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Archives: June 2006

This Week In Pool Reports, Week 4

Week four of FishbowlDC’s White House Pool Report contest has come to a close. On Wednesday, we’ll have the “Best of June.”

In the meantime, here are this week’s gems:

  • “Motorcade left the site at 7:07 p.m. EST (6:07 p.m. local), arrived at Air Force One about 15 minutes later, we were wheels up a few minutes after that and landed at Andrews at 8:55 p.m. No one came back to chat. No Elvis movies were shown.” — Peter Baker, Washington Post

  • “For the record, yes, your pool was wearing sunglasses, but they were prescription and he did not have time to dig out regular specs when he was being hurried over to the VFW Hall from the press van. He briefly took them off during potus remarks so as not to cause another presidential moment, but then could not see anything, which would have hindered his ability to deliver this report.” — Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

  • “You’ll get a transcript of the president’s remarks, but it can’t convey the lack of electricity in the room.” — Ron Hutcheson,
    Knight Ridder “(until 4 p.m. today, when KR becomes McClatchy)”

  • “Your pool felt that the reading from Job was particularly aimed at us — ‘They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end.’” — George Condon, Copley News Service

  • Koizumi summed up his nation’s policy toward the US in the first English song he memorized in his youth. An Elvis tune ‘I want you. I need you. I love you.’ He also recalled his first meeting with POTUS, and a game of catch they played at Camp David.” — Peter Urban, MediaNews

  • “As press lingered after potus concluded his remarks there was a brief pause in which gathered pool briefly wondered whether he would take questions. But he ended any of that by shouting to Nedra Pickler, ‘Keep going Nedra!’” — Rutenberg

  • Here We Go Again…

    Butterstick’s on the cover of National Geographic.


    Hey: Remember that really, really great USA Today story about NSA databases of domestic phone calls that got everyone chatting and got the paper all giddy about potential Pulitzers, etc., etc.?

    What if turned out not to be all that true?

      Based on its reporting after the May 11 article, USA TODAY has now concluded that while the NSA has built a massive domestic calls record database involving the domestic call records of telecommunications companies, the newspaper cannot confirm that BellSouth or Verizon contracted with the NSA to provide bulk calling records to that database.

    Please Stay Out of Our Offices

    The Posties on 15th St. want to keep the riffraff out.

    From an internal message sent by Maryland Editor RB Brenner:


      In recent weeks, I’ve grown concerned that too many of our reporters are routinely working out of the downtown Washington newsroom instead of in the bureaus where you are based. This has potentially negative consequences that cause me to worry: 1. Not having enough reporters in a county bureau if/when a big news event happens; 2. the strain this puts on Extra editors, as well as on your colleagues who faithfully work out of the bureaus as expected.

      I realize that sometimes you need to be in the downtown newsroom for very valid reasons, but please be sure these are cleared with me (and not just your assignment editor).


    This was followed up by AME/Metro Bob McCartney:

      Maryland staff –

      I share R.B.’s concern about reporters too often working downtown. It’s much to your advantage (and ours) to work in the bureaus or, better, out in the community. It’s a cliche, but only because it’s true: there’s no news in the newsroom. We have six bureaus in the Maryland suburbs because that’s where our readers live, work and play. There’s nothing like first-hand observation and physical presence to get the details that bring a story to life or to develop contacts that yield scoops. Take advantage of being in the field.


    Taking Out The Trash, 06.29.06

  • The 45th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball game is tonight at RFK. If you have always wondered who looks better in a baseball jersey, John Shimkus or Mike Doyle, this is your chance to find out.

  • Howard Mortman pokes fun at the New York Times. Come on, this is funny.

  • TVNewser offers a rundown of Supreme Court decision coverage — who go there first, or even better, last?

  • Today’s cage match doesn’t even seem fair — Weekly Standard is whooping some National Review ass. Although there is still time for NRO ro launch a campaign. Spruiell?

