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Archives: August 2012

Morning Chatter

QUOTES of the DAY

“You can’t hear me. Isn’t that convenient?” — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Wednesday night during an interview in which he snapped at Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on immigration policy. Brewer said she couldn’t hear him and questions were translated through a third party. Needless to say, something was lost in translation.

Yoohoo Robert Allbritton, you listening?

“I’m not a TV person. They don’t give me a fancy wardrobe budget, I’m a real American.” — Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Wednesday morning. During the segment, Mika and Joe ragged on him for his black New Balance sneakers. Above is how he responded.

Yahoo! News‘s Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian on the joke that got him canned Wednesday: “I am profoundly sorry for making an inappropriate and thoughtless joke.”

Wisdom is…

“People say dumb stuff constantly. Do you read Twitter???” — BuzzFeed Political Editor Ben Smith.

Vandalized?

“Rising GOP star Mia Love’s #Wikipedia page vandalized overnight with racist and sexist slurs fxn.ws/OsaMsm” — Fox News. Was the page stabbed?

GOP Convention Security Vs. The Media

“I swear to god they change the security check points every hour to fuck with the reporters.” — Salon‘s Irin Carmon.

In a moment of sister solidarity…

“I want to know WHO the sister SECRET SERVICE AGENT is who is assigned to @PaulRyanVPshe has a cute BOB! FIERCE! Do it girl! #sistersupport” — Sophia Nelson, columnist for USA Today, Essence and theGrio.com.

As well as true admiration…

“@GOPconvention security guy just told me he’s hit the beach in Clearwater every day this week#RNC2012 #imdoingthisallwrong” — Roll Call HOH’s Warren Rojas.

Gov. Christie noshes on the media

“I understand that folks in the media have nothing better to do but to do that stuff they want to see controversy I understand that because these conventions have become per packaged shows and you all want have something different to talk about.” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in a Wednesday night interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan on the floor of the Republican National Convention on the extreme critiques of his speech from the night before.

John Harwood needs lifetime supply of Rolaids

“How spell relief? Fixing audio prob, finishing convo floor live shot 1 sec before delegates start nat’l anthem. #nickoftime #rolaidsmoment” — CNBC and NYT’s John Harwood. In December of 2011, he had another R-o-l-a-i-d-s moment when he wrote, “Nothing spells relief like being late for a school concert — to find you are just in time for your kid’s performance.”

Gwen’s pen explodes

“When u watch my @NewsHour intvu w @marcorubio tonite, know an ink pen exploded all over minutes before cameras rolled. #glamor” — PBS’s Gwen Ifill.

Ryan Speech Fallout

“Oh fuck Ryan listens to Zeppelin too, oh fuck how did he turn out like this?” — InTheseTimes labor journo Mike Elk.

Reporter admits spoiled ways

“I’m so spoiled riding in motorcades with the roads closed, I’m now sitting in traffic not understanding why the police don’t clear the way.” — Politico‘s Ginger Gibson.

Star Sighting: Sissy Spacek

“In other news, pool reporter spotted actress Sissy Spacek standing outside Obama’s campaign office in Charlottesville today.” – HuffPost‘s Jennifer Bendery.

Huckabee now ‘wallows’ in the media

“Oh it’s true, I’ve fallen from the high perch of politics and now I wallow in the mum of the media, but I still know as a country we can do better.” — Fox News host Mike Huckabee rips not one but two of his careers in a speech last night at the GOP Convention.

 

 

David Chalian Apologizes for Romney Remarks

During an ABC NEWS/Yahoo online broadcast covering the convention Tuesday evening, Yahoo’s David Chalian said, “”They’re not concerned at all. They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning,” while watching video of a smiling Mitt and Ann Romney. He was referencing the fact that the Republican Convention was taking place as Hurricane Isaac was making landfall. Naturally, Chalian had no idea that his mic was hot and meant for the comments to be heard off air as a “joke.” They weren’t.

