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Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Bartlett’

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

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TFT Hosts Fiscal New Year Event

The Fiscal Times celebrated the beginning of the fiscal new year by hosting a panel discussion at the National Press Club on October 1st. The panel discussion was hosted by Betsy Stark, former financial correspondent for ABC News; participants included Robert Reischauer (president of The Urban Institute) and TFT contributors Edmund Andrews, Liz Peek, Bruce Bartlett and Merrill Goozner. The panel focused on discussing the most compelling New Year “resolutions” that TFT solicited from prominent leaders in government, business, academia, science, technology and the arts. The full list of resolutions, “34 Ways To Solve our Fiscal Crisis” is now posted on The Fiscal Times website.

Morning Reading List, 07.16.07

morningsun.gifGood morning Washington.

  • The Weekly Pew News Interest Index shows, “In the news last week, the war in Iraq and the investigation into the London and Glasgow car bombs were the most closely followed stories.”

  • From Carol Joynt’s blog, she writes, “Email to me today from Deborah Jeane Palfry, the ‘DC Madam.’ Make of it what you will: ‘FYI (for what it may be worth) I can tell you that Harlan Ullman’s name is splattered throughout the phone records. In addition, I remember taking a few checks from him over time. -Jeane’ Here’s Harlan’s response: ‘no comment–except those were her calls, not mine’”

  • Wonkette looks at the City Paper vs. Late Night Shots fallout. Meanwhile, “LNSers have got to find some way to make their outrage known while they wait for their high-profile lawsuit to reach the courts.”

  • Ed Henry loves him some Green Day (Hat Tip: Politico).

  • DC reporters enjoy some private quality time with Romney.

  • That whole Post/Post.com tension thing is overblown, if you ask this fella.

  • Washington Times’ Robert Stacy McCain writes, “There was something intriguing in the strong reaction to Jon Ward’s Fishwrap post yesterday about 13-year-old Jessica Hackerd, who burst out in tears after President Bush responded sarcastically to her question about immigration Tuesday. … It was something of a Rashomon — people seemed to see what they wanted to see.”

  • William Schulz writes, “When Ken Tomlinson calls for an investigation into the ‘cover-up’ of U.S. Arabic broadcasting outrages, it is clear he understands where that probe would lead: to Karen Hughes

  • U.S. News announced that intern Alison Go has joined the staff of U.S. News as an associate producer for the Education and News You Can Use sections of the website. She will also serve as a reporter for the Money & Business section.

  • Wall Street Journal reports, “There is encouraging news on the First Amendment front. Members of the House and Senate have introduced identical versions of the ‘Free Flow of Information Act of 2007,’ and the full House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on the bill just a few weeks back.”

  • A reader tells us, “The O’Briens back together again… Miles is anchoring Sit Room, Soledad promoting her new special. It was kind of cute when Miles said, ‘Good to see you again!’”

  • Check out the latest latest episode of Richard Miniter’s online TV show “The Corn & Miniter Show” co-hosted with The Nation’s Washington Editor David Corn.

  • A CNN release announced, “As the first CNN/You Tube-sponsored presidential debate nears, CNN will air a week of one-hour specials in which the role of the Internet in the 2008 campaign will be examined. The program, ‘CNN/YouTube Debate Countdown,’ will feature a sampling of videos submitted to YouTube for the Democratic presidential debate in Charleston, S.C., on Monday, July 23.”

  • Ken Silverstein writes, “Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post has faithfully parroted the talking points of the two lobbying firms I embarrassed in this month’s Harper’s, but APCO and Cassidy & Associates have had less luck with other journalists.”

  • KnoxNews.com reports, “MSM continues to fall for bogus numbers”

  • Jules Crittenden writes, “But I’d like to point out that not only was I right and the AP and NYT wrong about Bush caving to Congress on Iraq, but AP sucks.”

  • From Confederate Yankee: “A little bit of cross-referencing reveals that the photographer ‘Talal’ mentioned in Michael Yon’s dispatch Second Chances is Associated Press photojournalist Talal Mohammed.”

  • A Modernist Society release announced that U.S. Marine turned Al Jazeera correspondent, Josh Rushing, will appear at an “Intelligent Lounging” event, on July 26 at 9 p.m. at Bourbon in Adams Morgan.

