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Posts Tagged ‘April Ryan’

Who Will Get Called On Tonight? A Look Back At Obama’s Pressers

Tonight is President Obama’s fourth prime-time press conference, fifth overall. Each presser has lasted about an hour and averages 13 reporters’ questions. Fox did not air Obama’s 100th day press conference, the third, on the network and will not tonight either.

In his first prime-time press conference Feb. 9th, the President called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, Reuters’ Caren Bohan, CBS’ Chip Reid, NBC’s Chuck Todd, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman, ABC’s Jake Tapper, CNN’s Ed Henry, NYT‘s Helene Cooper, Fox’s Major Garrett, WaPo‘s Michael Fletcher, Helen Thomas, HuffPost’s Sam Stein and NPR’s Mara Liasson.

In his second prime-time press conference March 24th, Obama called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, NBC’s Chuck Todd, ABC’s Jake Tapper, CBS’ Chip Reid, Univision’s Lourdes Meluza, Stars and Stripes’ Kevin Baron, CNN’s Ed Henry, Fox News’ Major Garrett, Politico‘s Mike Allen, Ebony’s Kevin Chappell, ABC Radio’s Ann Compton, TWT‘s Jon Ward and AFP’s Stephen Collinson.

In his third prime-time press conference April 29th, the President called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, Detroit NewsDeb Price, ABC’s Jake Tapper, CBS’ Mark Knoller, NBC’s Chuck Todd, Reuters’ Jeff Mason, CBS’ Chip Reid, CNN’s Ed Henry, NYT‘s Jeff Zeleny (“surprised, troubled, enchanted and humbled”), Telemundo’s Lori Montenegro, BET’s Andre Showell, Time‘s Michael Scherer and WaPo‘s Jonathan Weisman.

President Obama’s fourth presser was during the day, in the briefing room June 23rd and he called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, HuffPost’s Nico Pitney (remember this?), Fox’s Major Garrett, USA Today‘s David Jackson, CBS’ Chip Reid, NBC’s Chuck Todd, ABC’s Jake Tapper, McClatchy’s Margaret Talev, EFE’s Macarena Vidal, Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols, American Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan and CNN’s Suzanna Malveaux.

Will the AP’s Jennifer Loven go five-for-five? Will President Obama snub Fox? Will HuffPost’s Nico Pitney get called on again? And who do you want to see called on tonight? Tell us.

RELATED: From US News & World Report: Press Getting More Adversarial With Obama: Some expect Obama’s news conference to take on a more negative tone.

WHCA Election Results: Examiner‘s Mason, Newsweek‘s Bailey, NPR’s Gonyea and Reuter’s Bohan Win Seats

And the winner is…

The White House Correspondents Association election board results are in. Congratulations to 2011-2012 President Caren Bohan of Reuters. The at-large seat goes to the Examiner‘s Julie Mason, the radio seat to NPR’s Don Gonyea, the magazine seat to Newsweek‘s Holly Bailey and the wire seat is filled by Bohan.

Other contenders included McClatchy’s Steve Thomma, Politico‘s Mike Allen and American Urban Radio’s April Ryan.

We hear Mason’s victory was a landslide- 85 votes to Thomma’s 29 and Allen’s 27. Her “campaign manager” Bloomberg’s Karen Leigh say this win was a big deal for a someone from a smaller paper (and that the campaign-promised massages on the White House South Lawn will cost $20, with a special discount for anyone who works for a daily).

The ever-gracious Allen offered his congratulations in today’s Playbook.

More, including comments from the winners, to come today…

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

Little News About the Big News: The two headline-hoggers of the week — Sotomayor and healthcare — made little progress in the briefing room today, though Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered fresh (if altogether un-newsy) comments on each: To settle a long-standing question from the AP on how POTUS knew Sotomayor would fulfill his promise to select someone who protects the right to privacy without asking her specifically about her abortion stance, RG said the judge’s interpretation of “settled law” reassured POTUS. Gibbs asked whether healthcare can be paid for while keeping campaign promises on no new taxes for those under the $250,000 line, and only Clinton-era taxes for those above that line. Gibbs joked that we shouldn’t rely on his math….

Where is the Love?: Gibbs continued his Washington outsider rhetoric with several lines chastising the order of business around town. He cited the “tendency to keep the final score at… the midpoint of every day” when reporters pressed on healthcare progress. In response to a potentially drawn-out Senate floor vote on Sotomayor, RG said “nothing ever is” short in this town. And when, on the topic of the Secretary’s wide-ranging foreign policy address to CFR today, a reporter asked about the BO-HRC relationship, Gibbs replied: “The notion that there’s some rift or disagreement are nothing more than silly Washington games.”

