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Posts Tagged ‘Ari Fleischer’

CNN Hosts Online Election Roundtable

To kick off its Super Tuesday coverage, CNN will host its first-ever online election roundtable today at noon. Voters are invited to join Wolf Blitzer, Gloria Borger, Peter Hamby and political analysts Donna Brazile and Ari Fleischer for the first in a new series of web video chats about the candidates, issues and elections. If you’d like to submit a question, go to and sign up for one of the slots. Afterwards, you can join CNN’s political team for a 30-minute conversation, which will be live streamed on and on CNN Mobile.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Lizza offers pronunciation advice

“Pro tip: The secret to pronouncing Ahmadinejad is to think ‘I’m a dinner jacket.’ #yourewelcome #cnndebate” — The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza.

Daily Caller reporter gets gipped by BuzzFeed

“Interesting. HuffPost links me in their Rand Paul veep story. BuzzFeed does not extend the same courtesy. Something I said?” — The Daily Caller‘s Matt Lewis. Just speculation, but there is ongoing warfare between The Daily Caller and BuzzFeed Editor Ben Smith.

TPM‘s Marshall razzes CNN’s King

“John King: If you were a form of contraception, which one would you be?” — TPM Editor Josh Marshall. He also promo-ed the one-word debate question with this: “Official John King dingbat question round coming up after the commercial.”

Annoying Tweet of the Night Award

“To those who interpret my tweets as being for or against someone, I’m neutral. I’m just enjoying calling the debate as I see it…” — CNN Contributor Ari Fleischer. Note to Fleischer: SHUT UP ALREADY.

King’s one-word question elicits angry/funny reactions

Coulter weighs in: “Newt: unfaithful Ron Paul: cute Santorum: Satan! Romney: president” — Conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter.

“How would I describe myself? Three words. Hard-working. Alpha male. Jackhammer.” — The Daily Caller‘s Lewis.

“Santorum should’ve just said Santorum. #maturejokes” — HuffPost‘s Elise Foley.

“BREAKING: Stupid question draws really stupid answers.” — The Examiner‘s David Freddoso.

“Sleepy, grumpy, bashful and … Cheerful” — HuffPost’s Howard Fineman.

“Cheerful? Fact check.” — Media Matters Spokeswoman Jess Levin.

“Santorum sets himself apart by describing himself WITH A NOUN. Someone give the man a grammar book.” — The Guardian‘s LA-based Amy Willis.

Hollywood assumption…

Commentary‘s John Podhoretz thinks he knows insider Hollywood gossip? He writes, “Eva Longoria is a co-chair of the Obama re-election effort. So the Botox community is well-represented.”

Unfortunate gaseous exchange

Below the Beltway’s Doug Mataconis: “I’m hungry. What’s for dinner?”

The Right Sphere Contributor Tom Dougherty: “Enchiladas because I want heartburn and gas during the #GOPDebate/#CNNDebate tonight.”

What’s Driving the Day: “Cat saves his owner’s life just HOURS after being adopted” — HuffPost. Read here.

D.C. journo dreams of Chelsea Handler

“Just remembered dream I had about Chelsea Handler last night. She was a neuroscientist inventing a drug to block feelings. Subconscious=lame.” — D.C.-based freelancer Moe Tkacik.

The Observer

“Media scare tactics: John King says, ‘One of these men could be president 11 months from now.’ #CNNDebate” — Politico‘s Roger Simon.

Ash Wednesday Faux Pas Prevention Tip

“Note to self: refrain from saying, ‘umm, you have a little something on your forehead’ today. — C-SPAN’s Jeremy Art in a Wednesday tweet.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

The Keen Observer

“Did Ari Fleischer come directly from a crack house? I’ve got Samsonites smaller than those bags under his eyes.” — Reason Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie. Gillespie was on quite the roll. He also wrote, CNN’s “John King = generic human Ambien.” And this: “Gergen thinks in full fragments,” referring to CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen. And this: “Listening to most dull pundits is like drinking from a broken water fountain; listening to Gergen like drinking from broken fire hydrant!”

