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Posts Tagged ‘Brit Hume’

Scarborough Faces Fire From Conservatives

No one can argue that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough has been among the sharpest critics on the shortcomings of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But he isn’t the only conservative member of the media to make this case. And yet, it’s Scarborough’s relentless criticism that has put him on the receiving end of a firing squad from fellow conservatives.

In short, they think he went too far…

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day


Reminder: Fishbowl Summer Superlatives 2012

At noon today we will begin compiling the nominees. So screw your deadlines for a few minutes and come help us decide which Washington journalists ought to be nominated for Worst Temper, Best Writer, Biggest Self-Promoter, Sexiest, Most in Need of a Salad, Makeover, Reality Show and more. See the list here

The Observer

“It appears Poynter has learned to get extra page views like HuffPo by linking to Huffington Post as it does to others.” — Politico‘s Burgess Everett, who links to this story.

Being Prez has its perks

“Oh the advantages of being President … Romney pool report: ‘We are still rolling to the airport – got stuck in traffic.’” — FNC’s Ed Henry.

Politico‘s Ben White: ‘I’m very very stupid’

“Hold up hold up. there is MEN’s field hockey? Since when? I’m sorry but that’s really stupid.” — Politico‘s Ben White in regards to Olympic field hockey. Ultimately White admits questionable intelligence on the matter, saying, “Apparently I did not know it because I’m very very stupid.”  (After he completes his anger management series, White will soon offer a workshop to boost your self-esteem.)

Uh oh. Watch out!

“COLUMN COMING: Chick-fil-hate mail” — WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart.

And now, an incoherent Kindergarten style tweet from Politico Senior Political Reporter Jonathan Martin: “Folo @davecatanese for all your MO SEN primary needs.”

Blind Q: Which female reporter publicly declared this week that one of her own editors was leaking things about her to FishbowlDC?

Deep Thoughts With FNC’s Brit Hume

“Time spent on VP pick scoop a waste. This is something we will all find out soon enough. Time better spent on facts we might NOT find out.” — FNC’s Brit Hume.

How to Make it About Me?

“Trying to decide if Obama’s praise of Sorkin makes the takedown of ep. 1 of the Newsroom that I waited too long to write timely again.” — WaPo‘s Ezra Klein. Oh Ezzy, we’ve missed you so much. Thank God for Moe Tkacik‘s feed for letting me see this tweet. I hope you will consider unblocking us sometime in the next five years.

Journo admits to rare case of ‘dumb fucks’

“I got a pretty bad case of the dumb fucks today – just struggling on another level.” — Mike Elk, labor journo for InTheseTimes.com.


Chris & Lorraine Go For Chicken Gold

Lorraine Wallace, wife of Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, piggybacked on her husband’s Sunday program by writing the book, Mr. Sunday’s Soups. This was a folksy recipe book about what she feeds her husband after he gets home from a grueling day on the Fox News set where he once again prevented Brit Hume and Juan Williams from getting into a bitchy fist fight reminiscent of an episode of Bad Girls Club. As if the dirty looks exchanged aren’t enough stress.

Now the Wallace couple are taking their capitalizing to the next level with a chicken book. On Sunday, June 24 she will emasculate him further as they appear at the Newseum to discuss her new book, Mr. Sunday’s Saturday Night Chicken. These are the bold chicken dishes she serves him the night before he wakes up and courageously heads into a World War II type battle otherwise known as Fox News Sunday. We were going to make a joke about Lorraine choking Chris’s chicken, but maybe that’s too much.

What a weird coincidence!

As it happens,  Lorraine has a little something in common with potential first lady Ann Romney and current first lady Michelle Obama. An announcement for the chicken book reading says she was a competitive horse jumper in the 80s while astonishingly starting her own vegetable, herb and flower garden. Who knew?

Get more specifics on the event here.

As we speak, Lorraine is working on her next book, Mr. Sunday’s Power Breakfast, a book about the pots of peach compote Lorraine forces down Chris’s throat before he leaves for the Fox News studio on Sunday mornings.

Miami Herald, Gawker Revive Hume Suicide

Gingrich, Molinari and Paxon in happier times. The infant is Susan Ruby, the couple’s child.

Earlier today the Miami Herald reported on an anti-Gingrich conference call set to transpire today between GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, former Rep. Susan Molinari and former Sen. Jim Talent. They describe the relationship between GOP Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and Romney backer Molinari as complex. The story by Marc Caputo reports that Molinari’s “hatred” for Gingrich dates back more than a decade. He brings up the longtime rumors of Molinari’s husband, former Rep. Bill Paxon, having an affair with FNC Brit Hume‘s son Sandy, who committed suicide in February 1998. At the time, he was a star reporter for The Hill. Hume had written that Paxon was believed to be a threat to Gingrich.

