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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Lamb’

Tammy Haddad: Pre-White Streak

Ever tried to imagine what Washington socialite and publicist Tammy Haddad and star in Mark Leibovich‘s new book This Town would look like without that white stripe in her dark brown hair?

Well, the wait is over.  Read more

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C-SPAN Rolls Out Second Fleet of Tricked Out Vehicles

Local content here they come!

Today C-SPAN announced the launch of a second fleet of “Local Content Vehicles”  to capture stories of literary and historic significance from small and mid-size cities nationwide.

The second fleet of three specially detailed Ford Transit Connect vehicles brings the total number of LCV’s (as the lingo goes) to six, allowing the network to double the cities it visits each month (two per month) and approximately double the number of BookTV and American History TV features it can produce.

Learn how it all works and who leads the LCV team. Read more

Worshipping C-SPAN

There’s no way to deny the undying respect C-SPAN reaped Wednesday night during Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul‘s filibuster/one-man reality show. While late-night talk shows often poke at the channel, referencing how nerdy or dry it can be, Washington journalists and political journalists outside the Beltway raved about it without apology. As scribes of all political persuasions turned into garden variety C-SPAN junkies, many took a moment to thank the hand that occasionally feeds them.

Political blogger Jonathan Bernstein remarked on C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb being a personal hero of sorts: “Yes: Thank you to Brian Lamb, Hero of the Republic.”

Journalists can get all up in arms defending C-SPAN.

The fan club is a big tent: C-SPAN “rules!” remarks WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza, and another journalist expresses unwavering trust in the channel. Read more

Broadcast Legend ‘Appalled’ by Michelle Fields

During a recent interview with broadcasting icon Morley Safer, C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb played a clip of a lengthy interview he conducted with Michelle Fields (before she was dismissed by The Daily Caller) last year. In the clip, Michelle sings the praises of citizen journalism. She says that it gives voices to people who wouldn’t normally have a voice and that things like “Twitter and Facebook have enabled people who are not in the media to become one of the loudest voices in the media.” After hearing the clip, Safer seems genuinely gutted. The look on his face says it all. He said he is “appalled” and had to confirm with Lamb that she actually thinks that it’s a good idea. When Lamb assures him that yes, she does, Safer can only respond by saying, “I think it’s a dreadful idea.”

There may be some truth to what Fields is saying. Sure, there are those who have bucked the system and become successful by casting establishment journalism aside. But, in the process, they usually become establishment journalism. They reach beyond “Facebook and Twitter.”

Safer goes on to explain that “good journalism and good reporting must work within the constraints of great editing.” Can you even imagine if you had to edit what your friends say on Facebook? Safer drives the point home by saying, “I would trust citizen journalism as much as I’d trust citizen surgery.” What a total smackdown of the Michelle Mentality that people “who are not in the media” deserve to be taken as seriously as career journalists.

See the whole video for yourself… Read more

Politico Reporter Wins Under Fishy Circumstances

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press announced that they are recognizing Politico’s Josh Gerstein for his “his efforts on behalf of press freedom and government transparency.” A press release announces that he is receiving the “First Amendment Award for his vigilance in preserving and expanding access to government information.” Other winners this year include C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb and Gannett’s Vice President and Senior Associate General Counsel Barbara W. Wall.

What’s fishy is this nugget at the bottom of the release from Politico:

POLITICO Managing Editor Bill Nichols is a member of the Steering Committee for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Congrats Josh! You must work hard and not get a lot of sleep. But for an organization like Politico, that likes to control the optics of its reporters, this seems just a LITTLE sloppy. Now how does someone on the steering committee steer a person that he employs to win an award and have it be ethical? It’s a real head scratcher. But hey, at least they admitted it.

C-SPAN Gives Sen. Saxby Chambliss a Tongue-Lashing

The normally mild-manner C-SPAN just has one thing to say to the idiotic GOP Senator from Georgia, Saxby Chambliss, who is whining that C-SPAN is at the root of the deeply divided Senate: Check out your 599 C-SPAN appearances. A quick piece of advice: Maybe an intern can count up your C-SPAN appearances before you decide to blast them next time, Senator? In response to Chambliss’s statements on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and a subsequent story that appeared in Politico, C-SPAN tweeted the following zinger:

Despite the childish slap from Chambliss, C-SPAN Spokesman Howard Mortman said “of course” the senator will be invited back on again. But not without a little ribbing from former C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb, who told Politico‘s Tim Mak, “It’s like blaming the Bureau of Printing and Engraving for our $15 trillion debt.” Contrary to Politico‘s report, Lamb is now a top executive on the C-SPAN Board. He officially steps down as CEO today and begins his new role on April 1.

