TVNewser Show TVNewser FishbowlNY AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Alex Burns’

Politico Steps Up Their Video Game

Politico is doubling down on their video production efforts with the debut of a new, snazzy “Driving the Day” video series featuring Anna Palmer, Manu Raju, Alex Burns, and Jake Sherman. Much of the Washington-based media, including The Hill, WaPo, USA Today, and Politico have already made forays into digital video -with middling results. Poor audio quality, along with on-screen talent better suited for print have been hallmarks of the online political video genre. But Politico‘s latest venture -complete with theme music and cable net-style intro sequence -is a marked escalation in production values over their competitors.

It’s no surprise that the political media would be eager to put their talent in front of cameras. It’s good business. Indeed, Politico pioneered a web-to-cable strategy that is largely credited with their meteoric rise to prominence. The website is housed in the same Arlington office building as fellow Allbritton Communications property WJLA ABC 7, and was able to take advantage of the station’s satellite hook-up to feed their reporters remotely onto the cable news channels.* The result was an explosion in name recognition for the brand as well as for the stable of reporters who could easily offer analysis on MSNBC or CNN without those networks having to do the work of bringing them in-studio.

Now, all the other DC pubs are following suit and web videos are a part of the strategy -essentially serving as sophisticated cable news audition videos for print talent. But Politico is still at the leading edge. Palmer, Raju, Burns, and Sherman are hardly as television-ready as say, Patrick Gavin -who was one of top contenders to replace Howie Kurtz on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” but Politico clearly believes in them enough to give them a platform to develop their skills.

*Update, 2.19.14, 8:26 PM: It should also be noted that Politico had a partnership early on with “Face the Nation” and CBS News which resulted in John Harris, Jim VandeHei, and other Politico personalities making many appearances on that network prior to and coinciding with appearances on cable channels. 

Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101 Online Boot Camp

Freelancing 101Starting April 28, this online event will show you the best way to start your freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. By the end of this online boot camp you will have a plan for making a profitable career as a freelancer, and the skill set to devote yourself to it. Register now! 

Barack Obama: Underwood Gets Stuff Done. Alex Burns: False.

Barack Obama thinks DC pols should act more like House of Cards‘ Rep. Frank Underwood (D -SC).

He told a bunch of tech CEO’s today at the White House, “I was looking at Kevin Spacey['s character Underwood], I was thinking man, this guy gets a lot of stuff done.”

Politico’s senior political reporter Alex Burns begs to differ:

 

 

Burns forgets though – Frank Underwood also does a lot of rowing.

 

He also clearly spends lots of time coming up with witty asides and pithy monologues.

10 Journos You Don’t Want to Fight on Twitter

We’re not sure what we did for entertainment before we could watch what probably should be journalists’ private feuds unfold in public on Twitter. For all the talk about teens who have no social-networking shame, there are a few grownups in the media who haven’t seemed to learn the lesson either. Some days, our Washington Twitter lists look more like a Beltway Fight Club than they do a group of media elites.

Not that we’re complaining. We do need something to watch between episodes of Veep and Scandal reruns, and the journalists on our list below don’t disappoint. Fair warning though—if you take some of them on, you doing so at your own risk.

Honorable mentions: The Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher, Conservative radio host Dana Loesch, WaPo‘s Greg Sargent, the DNC’s communications director, Brad Woodhouse, and NRSC’s Brad Dayspring. If you don’t think Dayspring can fight, read this story published last night in which he was referred to as a “rabid dog.”

Here it is, FishbowlDC’s 10 Journalists You Don’t Want to Fight on Twitter:

Read more

Male Reporters Harden Stances on Weiner Clash With Female Scribes

Some male reporters felt the need to get in a dick swinging contest with Donald Trump this afternoon. The subject matter: Ironically, ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).

On Wednesday we reported that TWT Senior Op-ed Writer Emily Miller wrote that she and a female colleague Susan Crabtree had alleged that Weiner had harassed them during conversations on Capitol Hill. In Miller’s case, she says a heated Weiner got inches from her face and subjected her to humiliating sexual comments as she tried to question him on the sexting scandal. Crabtree, meanwhile, says Weiner erected his middle finger at her in the Speaker’s Lobby in front of gobs of reporters.

Today, Trump, an expert on pretty much everything known to mankind, retweeted Miller’s story and the crowd went wild. Because retweets actually do mean endorsements now don’t they? Trump wrote, “Must read article by @EmilyMiller: ‘Anthony Weiner is a twit who treats women like dirt.’”

BuzzFeed‘s Andrew Kaczynski (pictured at left) and Politico‘s Alex Burns  jumped all over it, equating that Trump being divorced and sending nasty missives to a columnist was equivalent to harassing women in the workplace.