  • AP’s Lynn Elber gets CNN’s Jack Cafferty’s (and Wolf Blitzer’s favorite) take on, well, Jack Cafferty: “I’m 63 years old, put four kids through college, survived two marriages, paid an awful lot of taxes and I figure I’m as qualified as the next person to take a look at the world around me and have some opinions on what I see,” he said. “They’re not always right but they’re always heartfelt and they’re always real.”

  • ABC News Radio will broadcast a one hour special one-hour interview, “Inside the Pentagon: A Conversation with Donald Rumsfeld,” over the July 4th holiday weekend. According to the release, in the June 27 interview with Fred Thompson, Rumsfeld will address the war on terrorism and “and the upcoming fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.”

  • C-SPAN Filling A Void

    C-SPAN is making its move “to be the go-to network for the in-depth campaign analysis that it says cable news networks have abandoned in recent years,” according to The Hill.

    “We do see that there’s an opening this year that there wasn’t, even in 2004, because there’s no [CNN] ‘Inside Politics,’ because other cable networks are getting away from politics coverage and more into personality coverage,” said senior political editor Steve Scully. “And that’s great. Let them do that. Because of that, I think, we really see our chance to make our mark in 2006.”

    C-SPAN aired the first two of approximately 150 congressional and gubernatorial debates in “competitive or otherwise interesting races” on Sunday. The network plans on covering debates from 50-70 House races. “Washington Journal” also briefs viewers on a featured race Sunday through Thursday, interviewing a journalist or analyst on a selected race at 8:30 a.m.

    No More Plame?

    Former solicitor general of the U.S. Theodore Olson writes in the Washington Post the need to establish standards that protect reporters and their sources. “Reporters do not expect to be above the law. But they should be accorded some protection so that they can perform their public service in ensuring the free flow of information and exposing fraud, dishonesty and improper conduct without being exposed to an unanticipated jail sentence.”

    Since federal and state laws differ on this, creating “a patchwork of legal standards” that no one benefits from. The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon take up a bill entitled the Free Flow of Information Act of 2006, “sponsored by a bipartisan group of legislators and modeled in large part on the Justice Department guidelines.”

    While Olsen explains this “does not provide an absolute privilege for confidential sources, but it does require, among other things, that a party seeking information from a journalist be able to demonstrate that the need for that information is real and that it is not available from other sources. Matters involving classified information and national security are treated differently. The current controversy over publications relative to the administration’s efforts to deter terrorists does not, therefore, provide any basis for delaying or rejecting this needed legislation.”

    Without such legislation, Olsen admits that journos “cannot function effectively.”

    Rosenbaum Backlash

    After two D.C. mayoral candidates called for the “resignation or firing” of D.C. Fire Chief Adrian H. Thompson due to misconduct in David Rosenbaum’s death, Thompson is now fighting back. The Washington Times reports that the crew of Engine 20 was “charged with failing to follow medical protocols and obstructing the investigation” into Rosenbaum’s fatal beating.

    Department spokeswoman Kathryn Friedman would not confirm the charges, but she said Thompson had taken action against the crew.


    Remember when we noted two days ago that the Washingtonian’s Todd Kliman called Norah O’Donnell and husband Geoff Tracy the “Couple Most Likely To Make You Gag” at Sunday’s RAMMY awards?

    Well, looks like Mr. Kliman may have had a change of heart:

    Two days later, we notice that the “honor” has since been scrubed from their site.

    Did someone have a change of heart? Did someone feel bad for the slander?

    Inquiring minds want to know…

    >CORRECTION: Although the piece in question was featured on a “Kliman Online” chat page, the RAMMY write-up was actually written by Kliman’s assistant, Erin Zimmer.

    Men of the Post: Joe Heim

    More from Michael Cavna’s “Men of the Post” calendar

    Today, Joe Heim. (Previously: Hank Stuever, Eugene Robinson)