The FishbowlDC Interview with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb

Today we bring you a special edition of The FishbowlDC Interview. Say hello to C-SPAN’s now former CEO Brian Lamb. He recent stepped down to be Executive Chairman of the C-SPAN board. When we spoke with him the other day, he sounded completely at ease with the shift, saying it was time to move on and let others, namely Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain, step up. “I have had it planned for sometime,” he told me in a phone interview. “It’s time to pass it on to two people who can lead this place for the foreseeable future. I feel great about it. I don’t feel the least bit emotional about it. I had my run. I’m still going to see the people everyday. This is a natural evolution after 35 years.” He was more jangled about the FishbowlDC interview. Which, as everyone who has done it knows, is a cake walk. Lamb is actually something of a lamb. His profanity (at least what he’ll admit to) consists of “gosh darn” and he pigs out on chocolate frozen yogurt. Look for Lamb on Q & A, which he will continue to host. In the meantime, read on.

If you were a combined carbonated beverage, which would you be? I would be sparkling flavored water.

How often do you Google yourself? I don’t.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? Uh man….you mean I’m not going to get a raise?

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Oh, boy, I don’t know that I have one. I really don’t. I better not go there.

What swear word do you use most often? Gosh darn.

You’ve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) I would pick Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post and Mona Charen. Wow, it’s so dangerous to do this. I’d have Doug Brinkley, a historian at Rice University and Richard Norton Smith, a professor at George Mason University.

Now for a really serious moment: What is your dream job, money and practicalities aside? Probably being a concert violinist. It will be a dream job until I am gone.

When you pig out what do you eat? Frozen yogurt. Chocolate.

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing in your closet? We want the fabric, the brand, the store and the price if possible. If it’s a certain kind of underwear we don’t want to know about it. A blue suit. That’s all I have in my closet.

Pick one: Kim, Khloe, or Kourtney? I wouldn’t know a Kardashian if she walked through the door.

Have you ever had a tarot card reading? No.

Read more

Brian Lamb Steps Down as C-SPAN CEO

C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb is giving up day-to-day oversight of operations. But he will continue to “engage in the overall direction setting” and “plans to continue to host” his weekly interview program, “Q and A.”

In a statement released tonight, C-SPAN’s Board of Directors today announced that on April 1, 2012, C-SPAN co-presidents Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain will become co-CEOs of the public affairs cable TV network. Lamb, who has served as CEO since the company’s founding in 1978 and as chairman of the C-SPAN board since 1985, takes on the new role of Executive Chairman of the C-SPAN Board.

Another Day, Another Round of Sycophantic Love for Michelle Fields

FishbowlDC’s latest post on The Daily Caller’s Michelle Fields brought about another round of smears and attacks from her Republican friends. I can understand the reflexive defense of someone on the right. But what I can’t understand is how someone, anyone, can, after taking a moment to think about the criticism of her “work” as a “journalist,” could reach the conclusion that she is some new, exotic kind of journalist.

There are a few questions to ask yourself.

1) What is her “beat”? What does Michelle cover? It’s haphazard, at best. She goes to where liberals are and records herself asking them questions designed to elicit an outcome she knows she’ll get and wants. That’s not journalism, that’s activism. Which is fine, activism has its place, but it’s not journalism.

2) What stories has she broken? Not every story has to be Watergate or Presidents hooking up with interns, but they also can’t be “I was pushed by police.” Journalists cover stories, they don’t manufacture them.

3) What is the difference between what she’s doing for The Daily Caller and what she did for Students for Liberty? One is a news outlet, the other is an activist organization. The answer is easy – there is zero difference. She is still doing activism, it just has an outlet that lends it credibility.

Michelle is an activist, plain and simple. And not even a particularly interesting one. Has she ever written any pieces? More words have been written about her on The Daily Caller (making herself the story) than have been written by her. At least “ambush journalist” Jason Mattera confronts people in power and asks them questions the mainstream media won’t, like Vice President Joe Biden. That’s actual journalism. Michelle doesn’t seem to have an interest in doing things like that.

Redstate’s Erick Erickson is a partisan and an activist, but he breaks news too. He’s not afraid of the truth, even if it makes someone on his side look less than favorably. He’s not quite Bob Novak, but he’s not that far away either. Speaking of Novak, he was a partisan, but he did actual journalism. He had sources, he made phone calls, he got original information, all the things that used to be called “leg work” by journalists. Any many still do it.

Try to find Slate’s Dave Weigel or Kerry Pickett of TWT and you’ll discover that they’re in the field. They’re in Iowa, New Hampshire, political events, talking with newsmakers and breaking news. Look for Michelle and she’s at an insignificant press conference asking people to make a donation to the IRS on her iPad. No one in their right mind would do that, and it wasn’t even original. How many op-ed pieces had been written at that point telling Warren Buffet he could write a check to the government while he was asking for higher taxes?

I don’t mind a hack, I don’t care for unoriginal hacks.

