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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Feller’

Tale of the Jay Carney Tape

This is all very wonky with geek-infested Twitter, retweeting and blog times, but credit is credit. ABC’s Jake Tapper is irked this afternoon that not everyone is crediting him on his scoop that Jay Carney will be named the new White House press secretary scoop. The news was ultimately released in a statement, but not for Tapper — he had it pre-release.

Tapper Timeline

2:34 p.m. on Political Punch blog: “President Obama Taps Jay Carney for Press Secretary, DeParle and Mastromonaco as Deputy Chiefs of Staff” — Read here. NYT‘s media writer Brian Stelter quickly retweets Tapper’s news. Tapper later celebrates with a “BOO yah” tweet. Then later: “@Brianstelter are folks really not crediting abc? Am on a train – ”

CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry wrote about it at 3:16 p.m. on Twitter: “President expected to name ex-journalist Jay Carney new WH Press Sec — late this afternoon or more likely Fri — per senior Dem source.” Politico‘s Mike Allen also wrote about it on Twitter 45 minutes ago: “Jay Carney to be announced THIS AFTERNOON as Gibbs successor, along with merger of press and communications offices, with Dan Pfeiffer head.” Add CBS News, WaPo‘s The Fix and  appropriately named Politicwhore to the list.

No credit for Tapper.

> Update: A slight monkey wrench in this story. John Mercurio (formerly with Roll Call, The Hotline, etc.. and now with Burson Marsteller) writes in to say he actually scooped this on Tuesday. At 2:26 p.m. On his Facebook page. He wrote, “Jay Carney to the WH press shop? Hmmmm.” As we told him, that was more a gossipy murmur than a definitive fact. He says he knew for certain at the time. In an additional comment on Facebook (not considered an official news source amongst D.C. journos) he wanted the record to reflect that he also wrote, “Just heard it from a good source, they’re going to announce later this week.”

> Update #2: Turns out this story isn’t so simple. A close observer of the White House briefing room points out that AP‘s Ben Feller came in with the story with definitive language at 3:52 p.m. To many, Tapper, who reported on six staff changes, still got it first and then others jumped on the bandwagon. To HuffPost, it was Henry. The whole thing is a mixed, close call with varying opinions. The game to get White House news and get it first is, as always, a seriously fierce competition.

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Obama Called on Who?

Today’s presser with President Obama ran 57 minutes. He called on the following reporters:

Ben Feller, AP
Savannah Guthrie, NBC
Mike Emanuel, Fox News
Chip Reid, CBS News
Peter Baker, NYT
Jake Tapper, ABC
Laura Meckler, WSJ
Ed Henry, CNN
Han Nichols, Bloomberg (asked if Obama would invite Speaker presumptive John Boehner (R-Ohio) over for a Slurpee, referencing a line Obama used on the campaign trail over and over again this cycle)
Matt Spetalnick, Reuters

Scribes Organize Bash for ‘Popular’ Jennifer Loven


An e-mail to White House scribes made the rounds this weekend to announce a party Wednesday at Old Ebbitt Grill for AP’s Jennifer Loven. She’s moving on to The Glover Park Group.

The subject line: Save the Date: A Celebration for Jennifer Loven. AP White House Reporter Julie Pace and AP White House Correspondent Ben Feller are the party’s official organizers.

Quick update on the details for Jennifer’s party, which will be Wednesday from 7-10pm at Old Ebbitt. We have a space reserved in the atrium, which is at the back of the restaurant with food, cash bar, and lots of good people. Again, it would be helpful if you could let me know if you’re able to make it so we have a general idea of the head count. But it’s also no problem if you just show up! Thanks, and look forward to seeing everyone Wednesday!

A later e-mail added, “As you can tell from this invite, Jen is quite popular! If you think you’ll be able to make it and could email Julie back to let us know, that would really help us keep tabs on the head count. No worries if you don’t know at this point, please come anyway! Look forward to seeing everyone next week.”

AP Names New White House Correspondent

Feller_Ben June 2010 copy.jpg AP announces Ben Feller as its new White House correspondent. He replaces Jennifer Loven, who has covered two presidencies, and requested to be reassigned.