For the Record: The briefings have progressed decidedly more into the State Department style of addressing reporters by topic rather than pressroom hierarchy. As Gibbs was working all corners, AURN’s April Ryan stepped on what NBC’s Chuck Todd thought was his turn. “Ballots are still out,” Chuck joked, as April is running in the WHCA board elections that end tomorrow. (Though there is no WH involvement in the elections, Gibbs chuckled that he would consider endorsing candidates if a list were sent to him.)

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Curl Calls It: WH Press Corps Gets Played

In an article today, TWT’s Joe Curl calls “foul” after the WH press corps got played during yesterday’s news conference. On the presidential presser, Curl says:

Many in the hard-pressed press corps played along throughout the hourlong show, turning the ball over again and again – “accidentally,” of course.

Curl says that as the president dribbled around questions from NBC’s Chuck Todd, USA Today’s David Jackson, Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan, Helen Thomas and McClatchy’s Margaret Talev, the nation’s most respected group of journalists began resembling the “Washington Generals, known for their long-running losing streak against the invincible Harlem Globetrotters.”

So who are Curl’s MVPs? ABC’s Jake Tapper and FNC’s Major Garrett.

Check out Curl’s story for the play-by-play.

President Obama’s Press Conference: HuffPost Called On Second With Iran Question

In today’s press conference in the briefing room, President Obama spoke for about 10 minutes, covering the topics of Iran, clean energy and healthcare at the top. He then took questions, ending the press conference at about 1:25pm, about 55 mins.

AP’s Jennifer Loven got the first question, which is not at all out of the ordinary. What was more unusual is that the President called on HuffPost’s Nico Pitney second- he asked a question from the ground in Iran. Politico is calling this “a clearly coordinated exchange” because of the uniqueness of HuffPost called on second and the topic of Iran.

Fox’s Major Garrett, USA Today‘s David Jackson, CBS’ Chip Reid, NBC’s Chuck Todd, ABC’s Jake Tapper, McClatchy’s Margaret Talev (she asked the President about his smoking habit, to which he replied he sometimes falls off the wagon but is about 95 percent cured), Bloomberg’s Hans Nicols and American Urban Radio’s April Ryan were among those who were called on by the President. CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux asked the last question about Neda, an Iran female protestor who was shot and killed in the streets of Tehran, which was caught on video and on the Internet. President Obama called it “heartbreaking.”

The President noteably did not call on the Washington Post or the New York Times.

What, Or Should We Say Who, Is “Hot” By DC Standards?

Thank goodness Politico got to the bottom of this one. What we learned in this video- April Ryan has a thing for men with power, Congress Daily’s George Condon is completely comfortable checking out other men (TWT‘s Jon Ward, not so much) and CBS’ Mark Knoller isn’t a fan of NBC’s Chuck Todd, looks-wise, of course.

Also here at FishbowlDC, we’re starting the countdown until the blonde interviewed at the end gets a show on cable TV…

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

YouTube, ITube, WeAllTube: On the heels of Obama’s Supreme Court nominee announcement this morning, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fielded questions on a controversial YouTube video in which Sonia Sotomayor says the “Court of Appeals is where policy is made.” A visibly irritated RG charged that the comment was out of context, exchanging barbs with AURN’s April Ryan to the point where he defended, “I’m simply joining you in the richness of the dialogue that we’re having.” Asked if he was concerned about the impact the video would have in this ‘YouTube era,’ the spokesman shot back, “even if I can’t convince some people in this room,” most people will understand the full context of her remarks. Ouch, Robert. Ouch.

All Clear?: If it’s an Obama nominee, the tax question is inevitable.
The question first came literally from front and center in the room as Helen Thomas drew laughter for the straightforward, “Did she pay her taxes?” Gibbs offered the mysterious, “I have not seen anything on that.” Later, when the question was repeated, Gibbs went further: “I think she’s been fully vetted and we’re confident.” No word yet on what happened in between those two questions to solidify his faith….

Ringer Redux: Cell phone violator du jour was NPR’s Mara Liasson, who pointed out that she should get a free pass, as it was her first time breaking the otherwise entirely peaceful (ha!) Brady briefing room.
“We won’t use precedent in this case,” Gibbs assured her.

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

Back in the press briefing room…

Arrghh: This week’s Somali pirate attack has again put high-seas safety on the front page and in the forefront of State and White House briefings. While questions of “pirate negotiations” elicited snickers over at Foggy Bottom this morning, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was dead-serious in describing the inter-agency group dealing with maritime safety, which includes such heavyweights as DHS, DOJ, FBI, and DOD.