Yahoo moved swiftly to fire Chalian and he issued an apology on his Facebook page on Wednesday evening. He says, “I am profoundly sorry for making an inappropriate and thoughtless joke. I was commenting on the challenge of staging a convention during a hurricane and about campaign optics. I have apologized to the Romney campaign, and I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Gov. and Mrs. Romney. I also regret causing any distraction from the exceptional coverage of the Republican convention by Yahoo News and ABC News.”

Editor’s Convention Timing is #$@%ing Impeccable

The Daily Caller‘s Executive Editor David Martosko had near perfect pitch timing last night during opening night of the GOP Convention speeches in Tampa. As the rest of the political reporting universe was writing about Ann Romney (ooh, she’s so stunning!), Nikki Haley (pretty necklace), Chris Christie (big, big speech!) and the rest of the gang, Martosko chose smack in the middle of Christie’s keynote to mention how readers can sign up to be on a cigar list complete with prizes.

“Sign up for The Daily Caller’s #Cigar Hunter list for emails and prize giveaways –> [visit here],” he wrote at 10:40 p.m.

As some readers know, Martosko recently began penning a biweekly cigar column. And he apparently can’t get the smokes off his mind because he mentions them wherever he goes, including extensively in a red meat speech he gave recently in Colorado at an anti-politically correct ATF party.

In other Martosko news, because there are really never enough Martosko tidbits to share, rumor has it he’s staying with former TWTer and bestselling author Rich Miniter on his boat. Boat buddies! That’s so special. We can only imagine the smoke coming out of the underground cabin.

For his perfect timing and tone, we’re giving Martosko this tuning fork. If nothing else, he can use it on Miniter if he gets out of hand. We reached out to Martosko — so far he’s at a loss for words.

LIVE! With the Washington Press Corps.

Nearly every Washington-based big print publication has some type of video coverage of the party conventions. As they breathlessly note in their releases, much of the video is “LIVE!”

FishbowlDC took a look at some of the LIVE! offerings to separate the pros from the piglets.

Politico has done a solid job thus far with its video coverage. Each morning at 7:30 a.m. White House Correspondent Mike Allen and Executive Editor Jim VandeHei begin with a look at the day ahead. An hour later Politico partners with the Tampa Bay Times for a “Playbook Breakfast” featuring high-profile guests such as Liz Cheney, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove. Live streaming video continues throughout the day with coverage and analysis provided by Politico reporters and other media types. Convention speeches are also streamed in the evening. Finding Politico‘s video coverage is easy. A large graphic link sits at the top of the homepage. Shockingly, this detail escaped many other publications, which essentially put their video streams in holes then covered them in dirt. One upside of viewing Politico‘s live videos is VandeHei try to intimidate his reporters with scare tactics. Wait, isn’t that Politico Pro‘s Tim Grieve‘s job? “You said you’d have two scoops for us,” VandeHei said to Jake Sherman at the start of one segment. “It’s your birthday!” VandeHei said at one point to another reporter. “We’re going to let you work until midnight!” Only minor audio issues in the stream have ensued.

WaPo‘s live coverage, meanwhile, is mediocre at best, if you can manage to stay awake to actually experience it. It’s unclear how to even get to a video landing page. From the front page of WaPo‘s website, readers can either scroll down a little to click a small icon labeled “live” which leads to a regularly updated blog on political news and posts live streaming video when there is one. The stream we caught was a breakfast yesterday hosted by WaPo‘s Dan Balz, Chris Cillizza and Karen Tumulty along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Content amounted to a camera that largely zoned in on Portman. The breakfast bore the atmosphere of a cafeteria at a retirement home.