Gawker picked up where the Florida publication left off, questioning whether Gingrich had spilled the beans on the supposed affair — hence Paxon’s sudden disappearance from Congress and Hume’s death. An excerpt:

“The rumor, in brief, is as follows: In the summer of 1997, the Hill’s Sandy Hume—the then-28-year-old son of Fox News’ Brit Hume—broke a blockbuster story about four GOP congressman who plotted, and failed, to overthrow Newt Gingrich as Speaker. One of those men was Bill Paxon, a New York Republican who was married to fellow Congresswoman Susan Molinari. Another of the plotters, Majority Leader Dick Armey, scuttled the coup when he learned that Paxon, and not he, would replace Gingrich. Armey later disavowed the whole attempt and claimed not to have been involved.”

It’s the Washington mystery few dare to discuss in public.

Bret Baier: Your Carriage With Politico Awaits

There may be no love lost between Fox News PR and Politico after they declared Politico scribes unfit for their airwaves in a recent quote to The Daily Caller. But there is a heated romance going on between the publication and FNC anchor Bret Baier.

In today’s edition of Politico, not only did author Mike Allen devote the first three graphs of “Playbook” to his story on Baier, but the piece itself is two pages of graph after graph after graph of gushing evidence about just how terrific Baier is. It’s the sort of piece you hang on the refrigerator — for years.

Baier says the biggest thing he does in his work is …. he listens. This is deep listening, not your garden variety ignore your subject and move on. Is this supposed to be unusual for a reporter? Allen even had a GOP consultant study Baier’s TV tapes. He compares Bret to a Boy Scout with a “very sharp” knife. As analogies go, how great is that?

The bulk of the story reads like a publicist’s dream with quotes that sound like soundbites such as this one from Baier in which he remembers to include the obligatory mention of former Bureau Chief Brit Hume: “I always wanted to cover politics when the American people were interested in politics, and, as you know, that’s now,” Baier said. “And I always aspired to follow in my mentor, Brit Hume’s, footsteps, and I’ve done it, so I’m living what I wanted to do.”

We did learn one thing we didn’t know about Fox News. In page two of the bland, smoochified profile, it’s revealed that the network has a “Brain Room” — a room packed with briefing books — that Bret flees to before moderating debates.

Even if FNC PR hated Politico last week, surely they’re warming to them now.

Juan Williams Gets Snippy With Chris Wallace

If you were Juan Williams wouldn’t you tread more carefully on Fox News Sunday considering they took him in after he was shitcanned by NPR for blasting Middle Eastern travelers on airplanes? Wouldn’t you tiptoe around Brit and Wallace and not interrupt, lash out or get all bratty?

Well, you’re not Williams. On Sunday he got snappy with host Chris Wallace after Wallace, the hall monitor, cut him off, insisting the panel had to move on to the unstoppable wisdom of Brit Hume. Williams: “The Republicans in this time of Occupy Wall Street are the protectors of the super rich.” Wallace: “I’m not sure if we should talk about Occupy Wall Street as a plus anymore,” Hall Monitor said, chuckling gravely. Juan objected. To which H.M. asked incredulously, “Really, with all the violence in the streets?” This is when Juan got agitated. “You are getting distracted. And you’re getting distracted by people who are crazy. …The fact is, when you ask most people, is Wall Street getting out of control? They say yes.” At which point Wallace interrupted Juan to scold him like a child. “Juan Juan, there’s a limit. We want to play fair here.” Juan’s angry inner child snapped, “You’re not playing fair, but go ahead.” [Insert weird, pregnant pause here followed by guffaws from other panel members.]

Wallace had the last word: “It’s called being a moderator.”

While it made for great TV, it also made us worry for Juan. Juan, you must keep your sh-t together because there are only so many times that Bill O’Reilly will swoop in and save you. We like your spunk. But interrupt Hall Monitor at your own peril.

FNC posted Panel Plus, but not the regular old panel to their website. They did allow Juan onto Panel Plus and he was full of smiles, as was Wallace. So we think no residual bad feelings are looming.

Why Washington D.C. Gossip Sucks

It’s hard to tell which media outlet U.S. News & World Report‘s Washington Whispers Columnist Paul Bedard adores more — the Washington Examiner or Fox News. Our bet is on Fox News.

