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Posts Tagged ‘Arianna Huffington’

Schwarzenegger Charms Pants Off D.C. Audience

Former California Gov. and cheater extraordinaire Arnold Schwarzenegger swooped in and wrapped an audience around his finger last night at a book talk and signing in downtown Washington. His newly published tell-all is aptly called Total Recall.

WaPo and Politics & Prose Bookstore co-sponsored an hour-long interview at the packed Hamilton Restaurant that included audience participation. WaPo‘s national political writer Ned Martel was tasked with interviewing The Terminator. But from the get-go one thing was abundantly clear: Martel was going easy on him. And though this was supposed to be an interview, Schwarzenegger was clearly running the show.

It was impossible not to be charmed. “This is for concentration curls,” he started off in his signature Austrian accent, using his thick book to do reps. There was a temperature shift. No matter that he’s fathered a son with a woman other than his wife and had other dalliances, the crowd warmed to him immediately. Even the swarms of media in the far back were taken, hanging on his every word. From then on, the audience was his to lose.

Part of what was so likeable about him was that no subject, however awkward, was off limits — a good thing since his audience paid $15 a seat to see him. So he addressed it all, including whether he regrets letting the maid reside in his home, if he hopes to  reconciling with Maria — he does but he says it’ll take time — and of course, his views on politics.

“Washington is the most frozen place I’ve ever seen,” he declared, quickly insulting the evil ways of the city in which little gets done and Republicans and Democrats rarely come together.

Asked about tonight’s debates, Schwarzenegger remarked, “This is really freakout city when you’re out there.” He explained how nerve-wracking it is to maneuver the teleprompter, and what it’s like to go off script and then try to return to it. Next up: an impersonation of AOL-HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington so good that he really ought to perform it on stage.

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Arianna to Host Book Party for HuffPost M.E.

HuffPost-AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington who has been in Rome celebrating the opening of the L’Huffington Post in Rome, is hosting a roman book party for Managing Editor Jimmy Soni. Soni co-authored Rome’s Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato. Mortal Enemy of Caesar with Rob Goodman.

Morning Chatter

QUOTES of the DAY

ATTENTION SHOPPERS: “They’re just like us!”HuffPost‘s Jennifer Bendery with the accompanying photograph.

Geraldo’s drunken Yom Kippur

“I’m filled with profound introspection for Yom Kippur fast- drinking baccardi rum and coke zero (no fruit) I am delirious drunk and starving” — FNC’s Geraldo Rivera rolls in with the anti-Yom Kippur. Way to go Geraldo! You better start now for next year.

A warning to drunken journos

“D.C. police will begin administering breath tests for suspected drunken drivers on Sept. 28, mayor’s office says.” — Washington Examiner‘s Alan Blinder.

Arianna has a sweet time in Italy

“Having dessert at the @HuffPostItalia launch party with Montserrat Dominguez.” — HuffPost-AOL’s Arianna Huffington.

Chuck Todd admits he’s biased

“I’m biased about Yom Kippur .. I love the holiday because the idea of atoning is just a refreshing way to soul cleanse.” — MSNBC and NBC’s Chuck Todd.

Tips From The Pool…Into the Deep End

“Motorcade left Kent State at 6:37 for the drive back to the airport. One member of the crowd outside Kent State held up a thumb as if requesting to hitchhike with the motorcade, which, alas, did not stop.” — NYT‘s Helene Cooper in a Wednesday evening White House Pool Report.

Christiane has a polyp 

“Unfortunately I’ve got a polyp on my vocal chord which I am having removed Friday. Wish me luck and a healthy voice!” — CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

Funniest mispronunciation this week: CNN “Reliable Sources” Howard Kurtz‘s pronunciation of the surname of State Dept. Spokesman Philippe Reines: Rinds (as in pork rinds). The actual pronunciation of the “Fuck off” spokesman is Rains. But who knows, maybe Howie was sending a deeper, subliminal message. The screwup came on the heels of Reines blasting CNN for revealing contents of the diary of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi.