HuffPost Live, the new video venture from HuffPost, has also been streaming segments from the convention. Yesterday the publication’s Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington streamed into HuffPost‘s studio via webcam from Tampa to discuss the Republican convention. What’s distracting is how anyone joining by webcam has to do so wearing headphones, often the white ones that come with Apple products. Video is easy to find with HuffPost Live because it has its own website. Production is sharp enough for online video but we can’t escape the feeling that our annoying relatives are trying to Skype with us. Furthermore, because many of the guests are everyday people joining from home, so viewers are often treated to random home phones ringing and out-of-sight dogs panting.

CNN may have the best online video stream (understandable, given that it’s produced by an actual TV network). The cast we caught was a convention chat between CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jim Acosta along with liberal commentator Donna Brazile and former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Unfortunately, we have no idea how to navigate back to any video streaming. We were only able to find this particular one because the exact web address was advertised on CNN’s TV channel. But trying to get there from CNN.com is a no go.

Moving on, other than picture quality, which was generally top notch, The Hill‘s live streaming has been terrible. We checked in on several occasions. Once, the camera was fixated on a man tapping on his phone and doing nothing else, with a 30-second clip of music on loop. Another time, the camera was focused on empty bleachers for an unusually extended period of time. And in a third instance, the audio wasn’t in sync with the video. This morning’s stream was a panel discussion featuring conservative author Jonah Goldberg and The Hill‘s A.B. Stoddard, two capable journos who know their way around TV appearances. I’d tell you who the other person on the panel was, but there was almost zero description of the panel underneath the video. The description that was there only contained the name of the event and the time it started. The camera never moved, or zoomed. It simply sat with a wide shot of the panel. On the plus side, the video stream is easy to find. Like Politico, a graphic link at the top of The Hill‘s homepage takes you there.

Tied with The Hill for terrible video streaming is National Journal. Once again, it’s difficult to find when navigating from the front page. Scroll down and a graphic link is to the right with tiny font lettering that says “full coverage.” Even when you get there, the live stream video isn’t at the top, it’s almost halfway down the page. In National Journal‘s case, the picture quality is good but the camera work is poor. It was only a single stationary camera focused on the speaker (and we can’t tell you who it was when we watched because like The Hill, there was no description underneath the video).

If Found, Mystery Monkey Could be Shot

With a wild monkey on the loose, there’s no telling what could happen at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Bloomberg has a quirky video interview set to monkey music out today with animal trapper Vernon Yates. He has been searching for a mystery monkey for well over a year.

As you’ll note, Vernon prefers the word “anywheres.”

“He didn’t get anywheres near the convention center,” Vernon said, but added a warning. “However, he was north of here. As fast as a monkey moves, he could be here within a day or so.”

“The monkey is so agile he could be anywheres in this building,” Vernon continued, explaining he could be in the palm trees, climbing the sides of the buildings, or in the treasured “crotch of the oak tree” where he’d be totally hidden. But, he says, “If the monkey had any brain at all, he’ll stay out of here … if he entered the building you could almost guarantee that he would be shot.”

Watch here. It’s worth it.

 

BuzzFeed Has a Fan in Romney Campaign

Looks like BuzzFeed has some new Republican fans.

Mitt Romney‘s traveling flack Rick Gorka tells BuzzFeed newbie Rebecca Berg that the campaign is headed back from Indianapolis early so they can attend the zippy outlet’s party tonight at the Florida Aquarium.

Advantage: BuzzFeed. This should tweak the souls over at Breitbart.com, who think BuzzFeed and particularly its fearless leader, Ben Smith, is consistently in the tank for President Obama.

White House Soup of the Day

The White House Soup of the Day, as reported by MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” is…

Chicken Noodle.

“It’s a hot soup,” said a mildly surprised host Chuck Todd, still in Tampa covering the GOP Convention. “We had two cold soups that fit the humidity that we’re feeling here. Today it’s chicken noodle, doesn’t feel right.”

What’s on Peggy Noonan’s Mind?

