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Posts Tagged ‘Bill O’Reilly’

Separated at Birth: Fox News’ Roger Ailes

The big guy over at Fox News — that would be Roger Ailes, not Bill O’Reilly no matter what he thinks — has an unbelievable twin out there. It’s the late suspense filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. Ailes is on the left, Hitchcock on the right.

FishbowlDC Interview With Paul Brandus

Say hello to Paul Brandus who writes West Wing Reports and a column for The Week. He’s an independent White House Correspondent who writes a blog and has a Twitter account in which he doesn’t use his name. How come he goes nameless? “Here’s a question for you,” begins his standard refrain about it. “Name the CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN & Fox reporters at the White House 10 years ago. How about five years ago? This may come as a disappointment to many folks in this egocentric town, but most people can’t remember the names. And that’s at the most visible beat in Washington. Names fade quickly. But brand names have enduring market value. People have no idea who I am personally. I’d prefer they know my brands, one of which is West Wing Reports. Brands can be licensed, flipped, monetized in more enduring ways.” Even so, let’s get to know the man behind the brand, shall we? Brandus was a foreign correspondent in Moscow for five years. He worked for the U.S. Embassy, eventually NBC and NPR and did some magazine work. While in Moscow, he bought the broadcast rights to the Super Bowl from the NFL. He later worked at MSNBC and Fox — he says the concept of this makes people’s heads explode. “I helped launch MSNBC back in 1996,” Brandus explains. “Worked for Steve Capus, who went on to become President of NBC News. Good man. I was a writer, but apparently too good of a writer because they put me in charge of editing all the other writers. That’s where I learned the 80/20 rule: 20 percent of your people will cause 80 percent of your problems. At Fox News, I was a senior prime time producer in New York, working on news cut ins every half hour. If the you-know-what hit the fan, we had to run into the control room across the hall and break into Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity & Alan Colmes. Great fun.” Brandus worked on Wall Street for several years, cashed out and started another media company, his own. In 2011 he became a columnist for The Week. He moderates conferences for them on energy and cybersecurity. He also works with a Northern Virginia venture capital firm. Brandus won’t be found on the Washington cocktail circuit. Instead, he spends his weekends with his 18-month-old daughter or family horses in Fairfax County.

Now let’s proceed to the really important stuff.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Cherry Coke Zero

How often do you Google yourself? Once or twice a year.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? My old boss, Jim Farley, who hired me twice – first at NBC years ago and later at WTOP – taught me WGAS: “Who gives a shit?” It has universal applications today and I’ve used it to great effect in various times and places. WGAS is also text-friendly.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Anyone who understands it’s not about them. Anyone who eschews the limelight and simply focuses on finding things out, communicating about it well and not pretending to be an expert or feeling compelled to have an opinion on everything.

Who is your favorite White House reporter and why? The wire service folks are usually the best. Not flashy, just solid, nose-to-the-grindstone types day in and day out. I really admire them.

Do you have a favorite word? “Dada.” Uttered by a certain 17-month old little girl.

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Dumb ass.” Use it a lot.

Who would you rather have dinner with – CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s John King or CNN’s Piers Morgan. Tell us why. I think John King is an honest, hard-working, straight shooter guy. You know what I like about him? He made a mistake during the Boston coverage and dealt with it in a transparent, humble and honest way. People err – and it’s how they deal with it – for better or worse – that I remember. I tend to get along well with people like that.

What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had in awhile in the course of your work and who was it with? If I hadn’t hung up on Ronald Reagan in 1990, it might have been the time when, on a dare, I called him at home in 1990. This was a year after he left the White House. The Reagans were living in Bel Air and I never thought he would answer the phone himself. But I heard that famous voice: “Hello?” on the other end, freaked out and hung up. To use my favorite word, I was such a dumb ass. So I guess the answer would be the time I downed vodka shots with Boris Yeltsin at a Fourth of July party at Spaso House, the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. I was lurking by the bar when he came over and we wound up downing a few and chatting. That’s what you do in Russia. Drink. Talk. Drink some more.

Tell us a funny story from the White House Briefing Room. Can be long or short. There used to be a guy named Lester Kinsolving, who used to show up in the briefing every day. Haven’t seen him in many months. He used to ask the most bizarre, completely out of left field questions imaginable on completely obscure, irrelevant matters. Bush’s flacks and now Obama’s used to call on him as a diversion. And, in this digital age, he used to carry a giant cassette recorder around with him like it was 1983 or something. Not picking on Lester, he is a nice guy. Hope he’s OK.