Ass-y lawyer calls out CNN’s Hamby on Twitter

“@PeterHambyCNN Enjoyed speaking to you for the Ohio article. I’m Mark Weaver, not Mike Weaver. thx.” — Mark R. Weaver, Esq. Really Mike? Did you ever think to just email Hamby and not be such a d–k on Twitter?

HuffPost To Restore Your Virginity?

Either someone has hacked into HuffPost‘s Twitter account or else Arianna Huffington suddenly wants to get involved in your virginity status. Over the weekend, HuffPost tweeted about a cheap miracle procedure. At least we’re assuming it’s a procedure, and a medical one at that.

Do not try this at the HuffPost Oasis.

See below…

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

 

“He’ll be insufferable now.” — MSNBC “Morning Joe” Contributor Mike Barnicle reacting to TIME‘s Mark Halperin role in “Game Change” winning four Emmys last night. Halperin wrote the 2010 book that later became a movie with New York magazine’s John Heilemann.

Luke says Dad is among the ghosts

“.@brainsalsa Great shot. He’s there with the ghosts Bruce mentions.” — NBC’s Luke Russert, in reference to a picture from a Bruce Springsteen concert. After Salsa wrote and told him he’s in the front row of a Springsteen concert and misses Luke’s dad “a ton,” Luke tells his new acquaintance that Tim Russert is among the ghosts. Um, creepy?

Arianna says buon giorno to HuffPost Italy 

“Arrived in Rome for the launch of L’Huffington Post Italia.” — AOL-HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington.

Important Q’s to Ponder: “Why am I sitting in traffic in LA at 7:30 on a Saturday? Don’t people have somewhere to be already?” — Politico‘s Ginger Gibson.

Scribe notices peculiar blend of hotel guests

“Interesting vibe in my hotel. 3 conventions going on: funeral directors, financial planners, Rwandans” — WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty.

Dowd dismisses Stuart Stevens

“You get the sense that the strategist considers himself cooler than the candidate, that he’s too hip to walk through fire for Mitt and that he lacks confidence that Romney could be a better campaigner. He treats Mitt like a cardboard cutout, never asking him to risk anything or pushing him to be big, bold and inspirational.” — NYT Columnist Maureen Dowd in reference to Mitt Romney‘s Campaign Strategist Stuart Stevens in her Sunday column.

Reporters get shaft on Romney plane

“In the 2 hours the press was off Romney plane in SD, a new curtain has been installed to separate the reporters from the staff section.” — NBC News’ Garrett Haake.

Ana Marie unveils her weekend plans

“Boyfriend has mysterious journey planned for bday: ‘wear comfortable clothes, bring toiletries, and something nice for later.’” — The Guardian‘s Ana Marie Cox.

Speaking of the weekend…

“Rihanna, thanks for being the song in my head. Cheers to the freakin’ weekend… I drink to that, yeahh yeahhh.” — Politico Publicist Olivia Petersen.

Preacher Sophia gets prayed up  

“Boy do I have a whole LOT to say-God is doing some stuff in and for me. It’s kinda scary, crazy, wonderful. When I get back 2 VA will share!” — Essence and theGrio.com columnist Sophia Nelson.

Self-appointed media critic

“This MTP roundtable is really good. @JoeNBC vs.Bay Buchanan is exquisite.” — Politico Capitol Hill reporter Jake Sherman temporarily parts with his Phish obsession to watch MTP.

Noteworthy: AP‘s Kasie Hunt appeared on the Fox News Sunday panel for the first time this weekend.

 

 

LIVE! With the Washington Press Corps.

Nearly every Washington-based big print publication has some type of video coverage of the party conventions. As they breathlessly note in their releases, much of the video is “LIVE!”

FishbowlDC took a look at some of the LIVE! offerings to separate the pros from the piglets.

