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Posts Tagged ‘Andy Gross’

5 Journos, 5 Views of OTR

In Washington, the phrase “off the record” is tossed about like candy on Halloween. It’s often the only reason someone will agree to speak to a reporter, and for a city that largely operates in secrecy, reporters here find it to be a daily necessity. The tricky thing is, it means wildly different things to different people. So we reached out to journalists, bureau chiefs and others around town to find out what it means to them.

Toby Harnden, Washington Bureau Chief, London’s The Sunday Times: “It’s a bar at the Hay-Adams. It’s also a term used in Washington by people who are about to tell you something really boring that you probably knew anyway, or was blindingly obvious, and you wouldn’t want to publish. But if you did want to publish it and you agreed to it being off the the record (it’s an agreement the journalist has to be part of) then you could use the information but not attribute it to anyone by name or affiliation or quote it directly.”

Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief, USA Today. “In my view, ‘off the record’ means you can’t use the information in a story and you can’t use the information in reporting – for instance, going to a second source and asking him or her to confirm what you learned off-the-record from the first source. However, that’s often not what people intend when they say ‘off the record.’ They often mean “on background” – that is, that the information can be used in subsequent reporting and even quoted as long as their name isn’t attached to it. So I often follow up an ‘off the record’ comment by saying, ‘OK if I use this information and just don’t attribute it to you by name?’ Nine times out of 10, they’ll say yes. But I don’t feel free to do that with information designated ‘off the record’ unless I have that subsequent exchange. Actually, if you then say, ‘I’d really like to use this information, but our rules are very restrictive on the use of anonymous sources,’ five times out of 10 they’ll put it on the record – better still.”

See the rest including a bonus anonymous response… Read more

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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…

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Journos Reveal When They Let Mom Down

In a twist on Mother’s Day today, we asked Washington journalists to think about a time or moment in their lives when they disappointed her. Just the asking part was fascinating in that it sometimes evoked complicated feelings. While many readily replied to the question, more than one declined for any number of reasons. A few said the question brought up touchy things they’d rather not discuss or have her see, while others dealt with the heavy reality that she’s no longer alive. We appreciate those who provided us answers, and to those of you who couldn’t or wouldn’t respond, we understand that too.

NBC Producer Andy Gross told us he’d rather not answer the question since his mother, Cornelia, passed away fairly recently and this is his first Mother’s Day without, as he put it, her “reassuring presence in my life.” In lieu of an answer, he sent this photograph of the two of them. He’s the one in the big black shoes.

SiriusXM’s Julie Mason: “I grew up in a seriously liberal family — Boston Irish Kennedy-huggers from way back. Effective modes of teenage rebellion were highly limited. I became a punk rocker, but that raised few eyebrows. Then one summer during college, I went to work for the RNC. It was like I had stabbed her in the heart! We both got over it, eventually.”

Mike Elk, In These Times Magazine: “My mother used to fart a lot when I was a kid and then blame it on me in public. Occasionally, I would be like no mom you farted, I dont know if that she was disappointed I wouldn’t take the fall for the fart, but she was certainly embarrassed.”

Politico‘s Dave Catanese: Probably when I was a young teenager and a few friends and I got nabbed by local po-po swiping political signs.  And nooooo, it wasn’t a partisan thing.  Just dumb kids seeing what we could get away with it in the dark of night.  Mom wasn’t pleased, but neither was Dad.

WaPo‘s Erik Wemple: “I am sure that I disappointed my mother on many fronts. Thing is, I don’t really know what those things were, because she never betrayed disappointment. She was everything to me, and then she dropped dead in a supermarket in Schenectady, N.Y., 12 years ago. So I’ll add this question to the many that I never got to ask her.”

NJ‘s Jim O’Sullivan: “My mother is a tough lady. You’d have to be, to endure the perpetual state of disappointment in which I’m certain she exists. She’s too kind to ever show this, of course, but I’d imagine on any number of levels – sartorial, behavioral, professional – the disappointment is almost total.”

The Daily Caller‘s Brian Danza: “I wouldn’t want to disappoint her more by saying something stupid in the media. My mom lives in Italy, so it’s not mother’s day over there. I am off the hook this time.”

Publicist and Hollywood on the Potomac blogger Janet Donovan: “In general, my mother was very supportive and non judgmental so it is hard to say just what disappointed her, but if I had to guess it would be when she and my father would take my children in the summer so I could ‘get my act together’.  Instead, I went tooling around in the Greek Islands and pretended to be calling from a ‘bad connection’ when I checked in with them.  They never said anything, but being a mother myself, I know she knew, so assume she was disappointed.”

TWT‘s Anneke Green: “So I called my mom on this one. She denied every disappointment I accused her of ever feeling, including that I wouldn’t cut off my hair. Apparently I am a model child. Or it’s right before Mothers Day and she doesn’t want to jeopardize her gift situation. Gotta go, jumping on a plane to surprise her this weekend!

TPM‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro: “I have never disappointed her. Every mother dreams her 30 year-old son will spend his days driving across the frozen Iowa tundra in the hopes of yelling questions at a former Pennsylvania Senator in a pizza buffet restaurant.”

