CINCINNATI (TDD) -- Washington Post political expert/blogger Chris Cillizza says one of the best political newspaper columnists in Ohio is named Howard Wilkinson. In Ohio, we know Howard, and he's no columnist. The headline says reporters, the copy says columnist, and Wilkinson used to have a column at the Cincinnati Enquirer. But the paper took it away from him years ago. It vanished not many months after George Bush beat Al Gore at the start of this century --the last Wilkinson column Cillizza linked to was in August 2001.
Ending Wilkinson's run was probably a mistake by the Enquirer's management because Wilkinson is wired into Southwest Ohio's political network. Still, he's no columnist. Wilkinson is now a reporter who writes about a variety of topics, including politics. A very talented reporter, by the way. But he doesn't have a column. He doesn't even have a political blog like Chris Cillizza -- Wilkinson merely contributes to the Cincinnati daily's Politics Extra.
No snark aimed at Howard. He's a bright and talented fellow. Snark aimed at Cillizza. Does it seem he has little first hand knowledge about the Ohioana he's writing about? Didn't Jill Miller Zimon raise questions earlier this month about the Washington Post's touting of Iowa political reporter David Yepsen?
Joe Hallett of The Dispatch in Columbus deservedly makes Cillizza's list. Hallett came from The Plain Dealer, where he covered the Statehouse. There is no question (bias displayed here as a former PD employee) that the Cleveland newspaper has the superior political writers and reporters and columnists in Ohio. It is a hallmark of the newspaper. Another nit to pick with Cillizza. He writes that The Plain Dealer's Tom Suddes is one of the best in Ohio. Suddes is clearly one of the best. But he's a freelance. He's been in Athens after resigning from The Plain Dealer Columbus news bureau years ago to seek a Ph.D. at Ohio University. Suddes is not on The Plain Dealer's staff.