Burns pointed to a story in New York magazine story in which columnist Gail Collins, the first woman to hold the position of Editorial Page Editor at NYT, recounts the time Trump sent her story back to her with her face circled with “The Face of a Dog” written all over it. Burns added, “Seriously, Donald Trump doesn’t demean women?” And Kaczynski cracked, “Twice divorced Trump.”

Miller (pictured above in pink) shot back on Twitter, “Divorce has NOTHING to do with demeaning women in the workplace.” She told FishbowlDC, “I am shocked these male reporters will do anything to defend Anthony Weiner’s pattern of harassing female reporters on Capitol Hill. Clearly, they can’t understand how humiliating it was for us and how difficult Weiner made it to do our job.”

She remarked on what it was like to interview Weiner versus Trump. Read more

Politico, Salon, Overhype Juan Williams’ ‘Plagiarism’

First it’s Juan Williams blames the researcher. Then it’s Williams blames the “intern.” Suddenly his “researcher” became his “intern.” In the course of one column in The Hill, which was corrected and explained, followed by The Hill carefully investigating months worth of Williams’ columns to determine any existence of a pattern of “lifting,” by Salon and Politico standards, he became a plagiarist. Politico‘s headline this morning: “Juan Williams lifts work, blames the assistant.” And Salon‘s last night: “Juan Williams’ plagiarism problem.”

Only it’s a matter of interpretation. One publication’s “plagiarism” is another’s “honest mistake.”

“Is there anything lamer than blaming a researcher for plagiarism?” writes Politico‘s Alexander Burns on Twitter this morning. As a matter of fact, there is. How about calling something plagiarism that isn’t? Salon broke the original story last night with the aforementioned overhyped headline. Has this happened to Williams before? Is there a pattern? Actually, no. At least not shown by way of example in either story published in Salon or Politico. Williams, also a Fox News Contributor, did not try to hide anything. He made a mistake and the publication did everything in its power to correct it, including being honest with readers in an editor’s note just as Williams was with editors of The Hill.

The events unfold

Williams’ column was published Feb 18. In the column, as reported by Politico, a researcher had given Williams information that Williams thought were the researcher’s own words. Williams reworded it some, not realizing that the researcher had received the information from the Center for American Progress. CAP sent an email to The Hill the next day. But the recipient was on vacation and higher ups were told about it Feb 28. The Hill then moved quickly but methodically and Editor Hugo Gurdon (not “Gordon” as Politico has it) spoke with CAP on Feb 28, March 1 and March 2 and completed revisions to the article done on March 2.

The Hill took other steps not mentioned in the Politico or Salon stories — they reviewed months of Williams’ work to make sure there was no pattern of errors.

“CAP contacted us after Juan’s column came out to say several paragraphs were from one of their articles,” Gurdon wrote FishbowlDC by email. “The complaint was justified and we looked through all Juan’s columns back to October to make sure there was no pattern. There was nothing in them to suggest this was anything other than an isolated incident.”

Gurdon called Williams to learn more. Read more

Poor Lindsay Lohan: Sharp-tongued Journos Watch ‘Liz And Dick’ and Give it Sour Reviews

Lindsay Lohan‘s unanticipated return to acting, assuming the role of Elizabeth Taylor, played out on the small screen last night. It was Lifetime’s movie of the week: Liz and Dick. As the network chants, “Your life. You’re time.” The consensus among media types who took the time to watch was that the movie wasn’t just bad, but horrific, which came through in their biting critiques on Twitter.

“I’m not sure but I think Lindsay Lohan just trolled us all,” BuzzFeed editor Stacy Lambe wrote. And New York mag’s Dan Amira: “The hashtag #lizanddick may look a lot like #lizarddick, but don’t get your hopes up, it’s #lizanddick.”

Fox News and Commentary Radio Host Todd Starnes advised, “I think it helps if you’re drinking wine.”

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today, Co-Host Mika Brzezinski said the movie was “the worst thing I’ve ever seen. … That was insanely terrible.”

“Even on Lifetime it’s the worst thing,” concurred Bloomberg NewsMargaret Carlson, a guest on “Morning Joe.” NBC’s White House Correspondent Chuck Todd echoed the sentiment, comparing it to a Saturday Night Live skit. “We’re going to find out that was all really comedy,” he said. “It’s a dark comedy. It’s hilarious if you look at it that way.”

More reaction… Read more

HBO’s ‘Newsroom’ Gets Dim Reviews in D.C.

