CNN announced today that former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has signed on as a political contributor to appear on all programming across the network for the upcoming election cycle. Currently principal of Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, Fleischer has a long history inside the Beltway. From 2001 to 2003 he served as the primary spokesman for President George W. Bush. Prior to that, Fleischer worked as a senior communications advisor and spokesman for the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign and national spokesman and communications director for Elizabeth Dole’s run for the presidency. He also served as the communications director for the House Committee on Ways and Means from 1994 to 1999.
Posts Tagged ‘Ari Fleischer’
Four former White House Press Secretaries joined former CNN White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief Frank Sesno at George Washington University last night for candid conversation.
Press secretaries from the Clinton administration – Dee Dee Myers (now a contributing editor for Vanity Fair) and Mike McCurry – joined Bush 43 press secretaries Dana Perino (now a FNC contributor) and Ari Fleischer at the university’s Lisner Auditorium. Another Clinton flack, Joe Lockhart, planned to attend, but couldn’t due to complications following surgery.
The event, broadcast on C-SPAN and P.O.T.U.S. radio, opened with remarks from CNN’s current White House correspondent, Ed Henry (he and Lockhart are fellows at GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs this year). Henry spoke about “sparring” with several press secretaries during his five years at the White House, and recounted a story about the late Tony Snow, who once lost his temper in a briefing and told Henry to “zip it.” The next day, they put it behind them. It’s important, he said, for the press secretary and the press corps to have a “healthy dose of respect” for one another.
With that, the press secretaries were introduced, and Sesno posed the first question: Was President Obama’s sit-down with Bill O’Reilly before the Superbowl a good idea or a bad one? All agreed it was a “great” idea. “Everyone in America’s in a good mood,” Perino said. Fleischer thought Obama “scored some points for going over to the lion’s den.”
McCurry, along with the rest of the panel, lamented allowing TV cameras in the briefing room, which he said had turned briefings into political theater and weren’t good for public discourse. “It was an idiot who allowed TV cameras” into the briefing room, he joked. (He was the one who first introduced the cameras.)
Each panelist spoke about the relationship the press secretary has with the press. You always see the press secretary defending the president, Perino said, but “you never see” him or her “defending the press to the president,” which is a big part of the job. Others agreed.
But the relationship isn’t always friendly. “Reporters play the aggressive role,” Fleischer said. He charged they also demand an unrealistic amount of access. “They won’t be satisfied till there’s Oval Office cam.” McCurry agreed: “They’re always bitching and moaning about something.”
A few specific reporters were mentioned…
Also: Find out what Perino thinks of AOL/HuffPost…
Good morning FishbowlDC!
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It is day 102 covering the Obama administration and week 13 for us. What we know and what we’re reading this Friday morning…
More on the print/digital combo at WaPo here.
AP: Reporters at the Chicago Tribune say they believe the marketing department in recent weeks solicited subscribers’ opinions on stories before they were published, a practice they said raises ethical questions, as well as legal and competitive issues.
Named president and publisher of the Gannett Co. flagship earlier this week, David Hunke — former CEO of the Detroit Media Partnership — says some paid content could emerge on the USA Today Web site and he is not shy about making other innovations if they are required. (E&P)
Market Watch’s Jon Friedman: “So far, so good for Meet the Press host David Gregory. He has kept the show on top in the ratings war, after directly following the interim host, Tom Brokaw. Still, it could be argued that NBC handed him a glamorous, high-profile, no-win job.” Read on here.
More on Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn and Quinn Bradlee in Washingtonian here. “After reading A Different Life, you might understand Sallyâ€™s need to hover. Quinn Bradleeâ€™s is a brutally honest tale of how he grew up hampered by physical and mental maladies in a world of wealth and privilege.”
HAT TIPS: Mediabistro
JOBS after the jump…
Good Morning FishbowlDC!
Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line or let us know in the tips box below.
Its day 38 covering the Obama administration and week 4 for us.