Let’s examine a common journalistic theme in Washington: What can access get you? In Bedard’s recent vanilla infused tome on the network, there is not one probing or challenging thought. Semi-retired Brit Hume looks back on Fox News’s hardscrabble story of being doubted to the explosive success is now. Is that supposed to be challenging? Bret Baier, Hume’s replacement, recalls tough times. Not trudging through the snow with frostbitten fingers tough. More like vanilla scented memories. Bedard writes, “But it was slow going. Baier says when he arrived in 1998, he’d have to explain to sources that, no, he didn’t work for the ‘Simpsons Fox,’ a reference to the entertainment channel.”

How about Hume’s thoughts on Fox News’ ongoing rep for being a media arm of the GOP? Hume says FNC covers an aspect of politics ignored by the liberal media — something we’ve never heard before. Any follow-ups? Nah. What about Hume’s reaction to FNC President Roger Ailes saying he hired former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin because she’s hot? Too risky. How about the assertion that the network has lost its sheen without Hume anchoring? Too much of a bother.

Access is grand, isn’t it?

We wrote Bedard to ask if Fox News placed restrictions or instructions on what questions he could ask Hume and Baier, as this is how the network typically operates. We also asked why he appeared to avoid asking challenging questions or follow-ups. He had no response.

 

Examiner Flacks For Fox News

3-2-1. “RRING! RRING!”

The predictability in the air was palpable on Wednesday afternoon when we published a story on the abrasive comments Current TV’s David Shuster made about Fox News anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace over the weekend.  You may recall how Shuster took his stink with the FNCers to CNN’s airwaves on Sunday, telling Howie Kurtz that the trio had no business moderating a presidential debate due to their lack of campaign trail experience.

Communicating extensively with FBDC, Shuster reaffirmed his remarks and even took things a step further.  He charged that Fox has lost all “credibility/watchability” since Brit Hume‘s semi-retirement. He also explained that conversations with “friends” inside FNC prompted him to criticize the network on CNN.  After finishing with Shuster, FBDC contacted longtime Fox News Communications Director Irena Brigante for a response or comment on the matter. Included in the note was a graph of quotes from our earlier conversation with Shuster.

So we waited. No response. Deafening silence. Still, not surprising.  That is, after all, typical treatment for journalists who’ve been blackballed by Fox News PR.

“That’s how they operate. There’s a black list. So if they’re isolating you it means you pissed them off or were nice to someone at another network.,” said a TV insider who is familiar with Brigante’s operation.

“F–k her,” added another media insider with a key vantage point to know her history. “That’s her stock and trade to alienate people and never talk to certain media outlets. I’ve had this conversation with everyone in the media.”

But wait there’s more to FNC’s blacklist than the silent treatment.  Things generally play out like this: While most of the network’s press shop is busy miming hateful replies to your request, one of the spokeshags hits the phones to sell your scoop or share your inquiry with  one of their pet publications. Which is precisely what happened this week.

Sure enough, just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday the Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab, who has taken the bait before, wrote FBDC explaining that she, too, was working on a Shuster/Fox News piece.  What a coincidence!  In the note, she posed a question about Shuster’s misspelling Baier’s first name. FBDC replied.

Schwab’s story published Wednesday. The piece contained zero new news and cited only Shuster’s comments to FBDC – coincidentally the very same quotes we’d sent to FNC PR when we originally sought comment from them. Schwab advanced the story with nothing more than a remark from an unnamed Fox News spokesperson regarding the quotes we’d emailed Brigante earlier in the day.

Coincidence? Unlikely.

We reached out to both Schwab and Editor Stephen Smith, posing virtually the same question to each of them: Does the Washington Examiner see anything ethically challenging about Fox News using their publication as a mouthpiece? So far, no response.

CNN’s New Guard Greets Fox Newsers

A peculiar welcome wagon awaited Brit Hume and Karl Rove outside Fox News’ Washington bureau on Wednesday night.  Before they could enter the studios for their respective hits, both Fox Newsers were forced to pass by some 200 guests of CNN’s New Guard fete.  Awwwwkward.

“Rove looks like he could use a drink,” remarked one party goer.  “Call him over,” suggested another.

But unfazed by the clinking of glasses and rumble of voices, neither FNC personality gave more than a glance at the crew who had congregated on the patio of Johnny’s Half Shell, right in front of Fox’s North Capitol Street headquarters.

