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Archives: July 2009

Gates Comments on White House “Mug it Out” on The Root

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Editor-in-Chief of “The Root” (we got it right this time), put up this statement after his brew-haha with President Obama and Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley (and late-add Vice President Joe Biden) at the White House.

An excerpt:

Let me say that I thank God that I live in a country in which police officers put their lives at risk to protect us every day, and, more than ever, I’ve come to understand and appreciate their daily sacrifices on our behalf. I’m also grateful that we live in a country where freedom of speech is a sacrosanct value and I hope that one day we can get to know each other better, as we began to do at the White House this afternoon over beers with President Obama.

CNN Marks “Second 100 Days” of President Obama

Next Thursday marks President Obama’s second 100 days in office and CNN announced today special coverage plans.

“The CNN National Report Card: Second 100 Days” will air at 8pmET, followed by Anderson Cooper‘s “360″ at 10pmET. This is a sequel to CNN’s “First 100 Days.”

You can vote for the interactive portion of the broadcast here.

Trendy Beer

Obama: Bud Light. Zzzz.
Biden: Bucklers. Natch. He had to drive home.
Gates: Sam Adams Light. Maybe next time, Red Stripe.
Crowley: Blue Moon. Orange slice confirmed.

Photo credit: AP

If you watched CNN‘s live feed, there seemed to be a bit of a kerfuffle between their cameraman and a Secret Service agent.

Beer Summit became a Twitter trending topic. Quick! Somebody pass healthcare reform while nobody’s paying attention.

Today’s Most Popular Stories 07.30.09

Each day, Ashley Estill surfs your sites for the most popular stories of the day. Here are the top headlines for July 30, 2009:

Washington Post: Report Outlines Big Bonuses at Rescued Banks

Washington Times: Senior Republican wants answers on Panther case

Washington Examiner: Democrat resists subpoenaing VIP mortgage records

N.Y. Times: Nearly 5,000 on Wall St. Got Million-Dollar Bonuses in ’08

L.A. Times: Iraq in throes of environmental catastrophe, experts say

USA Today: Older white males hurt more by this recession

CQ Politics: Lobbyists Pay Tribute to Kennedy’s Role in Health Care

The Hill: House passes $636B defense bill despite veto threat

Politico: White House makes CEOs pay for lunch

ABC News: The High-Paid Wives Club

CBS News: Iran Graveside Rally met With Tear Gas

Fox News: Making Peace Over a Beer

MSNBC News: Health care overhaul moves ahead slowly

CNN: Stocks spike to near 9-month highs

Wall Street Journal: The Reinvention of Michael Vick

NPR: Obama Beer Summit Choices Make For A Happy Hour

Roll Call: Kennedy to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

National Journal: The Tide Recedes For Obama

The Evolution Of Journalism

Slate Group‘s John Alderman, DC Magazine‘s Karen Sommer Shalett, AP‘s Steve Komarow and Politico‘s Jonathan Martin kindly took part in a surprisingly-candid discussion about the future of journalism before a packed house of more than 70 media professionals last night at K Street Lounge.


Some things we learned:
- The vast majority of attendees do not have a newspaper delivered to their doorstep every morning. Roughly 20% do.
- Less than half of AP‘s revenue is from print publications.
- The chap with the British accent really really loves The Economist.
- Politico is “a website that happens to have a newspaper” [which accounts for the majority of its revenue].
- Good journalists are no safer with a “big name” publication than they are with a start-up.
- It’s okay to check your blackberry while participating in a panel discussion.
- Steve Komarow knows what a Teletype Machine is and how to use it.

Mischa Bergeron hosted. Photos courtesy Lynn Romano. Thanks again to our panelists and to everyone who came out to the event! More photos …

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Obama “Fascinated By the Fascination” With the “Beer Summit”

In a press avail with Philippines President Arroyo, President Obama addressed this evening’s “beer summit” (countdown clocks are now in effect on MSNBC and CNN).

He said he was “fascinated by the fascination” with the “beer summit” and that tonight’s happy hour wasn’t even a summit- just three guys having a drink at the end of the day.

Video to come.

FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes from Today’s Press Briefing

Too Cool for School: Bracing ourselves for perhaps the most highly anticipated “beer summit” this town has ever seen, reporters continued to hammer away at press secretary Robert Gibbs on the logistics for this evening’s Gates-Crowley-Obama meet. Multiple requests for a fuller readout or soundbite opportunity were rebuffed. “We’re his students, Robert,” ABC’s Jake Tapper joked, invoking (for the first of many times) the “teachable moment” brand that POTUS introduced. Gibbs noted that press would have an opportunity to take it up with POTUS himself during this afternoon’s Oval meeting with Philippines President Arroyo. “A teachable moment — to learn the schedule,” he quipped. “Is he the teacher?” TWT‘s Jon Ward asked. “All of us are, perhaps, in a moment we hope can teach all in this country that dialogue and communication will always improve a situation,” Gibbs responded. (Always? Except “stupidly,” right?)

The Sun’ll Come Out…: When NYT‘s Helene Cooper asked Gibbs what he hoped Team Obama will have accomplished when he wakes up tomorrow, he deadpanned: “No more questions about what kind of beer they’re going to drink.” (For those keeping “tabs,” RG says the group will have the options rumored to be the preferences of each — Bud Light, Blue Moon, Red Stripe.) Moving to the more serious version of his answer, Gibbs predicted “a far different picture than what we’ve seen to date” surrounding the incident. When CBS’s Chip Reid pointed out that POTUS could get so much more out of the “teachable moment” by making remarks (to say nothing of the prospect of Gates/Crowley media outreach), RG laughed off the suggestion using one of his favorite words: “I appreciate….”

Poll Me This: With the natural presidential polling decline kicking in for Obama just after his six-month anniversary, reporters asked about CBS-NYT and NBC-WSJ numbers that reflect poorly on the WH’s health care publicity efforts. Gibbs noted that the WH doesn’t do its own polls, but “I think the DNC polls,” before writing off the numbers with an age-old WH line: “The president isn’t fixated on the ups and downs of polling.” When RG proceeded to spit back exact numbers of one poll to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, CBS’s Reid questioned whether they really didn’t pay attention to the polls. “I watch NBC for God’s sakes, Chip,” Gibbs said. “Why?” Reid asked.

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Clinton Pulls More Viewers on “This Week” than on “Meet”

Last Sunday, NBC’s “Meet the Press” reported 2.959 million total viewers and 953,000 in the demo when Sec. of State Hillary Clinton appeared as David Gregory‘s headliner.

On June 7, when George Stephanopoulos snagged Clinton, “This Week” posted 3.11 million total viewers and 1.05 million adults 25-54 (demo).

In all fairness, the week that Steph talked with Clinton, “Meet” was preempted. However, when “This Week” was preempted two weeks before, Gregory’s numbers were hardly affected.

Sweet Denies Gates Question Planted at Obama Presser, Invites Nay-Sayers Out for Drinks

More today on the question that sparked a discussion of race in America, forced the President to come as close as a President comes to apologizing, and launched a dozen beer summit puns, including our faves “Mug it Out,” “The Audacity of Hops,” “Red, Light and Blue” (as in their beer picks of Red Label, Bud Light and Blue Moon) and “Yes, Three Cans!”

Chicago Sun-TimesLynn Sweet responded on her blog on AOL’s Politics Daily to Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin‘s claims that her question on Gates’ arrest at the President’s prime-time press conference was planted.

Sweet says they are wrong and gives the background story. She also takes a page from President Obama’s “beer diplomacy” book, inviting Coulter and Malkin out for a drink:

Ann, Michelle, can we get a beer on this? I’ll pay. I’ll take an Amstel Light. What are your brews? Because gals, you need to look elsewhere for a new conspiracy. Coulter said on FOX News that Obama “had that question planted.” She added, “I do have proof.” On NBC’s “Today Show” on Wednesday morning, host Matt Lauer, asked Malkin, “Do you think this was a planned question?” Replied Malkin, “Absolutely do.”

You are both wrong. The Obama White House did not have a clue what I would be asking. (And why again would they want to plant a question that would take him off his health-care message, a question that was likely to get him in hot water, and did?)

Sweet does say that she did get a call from the White House that evening of the presser to confirm that she would attend. She learned then that she “may” get a question.

Quenching Your Thirst For “Beer Summit” News

In what will most certainly be recorded in the annals of history alongside The Camp David Accords and The Reykjavik Summit, today’s tete-a-tete-a-tete avec biere has national media foaming with delicious anticipation. If you’re betting on the Bud Light/Red Stripe/Blue Moon trifecta, you may want to reconsider. Sources say a plethora of options will be available.

A snapshot of the coverage:

USA Today reports Obama’s pick.

Chicago Tribune details the trio’s selections.

Boston Globe gets all personal about it.

NPR says something completely different.

A lot of Yuengling and Sam Adams predictions in our CONTEST. Don’t forget to vote by 5pmET today!