What we know and what we’re reading this Thursday morning…
Fourth quarter profit at WaPo plunged 77 percent. This is the ninth consecutive quarter of declining profits. From the AP: Like most publishers across the United States, the company’s publications have been losing advertising revenue to the Internet for several years… Unlike many other publishers, the Post company has a safety net- two large divisions that aren’t dependent on advertising. Its educational unit, Kaplan, and cable TV arm, Cable One, have been doing so well that they collectively bring in far more money than the ailing newspaper and magazine divisions that had once been the company’s cornerstones.”
WaPo announced changes yesterday to continue the paper’s merge of online and print- washingtonpost.com’s Opinions Editor Marisa Katz and her team move downtown to work with the print Opinions team and editorial page editor Fred Hiatt oversees both print and online Opinion content. From the memo: “This move will significantly help our print team leverage and benefit from the interactive expertise we have built up in the online Opinion space under Marisa. ”
From the New York Observer: “Hey, You Media Wimps! If You Want to Save Newspapers, Learn to Love Your iPhones, Then Go Join Facebook”
Nielsen estimates 52 million viewers tuned in to President Obama’s address to the nation Tuesday, across ten national networks. Last year’s address was seen by approximately 37.5 million viewers, 62 million in 2003 (pre-Iraq War) and 52 million in 2002 (post-9/11).
NY Post reports that NYT is scaling back the number of issues it publishes of T, the fashion and lifestyle magazine from 15 times a year to 12.
Also from the NY Post, Media Ink reports things are “Getting Nasty at Conde.” “While the industry is down 24 percent in ad pages so far in the first quarter, many of Conde’s venerable titles are down 30 percent. Start-up mag Portfolio is down a staggering 60 percent, while Wired is off 57 percent.”
A great piece in Sunday’s WaPo (I know, I know, its Thursday, but worth another look) Sid Davis, Ari Fleischer, Helen Thomas, Sam Donaldson, Dana Perino and Dan Rather offer their perspectives on questioning the President. From Davis, former VP and Washington bureau chief of NBC News: “The Bush administration practice of each reporter saying “Thank you, Mr. President,” before even asking a question was also maintained. In the olden days, there was only one “Thank you, Mr. President” per news conference, shouted by the senior wire service reporter, and it formally ended the session.”
Not all bad news for you budding journos… Poynter just announced a new tuition scholarship program, made possible by a general support grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and proceeds from the book “President Obama,” a collection of election and inaugural newspaper covers published by Poynter and Andrews McMeel. More info can be found here.
White House reporter Connie Lawn writes FishbowlDC with this report:
Ari Fleischer and his family (wife and two kids) came by to say hello to the President yesterday. Ari’s four-year-old daughter also wanted to see Barney.
A bright smile and shining bald head greeted some reporters in the White House press room Tuesday. This time he brought his beautiful infant children. They posed behind the White House podium, and tried to mimic some of his mannerisms. Ari and his family also spent time with President Bush. Ari now lives in New York, and apparently has a successful career in communications consulting and speaking — he was in Washington to deliver one of his speeches.
I asked him if he was giving the staff suggestions for life after the White House. None of the staff members will discuss their plans after they leave, but nostalgia is setting in. One of the White House staff members said they are employed for at least another 150 days.
Good morning Washington.
Yesterday, DCRTV told you that DC’s National Public Radio is looking to expand into new digs from its aging Massachusetts Avenue facility. And we’re hearing some rumblings that NPR is setting its sights on XM’s state-of-the-art New York Avenue HQ, which could become available if the satellite radio firm gets approval to merge its operations with rival Sirius, which is based in NYC. However, an NPR insider tells us: “The XM rumor is totally untrue. We have neither looked at the XM space nor had any conversations about it. In fact, from the little we know, it’s smaller than what we need… The facts are – we’re exploring locations, inside and outside the Beltway, with a long list of attributes we’re seeking. We’ll be doing so for several more months, possibly making a decision by September”…..
From the Post:
Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus testified in court this morning that then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, not I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was the first person to tell him that a prominent critic of the Iraq war was married to undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame.
Read the rest here.