Michelle isn’t the only activist masquerading as a “journalist.” The most noted example of this the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein.

For those of you on the right who want to mindlessly claim FishbowlDC is a left-wing hack site, explain why this site broke the Weigel JournoList story and defended publishing private emails attacking the very conservatives he was covering by saying “this is serious for a blogger who covers conservatives. We have a vested interest in knowing and informing that a conservative beat journalist has a clear and angry opposition to the subject of his reporting.”, the story of Klein briefing Chiefs of Staff of Senate Democrats, called out Politico for ignoring Andrew Breitbart’s scoop in the Weinergate scandal, and many more.

The answer is you can’t.

This is a website dedicated to covering the media, not exposing media bias or taking sides in the media battle. If that’s what you want, there are plenty of sites out there that do just that, and do it well. This isn’t one of them.

There is no agenda here, as much as both sides would like there to be because it would help them dismiss it. It wasn’t “gossip” that Klein briefed the Democratic staffers — he eventually had to admit and explain it in his own newspaper.

That, and many other stories we’ve covered, is how we ended up with our criticizing of Fields. As much as some on the right would like to endear themselves to her for whatever reason, if you get your news from her you are not getting news at all. You are getting the opinions of 22-year-old activist who hasn’t been out of college a full year. That Brian Lamb would take an hour to get her “insights” can only be described as a quest for young fanboy viewers or insight into a new form of journalism some actually find appalling. And shame on Lamb for not asking Fields tougher, challenging questions about her “journalism” that many in the field are wondering.

BigGov Contributor Dan Riehl, who would like to see Michelle in a wet T-shirt contest (pretty sexist, if you ask me), tweeted out a passionate defense of Michelle’s “I get my news from Facebook” attitude from America Power Blog. It’s a glowing review of her CSPAN interview that barely touches the content of the interview and ignores the concept. Unsurprisingly, Michelle thanked them for “the honest post.”

Last night Michelle, ever the modest person, tweeted out that her interview was the 4th most watched interview on CSPAN. Well, videos of kittens and men getting hit in the crotch get a lot of views too. That doesn’t make them “journalists.”

A Message for Today’s Journos From Michelle Fields

Over the holiday weekend, C-SPAN brought us a gift that we will always cherish: An interview with “Video Journalist” Michelle Fields from The Daily Caller. It’s an hour long, but really worth the time to sit down with the ones you love to see one of the rising stars of journalism showing people how it’s done.

C-SPAN‘s founder, Brian Lamb, interviewed her. Lamb begins with a softball and asks her to describe what she does for a living. Michelle admits, ”What we’re doing is almost like citizen journalism. Which is basically when an individual who doesn’t have that much training in journalism has the tools of modern technology to capture a live event, but doesn’t’ have a background in journalism.” Hear that kids? Screw school and hard work. Get an iPhone and go capture yourself a job in journalism. Really, Michelle. You’re off to a super start. There’s 58 and a half more minutes to go. At this point I should make a stiff drink for this compelling next hour on the state of journalism. C-SPAN had the audacity smart sense to bill this as a discussion that would contrast today’s journalism versus the days of WaPo‘s Ben Bradlee and Bob Woodward (yes, that Woodward, the one who handled Watergate). Who better to enlighten us than Fields? She met them at a recent book party for MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

Michelle continues her line of thinking on what makes her so different. When talking about her reporting on the Occupy movement, she says, “We’re not doing what a typical journalist does. Which is they go..  They have their mic, they do their standup, maybe interview two or three people, put together B-Roll.” Hear that, Martha Raddatz? All those trips to Iraq PALE in comparison to the time that Michelle braved the front lines of Wall Street. Later in the interview, she opines on the differences between the today’s reportage and yesterday and tells us that “people want biased journalism.  They want people to tell them what their opinion is.” Lamb follows up and asks her what she thinks of that mentality. She says, ”It’s impossible to not be biased.  I don’t think there’s a need to try and not be biased.  Because it’s impossible.  I don’t see the problem with biased reporting.” I must have been asleep during that portion of my journalism classes. The part where they tell aspiring journos to give people their opinions and put as much bias in your reporting as you want.

As the interview winds down, Lamb asks where Michelle would like to see her career go. She says she would like to be “in the media. As a journalist. Maybe an anchor.” Let’s not get carried away, Michelle. Reality can be a dear friend sometimes. Lamb asks if America is ready for an anchor who gives opinions and Michelle doubles down on her journalistic philosophy. “I think people want opinions.  People want someone to tell them what to think.”

And who better to tell me what I think than Michelle Fields? She graduated from college in May. She boasts to Lamb about the millions of page views her clips attract and says fans write her and tell her she’s the only journalist they trust. The whole interview is so unintentionally hilarious. Please invest an hour and watch below. You might even learn something.