Politico has done a solid job thus far with its video coverage. Each morning at 7:30 a.m. White House Correspondent Mike Allen and Executive Editor Jim VandeHei begin with a look at the day ahead. An hour later Politico partners with the Tampa Bay Times for a “Playbook Breakfast” featuring high-profile guests such as Liz Cheney, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove. Live streaming video continues throughout the day with coverage and analysis provided by Politico reporters and other media types. Convention speeches are also streamed in the evening. Finding Politico‘s video coverage is easy. A large graphic link sits at the top of the homepage. Shockingly, this detail escaped many other publications, which essentially put their video streams in holes then covered them in dirt. One upside of viewing Politico‘s live videos is VandeHei try to intimidate his reporters with scare tactics. Wait, isn’t that Politico Pro‘s Tim Grieve‘s job? “You said you’d have two scoops for us,” VandeHei said to Jake Sherman at the start of one segment. “It’s your birthday!” VandeHei said at one point to another reporter. “We’re going to let you work until midnight!” Only minor audio issues in the stream have ensued.

WaPo‘s live coverage, meanwhile, is mediocre at best, if you can manage to stay awake to actually experience it. It’s unclear how to even get to a video landing page. From the front page of WaPo‘s website, readers can either scroll down a little to click a small icon labeled “live” which leads to a regularly updated blog on political news and posts live streaming video when there is one. The stream we caught was a breakfast yesterday hosted by WaPo‘s Dan Balz, Chris Cillizza and Karen Tumulty along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Content amounted to a camera that largely zoned in on Portman. The breakfast bore the atmosphere of a cafeteria at a retirement home.

HuffPost Live, the new video venture from HuffPost, has also been streaming segments from the convention. Yesterday the publication’s Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington streamed into HuffPost‘s studio via webcam from Tampa to discuss the Republican convention. What’s distracting is how anyone joining by webcam has to do so wearing headphones, often the white ones that come with Apple products. Video is easy to find with HuffPost Live because it has its own website. Production is sharp enough for online video but we can’t escape the feeling that our annoying relatives are trying to Skype with us. Furthermore, because many of the guests are everyday people joining from home, so viewers are often treated to random home phones ringing and out-of-sight dogs panting.

CNN may have the best online video stream (understandable, given that it’s produced by an actual TV network). The cast we caught was a convention chat between CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jim Acosta along with liberal commentator Donna Brazile and former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Unfortunately, we have no idea how to navigate back to any video streaming. We were only able to find this particular one because the exact web address was advertised on CNN’s TV channel. But trying to get there from CNN.com is a no go.

Moving on, other than picture quality, which was generally top notch, The Hill‘s live streaming has been terrible. We checked in on several occasions. Once, the camera was fixated on a man tapping on his phone and doing nothing else, with a 30-second clip of music on loop. Another time, the camera was focused on empty bleachers for an unusually extended period of time. And in a third instance, the audio wasn’t in sync with the video. This morning’s stream was a panel discussion featuring conservative author Jonah Goldberg and The Hill‘s A.B. Stoddard, two capable journos who know their way around TV appearances. I’d tell you who the other person on the panel was, but there was almost zero description of the panel underneath the video. The description that was there only contained the name of the event and the time it started. The camera never moved, or zoomed. It simply sat with a wide shot of the panel. On the plus side, the video stream is easy to find. Like Politico, a graphic link at the top of The Hill‘s homepage takes you there.

Tied with The Hill for terrible video streaming is National Journal. Once again, it’s difficult to find when navigating from the front page. Scroll down and a graphic link is to the right with tiny font lettering that says “full coverage.” Even when you get there, the live stream video isn’t at the top, it’s almost halfway down the page. In National Journal‘s case, the picture quality is good but the camera work is poor. It was only a single stationary camera focused on the speaker (and we can’t tell you who it was when we watched because like The Hill, there was no description underneath the video).

David Corn in Stranger Danger in Tampa?

Read Mother Jones and MSNBC Contributor David Corn‘s Twitter feed this morning and it reads like a script for a Lifetime TV movie of the week.

For starters, has anyone ever told Corn to be careful when talking to strangers, let alone potentially accepting invitations to flee his fleabag motel for a random room or couch belonging to someone he may not know?

