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Archives: September 2008

Morning Reading List, 09.30.08


Good morning Washington.

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We’ve got your morning mix of media Muesli after the jump…

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Slen Hospitalized

Our thoughts go out to C-SPAN’s Peter Slen, who is in the hospital after being diagnosed with Legionnaires disease, according to one source…

Jon Stewart: Not A Fan of CNN’s “Perception Analyzer”

The Future of “Meet the Press”

Big, important piece in today’s New York Times.

The highlights:

  • “Sometime between Election Day and early December, NBC News will make a final decision about who will replace Tim Russert and his interim successor, Tom Brokaw, at the helm of ‘Meet the Press,’ Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, said in an interview.”

  • “[I]t is leaning toward an ensemble of hosts that would be led by Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director, and include David Gregory, a correspondent and MSNBC anchor, according to a person who had been briefed on the proposal but was not authorized to comment, partly because the plans were not set.”

  • “Mr. Brokaw said that over the summer he had ‘advocated’ within the executive suite of NBC News to modify the anchor duties of the MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews on election night and on nights when there were presidential debates.”

  • “Mr. Brokaw said he had also conducted some shuttle diplomacy in recent weeks between NBC and the McCain campaign. His mission, he said, was to assure the candidate’s aides that — despite some negative on-air commentary by Mr. Olbermann in particular — Mr. McCain could still get a fair shake from NBC News.”

  • “Mr. Brokaw is 68 now, and the strain of a frenetic travel and work schedule appears to show in ways it did not before. At times on ‘Meet the Press’ or on ‘Today’ in recent weeks, Mr. Brokaw’s eyes have appeared to be mere slits and he has seemed short of breath.”

  • 52.4 Million

    That’s how many people watched the first presidential debate, according to Nielsen.

    Is that a record? Think again. 80.6 million watched Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

    Happy Hour

    We love Craigslist founder Craig Newmark for loving us:

    Embedded video from CNN Video

    Today’s Most Popular Stories

    After the jump.

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    Kurtz: “Dumb Idea” To Hold Debate On Friday

    Earlier today, Howard Kurtz held his weekly chat where he covered such topics as media coverage of John McCain, Saturday Night Live’s portrayal of Sarah Palin, and debate scheduling. Some excerpts:

    Southwest Nebraska: What does the New York Times have against McCain? From the bimbo warning in January to this weekend’s gambling coverage — I don’t get it.

    Howard Kurtz: Some of the stories on Palin’s Alaska record have been very good. Some of the McCain stories have been very good, such as revealing the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac payments to the lobbying firm of McCain’s campaign manager. And I was most definitely not a fan of the female lobbyist story last February.

    Long Island, N.Y.: Howard, is it possible that Tina Fey’s portrayals of Palin on “Saturday Night Live” are more damaging to her public image than her actual words? It’s almost to the point that the public thinks it’s Fey’s character who running for vice president, and that can’t be good.

    Howard Kurtz: I think Fey hasn’t just been funny but that when you look at Palin, you think about Tina. (Some of the punchlines on Saturday night were lifted verbatim from the governor’s answers to Katie Couric.) This is the problem that Al Gore had in 2000, when Darrell Hammond portrayed him as a sighing, eye-rolling politician, to the point that Gore’s own aides made him watch the skits so he would see how he was coming off. Palin, weirdly, said she had watched Fey’s portrayal of her, but with the sound turned down.

    Thursday? Friday?: Please explain to me why the Presidential debate was on a Friday night. I made sure my plans included the debate, but it is a difficult night for many people to be at home. Obviously, it is a low-ratings night in general. Should not the goal of the Debate Commission be to maximize the eyes and ears that see the debates? What’s next, midnight?

    Howard Kurtz: I thought it was a dumb idea. Apparently it’s happened before, but it’s just not a great TV-viewing night. I do know there are often scheduling difficulties this time of year to avoid conflicting with the baseball playoffs or Jewish holidays.

    So That’s What Susan Glasser Will Do Next…

    Bloomberg reported last week that the Washington Post would acquire Foreign Policy magazine. The official release is out and has some additional details:

      Susan Glasser, a longtime Washington Post editor and foreign correspondent who served as co-bureau chief in Moscow and covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will join Foreign Policy as executive editor. Foreign Policy will be part of The Slate Group.

    Glasser stepped down as the WaPo’s AME/National in April.

    Oh: And why Foreign Policy magazine thinks I’m the contact for this story? I have no idea. But it’s pretty funny nonetheless.


    Chris Matthews Interviews His Daughter…Without Disclosing It


    On Friday’s “Hardball,” Chris Matthews interviewed a number of student members of the group Concerned Youth of America.

    One of those students — Caroline — is his daughter, a student at the University of Pennsylvania. Did Matthews disclose that fact as he interviewed her?

    Not so much:

    One tipster tells FishbowlDC that “Matthews, at the asking of his daughter, instructed the producers not to name her.”