Without naming names, tell us some shitty thing that happened in the course of you covering the White House… Read more

Tick Tock: WHCD 2013

By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a blur this year as stars, journalists, nerdy political types — and Psy — rubbed elbows. Well, not Psy, he was busy smoking. But the rest of ‘em fawned and frolicked around the Washington Hilton oohing and ahhing at one another’s evening wear. People watching was admittedly pretty phenomenal. As evidenced by the shrieks coming from young, female bystanders salivating at the mere sight of a star. Each time an actor or well-known journalist walked by, they screamed and barked things out at them like faux paparazzi. In a moment of hilarity, one journalist, who shall remain nameless, was heard biting a security employee’s head off as they kept constantly trying to herd and push a small smattering of people waiting by the door from one end to the other. “I have two tickets, I have a right to be here and I’m not moving,” the person snapped in a display of spectacular irritation. Security immediately backed right down and eased away. And the lesson is? Yelling wins! (By the way, pictured above: actress Kate Walsh.)

4:35 p.m. Betsy tells Eddie she need 15 more minutes. He replies, “Are you trying to squeeze in a size 8 dress again?”

5:42 p.m. Eddie is running slightly behind because he has no idea how to tie a bow-tie and he couldn’t get the Tucker Carlson consult. As usual, Carlson skipped out of town for the WHCD. We learned later in the evening that he’s in New Orleans riding Go Karts with Daily Caller Publisher Neil Patel.

6:13 p.m. Settling in at the lobby of the Washington Hilton for some major people watching. MC Hammer sighting. Girls screaming, “WOO HOO! WOO HOO!”

6:14 p.m. TIME‘s Zeke Miller enters in a wrinkly blazer.

6:15 p.m. DJ at Atlantic party may have Tourette’s. Ticking and chirping, etc…

6:16 p.m. Fox News Correspondent Peter Doocy sighting. This guy is too tall and everywhere this weekend.

6:17 p.m. Washington Examiner Nikki Schwab sighting. Her hair is in curls this evening. Very pleasant interaction.

6:18 p.m. Woman walks into the Hilton wearing a kimono.

6:19 p.m. It’s Kathleen Turner. The gaggle of girls in the lobby: “Kathleen we love you!!!”

6:20 p.m. Amy Poehler walks by. “Ahh ahh we love you Amy!”

6:21 p.m. CBS’ Gayle King has entered the hotel in a stunner of a kelly green gown by Vicky Tiel.

6:22 p.m. A rando woman who won’t stop yapping is saying to her friends, “I’m walking around the house going, does this match?”

6:23  p.m. The NPR greeter awaiting NPR party guests in the front of the hotel looks like he should be at the airport. He’s a vision of nerdy perfection.

6:24 p.m. Washington Examiner‘s Byron York walks into the hotel and promptly walks down the wrong set of stairs.

6: 25 p.m. It’s Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera! He’s all smiles for anyone who approaches. Up close his mustache is nothing short of thick and amazing.

6:27 p.m. A Jon Huntsman sighting. He walks in with a lovely blonde (presumably his wife) on his arm.

6:28 p.m. We get reprimanded for the second time for standing in the “wrong” place. Is there a right place? Who knows?

6:30 p.m. Holy shit. It’s Nicole Kidman. Bradley Cooper follows shortly thereafter.

6: 32 p.m. House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor is hanging out by the entrance.

6:35 p.m. Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis drawing major stares in the lobby. Wilde’s flowing chocolate brown dress is unbelievable beautiful.

6:37 p.m. A young woman walking with CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley has ample cleavage.

6:40 p.m. Sightings: White House Press Sec. Jay Carney. Chicago Sun TimesClarence Page. Kathleen Sebelius. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

6:41 p.m. Dave Weigel, a big FishbowlDC fan, has been spotted. Later he’ll watch us like a hawk even though we’re not snapping his picture tonight or bothering him whatsoever.

6:45 p.m. The kid from Glee! is here. Wasn’t he at Tammy’s?

6:50 p.m. Publicist and Hollywood on the Potomac blogger Janet Donovan spotted in the bar line at the Atlantic, CBS, NJ pre-party. Janet insists this is her last year doing this. “I’ve been doing this since 1971,” she says wearily. “Enough is enough.”

6:55 p.m. Bob Schieffer holding court at the CBS party. Worlds colliding. Glee! kid spotted talking to Mother Jones Bureau Chief David Corn. WTF?

6:59 p.m. CBS news anchor and producer Julie Chen stands out in bright pink dress that may have been the second best frock of the evening. Olivia Wilde’s gown was hard to beat.

7 p.m. Andy Cohen from Bravo is here. He has some schmutz on his blazer.