Sipping vino and noshing the night away, under glowing CNN logos were ‘new guarders’ such as DOD’s Doug Wilson, UN Foundation’s Heather Wong, Wally Adeyemo from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, W.H. Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, State Department new media guru Alec Ross, CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf, Doug Heye, Ayotte press secretary Jeff Grappone, Reid communications director Adam Jentleson, Jen Psaki, Thune’s Kyle Downey, Duke University’s Ronnie Chatterji, Rand Paul spokeswoman Moira Bagley and Becca Glover from Rep. Issa’s press shop.  They mixed and mingled with CNN’s Sam Feist, Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash, Edie Emery, Megan Grant, Donna Brazile, Jill Chappell, Sarah Baker, Jen Scoggins, and media types such as The Hill’s Judy Kurtz, Kelly DiNardo, WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger, and soon-to-be Roll Call’s Abby Livingston.

At the end of the evening CNN bid their guests farewell with a gift: network-branded umbrellas, in case of rain.

With Friends Like David Shuster…

…Who needs enemies at Fox News?

Over the weekend Current TV’s feisty substitute anchor David Shuster took a caveman’s club to the Fox News commentators who moderated the most recent GOP presidential debate. He aired his grievances on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” in a tirade he says wasn’t meant to be angry even though the shouting blasting from the TV sounded like he was trying out for The McLaughlin Group. “If I need to smile more, I’ll take that critique and work on it,” the Emmy-award winning anchor told FishbowlDC in an email interview this week, punctuating his sentence with a smiley emoticon.

But even more striking than Shuster’s sharp jabs at Fox News anchors Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace was what came long before he dismissed them as idiots. “I still have a lot of friends there [at Fox News], too” he made a special point of saying when host Howard Kurtz announced that he once worked at the network.

Shuster said his comments stemmed from recent conversations he’d had with those “friends” at Fox News. “Speaking to a few of them on Friday/Saturday is what inspired me, in part, to bring up Brett [sic] and Megyn on Sunday.  Several people in the Fox DC bureau were embarrassed by some of the questions in the debate.  Furthermore, there seems to be a strong sense that Fox News has lost a lot of credibility/watchability with Brit Hume‘s semi-retirement.”

Fox News PR did not return a request for comment.

But a “Friend of Fox” told FBDC, “He may be right about Megyn but not about Brett. Ratings wise Brett does better than Brit did. Of course, Brit has been around Washington for a long time and has a great deal of institutional knowledge. But Brett will get that. Megyn seems to talk to pundits more than newsmakers, that hurts.”

But are Shuster’s attacks credible? “I think David Shuster is a hack who went over to MSNBC and sold whatever credentials he had in order to get a job over there. So my guess is a lot of this is sour grapes,” said right-wing radio host Mark Levin, who is based in an undisclosed location in the Washington area, possibly a bunker. “But he has ceased being a journalist in my eyes long ago, so who cares what thinks about Fox or anyone else?”

Others also sense the irony of a Shuster critique on Fox News. “It’s kind of funny that a guy who was fired for a lack of credibility and honesty with his former employer at MSNBC would feel comfortable commenting on the credibility of others. But a lack of credibility and self-awareness have always been Shuster’s calling card,” said TownHall columnist and WMAL radio host Derek Hunter. “He’s a perfect fit for Current TV – no one cares what he thinks and no one watches that network. It’s a match made in wherever matches no one gives a damn about are made.”

Jeff Poor, TV writer for The Daily Caller, said “Shuster has been going around talking down Fox News and how he has inside info for a few months — since he had the leash taken off after departing MSNBC.” Poor’s referencing Shuster’s recent call for FNC’s Bill Sammon‘s firing. “I mean, take that for what it’s worth as far as his motivations for attacking Fox News – a [guy with an] association to MMFA and fill-in host for Keith Olbermann.”

In the days following Shuster’s fiery performance on “Reliable Sources,” press hits began rolling in. Both favorable and damning. While HuffPost reported a straightforward account of what happened on CNN (Shuster praised them for it on Twitter), BigGov tweaked him, calling him “barely employed” in a banner-like headline.

Shuster was nonetheless grateful for the attention. He told FBDC, “Actually, I thought that was funny. And it was great to see Andrew Breitbart pick up and run the segment. Given the soft and humorous jab at my employment (I’m fully employed, thank you) I suspect Andrew also thinks the debate questions could have been/should have been sharper. In any case, I’m always thankful for Andrew’s attention.”

Did someone say attention? “Shuster, like his pal-in-career failure Olbermann, loves talking about his ‘conversations’ with ‘friends’ ‘inside the network’ as ways to justify whatever lunacy he comes up with to get someone to pay attention to him,” said a Washington journo on condition of anonymity. “I’ve yet to meet anyone who calls either ‘friends’ and even if these conversations did take place, talking to one or two employees is hardly indicative of the overall consensus within a large news organization. But I’m glad someone’s paying attention to Shuster. It must be a nice change of pace for him.”

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