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Archives: November 2005

Schumer Hearts Russert

Sen. Chuck Schumer thinks that Tim Russert has handled himself perfectly with regards to Plamegate.

    Tim immediately talked with his editor, and he did not give up his sources,” Schumer said. “Tim Russert is a model for other reporters in the way he behaved in this situation.”

Of course, not everyone agrees.

At the very least, Russert has Mercy Sister Lucille Socciarelli on his side (Socciarelli taught Russert at a West Seneca parish school).

    “His integrity is without question,” she added. “What Tim was in 1963 he is now, but only older and wiser.”

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NPF Honors DC Reporters

The National Press Foundation’s annual awards are out, and columnist Jack Germond, CBS’ Charles Osgood, and the Toledo Blade’s editor, Ron Royhab, who oversaw the Coingate coverage, top the list.

CNN’s Ed Henry and Susan Milligan of The Boston Globe received the Foundation’s Everett McKinley Dirksen Awards for Distinguished Coverage of Congress.

The award for online journalism was given to National Geographic Magazine Online.

The awards will be presented in February at the Foundation’s black-tie dinner.

Tapper Loves Video Games

vicecity.gifWe continue to be humored by Jake Tapper’s bloggerific musings. He discusses playing the video game “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.”

The point of the game is to run around a fictitious city, loosely based on Miami, beating up prostitutes and killing cops, succeeding in various missions.

I found it addictive. I also found that emerging from my apartment to walk the streets of D.C. after playing the game for hours and hours provided a sort of disconnect. You see a cop car, your mind is still in the game, and you think “hide!” (Cops in Vice City are almost always out to get you.)

Okay, so that’s what happened when you stepped out onto DC’s streets and saw cops. Now what about when you saw the prostitutes?

CNN Newsource Hires New DC Face

Lah-Kyung.jpgIn a move aimed at expanding the network’s affiliate capabilities, CNN today announced that it has hired Kyung Lah as a correspondent for its Washington CNN Newsource bureau. According to Paul Crum, executive director of news operations for CNN/U.S., Lah will serve as a national correspondent and will report live from breaking news events and from Washington, providing live reports for the 800ish CNN Newsource partner stations.

“This appointment bolsters the CNN Newsource ranks with an award-winning correspondent based at the important Newsource D.C. bureau,” Crum said. “She is a solid, enterprising reporter adept at covering breaking news stories, and she also has the ability to seek out stories that our affiliates will find interesting and useful.”

Lah, you may remember, departed abruptly (cough, she was fired, cough) from KNBC in LA in March after an affair with a senior producer came to light.

More resume details after the jump.

Read more

Wanted: Optimistic Writers

From this morning’s Los Angeles Times:

    U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press

Huh. That’s funny: I could have sworn that I hadn’t seen a job listing for “information operations” troops on MediaBistro’s job board.

Oh well.

So, if you’re interesting in writing articles that “are basically factual” but “present only one side of events and omit information that might reflect poorly on the U.S. or Iraqi governments,” the U.S. government might be interested in your resume.

(Somewhere, Armstrong Williams feels like he was just let off the hook)

Not Pretty Reviews for Nightline

Some choice quotes from TV critics on the new Nightline–needless to say, they aren’t exactly thrilled with the new set-up. In the Baltimore Sun, Dave Zurawik‘s is headlined “Style overtakes substance in new ‘Nightline,’” and over at USA Today, it’s not much prettier: “More is much less in revamped ‘Nightline.’” The NYDN hits a similar note: “New ‘Nightline’: More is less.”

