Curiel Speaks

We’ve all been a bit busy this weeks, which is why I’m only now noting a really extraordinary moment last Friday on NY1’s Road to City Hall.

Between an interview with Bill Thompson and a reporters’ round table, NY1’s Goldin spent a few minutes on air with Carolyn Curiel, the Times editorial writer whom Jason and I described a couple of weeks ago (no link available) as, perhaps, the most powerful person in New York politics.

Her appearance was extraordinary because you don’t see the members of the Times editorial board on television very often. They’re one of the last Voice of God institutions in America. The Wall Street Journal editorial board, a hugely effective combat unit of the conservative movement, has its own television show, and its members have faces and distinct identities. Over in Los Angeles, Michael Kinsley was, until recently, deconstructing the editorial voice in response to his sense that the unsigned editorial is pretty close to a dead form.

I’m not sure if Curiel’s appearance, in a black suit and colorful broach, was a one-time fluke or a cautious step away from Voice of God. But if it was the latter, it seems both brave and kind of suicidal. It’s unclear how anonymous editorializing survives once the writers become known as individuals.

Anyway, Curiel turns out to be kind of a pro on television, substantially more confident and fluen than at least one of the reporters who followed her. She described being particularly impressed with one local pol, Darlene Mealy, who wound up pulling off an important upset this week.

And she expanded on a couple of other endorsements. Of Gifford’s mailing, she said, “That was a pretty big violation in our books,” one that had good-government groups asking, “‘What are you thinking?'”

She spoke about the response to Katrina — a “travesty” — and about how much she likes the officer sent in to take over, Thad Allen, whom she met when she was the American Ambassador to Belize.

And she downplayed the notion of a guaranteed Bloomberg endorsement: “We will look at him as we do every candidate,” she said.

Curiel Speaks