WSJ announced today the launch of a new blog from columnist Peggy Noonan. Noonan will be the only writer for the blog and she’ll write daily on “a variety of political, cultural and personal subjects.” Her blog will appear on WSJ.com in addition to her weekly column, “Declarations,” which appears online and in WSJ Weekend, the Journal’s weekend edition.

She officially began two days ago. Let’s take a look at what she’s churning out so far.

Just out of the gate she writes, “Seven years ago I wrote a column on blogs. At the time they were new, and mainstream journalists were deriding bloggers.  I defended them.  I said everyone should have a blog.  I now take my own advice.” Next up: Dancing logos. Peggy has no tolerance for such immature, unsophisticated, ADD-addled drivel. “The Republicans better not be too clever. America doesn’t need clever,” she writes. On that mature note, once on the convention floor in Tampa, she suggests that delegates who want to be interviewed by reporters should skip the conservative khaki slacks and blue blazers and wear a funny hat. It’s true. Reporters adore crazy, goofy-looking freaks.

This could be a hit. The great thing about Noonan is she writes vividly and exactly how she speaks.

She has special contempt for professionals who advise convention speakers. She writes, “All the people who say these things, they are stupid and know nothing. They are mouthing the garbage-speak of received wisdom. People are people, at bottom they have souls, they have a brain, they can hear the sound of something honest, they hate artifice, they can smell it.”

Opening graph of a review of last night: “They lit the candle. They got past the ill luck of the storm and declared there’s a convention going on.”

Where Oh Where is Politico‘s Dave Catanese?

Last week Politico campaign reporter Dave Cantanese got himself into a little bit of a ethical pickle when he injected himself in the story on Rep. Todd Akin‘s (R-Mo.) “legitimate rape” gaffe by defending him. “Poor phrasing, but if you watch the intv @ToddAkin meant to convey that there’s less chance of getting pregnant if raped,” he wrote on Twitter. “So perhaps some can agree that all rapes that are reported are not actually rapes? Or are we gonna really deny that for PC sake? So looks like he meant to say — ‘If a woman was REALLY raped, it’s statistically less likely for her to get pregnant.’ What’s the science?” Editors swiftly removed him from the Akin beat. Ever since, the reporter seems to have disappeared — no byline, no tweets.

Where did he go?

Sources close to Cantanese tell us he is taking a breather to personally reflect on what happened last week as well as talk to close friends and colleagues in and out of the business. The incident apparently hit him hard, but he has also found it illuminating.

Politico brass (a.k.a. VandeHarris) issued an internal memo last week saying Cantanese had “crossed lines” and especially offended Politico colleagues, but they gave no indication of any formal suspension. The reporter then went on Twitter and appeared to voice regret, saying, “Bad idea trying to have nuanced conversation on highly charged issue on here,” he wrote. “Did not intend to take a side. Lesson learned.” No doubt he’s looking to Niki Minaj‘s Superbass, which he rapped at a karaoke contest last year, to help him through these tough times.

Cantanese is likely to be back in full swing soon, though. Maybe even as soon as today. This morning he wrote a self-deprecating note on Twitter, saying, “I clearly lost the month of August, what Senate candidates join me in that column? #SenateMonthly10

T. Boone Pickens in High Demand

Can a reporter ever get enough of T. Boone Pickens? Well, yes, probably so, but due to popular demand, Bloomberg is expanding its audience capacity this afternoon for an event featuring Pickens on the new energy landscape.

The news outlet had high demand for the event as well as the ability to manipulate the event space to hold more attendees. So join them at the Bloomberg Link this afternoon for a talk with Pickens, who founded Mesa Petroleum and is presently Chairman of BP Capital Management. Bloomberg Government’s Rob Barnett, an energy analyst, will conduct the interview.

Time: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Address: 601 South Harbour Island Boulevard — above Jackson’s in the Westin Complex

Those reporters who want to attend should contact Meredith Balenske at mbalenske@bloomberg.net to obtain proper credentials.

 

        

 

 

 

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