By Eddie Scarry and Betsy Rothstein

HBO’s drama Newsroom debuted Sunday night. The series tells the story of an easily agitated cable news anchor played by Jeff Daniels who has a public meltdown at Northwestern University resulting in a mass exodus of his staff. What’s a newsroom without a resident alcoholic, a wonk and a love triangle? Sam Waterston plays the drunken president of ACN who tells Daniels privately that he loved the meltdown. Dev Patel plays a perfect wonk. Who wouldn’t love to have him on their news team? A former love interest played by Emily Mortimer takes over his program as executive producer with plans to shake up the newscast for better or worse. And the love triangle: Daniels’ assistant played by Alison Pill is seeing an arrogant ass of a reporter (Thomas Sadoski) in the newsroom who doesn’t want to get too serious. Will she shack up with the new guy played by John Gallagher (check him out below)? Stay tuned…

Gawker published a favorable review by broadcasting legend Dan Rather. If subsequent episodes are as good as the first, he wrote, “then [Newsroom creator] Aaron Sorkin has a winner.”

ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper was less kind. In TNR, he called the show “sadly disappointing.” Similarly negative reviews were published in the NYT, WaPo and The New Yorker magazine.

We asked around to see what Washington’s media thought about the show. Sadly the viewing community, minus Slate‘s Dave Weigel, wasn’t large. And among those who watched, most abhorred it while a small minority of journalists are on the fence and plan to keep watching.

“Didn’t watch… don’t plan to… why do I want to spend my down time watching a fictionalized account of what I supposedly do for a living?” — NBC’s Chuck Todd

“So badly do I but I don’t get HBO despite trying to get it specifically so I could watch this show. I need someone to rent me a living room with HBO next weekend so I can check it out.” — RCP’s Erin McPike

“Going into the show I was highly skeptical, but you know I was entertained. Was it the west wing? No.  True to life? no (I’ve never seen a bottle of whiskey in my newsroom) but a quality first outing. I think it got the energy of a newsroom right. I’ll watch next week.One knock, but its kind of part of the Sorkin playbook…it got a touch preachy. I do wish the newsroom had a breaking news siren or something. — ABC7′s Kris Van Cleave

“Not sure I feel one way or another about it yet. I did identify with some of the situations, the environment and some of the characters, but I wasn’t fully convinced. Plus, the best part was the on-stage meltdown. It slowed considerably after that. Enjoyable but not addictive – at least not yet.” — CNN’s Matt Dornic

“I got rid of cable when I was watching too many “real” housewives. When I found myself wasting my time watching Kimmie’s wig pulled off on the streets of Atlanta – and my kids glued to Cartoon Network – cable had to go … Leaves me more time to read Fishbowl.” — ABC7′s Rebecca Cooper

“If the point of The Newsroom was to leave West Wing fans feeling a bit embarrassed, Sorkin succeeded. However, I am excited to share this experience with Twitter until the show ends.” — The Heritage Foundation’s Director of Communications Rory Cooper

“Didn’t watch. Think I’ll wait then tackle three or four episodes in one sitting.”– Politico‘s Dylan Byers

“Didn’t watch, though did enjoy Sorkin’s A Few Good Men on (I think) TNT Saturday”– Politico‘s Alex Burns

“I did, largely because 1) the negative reviews/profiles were so succulent and 2) I needed to procrastinate. Maybe Dan Rather is right, and people in print media just don’t understand whether or not this feels REAL. (When I do MSNBC, I’m sort of an in-and-out guest in the newsrooms and studios, so I have not seen a newsroom burst into action to chase down BP statements.) That said… seriously, they broke the BP story wide open because they ran with the new guy’s two sources? Isn’t that how the Paris correspondent gets in trouble in “The Imperfectionists”?”– Slate’s Weigel.

“I am probably the only person in D.C. whose job it is to write about entertainment and did not tune in. I’ll watch it when I get home tonight, but from all of the scathing reviews I have pretty low expectations, which is disappointing because I love a good walk and talk. I have “Sports Night” queued up on Netflix in case I need to cleanse my palette afterward.”– The Daily Caller‘s Taylor Bigler

“I turned off HBO after True Blood, the Newsroom’s plot just seemed too dark and twisted.” — USA Today‘s Jackie Kucinich

“Tedious.” — The Daily Caller‘s TV Reporter Jeff Poor

“No, didn’t watch watch it and won’t watch it.. I work in a newsroom. Why in god’s name would I then go home and watch a show about working in a newsroom? Give me an episode of Game of Thrones!” — NBC’s Andy Gross

“I thought it was mostly fun, albeit pretty melodramatic with the various speeches, especially the ones delivered by the Brit woman. Plenty of news organizations are “popular” without pandering to one audience or another. Thought Jeff Daniels was great as a cynical, beaten-down new sguy who could have been a print or digital person as well as a TV one.” — BusinessWeek‘s Bryan Gruley

“I didn’t watch. I’m lame.” — NYT‘s Mark Leibovich

“Sorry, In ATL this week for a conference. Didn’t see it.” — HuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie

See more responses from Washington journos…

Read more

Stu Follows Story by ‘Atrocious’ Outlet

It’s an open secret these days that some of the big boys at Politico (Alex Burns, Dylan Byers) are butting heads with Roll Call Columnist Stu Rothenberg. Rothenberg recently called Politico‘s journalism “atrocious”, but he may want to watch it on conceptually mimicking a story that the outlet he can’t stand wrote five days earlier.