Corn arrived in Tampa some 15 hours ago and started out with delicious Cuban food at La Teresita restaurant. From here, things went downhill as he arrived at his hotel. Which is when he turned to HuffPost-AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington. “Got an extra room?” he begged her.

He soon explained to a follower, “Feel free to join me at our Days Inn dump.” He then proceeded to crack on the hotel, saying, “If I don’t hear gunshots tonight at my Tampa hotel, I’ll be surprised. Heard a splash in the pool. Thought it was a body, not a swimmer.” And this: “This hotel says one thing: reality tv show. And not a good one. Very grainy footage.” And this: “I want ice…I’m scared to get ice. #MotelFromHell.”

The hotel? It’s the Days Inn near Busch Gardens. Some fun facts: The hotel charges about $46 per night and offers a business center, health activities, a restaurant, sports, transportation and a pool. The full American breakfast — two eggs, two pieces of bacon or sausage and two pieces of toast — starts at an economical $2.99. We called the hotel — Larry, the hotel operator with a southern twang, answered and said he wouldn’t describe the joint as the “motel from hell.” After all, he said, “I’m staying here,” and suggested we call back this afternoon when the hotel manager, Jim Avril, is around. Meanwhile, more complaints from Corn: “I could use more than a beer,” he writes. “I’d stick my head out the door to check on the weather, but… I’m scared.”

With that, he continues begging Arianna and her posse for a place to say. The publication is offering a spa-like retreat to reporters in between edits. “I think I’ll move to the HuffPost Oasis. You think I can sleep on a yoga mat? #TheMotelOnTheWrongSideOfTown” And then he threatens the colleague who arranged the crappy accommodations. “The person at the office who booked these rooms better run when I get back. If I get back. #TheMotelThatMakesYouWantToCry

This is when things take a bizarre turn as he starts considering invitations from followers. “Really?” he writes to @missnicely. “How comfortable is the couch?” Miss Nicely offered Corn room on her couch “in a better part of town.” To @VictoriaJWhite he writes, “Are you seriously offering that?” White, a “kind follower” and Tampa-based medical writer and editor for AMWA, has offered “an extra bedroom downtown in her nice condo.”

He asks, “Should I accept & abandon my colleagues?”

Please, someone slap some sense into Corn and quick. Should he leave his colleagues for a couch in a stranger’s home? Hmmm…

Seems a night of sleep didn’t help. This morning Corn awoke and was all doom and gloom. “I dreamed I was in dark water and being bitten by big snakes. Really.#MotelFromHell and #ATownFullofRepublicans,” he wrote. Followed by, “Report from my window: No rain, no wind, no bodies in the pool.#MotelFromHell

Corn soon left the motel, but didn’t say whether he’ll return. If you were the manager, would you let him back? He wrote, “Escape from #TheMotelFromHell is successful.”

 

 

Spotted: NYT Peter Baker in Nantucket

NYT reporter Peter Baker was spotted late last week on his laptop at The Westmoor Club in Nantucket. It’s an upscale members-only tennis and pool club known as the “premier private club of Nantucket.” Special attractions include yachting, a state-of-the-art spa and croquet. The website says the club has “handsome dining rooms.”

Lucky dog!

“Yes, up in Nantucket, blissfully free of heat, humidity and political campaigns,” Baker wrote FBDC when we asked him about it. “A great place to get away before the conventions and the final sprint to election day.”

Psst… another journalist in Nantucket over the weekend was HuffPost-AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington, who announced over Twitter on Saturday that she was lunching there. Her table is pictured above.

Get a Convention Facial Courtesy HuffPost

There’s no bigger advocate of unplugging and recharging and sleeping for at least seven hours a night than HuffPost Publisher Arianna Huffington. She’s bringing that philosophy to the party conventions.

