge for lesbian and gay Americans -- and for any citizen who believes that this country is always moving upward to a more perfect union.

The closest thing we've ever had to a national election involving full citizenship for lesbian and gay Americans went off remarkably, though...

Read Post

Scott Brown's Shameful Campaign

(37) Comments | Posted October 3, 2012 | 11:32 AM

Scott Brown may be the best-looking guy running for office anywhere in the country. He's got a compelling personal story rooted in economic hardships he overcame with a cum laude degree from an elite university and a JD from Boston College.

He's also a Republican with a...

Read Post

Rick Perry's Gaffe: Channelling Phil Gramm or Clayton Williams?

(5) Comments | Posted August 17, 2011 | 5:48 PM

He's FED UP! and he's come out swinging. He's attacking Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Social Security and Medicare, anyone who is anti-business or anti-Jesus, and now -- Ben Bernanke.

The national press loves...

Read Post

Why I'm Calling It *Gulp* for Michele Bachmann

(158) Comments | Posted June 14, 2011 | 10:45 AM

Yep. Monday night belonged to Michele Bachmann.

Let's be clear: If history is any indication, the Republicans are not going to nominate "a maverick" for president. The party has its share of them at the state and Congressional levels, but I'm talking about a presidential nominee who's a true outsider...

Read Post

Phelps' Son Says "God Hates Fags" Church Could Turn Violent

(90) Comments | Posted April 11, 2010 | 2:24 AM

The challenge with writing about Fred Phelps, frankly, is suppressing the urge to urp.

Phelps and his hateful clan spent this weekend in West Virginia taunting innocent families whose fathers, brothers and sons were buried alive in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. The last four...

Read Post

A Socialist Primer: Rick Perry, Health Care & the Texas Governor's Race

(35) Comments | Posted March 27, 2010 | 3:06 PM

I'm wondering what it's going to take for my former colleagues in the Texas press corps to call out Rick Perry for using the term "socialism" over-and-over to describe the insurance reform Congress passed last week.

Either Perry and reporters covering him don't know...

Read Post

Open Letter: From Sam Houston to Barack Obama

(3) Comments | Posted January 22, 2010 | 3:03 PM

Mr. President:

It's my humble privilege as a citizen with my own place in American history to write to you as you're about to make the most important decision of your presidency. I'm referring to more than a single issue here, Mr. President. I'm talking about the course you are...

Read Post

Leach Incident Shows ESPN Ethics Stink

(49) Comments | Posted January 2, 2010 | 2:34 AM

The whole mess at Texas Tech involving head coach Mike Leach and Adam James, son of ESPN college football analyst Craig James, is just sort of dark and odd.

We know Leach is quirky. We know he can be crude and sexist. It's...

Read Post

Mr. President, Please: A Little Less Oprah, a Little More LBJ

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2009 | 2:05 PM

We're really in trouble if Barack Obama thinks his road to the pantheon of presidential history is getting Joe Lieberman to giggle again.

You know, the Lieberman who campaigned against Obama in 2008. The Lieberman who lost his own Democratic primary then waged an independent campaign...

Read Post

Happy Birthday Harvey Milk (and thanks for giving us hope)

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2009 | 4:23 AM

The defining moment in my adult life came inconveniently about six months after I got the first big break in my journalism career. At least it seemed so at the time.

"You ought to look at our (pro-gay) position papers on gays and lesbians, if you want to see something...

Read Post

Digging Further Into the Texas Rape Kit Scandal

(1) Comments | Posted May 18, 2009 | 1:48 AM

Turns out -- to my relief -- my gut reaction to a Houston TV story (picked up by CNN) last week that blasted the Texas attorney general for saddling rape victims "across Texas" with outrageous bills for police investigations in their cases was on target.

I should...

Read Post

How Can Texas Ask Women to Pay for Rape Kits?

(249) Comments | Posted May 10, 2009 | 3:38 AM

Journalists occasionally shine light on a public policy that is so disgusting it literally stuns you - just takes your breath away and leaves you speechless.

Your first thought is they've made a mistake. Or this is ratings hype. It can't be true.

After the initial shock wears...

Read Post

Rick Perry Should Stop Embarrassing Texas

(201) Comments | Posted April 15, 2009 | 9:07 PM

I've had enough of Rick Perry.

At least the Perry who stood on the steps of the Texas Capitol today bashing our federal government and talking openly about Texas seceding from the United States.

This isn't the Perry I knew 25 years ago, when he first ran for...

Read Post

The Pope Can't Get Away With This

(11) Comments | Posted March 18, 2009 | 1:02 PM

Pardon my excess here, but occasionally I just lose it. Someone needs to tell Pope Joseph Ratzinger to stop the demagoguery or abort this trip to Africa.

His statement Tuesday, reported as a virtual Papal pronouncement -- that condoms actually increase the spread of HIV -- is frankly unconscionable....

Read Post

My Must-See Moment at Every Inaugural

(4) Comments | Posted January 18, 2009 | 12:34 PM

The scene that hugs my heart each time a new president is sworn-in, is generally eclipsed by the pomp and circumstance of the parade and the swearing-in at the Capitol.

It typically lasts about five minutes, and it's treated like an afterthought by the media and celebrants trying to capture...

Read Post

I Voted (Twice) for Obama, and Apparently I Lost

(69) Comments | Posted December 18, 2008 | 2:46 PM

Let's talk hope for a minute.

Barack Obama seized the word "hope" this year, but back in 1977 my first political hero gave a big speech about it out in California. His name was Harvey Milk, and there is a film about him right now every American...

Read Post