Ring the Alarm: A grand total of seven cell phone rings provided a running soundtrack to today’s briefing. Gibbs ordered “two margaritas, salt, on the rocks” as one festive tune interrupted proceedings. Asked later if the White House was planning any creative measures related to refinancing mortgages, Gibbs said he would “check on the commercials and maybe we’ll use some of that salsa music.” One later ringer caused Gibbs to quip, “It’s like the bar scene from Star Wars,” to which one particularly tickled reporter shouted, “I got that!”

Ain’t Over Till the Gray Lady Sings: NYT had three shout-outs today (none from the NYT’s Jeff Zeleny), at one point causing Gibbs to note, “I’m sure the New York Times is going to say a lot of things over the next few years.”

Today’s “Step Back”: For those counting the Gibbs-isms, “let me… I guess back up a little bit” was employed today in reference to a question on the White House’s new push for immigration reform. The press secretary noted that Obama has emphasized a comprehensive approach to the issue since early in his presidential campaign.

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

Welcome Back, Bill: Sitting and standing room were packed today (disgruntled reporters who didn’t get a question at last night’s presser?), and a few front-row seats were filled by substitutes for the regularly scheduled correspondents (who might still be recovering). CBS veteran Bill Plante was among those making a return to the briefing room. In his classic no-nonsense style, Plante pushed hard on the White House budget and the Hill’s competing drafts. “You’re already looking a little forlorn in my answer,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said during his response, to which Plante replied: “I’m looking ahead. I’ve got more.”

Reliving the Glory Days: With an online forum scheduled for tomorrow coupled with reports of door-knocking Obama evangelism last weekend and unique presidential outreach (a la ESPN and Leno), reporters questioned whether these are signs of an ongoing campaign. Gibbs wrote off the implication, noting that enhanced communication is an end goal in itself. Plante challenged the podium with a subtle jab: “What’s Plouffe doing these days?” Gibbs simply said the former campaign manager was writing a book (which, according to plans, will outline the campaign’s success). “Yeah,” Plante smiled.

Fine Print?: Sen. Benjamin Cardin has floated legislation intended to revive a suffering newspaper industry, and CBS News Radio correspondent Peter Maer asked for the administration’s stance on the philosophy behind governmental interference. Gibbs said he’d have to look for additional guidance on official policy, but stated his basic regard for the freedom of speech. (Phew.) “I’ll note that a radio guy asked that question,” Gibbs said, as Maer received a hearty pat on the back from USA Today’s David Jackson.

Hug a Mailman: When NBC’s Chuck Todd pointed out that U.S. Postal Service bigwigs took to the Hill today to discuss their financial woes, including that they might not make payroll — Gibbs dryly noted, “I guess the check isn’t in the mail.” No word yet on the White House’s stance on a potential USPS bailout.

Head and Heart: A slightly surprised Ann Compton of ABC Radio earned a question at last night’s briefing, and she used her time to ask how race has affected the president’s first couple months in office. Today, AURN’s April Ryan followed on the query, to which Gibbs gave a lengthy response. During the line of questioning, which touched on how Obama’s race affects his presidential decision-making, Gibbs noted, “You have to use your heart in your policy.”

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

If your name’s not Rush or Rick…: There’s no love lost between the Obama team and NYT’s Paul Krugman, who has used his clout as a Nobel laureate to voice consistent criticism of the administration’s economic policies. But rather than engage in another one-on-one with a critic, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs replied to a question about Krugman’s latest condemning column with the opening line “Without responding directly to that…”

Get Out Those Beads!: NYT’s Sheryl Stolberg questioned the silence on Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to the White House Friday, and Gibbs clarified that while the meeting was only on the vice president’s schedule, Obama “tends to roam around the larger house, and sometimes walks into meetings that weren’t previously on his schedule.” Reporters suggested he roam into the briefing room. “I think we did that once,” Gibbs said, in reference to the president’s impromptu evening visit to the press bullpen. “And it seemed like Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday.” (For those keeping score on the serious matters: Gibbs noted that the two discussed reduction of nuclear arsenals and nuclear proliferation, as well as energy and “a whole host of ideas” of mutual concern.)

Under Pressure: When AURN’s April Ryan asked a follow-up about the president’s plans for tomorrow night’s news conference, Gibbs dodged a little, saying that whether the president made news would depend on “the many important and impressive reporters assembled,” to which the intrepid reporter chastised, “You know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about an opening statement. Stop being flip.” No punches thrown; both had a good laugh and Gibbs admitted to not yet having read the full opening statement for tomorrow’s presidential showdown with the press. Phew.

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