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Archives: June 2005

Kurtz Wants Cruise

cruise.jpgDuring a light-hearted moment in one of the more serious and thoughtful weekly chats that Howard Kurtz has hosted recently, he invited Tom Cruise to appear on his CNN show, “Reliable Sources,” anytime–especially if Cruise brings Katie Holmes.

You can just imagine the scene:

KURTZ: Welcome back to Reliable Sources, where we turn a critical eye on the media. Tom, you’ve been widely mocked for your performance in TV interviews recently. Are you happy with how the media has been treating you?

CRUISE: I’ve never agreed with the media, ever. Before I was a Scientologist I never agreed with the media. And when I started studying the history of corporate media, I understood more and more why I didn’t believe in you hacks.

KURTZ: Is that a no?

CRUISE: Do you have idea about the history of the media? Do you even know what MSNBC is? What Fox News is?

KURTZ: What are you talking about? I’ve covered the media ever since you did Top Gun.

CRUISE: Howie, Howie, Howie.

KURTZ: You’re crazy.

CRUISE: Howie, here’s your problem. You don’t know the history of the media. Did you know that CNN was started by a wacko billionaire a quarter century ago?

KURTZ: Why, yes, I did.

CRUISE: You’re an idiot.

KURTZ: Am not.

CRUISE: Are too…..

Matt & Judy Reax

mattandjudy.jpgStatements are beginning to flow from the New York Times, Time, and other outlets involved in the Matt & Judy case.

Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.: “It is shocking that for doing some routine newsgathering on an important public issue, keeping her word to her sources, and without our even publishing a story about the CIA agent, Judy finds herself facing a prison sentence.”

Judith Miller: “I am extremely disappointed. Journalists simply cannot do their jobs without being able to commit to sources that they won’t be identified. Such protection is critical to the free flow of information in a democracy.”

National Press Club President Rick Dunham: “It is a sad day when American journalists face jail for doing their jobs.”

TIME: “We think it premature for Time Inc. and Matt Cooper to articulate final positions until Judge Hogan has ruled on our request for review and reassessment.”

As for Matt & Judy? They’ll probably have to surrender soon to face up to 18 months in jail on contempt charges.

> E&P and the NYT lays out the future.

Supremes Reject Matt & Judy

This just in: The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal by Matt Cooper & Judy Miller. Are they heading to jail?

> More.

Klein: More ‘touch-points’ with the audience

onthestoryjune13.jpgGW’s paper offers some additional details about the move of CNN’s “On the Story” to the former auditorium used by “Crossfire.”

The live edition of “Reliable Sources” hosted in the space following the Deep Throat revelation was the catalyst for the switch-a-roo, CNN’s Jon Klein says.

“It showed how well you could integrate the live audience into other shows, other than ‘Crossfire,’ said Klein. “Once we settled on ‘On the Story,’ as the show to move into the ‘Cap Gang’ slot, it just felt like a natural because we are looking for ways to have more ‘touch-points’ with the audience.”

Klein said that he will keep GW in mind for future programs whenever he feels that a live studio audience will add another depth into the network’s coverage of a story.

“We don’t simply have a live audience for its own sake,” he said. “We want to use the live audience as an enhancer to the understanding of the stories that we are covering.”

Monday Clips

Some reads this morning:


  • Cousin TVNewser offers some insight into a new Pew study on news sources.

  • CNN’s Jon Klein says there might be two years ahead before CNN makes meaningful in-roads into Fox’s dominating lead.

  • ABC’s interview with Deep Throat FBI boss L. Patrick Gray made big news, including articles in the NYT, WP, and the ABC report. The interview shows an impressive battle of the wills between Gray and W. Mark Felt, who we all now know is Deep Throat: “Gray told ABC News that he totally trusted his deputy, despite being told on five occasions to fire him for suspected disloyalty. He said he resisted calls by Nixon for Felt to take a lie detector test because he thought such a step would be ‘degrading to the second-highest official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and I would not stoop to that.’ ‘When I asked him point-blank, ‘Are you leaking, Mark?’ he said, ‘No,” Gray recalled. He said that Felt continued to assure him that he was not Deep Throat as late as 1976, three years after both men retired from the FBI.”

  • Howard Kurtz looks at bloggers today, as a non-CNN-employed Post writer profiles CNN’s new star Nancy Grace.

  • Last but not least, if you missed Christopher Hitchens’ op-ed last week opposing D.C.’s smoking ban, make sure to read it today. It’ll probably never make the Hitchens Anthology, but it’s amusing to read his argument that America will never again see great thinking or literature sans smoking: “This dreary, prohibitionist policy has already been adopted in many American cities, some of them once famous for their stress on diversity and choice…. In a few months, it seems, the prohibitionists will have managed to destroy something that has no value to them and which cannot be measured in revenues: the right to create an atmosphere of one’s own devising, in which tongues are loosened and barriers to conversation broken down. This was the atmosphere–rich in tobacco and other fumes–of the taverns and coffee-houses where the American revolution matured. Instead, we are to have a mirthless, risk-free Disneyland.”

Goodbye to Hunt and the ‘Gang’

Cousin TVNewser talks with Al Hunt about the legacy of Capitol Gang, which ended this weekend:

So what kept CNN’s Capital Gang going? “Sterling personalities? Great reportorial insights? I don’t know,” Hunt said in a phone interview. “I think we had fun, I think that showed, and I think we had lots of cumulative experiences that we brought [to the table].”