Zurawik opens: “Nightline-without-Ted Koppel debuted in the wee hours Tuesday morning after ABC Monday Night Football and late local news. It was probably a good thing that many viewers had presumably already gone to bed. It was a smooth launch with no major glitches or serious mistakes. Give James Goldston, the new executive producer, credit for delivering a polished-looking production. But there is polished, and there is excessively slick. In trying to energize the broadcast through the use of flashing lights, banks of video monitors, quick camera cuts and a backdrop of Times Square, Goldston has created a garish-looking TV creature more reminiscent of the carnival midway than the pioneering broadcast whose name it bears. A stylistic marriage of prime-time newsmagazines and MTV, this hyped-up, neon-lit news program seems like the last thing one would want to see before trying to fall asleep.”

At America’s newspaper, Robert Bianco says, “In all but name, Nightline is gone. The show that premiered on ABC Monday night (or early Tuesday in the East, post-football) was a solidly produced newscast. But in tone, look and content, it was far closer to a half-hour version of 20/20 than it was to the distinctive classic Ted Koppel led for 25 years — and that is a tragedy. Something extraordinary has been replaced by the commonplace.”

The Daily News’ David Bianculli says, “The first installment of the drastically revamped, post-Ted Koppel edition of ABC’s “Nightline” was a wobbly affair…. Lock down the camera, and slow down the segments, and the new version of ‘Nightline’ (at 11:35 p.m.) will deserve to retain its time slot – and stand a better chance of building on that proud journalistic tradition. ”

Last Night’s Nightline

Why reinvent the wheel?

Great coverage of last night’s Nightline (the first sans-Koppel) can be found…

Brian Williams Emails Viewers

Seriously, he does.

So, … why won’t you respond to me?

Fox News: Too Kewl 4 Skool

The Reliable Source puts some more meat on the bones of the story behind the Washingtonian’s photo shoot for its “50 Best & Most Influential Journalists” story (in the Dec. 2005 issue).

Long story short (not that Reliable Sources is long enough to warrant a Cliff Notes version): Fox News spokesman Paul Schur declined to allow Fox News VP and bureau chief Kim Hume (yes, Mrs. Brit Hume) to participate in the photo shoot (organized by FishbowlDC brother and Washingtonian Editor-at-Large Garrett Graff) because Schur (and his colleagues at Fox HQ) didn’t think that the photo’s participants (which included such nobodies as Len Downie, Chuck Todd and Phil Taubman) were “prestigious enough.”

When the Washingtonian went ahead and printed Schur’s “prestigious enough” comment (you go, girl!), Schur lashed out.

Fox News: Fair and Mentally Unbalanced.

Don’t Mess With Bob

Nora Ephron–formerly Mrs. Carl Bernsteinposits an interesting theory at the Huffington Post about Bob Woodward‘s role in covering government:

    If you don’t talk to Woodward, you’ll be sorry. I mention this not because it’s precisely true (look at me), but because it’s an operating truth in official Washington. What’s more, it’s the only explanation I can come up with for why Woodward was foolish enough to trash Fitzgerald’s investigation; I suspect that Fitzgerald is the only powerful figure in Washington who does not pour his heart out to Woodward on a weekly basis, and Woodward was telling him that he’d better get on the train.

    But that’s just a theory.

The theory may not be without merit. It was given some lip-service in Howard Kurtz‘s piece in yesterday’s post. Some samples:

  • [David] Gergen, who worked for Clinton before McCurry joined the White House, says his bosses told him he was expected to talk to Woodward once a week.

  • But outsiders often wonder: Why does an administration not known for being fond of the press put so much effort into cooperating with Woodward?

  • [Robert] Kuttner accuses Woodward of running “a protection racket — you sit still for an interview and you get treated generously. You don’t cooperate with Woodward and it’s going to be hell.”

  • Gergen calls Woodward “one of the most seductive individuals in the whole world,” one who will stress that he’s already spoken to others in a meeting and that “you’re only going to hurt yourself and hurt the cause you care about if you don’t talk.”

This may be an interesting approach to journalism, indeed, but if, in fact, the Bush administration (and previous administrations) is intimidated by Woodward, it probably doesn’t do much to support the theories that Woodward is merely an administrative mouthpiece.