On May 15 Rothenberg wrote a column with the following headline: “Is Pennsylvania In Play for November? Maybe.” Four days earlier on May 10, Charlie Mahtesian, a blogger and editor, wrote, “Is Pennsylvania a Swing State or not?” Both stories question whether Pennsylvania will seriously be in play for the presidential election.

As the battle is brewing, may we suggest a good old-fashioned Twitter fight? Or Politico can run a special live show and invite Stu on as a special guest. Politico‘s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei will moderate. Juana Summers will pipe in from Pennsylvania. It’ll be a great time.

 

Journos, Politicos React to Derbyshire Racist ‘Talk’

There is much talk about John Derbyshire‘s notoriously-racist column published in Taki last week. Not just because it was so nastily anti-black, but also because Derbyshire was fired from National Review as a result.

Derbyshire’s “latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible,” National Review Editor Rich Lowry declared in a post on Saturday. “So there has to be a parting of the ways.”

Though originally from the UK, Derbyshire lives on Long Island. His earliest column for National Review Online is from the year 2000. He hasn’t responded to a request for comment. He was with the publication since 1998.

Derbyshire’s column drew widespread criticism. In Washington, journos and political types weighed in over the weekend.

Politico‘s Alex Burns compared Derbyshire to D.C. Councilman Marion Barry, who recently caused a stir by commenting on Asians who open “dirty” stores in the District.

“I should be offended by this Derbyshire piece but it’s so incoherent that I can’t tell why. Probably my Negroid IQ”– The Atlantic‘s Ta0Nehisi Coates.

“Good news for Derbyshire: [Breitbart.com]  is always looking for race-baiting writers.”– MMfA’s Eric Boehlert.

“According to [Politico's Dylan Byers] Derbyshire’s column was “widely viewed as racist in nature.”– Metro Weekly‘s Chris Geidner in an apparently snarky tweet about Byers’s post on the column.

“I know I don’t,”– National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru responding to a tweet from ObsoleteDogma who asked if anyone at the publication wants “to be associated with someone who publishes racist trash like this.”

At what age should parents have ‘the talk’ with their kids about John Derbyshire?– Former White House speechwriter Jon Lovett.

Some reaction from the comments section of the column:

  • “[D]ownright disgusting way of messing up the kids,” one said.
  • “Well, he’s done a public service, having the racists out themselves by allowing them to pretend to be ‘hard-headed clear thinkers,’ who extrapolate a mugging into a theory of eugenics,” said another.
  • And, “Is there something statistically incorrect about this article?”

Politico Issues First Annual Report Cards

Politico and its sister outlet Politico Pro handed out “Policymaker of the Year” awards at the Mandarin Oriental Tuesday night. It was their version of report cards, and if they were to issued themselves a letter grade, it would be one notch above an A-plus.

The “welcome” table, stage banners, cocktail table tops, pens and even the napkins were branded with the publications’ names. Call it marketing, but we’re still seeing red spots when we blink.

Kicking off the evening was a “Year in Review” panel discussion with Politico 2012 reporter Alex Burns joined by Pro reporters Elizabeth Wasserman, Dan Berman, and David Nather. The event was led by Executive Editor Jim Vandehei and Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen. Breakout sessions with policy experts on health care, technology and energy followed.

Allen also moderated the health care panel, nodding his head when he agreed with the speakers, looking out into the audience every three minutes and smiling like a proud son of Politico‘s Founding Fathers.

We didn’t take away much from the session because, coincidentally, there was a lot of coughing going on, making it hard to hear as we feared for our health.  But we noticed the stylish cufflinks Allen wore and asked him about them at the cocktail reception after. He said he bought them in Manhattan from Pink, though “someone thought they were Lego.” The cufflinks are pictured at the right.

Politico Pro is just over a year old. Part of the evening was to celebrate it. An attendee who works in the health insurance industry spoke with us at the reception, though she was too shy to be named. She told us she likes Pro, but said it might be becoming too pricey. (In explanation…The rates are tricky. They have varying rates depending on which policy area you want, if it’s for a company or individual, etc. For an individual, Pro Health Care is $2495/year — a rate that will jump to $4495 in the new year. Happy New Year, folks.)

After cocktails, “Policymaker of the Year” awards went to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

The bar was a big hit. Overheard during the reception…

Attendee 1: I found the bar faster than you.

Attendee 2: I can’t believe that.

NEXT PAGE >>