More on Ari…

“I think I speak for everyone still awake when I say we need a closer shot of Ari’s face.” — The New Yorker‘s Washington Correspondent Ryan Lizza.

Newt’s split personality

“Thing about Newt Gingrich is you never know who is going to show up. Right? It could be the good Newt, the smart Newt, the full of good ideas Newt, or it could be the negative, nasty, anti-media Newt Gingrich. I think we saw the first Newt Gingrich.” — CNN’s Gloria Borger.

Uh oh.

“Troubling metaphor? While frantically filing for second edition, cleaning staff turns out the lights in the bureau.” — USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page. About two hours earlier there were also difficulties. She wrote, “Our CNN feed keeps flickering on and off. This could make covering the debate more, um, difficult.”

What does a male sports anchor know about lipstick?

“Wow, Bachman went extra heavy on the lipstick .. #toomuchmakeup” — NBC4 sports anchor Dan Hellie on GOP Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann.

A reader writes in…

“Betsy, sweetheart, you need therapy. Please don’t try to work out your issues on your blog. It’s sad to watch, honestly. Take care.” –Sent to us by am anonymous reader shortly after we published “Why Washington D.C. Gossip Sucks” regarding the self-analysis of The UnReliable Source in a TBD story. Hmmm…fishy. Wonder who could have written that, someone with the initials A.A.? Read the item that incited this here.

Debate Bloopers by FishbowlMatt

“Herman Cain just called @wolfblitzercnn ‘Blitz’ instead of ‘Wolf’ Oops.”

“Oh Santorum! Africa’s not a country. #samedifference?”

“Call me whatever you want.” — CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to CNN’s John King post debate.

Idiot Watch

“Proof many Ron Paul fans are stupid? I tweet one thing about Ron Paul tonight, it’s positive, and Paul fans complain.” — Editor-in-Chief of and CNN Contributor Erick Erickson.

Pick one: The Debate or Dancing With the Stars?

“Wonder what % of #CNNdebate viewers flip to #DWTS. Afterall, very similar: voting system bureaucracy, dancing around issues, fake hair/smiles.” — WJLA-TV reporter Mike Conneen.

National Press Club Exec. Dir. strikes back against suspended member

“It’s not like Sam Husseini can go to the White House, Congress or the State Department and ask a question. We’re about the only place in town he can go and ask a question. We are his meal ticket. For him to say we’re censoring is ridiculous.” — National Press Club Executive Director William McCarren on club member Sam Husseini‘s suspension and charge that the club is censoring him. Husseini was suspended after he allegedly behaved in a disruptive manner at a recent press conference with a Saudi prince. Missed the report published late Tuesday? Read here.

CNN Adds Frum and Cardona to 2012 Election Team

CNN continued to beef up its roster of 2012 political contributors with the addition Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and conservative columnist David Frum today.

Cardona currently heads the public affairs practice at Dewey Square Group, where she founded the Latinovations practice that focuses on Latino strategic outreach on national, state and local levels. During the 2008 Democratic primary election, she was senior adviser and spokesperson to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and served on the campaign’s Hispanic outreach team.  A former communications director for the Democratic National Committee, Cardona also served as a spokesperson at the U.S. Departments of Justice and Commerce during the Clinton administration.

David Frum is the editor and founder of the conservative website From 2001 to 2002, Frum served as special assistant and speechwriter to President George W. Bush. During the 2008 election season, he served as senior foreign policy advisor to the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign.  He is a former editor of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page and six time author.

Cardona and Frum join the CNN’s existing lineup of political contributors which includes John Avlon, Paul Begala, Bill Bennett, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Alex Castellanos, Erick Erickson, Ari Fleischer, David Gergen, Roland Martin, Mary Matalin and Hilary Rosen.