Hotline on Friday reported on the Gang’s going-away party, including some of the more bizarre scenes, including Senator Chris Dodd kissing Bob Novak on the cheek “although Novak has suggested the Connecticut Senator is doing Fidel Castro’s bidding in opposing John Bolton”; “Barbara Comstock, the take-no-prisoners former top aide to John Ashcroft, telling a surprised Ted Kennedy she interned for him 25 years ago”; and “Al Haig, Watergate chief of staff to Richard Nixon, a graduate of Duke Law School, telling 18 year-old Benjamin Hunt, who’s going to Duke in the fall, ‘You’ll learn how to erase tapes.’”

Sunday Preview: Rummy, Gray, et al.

In addition to the final Capital Gang tonight (CNN, 7 p.m.), this weekend’s talk shows will feature SecDef Rumsfeld (Meet the Press, This Week, Fox News Sunday), Bono (Meet), Gen. John Abizaid (Face and CNN’s Late Edition), and Carl Levin and Iraqi PM Ibrahim al-Jaafari (both Late Edition).

For true Washington wonks, though, the highlight of the weekend might be George Stephanopoulos’s interview with former FBI Director L. Patrick Gray–a.k.a. Deep Throat’s boss. A preview of the interview:

MR. GRAY: [Mark Felt] was a really formidable character, and as it turned out, a formidable foe as far as I was concerned.

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: And formidable liar.

MR. GRAY: Yes, because he told me time and again, he was not Deep Throat.

MR. GRAY: This was a tremendous surprise to me, and you talk about shock in Iraq and awe in Iraq. I could not have been more shocked and more disappointed in a man whom I had trusted, and I felt totally at a loss as to understand why he did not come to me and tell me what his problems were.

If dorky Watergate stuff isn’t your cup of tea, the season premiere of Punk’d is on MTV at 10 on Sunday.

Things You Might Have Missed If You Only Read Romenesko

Since media news guru Romenesko has an odd hatred of bloggers and loathes linking to blogs even when they have interesting material that his readership would enjoy, we wanted to make sure that you weren’t missing anything by only reading his super-duper no-longer-as-comprehensive-as-it-once-was site.

Thus in this new regular feature we’ll round-up the media news that’s interesting and yet missing from the world of Romenesko.

This week, if you’d only read him, you would have missed:

  • Fox and OSHA had some trouble.

  • NBC and the White House got in some hot water over the First Lady’s trip to Africa (this even made it into the NY Post today).

  • The Washington Post had a big week. In addition to killing off/retiring the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, its managing editor reported that the paper is entering a period of “radical evolution.” Plus it hired and shifted some reporters around.

  • Urban affairs reporter Maria Hinojosa left CNN and FNC’s Linda Vester is about to depart on maternity leave, and Greta Van Sustern is making waves in Aruba.

  • The White House press corps got in trouble this week for its cell phones, and they can’t even touch the furniture.

  • The photog behind one of the soon-to-be infamous photos in Ed Klein’s Hillary Clinton “book” thinks the moment is misrepresented.

  • Bill Moyers rocked the Daily Show.

  • Ending long-time speculation, the New York Times does indeed use Friendster to report its Style stories.

  • And Howard Kurtz discovered sarcasm.

Less a ‘Squawk’ Than A Peep

davidfaber.jpgCNBC’s David Faber sits for this week’s Hotline Friday Feature and squawks about his life.

The documentary brain behind “The Age of Wal-Mart: Inside America’s Most Powerful Company” has a new one coming out next week, June 29th, on “The eBay Effect.”

Running down the standard questions, he “survived” growing up in Forest Hills, Queens, held his first job as a camp counselor in Maine, and was mortified when waiting for an interview with former World Com CEO Bernie Ebbers for an interview, the subject came up to and asked “Where’s Tyler?” in reference to his CNBC colleague Tyler Mathisen.

He’d like to interview William Shakespeare, “because as a frustrated playwright, I think that he would be able to show me how to do it right,” and in 2024 hopes to be a winemaker in Italy. Favorite book? “The Human Stain” by Philip Roth. Last meal? Ravioli Bolognese at Gino.

(Recent previous installments: Tim Curran, Timothy Noah, Andrea Koppel, Jessica Yellin)

> More Faber yesterday on TVNewser.

A ‘Capital’ Obit

Several obits out there today for CNN’s Capital Gang, which ends this weekend after 16 years. CNN is cancelling the show as part of its leave-no-show-alone programming shake-up.

Replacing the Gang will be an expanded version of CNN’s “On the Story,” a show you’ve probably never heard of. “On the Story” originally launched in January 2003 as a place for the network’s female correspondents to “compare notes on the major stories they cover each week.”

The new format will include males (!) and more international coverage, led by Christiane “I found a monkey” Amanpour, and be moved to in front of a live audience at The George Washington University auditorium formerly used by “Crossfire.” [No word on whether the network has successfully fumigated the building for Tucker Carlson cooties.]

On the Story will air each Saturday at 7 p.m. and rerun at 10 a.m. on Sundays in its current spot.

The production team of Lucy Spiegel, senior executive producer, and Charley Keyes, executive producer, will stay the same.

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