7: 05 p.m. Overheard: “He’s very brave here coming with his ugly wife.”

7:06 p.m. Reince Priebus sighting. Later he’ll be a dumb joke in Conan’s monologue.

7:16 p.m. Ed Helms telling his girlfriend that people come here “for the food.”

7:17 p.m. Psy‘s handlers are a bunch of asses. “No, we did red carpet interviews. We’re not doing any more.” Regarding Psy and pictures, guest says, “This isn’t Korea. This is America.”

7:18 p.m. Peter cuts U.S. Treasury Sec. Jack Lew in a line. Way to go Peter!

7:19 p.m. CNBC’s Jim Cramer is yelling. Read more

Marty’d: The Michelle Fields Edition

There are few things on the Internet that are as delightful as Marty Rudolf. The Twitter icon fishes for conversation with people from all walks of life, and every now and then, he gets a response. The more entertaining exchanges make it into our feature we like to call, “Marty’d.”

One recent example was when Marty asked Buzzfeed’s DC Bureau Chief, John Stanton, “Hello John, Describe what it’s like Being the DC Bureau Chief at Buzzfeed.com? I’m a Political News Junkie Online!” Stanton took the time to reply that it was “loads of fun,” even when he has to edit Evan McMorris-Santoro.

But it was a recent conversation with a Fishbowl Favorite that really caught our attention.  Read more

One Typo: OK. But 10? Come on, Daily Download

We all spread ourselves too thin. If you work in daily online media you know the feeling of working late, being bleary-eyed and making brainless errors you kick yourself over later. Until you make more and land in a monster pit of despair. We’ve been there and we’ll be there again.

But today, Daily Download founder, CNN “Reliable Sources” regular and Daily Beast Contributor Lauren Ashburn goes to the well of mistakes 10 times in a story timestamped April 8 on cable’s gender wars and the snarl between FNC’s Bill O’Reilly and conservative radio host Laura Ingraham last week.

One. Two. Even three errors? Fine, forgivable. A terrible given at times in a world where copy editors are scarce. But 10 looks like you took too much Ambien and wrote the story while driving to 7-Eleven after consuming a midnight snack you can’t remember eating. Let’s be honest. Ten looks like Denzel Washington in Flight in which he gets obliterated, wakes up to lines of coke, downs one or five screwdrivers and turns the plane upside down.

Does someone need a few days at the beach?

Also curious, at the bottom is a note explaining that the story first appeared in The Daily Beast, which, in fact, it did on April 5 under Ashburn’s byline and this headline:

Bill O’Reilly’s Macho Moment in On-Air Confrontation With Laura Ingraham

Compare this to Daily Download‘s headline:

Cable’s Gender Wars: Bill O’Reilly Vs. Laura Ingraham

The explanatory note reads: “This piece brought to you through our content partnership with The Daily Beast, where it first appeared.”

As many know, Howard Kurtz, on the board of The Daily Download, also writes for Daily Beast-Newsweek and hosts CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” And Ashburn herself is a Daily Beast contributor, as stated above. But strangely enough, only a fraction of the errors turned up in The Daily Beast‘s story — just one, the incorrect spelling of “smoothe.” Which means something went incredibly awry when they transferred the story. Maybe try cut and pasting?

We requested comment from Ashburn on the “content partnership” between The Daily Download and The Daily Beast and what exactly that means. We also mentioned the 10 errors in case she has a comment on those.

See the parade of errors in the Daily Download story…

Read more

Did the White House Threaten Bob Woodward or is He Full of It?

It’s Fish Poll time.

When WaPo‘s Bob Woodward, a guy who has figured out how to bring out the toddler in Democrats and Republicans, claimed on Wednesday that he was threatened by the White House, a media debate started over what exactly constitutes a “threat.”

After Woodward said this week that it was the Obama administration which came up with the sequester idea, a White House official (Gene Sperling, Director of the White House Economic Council) emailed Woodward to say he’d “regret staking out that claim.”

In a subsequent interview with Politico, Woodward maintained that it was indeed a threat. “Come on,” he said. “I think if Obama himself saw the way they’re dealing with some of this, he would say, ‘Whoa, we don’t tell any reporter ‘you’re going to regret challenging us.’”

Some sided with Woodward. Others said the “regret” line was nothing, similar to telling someone he’d be proven wrong in time… Read more

Howard Kurtz to Appear On Fox News

On his Fox News program last night Bill O’Reilly called out Howard Kurtz of CNN and The Daily Beast for allegedly misrepresenting O’Reilly’s recent criticism of NBC News.