HuffPost and its partners will have a space set aside at the RNC and DNC for the “harried, sleep-deprived” delegates, credentialed journalists and bloggers to get a little R&R. “The Oasis,” as they’re calling it, will feature yoga classes, facials, makeup refreshers and, of course, sleep consultation. We can hardly wait to see FNC’s Ed Henry and Bret Baier doing downward dogs, and PBS’s Gwen Ifill basking in the relaxation of an avocado mask.

“The Oasis is designed to demonstrate that even during the most hectic days of the political season, we can unplug and recharge for a little while and be able to get back to our convention activities rested and re-energized,” says a release. How holistic sounding.

Time and location for the RNC’s Oasis:

Monday, August 27 – Thursday, Aug. 30; 7AM – 12AM

Aja Channelside, 290 South Meridian Avenue, Tampa, FL 33602

For the DNC:

Monday, September 3 – Thursday, Sept. 6; 7AM – 12AM

Flex and Fit Gym, 550 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

Fishbowl5 for Authors of Young Adult Trilogy

How do four privileged teenagers survive growing up in the world’s most powerful city, where even the kids are pawns in the adults’ political games? That’s what authors Marilyn (Maz) Rauber and Amy Reingold (on the left) wanted to know. So they wrote a new Young Adult trilogy taking readers through the White House family quarters, Georgetown mansions and secret back corridors of Congress. The first book in the series, Capital Girls, published by St. Martin’s Griffin, hits stores today and their launch party is tonight at a private home in Washington’s Spring Valley neighborhood. In it, four young women serve as the main characters — one dies in a mysterious accident, their bond is shaken, yada yada…the book release comes as the 2012 presidential race shifts into high gear.

The remaining two books, Secrets and Lies and Truth or Dare will be published in November 2012 and April 2013 respectively.

FYI, their husbands have been in the media business. Maz’s husband, Charley Keyes, was a senior national security producer at CNN (he retired earlier this year) and Amy’s husband, Richard Reingold, is former GM at WUSA and former news director at WRC.

1. Did you have any specific people in mind when creating the characters? Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush? Were they inspired by women either of you grew up with? AMY: Each of us has raised teenagers in DC … We drew on stories we heard from our own teens as well as stories that Maz covered for the New York Post through the years. MAZ: Incidents such as the Bush twins getting caught under-aged drinking in a Texas bar, Bill Clinton’s sex scandals, Chelsea Clinton’s occasional appearance as a public, albeit silent, buffer between her parents. But all the characters are fictitious — exaggerated figments of our imagination.

2. Being a “young adult trilogy” how much sex does the book include? AMY: Nothing graphic. MAZ: But just like real life, the teens think about it a lot, talk about it a lot, and some of them act on it.

3. So, these politically connected parents that you write about, are they people we might know? AMY: Again, they’re composites … the female characters are loosely based on some of the strong female role models we admire, such as Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Madeleine Albright, Nancy Pelosi, Olympia Snowe, Arianna Huffington, Christine Lagarde, Angela Merkel, and Julia Gillard. MAZ: We thought it was about time the President was a woman, along with her chief of staff. The wicked Senator Hampton Griffin, for example, is a composite of southern politicians, dead and alive. Naming no names!

4. How long did it take you to write the books? Did you two go anyplace special or particularly quiet to do your writing? Any writing rituals? AMY: We started writing the first book in mid 2009 and just finished the third book last week. We write side-by-side at Maz’s computer, meeting every weekday for about 6-8 hours.  It’s on the 15th floor, with big windows. The shuttle, on its way to the Dulles museum, flew right by the window, as do Canadian geese and hummingbirds. Maz’s dog, Aussie, a nine-year-old border terrier/poodle mix is our lucky mascot. He sits under our legs as we write. MAZ: Sometimes we even write via Skype, when I’m visiting my family in Australia. The 13-hour time difference is miserable, though.

5. Who is your favorite character? AMY: Taylor Cane, because she lives life on her own terms. MAZ: Lettie Velasquez because she’s down-to-earth and determined to make a difference. And I have a secret crush on her boyfriend, Daniel.

Photo credit: Judy Licht.

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