Publicist Dannia Hakki: “I have the lucky privilege of having a mother for a client. My mother is the COO of my father’s plastic surgery/med spa practice, Luxxery Medical Boutique. I am the boutique’s publicist. My mother loves to bother me about pitches, press releases and other public relation’s services that are included in her monthly retainer. She sends me daily emails with updates, questions, and concerns to make sure my father is being pitched properly. Take, Plastic Surgery Practice Magazine, for example. Email from my mother attached – in which she yells at me her assistant Maha about our pitching efforts.” An excerpt from her mother’s email: “This is going to become poop on Maha day because Maha doesn’t know poop about what I am talking about, and besides: AINT GOT TIME FOR THIS. Dannia, if you are in your office, please look in the pile of junk this is on your left hand side at your desk and you will find the PSP issue, at which point we can talk.”

Andy Gross’s Answer to War on Women

In this week’s “The Week Ahead,” NBC’s Andy Gross, unbuttons his shirt low enough for viewers to see what appears to be a bare chest. With the “war on women” heating up in the news, he goes to great lengths to describe to colleague Domenico Montanaro what he says women want while knocking back a drink. Watch his portrayal of cheesy guy at the bar. “I realized my key to the campaign was targeting the ladies,” he told Domenico. “…They’re all gonna dig this. Remember in November. Oh yeah.”  Next time he tries this insanity we think a wardrobe malfunction could be key.

Have a look here.

Sunday Show Preview: 10.23.11


What better way to wrap the week than to turn your attention to “The Week Ahead” with Domenico Montanaro and Andy Gross?  Next week President Obama goes West, Rick Perry channels his inner Steve Forbes, and Mitt Romney makes it official in New Hampshire.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

NBC’s Meet the Press: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX); David Brooks, The New York Times; Harold Ford, Jr., Former Congressman (D-TN); Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO of General Electric; Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC News.

CBS’s Face the Nation: Michelle Bachmann; Rick Santorum; Kevin Madden, GOP consultant; John Dickerson, CBS News.

ABC’s This Week: Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State; Senator John McCain (R) – Arizona; Bob Kagan, Brookings Institution; Martha Raddatz; ABC News; Rick Stengel, TIME Managing Editor; Donna Brazile, Democratic Strategist; Matt Dowd, ABC News; Frank Luntz, Republican Pollster; Jake Tapper, ABC News; George Will, ABC News; Tom Donohue; US Chamber of Commerce President; Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President.

CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Mike Duffy; Washington bureau chief, TIME magazine; A.B. Stoddard, The Hill.

CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: Jim Lehrer, PBS NewsHour.

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: Martha Raddatz, ABC News; Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times; Dan Balz, The Washington Post Gloria Borger, CNN.

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt:

NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show: Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News; Michael Duffy, TIME; David Ignatius, The Washington Post; Gloria Borger, CNN.

Washington Watch with Roland Martin: Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO of Global Policy Solutions and Julie Ajinkya, Policy Analyst for the Center for American Progress.

Platts Energy Week: American Electric Power’s Nick Atkins, Hogan Lovells’ Mary Anne Mason and the University of Texas-Austin’s Wayne Hoyer.

C-SPAN’s Newsmakers: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Bloomberg & WJLA’s energyNOW!: Tesla Motors co-founder JB Straubel and filmmaker Chris Paine.

Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman: Dr. Eric Bing, George W. Bush Institute; Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAD; Dr. Groesbeck Parham, CIDRZ Cervical Cancer Program.

Politico’s Turn the Table after the jump.

We’ll update ‘em as we get ‘em.

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Sunday Show Preview: 07.10.11


What better way to end the week and kick off the Sunday Show Preview than by watching “The Week Ahead” with MSNBC’s Domenico Montanaro and Andy Gross?

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

• NBC’s Meet the Press: Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner and presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota.

• CBS’s Face the Nation: Timothy Geithner, U.S. Treasury Secretary; Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL); Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).

• ABC’s This Week: Bill Daley and Christine Lagarde.

• CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Majority Whip; Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) Ranking Member, Budget Committee; Rick Santorum (R) presidential candidate, former senator of Pennsylvania; James Garvin, chief scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

• CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: Toby Harnden, The Guardian; Matt Frei, BBC; Emily Bell, Columbia University; Diane Dimond, The Daily Beast; Lauren Ashburn, Ashburn Media; Tony Blankley, conservative columnist; Katrina vanden Huevel, The Nation

• Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: Alexis Simendinger,; Jeanne Cummings, Bloomberg News; Greg Ip, The Economist; Yochi Dreazen, National Journal.

• Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).

• NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show:

• Washington Watch with Roland Martin: Tatyana Ali, Mario Van Peebles, Anna Deavere Smith, J. Anthony Brown, Kym Whitley, Vanessa Williams and Bill Duke.