In a segment with Fox News liberal contributor Bob Beckel last week, O’Reilly said NBC News wasn’t being critical in its coverage of the Obama administration and its drone program. This, even though it was NBC News that broke the story about the administration deeming it legal to target and kill Americans that appear to be terrorists. Kurtz pointed out the seeming contradiction on his Sunday CNN show Reliable Sources.

Referring to Kurtz as “my pal,” O’Reilly called him out for having “echoed the distortion” that he was unfairly critical of NBC News. “Are you kidding me, Howard?,” O’Reilly said. He went on to say that though NBC broke the story, none of the network’s news correspondents offered any negative analysis.

In a later segment, media critic Bernard Goldberg said he spoke with Kurtz via email and that Kurtz’s critique was… Read more

The FishbowlDC Interview With WTOP’s ‘Brickin Brackin Sassafrassin’ JJ Green

Say hello to WTOP’s National Security Correspondent JJ Green, who has worked at the station since 2004. Asked for his thoughts on new versus old media, he replied, “I’ve always been sort of forward leading when it comes to technology. The title for my senior thesis for broadcast journalism was ‘Selected Implications of Satellite Electronic Surveillance.’” Mr. Smartypants graduated from Hampton University, near Virgina Beach. “I had no idea, no understanding that led me to believe I’d be involved in covering national security now. I had no clue, no interest and look where I ended up.” Green praises new media, but stresses that you still have to go that extra step of verification. “We’re so breathless now, with so many other avenues and sources for people to get their news that there is pressure individually to want to keep up and be recognized,” he said. “We have to be really careful when using social media.” Green covers global intelligence and terrorism. His career history is extensive, but we’ll give you highlights. He came to Washington in 1989 to work as a reporter for WMAL radio. After working as a weekend reporter on FOX-5 WTTG in the early 90s, he worked on air as a correspondent-in-training on ABC News NIGHTLINE. He covered various elements of the O.J. Simpson trial and race relations. Asked if he thinks O.J. was guilty, he said, “No, I did not and I do not now have an opinion on that. As a journalist, I don’t think that my opinion really counts when it comes to covering the news.” Green’s resume includes working at CNN, where he covered The Million Man March and The Balkan Peace Talks as a general assignment reporter in Washington. In the late 90s he began working for the Voice of America Television and as host and correspondent of Africa Journal while traveling extensively. Don’t try trash talking him in another language. He’s fluent in Spanish, speaks working level French and is studying Korean and Arabic. Among the problems he faces with government public affairs is they have lumped radio into one pool, so that it all appears to be talk radio. “WTOP is a news radio station not a talk radio station,” Green said fervently. “We have people who do opinion for us. It’s not designed to be a talk radio station.”  In 1996, Green landed what he looks at now as “the” job: host of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Asked if he kept a straight face with callers, he said, “I think I laughed once while I was at C-SPAN. A caller phoned in and said ‘Dude, you dress almost as nicely as Brian Lamb.’ I cleared by throat and regained my seriousness.” Lamb is purportedly a great dresser. And Green? “I like nice clothes.”

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? One that is finished.

How often do you Google yourself? Whenever someone says “hey have you googled yourself lately?”

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? “No” is the worst I’ve ever said. Thoughts are another matter.

Have you ever goofed up on air? What happened? Yes, a colleague at a radio station, who shall not be named, sneaked into the radio studio years ago and lit my news copy on fire and I huffed and puffed my way through it.  True story.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Tavis Smiley, because one day when I used to host C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and I was getting hammered by some guy on the phone for being political, which I was clearly not, Tavis, who was my guest, immediately pivoted from the cool intelligent scholar he is and verbally assaulted this guy on live television to get him off my back.

Do you have a favorite word? Yes… is my favorite word. No is such a waste of effort.

Who are you named after and what are people’s general reaction to your name? I’m named after JJ Green Sr. So Jessie James Green Jr. is my full name and our middle name, James, came from his mom’s maiden name. She was not inspired to name her son after a gunslinger.

Who would you rather have dinner with – NBC’s Brian Williams, CNN’s Roland Martin, ABC’s Sherri Shepherd or Fox News’ Megyn Kelly? Tell us why. I’d choose NBC’s Brian Williams, because I tell him how Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube are always cutting up at the Pentagon gaggle. No actually, I’d ask him if he wanted to switch jobs for about 10 years. Read more

Goo Goo Dolls Founder Detests Rush, Loves Maddow, O’Reilly and Jesse Jackson Sr.

