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NYT Editorial Board Pushes Back Against Chinese President’s Comments

The New York Times pushed back against Chinese President Xi Jinping in an editorial published Wednesday evening after Xi Jinping snubbed Times’ reporter Mark Landler during a press conference and all but confirmed the Chinese government had been blocking reporters from getting credentials to report in the country.

During a media briefing Wednesday, Landler asked Xi Jinping about the Chinese government’s backlog of visa applications for foreign journalists. According to the Times, China has failed to issue visas to at least six of its reporters—several denials came after the paper  published a series of critical stories exposing the super rich government leaders and their families.

After first ignoring the question, Xi Jinping responded by blaming the journalists: “The party which has created the problem, should be the one to help solve it,” he said.

The New York Times

That did not sit well with the Times’ edit board.

“The metaphor may have been oblique, but the message was clear: He was warning foreign news organizations that their troubles are self-inflicted; they are being penalized for unfavorable or controversial news coverage and could correct the problem by changing that approach,” The Times wrote.” Demanding that journalists tailor their coverage to suit the state only protects the powerful and those with something to hide. A confident regime that considers itself a world leader should be able to handle truthful examination and criticism.”

For more, check out The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple on the story here.

Fishbowl5 + 1 with (Now) CNN’s Maeve Reston

Another big get for CNN Digital Politics today. Maeve Reston, the LA Times political reporter and brains behind #campaignfashionreport, is joining the likes of Peter Hamby and Chris Moody at CNN Digital Politics.  In her new gig she will remain in LA, where she will write big-picture political stories, report on the intersection of Hollywood, politics and money, and contribute to both the net’s television and digital video coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign.  Rather than posting another boring memo, we decided to ask Maeve a few questions for our Fishbowl5 feature.

get-attachment.aspxWhat’s it like to report on politics 3,000 miles from DC?

Incredibly refreshing. If I had my way, political reporters wouldn’t have desks – just a laptop, an aircard, and the freedom to roam the country finding the best stories.

Who gets more starstruck: politicians meeting movie stars, or movie stars meeting politicians?

Depends on the caliber of the politician and the caliber of the celebrity. Generally the politicians try to play it cool, while the celebrities are more honest about being starstruck.

How do you see Silicon Valley’s role in politics changing over the next few years? Read more

Thursday Morning Splash

What’s Happening

— Free Speech, Cartoons and the Prophet at the Newseum, 3 p.m.

— John Saltzman: The Depiction of Washington Journalists in Film and Television at the National Press Club, 6:30 p.m.

The Revolving Door

Know someone starting or leaving a job? Let us know.

Fishbowl Fun Fact

350 slices of pizza are consumed each second in the U.S.

Front Page of the Day


Fox News Scores Big Ratings with Bin Laden Shooter Special

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 8.02.42 AM

Fox News’ first segment of “The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden,” which aired Tuesday night, was the network’s most-watched 10 p.m. slot of the year, excluding the State of the Union and midterm election coverage last Tuesday.

The segment features an exclusive interview with former Navy Seal Rob O’Neill, the man who claims to have made the fatal shot that killed Bin Laden and ended a nearly decade-long, international manhunt.

“I just walked in, saw him and shot him. Two shots very quick, the third shot–  he was laying on the floor,” O’Neill told Fox News’ Peter Doocy during the interview.

About 2.7 million people tuned in to watch the segment–with about 532,000 viewers in the 25-54-year-old demo, according to Nielsen Media Research. It easily scored the highest ratings of the night on Tuesday with almost twice as many viewers at that hour as MSNBC (561,000), CNN (513,000) and Headline News (398,000) combined.

CNN Digital Politics Hires Metzler from U.S. News


The digital hiring spree in CNN’s Washington bureau continues today with news that Rebekah Metzler will exit U.S. News & World Report for a gig at CNN. Currently a senior news editor, Metzler will take the role of breaking news editor for CNN Digital Politics.

For those of you counting, Metzler is CNN Digital Politics’ 200,698th hire in the past two months. I kid. But it seems that way, no?