•Platts Energy Week: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

• C-SPAN’s Newsmakers: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

•Bloomberg & WJLA’s energyNOW!: George McKerrow, CEO of restaurant chain Ted’s Montana Grill; Scott Jenkins, VP of ballpark operations, Seattle Mariners; Jon Jarvis, Director, National Parks Service.

Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman: Steve Largent, President of the CTIA – The Wireless Association and former US Representative from Oklahoma; Gordon Smith, President of the National Association of Broadcasters and former US Senator from Oregon.

Politico’s Turn the Table after the jump.

We’ll update ‘em as we get ‘em.

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Radio-TV Dinner Slideshow

Last night’s Radio and TV Correspondents’ Association held its Congressional Correspondents’ Dinner at the Convention Center. Reporters got all dolled up (mostly in black with a few standouts in hot pink, electric blue and red) and mingled with politicians, some of whom admitted they don’t really fancy attending these events. Pay particular attention to NBC Producer Andy Gross, the silver fox in the 1959 tux with a shawl collar.

C-SPAN’s Peter Slen, chair of the event, deserves a round of applause for the evening’s entertaining program, which included The Daily Show’s Larry Wilmore, who, along with hotdoggin’ Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), got the most laughs. Wilmore got more, but he is, after all, a professional. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) got the least laughs, but at least he acknowledged it mid-act.

At one point a journalist snatched my notebook away…here are the mystifying results of that: “And charming the pants off Hill staffers was BLANK. Women from both GOP and Democratic leadership were lined up just for the chance to take a photo with this movie star-esque BLANK. BLANK remained demur and professional at all times asking only for exclusive billings.

Claims of not being intoxicated were made.

Enjoy the slideshow.

Sunday Show Preview: 03.13.11


But first “The Week Ahead” from MSNBC’s dynamic duo Domenico Montanaro and Andy Gross

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

• NBC’s Meet the Press: Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN); Michele Norris, NPR’s “All Things Considered”; Dan Balz, Washington Post; Ed Gillespie, Former Counselor to President Bush; Anita Dunn, Former Communications Director to President Obama.

• CBS’s Face the Nation: An interview with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

• ABC’s This Week:

• CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL); Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Majority Whip; Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) Minority Whip.

• CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: Terence Smith, former PBS media correspondent; Alicia Shepard, ombudsman for NPR.

• Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: Dan Balz, The Washington Post; Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times; Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post; Peter Baker, The New York Times.

• Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

• NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show: David Brooks, New York Times; Katty Kay, BBC; David Ignatius, Washington Post; and Kelly O’Donnell, NBC.

• Washington Watch with Roland Martin: Gen Colin Powell; Mayors Kasim Reed of Atlanta, GA, Vincent Gray of Washington, D.C., and Robert Bowers of East Orange, NJ; and Rep. Allen West (R-FL).

•Platts Energy Week: Helix Energy Solutions CEO Owen Kratz.

• C-SPAN’s Newsmakers: This week’s “Newsmakers” guest and reporters are TBD …

•WJLA’s energyNOW!: Daniel Weiss, Center for American Progress; Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen.

•Politico’s “Turn the Table” after the jump.

We’ll update as we get ‘em.

Week Ahead: Obama tries to solve Big 10 problem

It’s been a while since we last posted “The Week Ahead,” MSNBC’s weekly preview of politics, created by our homies Domenico Montanaro and Andy Gross.   But with all the action at NBC this week (*see bureau chief shuffle), we thought we’d give the boys a little love as they preview President Obama heading to Penn State, protests in Egypt and Republicans heading to early presidential states.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday Show Preview: 12.19.10


Kicking off your Sunday show preview this week are the zany duo of MSNBC’s “The Week Ahead” – Domenico Montanaro and Andy Gross.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

NBC’s Meet the Press: VP Joe Biden, Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D); Mark McKinnon, Republican Strategist;Andrea Mitchell, NBC News; Joe Scarborough, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

• CBS’ Face the Nation: Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan); Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina); Senator Jeff Sessions; (R-Alabama); Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota).

• ABC’s This Week: Sen. John Kerry (D-MA); Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN); Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator; Chrystia Freeland, Thomson-Reuters; Rajiv Chandrasekaran, The Washington Post; Donna Brazile, Political Strategist; George Will, ABC News.

CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and to Iraq; Adm. William Fallon (Ret.), former commander, U.S. Central Command; Gen. Richard Myers (Ret.), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Fredric Rolando, President of National Association of Letter Carriers.

CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: Katrina Vanden Heuvel,The Nation; Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review;  Wagner, Politics Daily; Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor and special correspondent; Ian Shapira, The Washington Post.

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: Janet Hook of The Wall Street Journal, Pete Williams of NBC News, Martha Raddatz of ABC News, Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times.

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen.

NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show: Howard Fineman, Huffington Post; Norah O’Donnell, NBC News; Joe Klein, TIME Magazine; and Katty Kay, BBC will appear on this week’s edition of “The Chris Matthews Show.”

Washington Watch with Roland Martin:Gary Locke, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

•Platts Energy Week: Michael Eckhart from the American Council on Renewable Energy.

•Politico’s “Turn the Table” after the jump.

We’ll update as we get ‘em!

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