Former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean, M.D., and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., (R-Tenn.) received high marks for candor and newsworthiness in a recent tongue-in-cheek media poll.
The second annual Survey of the Best and Worst Newsmakers, published by Television Week, an industry magazine, is based on queries sent to the television industry's "top producers, bookers, network executives and Washington insiders."
Frist was nominated as "Most Refreshing," along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Dean and a half-dozen others.
Dean also got a nod as "Most Responsive Presidential Wannabe."
"He'll change, but now he answers the question. He puts it out," said one anonymous respondent (as all survey participants were). Also cited for their responsiveness in the crowded Democratic Party presidential-candidate field were Rev. Al Sharpton, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
Dean and Sharpton were honored as the only two Democratic candidates not nominated for "Most Be-Everything-to-Everyone Presidential Wannabe."
Frist also was named as an interviewee "Most Likely to Make News."
Survey respondents said of Frist: "As a leader and a doctor, Frist has traction on so many fronts" and "When he is honest, anything he says can make news. He is very honest."
Last year, Frist led the survey list as one of the most insightful guests, a quality that makes him even more desirable now that he holds a key leadership post, according to reporter Michele Greppi.
The story and complete survey is at TVweek.com.