Since poaching Politico‘s Rachel Smolkin and naming her executive editor this summer, the network has really been bulking up their digital team. You may recall that in addition to Smolkin, CNN snagged three more from Politico – Steven SloanJedd Rosche and Eric Bradner.  They also made big name hires like Chris Moody from Yahoo!, Ashley Codianni from Mashable and Stephen Collinson from AFP, as well as reporters and digital producers from WaPo, The Hill and C-SPAN.

‘The Concert for Valor’ in Review


With attendance estimates tipping 800,000, expectations for last night’s Concert for Valor were high to say the least.  But whatever the turnout, HBO, Chase Bank and Starbucks put on one hell of a show.

As is the case with almost any DC event, the night began with politics. Mayor Vincent Gray welcomed the crowd and viewers at home with a somewhat awkward appeal for DC statehood.  Jennifer Hudson and Jessie J, however, got things on track with a great opening performance. From the very funny hosts Jamie FoxxGeorge LopezJack BlackJohn Oliver and Bryan Cranston, to the awesome musicians The Zach Brown BandBruce SpringsteenDave GrohlMetallicaCarie UnderwoodThe Black KeysEminem and Rihanna, the star-studded lineup did not disappoint.

The event was not without controversy, however.  From Eminem’s slew of F-bombs to a rendition of Creedence Clearwater’s anti-war “Fortunate Son” sung by Springsteen, Grohl, and The Zach Brown Band — the internet had plenty of material to blow out of proportion.

My fav buzzy topic had to be Rihanna’s attempts at patriotism.  As you may recall, during the World Cup this past summer, the pop star was deliberately rooting for any team the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team was playing against,  tweeting out ”Lets go Portugal; Lets go Germany” during matches in which they were playing the US.  Despite her trolling and questionable soccer loyalties, Rihanna kinda killed it with her performance last night, so it’s hard to stay mad.

Overall, the concert seemed to be a huge success.


Face the Nation’s 60th Anniversary Celebration


CBS News’ Face the Nation will be hosting a reception celebrating its 60th anniversary on the air.

The event is scheduled for Monday, November 17th from 6:30-8:30 PM at the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC).



Three Execs Upped at CNN


Jeff Zucker shared with the network today news of a new leadership structure for CNN Digital — arguably the fastest growing division of the global media organization.  It seems Andrew Morse — the feisty former Bloomberg exec who joined the network last summer — will add to his full plate GM responsibilities for CNN Digital, globally.  Morse already oversees all domestic newsgathering – including CNN Digital editorial, as well as programming out of the Washington bureau.  This move solidifies Morse’s spot at the top of the network totem pole.

Meredith Artley is also getting a big bump, moving from managing editor of to Editor-in-chief of CNN Digital.  The promotion will make Artley the worldwide edit lead for CNN’s web, mobile and  social products and platforms.  Joining Artley and Morse at the top of the Digital org chart is Alex Wellen.  The former DC bureau producer has made great strides since making the long move to Atlanta. Currently a VP in the network’s digital shop and the brains behind CNNgo – the tricked out app that launched earlier this year, Wellen has been named Chief Product Officer – the network’s first.

Wednesday Morning Splash

What’s Happening

— Women of Washington at The Atlantic, 11 a.m.

— GoPro Panel Featuring Wil Tidman and Jim Geduldick at the National Press Club, 6 p.m.

The Revolving Door

Know someone starting or leaving a job? Let us know.

Fishbowl Fun Fact

More than 90 percent of the population of Canada lives within 100 miles of the U.S. border.

Front Page of the Day


Iran Plays Down Hopes of Journalist’s Release


Despite a brief sense of optimism last week following reports that Washington Post correspondent, Jason Rezaian, could be ‘freed in less than a month,’ it appears these hopes were premature.

According to Reuters, a senior Iranian official has dismissed reports that the release of the Iranian-American journalist from his detention in Tehran is imminent.  Rezaian, who has been detained since July 22, is being held without charge.

Analysts say Rezaian is being used by Iranian hardliners to impede the Rouhani administration’s negotiations with the West over its nuclear program.

Rezaian is one of 36 journalists said to be imprisoned in Iran, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).