CNN Adds Ari Fleischer to Roster

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.

Ed Henry Recalls Being Told to ‘Zip it’

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

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Morning Reading List 05.01.09

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.

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.

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, BBC’s Katty Kay, Al-Jazeera Josh Rushing and Daily Beast’s Tina Brown on the White House Press Corps and the cable news “landscape” here.

Politico reports CNN staffers were warned of protestors of Lou Dobbs‘ immigration.


Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly says the White House press corps has been “neutered.”


More on Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn and Quinn Bradlee in Washingtonian here. “After reading A Different Life, you might understand Sally’s need to hover. Quinn Bradlee’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…

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Morning Reading List 02.26.09

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-’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.

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro, Romanesko

Ari Returns To The Press Room

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.

Morning Reading List, 04.18.07

morningsun.gifGood morning Washington.

  • So it seems journos are cheap. Most of you would not be willing to pay for some of your online news websites.

  • Bill Keller: Why Is This Pulitzer Different From All Other Prizes?

  • From DCRTV:

      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”…..

  • An NBC release announced, “Record Numbers Turn To for Coverage of Virginia Tech Tragedy.” “On Monday, overall traffic hit an all-time high, with 15.3 million unique users, a 37 percent increase over the site’s all-time one-day record set during the coverage of Hurricane Katrina.”

  • The National Academies is looking for an Assistant Editor.

  • The Baltimore Sun is looking for a Web Producer.

  • The Smithsonian Magazine is looking for an Editorial Assistant.

  • Get ready for Washington’s Funniest Radio Celebrity competition.

  • National Public Radio is looking for a Production Assistant for All Things Considered.

  • The PEJ News Coverage Index for the week of April 8-13, shows, “The downfall of talk show host Don Imus for racist and misogynistic comments was the second most-heavily covered story of the year to date. … Only the debate over American war policy with Iraq when the President announced his “surge” plan the week of January 7 to 12 got more media coverage this year.”

  • WVU’s Ralph Hanson offers a comprehensive roundup of stories analyzing media coverage of Virginia Tech tragedy.

  • Imus Second Biggest Story of 2007 So Far

  • One blogger in the Virginia Tech family announces the death of his friend in the Virginia Tech shootings.

  • Lisa De Pasquale takes onat Ana Marie Cox . “There’s another double standard that’s not being discussed. Cox (and the current Wonkette bloggers) never hesitate to make crude, politically and factually incorrect comments about women. If she (or any woman) would have said ‘nappy-headed hos’ it would be called catty not racist. Or gossipy instead of sexist.”

  • Ari Fleischer: Still a hack, apparently.

  • The Politico wonders about those “cricket” sounds you’re hearing from

  • Information Week reports, “Media Companies Confront Mortality”

  • Bob Schieffer: More cowbell.

  • reports, “What do media and entertainment executives see as the biggest threat to their business? User-generated content is an issue that is the most challenging according to a new survey from Accenture, a management consulting technology firm.”

  • MarketWatch reports, “Comcast Joins NBC-News Corp Video Venture.”

  • Reuters reports, “U.S. television network NBC Universal has rejoined the National Association of Broadcasters after leaving the powerful trade group seven years ago over a dispute on policy.”

  • MarketWatch reports, “With wide-open races for both the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, and more than two dozen states jockeying to move up their primary dates, station owners and analysts expect potentially record-breaking ad spending in 2008.”

  • MinOnline reports, “The Week magazine is set to go daily later this year.”

  • The AP reports, “McClatchy Joins Yahoo Newspaper Partnership.”

  • The New York Sun reports, “Pulitzer Prizes Snub Big Newspapers.”

  • Seattle Times reports, “Newspapers Nationwide Struggle to Adapt.”

    Hat Tips: DCRTV, TVNewser, IWantMedia, Romenesko, MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, JournalismNext