Johnny Rzeznik, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and founder of the Goo Goo Dolls, was in Washington, D.C. over the weekend to perform at the Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball. We caught up with him this afternoon by phone to pester him about his media preferences and ask about the low and high points of his weekend. Asked if we should call him John or Johnny, he told us men call him “John” and women call him “Johnny.” He doesn’t know why that is. At the conclusion of the interview, we asked if there was anything more he wanted to tell us. As a matter of fact, there was. Their tenth album, Magnetic, is coming out on May 7. The first single is called “Rebel Beat” and is already being played on radio stations. “We’re all really excited to get out there and play our new album, which is upbeat and very positive,” said Rzeznik. “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.”

What was the highlight of Inauguration for you? The highlight for me was standing int he press line during the red carpet and seeing Jesse Jackson Sr. standing right next to us. He’s just one of those people who has an aura about him when he walks in a room. Also, doing the show. That’s why we came to town. That was really exciting. It was a real honor to be asked to be part of that celebration because they do a lot of great work on behalf of the arts.

Are you an Obama supporter? I definitely supported him in the last election. I couldn’t get behind the Republicans’ views on women’s issues and marriage equality. I don’t know, I just felt like they are really out of touch with what is going on in America. Just like Joe the cabdriver, it’s the same thing. Joe the cabdriver gets to have a political opinion, so I’m entitled to mine.

What do you like and hate about Washington? I love the Smithsonian. I’m a real dork for that kind of stuff. I love Georgetown, I love all the row houses, I love the feel and energy of this city. The only thing I hate is the traffic and I live in LA. It’s a beautiful city and it’s got so much character and it’s old and I like it.

Who are your favorite members of the media? I enjoy watching Chris Matthews a lot. He reminds me of a throwback to the older school kind of pundits like Tim Russert. I like George Will, I don’t agree with him particularly, but he’s probably the smartest conservative out there. I refuse to listen to Rush Limbaugh. I listen to a lot of conservative radio when I drive around in my car. I refuse to listen to him because he’s just ridiculous, just a clown. I love Rachel Maddow obviously. Jon Stewart. I know it’s a comedy show, but its probably one of the most informative shows out there. Stephanie Miller! I love her! Like ughhh, she’s the best. I agree with her views on issues, I think they check her facts pretty carefully. She’s got an insane sense of humor. It’s nice to see Tim Russert’s son [Luke Russert] in there and doing well too. I was brought up in a very blue collar, Democratic, pro-union house and that’s soaked into your DNA.

Do you have an opinion about Beyoncé lip syncing America the Beautiful? There’s no question in my mind that even if it was a computer playing it back because it was 20 degrees outside, she actually sang whatever on the page. She is brilliant. When you’re in situations like that and the whole world is watching on television, no one plays live on the Super Bowl. There’s no time for a mistake. Could she have sang that live? Absolutely. It was freezing out there. Unless you know how incredibly hard it is to sing when it’s 25 degrees out there, your opinion means nothing.

Have you ever been burned by the media? No. Not really. Maybe a nasty review of my work in a magazine, but who cares?

Does TMZ follow you around? I’m not dating an actress or a supermodel. Nobody is throwing me out of Hyde.

What networks or cable shows do you prefer? I do watch Fox. Sometimes I really enjoy watching Bill O’Reilly. It’s interesting because the older he gets, the more moderate he seems to get. Sort of like watching the end of how the Grinch stole Christmas. I still have hope for him. I can’t discount that everyone I’ve mentioned is part of an agenda. There is no fairness doctrine with the media and you spend time watching everyone and give them equal time.

 

Bill O’Reilly Calls Out TPM Reporter

On FNC’s “The O’Reilly Factor” last night, host Bill O’Reilly‘s “tip of the day” segment took a big stab at Talking Points Memo‘s Benjy Sarlin. Or, as O’Reilly calls him, “BENNN-GEE.”

“Remember, there are no standards in cyberspace,” O’Reilly said, cautioning viewers to be skeptical of what they see online.

He used a post by Sarlin as an example –  a writeup on Sen. Marco Rubio‘s (R-Fla.) recent appearance on the show. It referenced a well-known exchange on illegal immigrants and drunk driving between O’Reilly and his FNC colleague Geraldo Rivera. Sarlin described O’Reilly as “a host who once got into an on-air screaming match with Geraldo Rivera over whether to blame drunk driving deaths on illegal immigration.”

According to O’Reilly, it was an unfair characterization. “This is a complete lie,” he said. “Everybody’s seen that chat I had with Rivera. It was about illegal-alien crime. violent crime. That’s what it was about.” He continued, “So, Benjy knows that. But he’s lying.”

At least they put up a nice photo of Sarlin while shoving a boot up his ass.

O’Reilly went on to say… Read more

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