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Posts Tagged ‘Arianna Huffington’

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 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.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Boybander Heaven: “Looks like a smug hipster had an accident on my TV screen.” — The Daily Caller‘s TV writer Jeff Poor with accompanying photograph.While subbing for MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last night, Rep. Ezra Klein (D-WaPo) interviews Chris Hayes, Maddow’s long lost twin.

Self-appointed Media Critic

“Warren Buffett and @MorningJoe should get a room.” — Mail Online U.S. Executive Editor Toby Harnden.

Life at White House like bowl of cherries

After White House Press Sec. Jay Carney told FNC’s Ed Henry during a Monday briefing that he was cherry picking numbers, Reuter‘s Sam Youngman had a bright idea: “If there isn’t a jar of cherries in the booth for @edhenryTV by the end of the day, I’ll be disappointed in the wh press corps.”

Important Question to Ponder: “But how does Washington feel about Joan Rivers?” — Politico‘s Dylan Byers. Rivers appeared at Sixth & I Synagogue last night to celebrate the release of her new book, I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me.

Idiots on Twitter: This one’s for you

“I have to admit that I have been stunned by the amount of people who tweet or email opinions about a story who clearly did not read story.” — Pittsburgh Tribune’s Salena Zito.

The Observer

“Just saw a guy with one of those steel suitcases handcuffed to his wrist – Hope Diamond? Nuke codes? Never know in DC.” — FNC’s Shannon Bream.

Arianna weighs in on sleep again

“Maybe we need to expand ‘Friends don’t let friends drive drunk’ to “Friends don’t let friends drive sleep-deprived.” — HuffPost/AOL’s Arianna Huffington, who insists that humans need seven hours of sleep. That’s one more hour than Politico‘s Exec. Editor Jim VandeHei insists upon for avid sleeper Mike Allen.

Real Life Bullsh!%t

“Officially Monday now = full glass of water spilled on mouse pad and my shorts ripped down thigh as they caught on doorknob- lkg fwd to Tues!” — Kathy Jentz, editor of Washington Gardener Magazine. 

Morning Reading List 5.14.12

Will the film ever get off the ground? Politico‘s Patrick Gavin brings us the story of Norman Kelley‘s plan to make a documentary about Charlie Peters, former founder and editor of The Washington Monthly, which is now bimonthly. But will the film ever come to fruition? So far the film has raised $1,685 and they need $15,000. By today. And this is Kelley’s big sell of Peters: “Charlie Peters is not a sexy guy,” Kelley told Politico. “He’s not a sexy subject. … It’s just hard to raise money on a film about a guy from the past. … It’s hard raising money for a documentary film if you’re not Ken Burns or Michael Moore, particularly about a journalist who’s not a sexy journalist on one of the television talk shows.” Read the full story here. Publish time: 4:36 a.m.

Arianna discusses philandering father – Mother’s Day brings up poignant memories. HuffPost-AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington penned an op-ed in the NYT over the weekend. It’s called “Greek Tragedy.” In her walk down memory lane in Athens, she recalls her father’s unsuccessful attempt to own a newspaper as well as his cheating habit. “It wasn’t the bankruptcy that got to my mom in the end, but the philandering,” she wrote. Read here.

Media failure or fairness? — With opinion journalism being all the rage these days, Media Matters took the networks to task Sunday for hosting conservatives like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and former GOP Presidential hopeful Gary Bauer, both of whom fiercely oppose same-sex marriage. They called it “Easy Sunday for Group Hate Leader on CNN, CBS.” The writer, Jocelyn Fong, says if she ever has kids someday she’ll get to tell them about the President’s historic announcement, but she’ll also have to inform them that the networks gave “hate group leaders” a platform for their views. Perkins turned up on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley and on CBS’s Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer. Tsk. Tsk. Fong says Schieffer never challenged Perkins. Instead, the newsman agreed with Perkins that he was glad to allow all sides of the debate. (Which psst… is kind of the point of journalism in the first place.) Read the full story here.

Arianna Huffington’s Furry Friend

We keep ourselves up at night wishing we knew more about the enigma that is Arianna Huffington. How does she operate? What motivates her and drives her success? All Things D, a website covering news and opinion on the digital age, sat down with Arianna recently to give us “16 Things About Arianna Huffington.”There’s a lot to take away from this peak inside the mind of one of media’s most successful women. For instance, we find out that a quality that she dislikes is “Multitasking — i.e., having dinner with someone and engaging with someone else on one of your devices.” You’re very wise, Arianna. However, she seems to have blatantly contradicted herself at the recent TIME-People pre-WHCD party at the St. Regis in Washington. She was punching away on her Blackberry while mingling in the middle of the party. I guess she was really was into that game of Angry Birds.

We find out from All Things D that Arianna loves her Blackberry so much that she has FOUR of them. Who is so important that they need FOUR Blackberrys? Arianna, apparently. She was asked if she had any pets and she tells us that she “once” owned a dog named “Oliver Pistachio Huffington.” Isn’t that what Gwyneth Paltrow named her last child? If you’re the kind of person that gives your dog a middle name, we’ll probably never be friends. That’s almost as bad as setting up a Twitter account for your pet. (We’re looking at you, Jake Tapper, and we have our fingers crossed that your cat, Walter and your new dog, Winston, will retweet this story.)

Deep Thoughts With Willie & Arianna

MSNBC “Morning Joe” Host Willie Geist and HuffPost/AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington conversing by the bar at the TIME/People party at the St. Regis tonight. Arianna finally tore herself away from her BlackBerry to have a talk with Geist. What could they possibly be discussing so intently?

Send us or tweet your best captions…, @FishbowlDC.



Arianna to Mayfield, Ohio?

You win some, you lose some.

HuffPost-AOL‘s Arianna Huffington is setting off for the United States hotspot of Mayfield, Ohio on April 25 for a CBC Magazine Entrepreneur Summit. “Learn how to work with social media, find the capital to grow your biz, and polish your negotiation techniques,” a site called “Cool Cleveland” writes. Huffington’s talk is called “A Female Entrepreneur’s Success Story.”

Fun Facts about Mayfield:

  • It’s a village in Cuyahoga County.
  • Population: 3,460
  • Progressive Auto Insurance in HQ’d here.
  • They can probably use Arianna’s advice. Males have a median income of $52,361 versus $34,152 for females.