About Feller: He joined AP in 2003 as an education reporter and moved to the White House beat in November of 2006. He has won two awards for presidential coverage. Publications he has worked for include The Tampa Tribune, the News & Record, and the Centre Daily Times.

Read the memo from AP’s Acting Washington Bureau Chief Steve Komarow after the jump…

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NBC Breaks Kagan News When Toobin Could Have Called

vert.toobin.jpg CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin missed the boat on getting the scoop on Solicitor General Elena Kagan being chosen as President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. “I guess that makes me less than a journalist,” Toobin said on CNN late Sunday night after NBC broke the news.

Toobin explained on air that he knows Kagan personally because she was his Harvard Law School classmate, but said he chose not to use his personal connection to phone her and ask. To be sure, his tone was light-hearted, not painful regret. (He did, however, talk with about knowing her previously. Read the interview here.)

One question:
CNN: You knew her at Harvard. What is she like?
Toobin: Smart, funny, self-confident, extremely intelligent but not obnoxious about it. She’s always been a well-grounded person who brings out the best in others around her.

Behind the scenes of this breaking news story is another story of how the news was not broken. Politico‘s Mike Allen reported that the White House may give the news to AP’s Ben Feller to break “on the later side of Sunday.”

But on Sunday night, it was NBC’s Pete Williams broke the story. CNN gave proper credit to NBC during the segment with Toobin.

Knoller, Tapper & Feller To Be Honored at WHCA Dinner

The WHCA dinner isn’t until May 1st, but it isn’t just news of celebrity guests that’s leaking out early…

WHCA President Ed Chen of Bloomberg News announced today that CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller, ABC’s Jake Tapper and the AP’s Ben Feller would be honored with awards at this year’s annual dinner.

Tapper and Feller will each receive the Merriman Smith Award for “presidential coverage under deadline pressure” in print and broadcast. Knoller will receive the Aldo Beckman Award for “sustained excellence in White House coverage.”

We hear the award also comes with a congratulatory smooch from actress Michelle Peiffer… just kidding, boys…

Suzanne Bohan and Sandy Kleffman of the Contra Costa, Calif., Times will also receive the Edgar A. Poe Award for “excellence in coverage of news of national or regional significance.”

(h/t Mike Allen‘s Playbook)

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

Notes from a briefing room press insider…

Chaos in Gibbs-istan: As a skeptical tone continues to rise in the Brady briefing room, Afghanistan ruled the show today as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was forced repeatedly to bat down the premise that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has earned a POTUS-backed slap on the wrist for breaking the silence on the war’s policy review in a London speech. CNN’s Ed Henry led the charge, with RG more than once accusing him of “many caveats in your question” as he quoted McChrystal; RG, in a common podium defense, said he didn’t know whether POTUS had seen the “Chaos-istan” comment and, in response to whether the speech was appropriate, that he wasn’t in charge of scheduling for each member of the military, later repeating that POTUS is “comfortable with the way the process is and how it’s moving forward.” He chastised reporters: “I get that the Washington game is to do the back and forth,” to which Henry promptly cried: “It’s not a Washington game!” RG called the 25-minute POTUS-McChrystal one-on-one onboard AF1 in Copenhagen “a constructive meeting … not about what’s going on on cable television.” In response to whether NSA Jim Jones was rebuking McChrystal in his comments on the Sunday shows: “Far be it for me to parse the words of a four-star general.”

But What if We’re Thirsty?: POTUS is set to brief Congressional leaders tomorrow on the Afghan review process, which RG says is intended to “walk them through where we are” and “solicit their views.” In the wake of the deadly weekend attack in Afghanistan, he noted that the strategy on the table is to move from such outposts and focus more on the population centers. ABC Radio’s Ann Compton followed up to ask why that strategy had not been implemented if it had in fact been agreed upon “several months ago,” as RG said. She was referred to the five-sided building. As for the hush-hush Af-Pak meetings (a five-part series, so far), RG forewarned that “it isn’t about the number of meetings” and that the fifth meeting might not immediately precede a POTUS announcement. When CBS’s Chip Reid employed the old RG baseball analogy technique to ask what inning it is for the Afghan assessment, RG replied: “You haven’t even gone for your first beer yet.”

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