  • Business Week explores, “Why the San Francisco Chronicle is a candidate to exit print”

  • Political Derby has “the only time the ‘DC Madam’ makes the VP short list.”

  • From Jules Crittenden: “NYT news desk embarrassed by NYT ed board? Could be, except that in lieu of meaningful reporting, this dire frontpage warning about impending doom in Iraq satisfies itself with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s relatively lame, defensive remarks, in which he comes across as almost apologetic, doing NYT’s work for them as he casts the discussion in terms of political posturing”

  • Don Surber writes, “I see where Bruce Bartlett is giving up his gig as a newspaper columnist. Officially, I am solemn and understanding. Yes, it is difficult to give ‘quality commentary.’ Inwardly, I am laughing and baffled. Columnists express opinions on anything they want. It is like being paid to breathe. And he is turning down the money? Instead of writing a newspaper column, he will write books. That’s like giving up playing the kazoo to become a concert pianist because it is easier. Of course it pays better. You actually have to have talent and work at it.”

  • Jennifer Moire’s last day in C-SPAN’s media department is Friday, July 27.

    Jobs

  • American Chemical Society is looking for a Production Editor for Chemical & Engineering News.

  • Al Jazeera English is looking for a Unit Manager.

  • The Politico/Politico.com is looking for a National Account Executive.

  • East-West Center Washington is looking for freelance copyeditors for its Policy Studies series.

  • National Geographic Kids Magazine in Washington, DC is looking for a hard-working, enthusiastic assistant to the Editor-in-Chief. Email cover letter with an attached resume and salary requirements to erin.bauer@att.net.

    Hat Tips: DCRTV, TVNewser, IWantMedia, Romenesko, MediaBistro, <a

  • Afternoon Roundup

  • Tourney pools are cool.

  • The Post’s Elizabeth Williamson goes there.

  • Find out more about that PR Newswire “Pitching National Media” event here.

  • More on a potential Rome Hartman move to D.C.

  • An ABC release announced that the fifth installment of the Emmy Award-winning series “Iraq: Where Things Stand,” ABC News will report extensively on how the country and its people are faring four years after the US-led invasion. The show will begin airing across ABC News’ broadcasts and platforms beginning Sunday, March 18.

  • Patricia Cohen reports that to bridge the gender gap on the op-ed pages, Catherine Orenstein “has been training women at universities, foundations and corporations to write essays and get them published.”

  • Jonathan Kaplan reports that Democratic Caucus chairman Rahm Emanuel “has told new Democratic members of Congress to steer clear of Stephen Colbert, or at least his satirical Comedy Central program, ‘The Colbert Report.’”

  • The Reliable Source ladies report that the BBC was had by a fake Patrick Fitzgerald blog.

  • A reader writes in on this, “Some of us out here in Journalismland believe that the comments should remain just as they’re written at the end of Post stories–it’s called freedom of speech and non-censorship. I think some more liberal Post writers probably get upset because many of the comments tear apart and rip to shreds and bring back to reality some of the articles that are obviously more liberal-leaning, and some of them can be pretty liberal-leaning, let’s face it. The comments represent all views, they represent reality, and they provide a great feedback from the real world to some of these stories, which sometimes appear written by guys who aren’t exactly in tune with many aspects of the real world. The comments should stay!”

  • Washington Gardener Magazine is hosting the first annual photo contest exhibition in downtown Silver Spring, MD. The opening reception is Friday, March 23 from 7-9pm at the Adams Bank Lobby in the World Building on Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring, MD. The reception is open to the public and is free to attend. After the opening, you may come by and view the photos any time during the normal bank lobby hours (M-F 9am-4pm, Sat 9am-12noon). The show runs through May 25.

  • AP reports, “Turner Broadcasting will rename its Court TV channel to reflect a more action-driven lineup. The new name will not be revealed until summer and will take effect at the start of next year. What is now Court TV will become the home to a form of action-oriented reality programming.”

  • PBS reports that the Project for Excellence in Journalism
    “plans to start a Blogger Index, which will survey several hundred blogs for quality of content and topic areas.” “The landscape is changing so rapidly,” says PEJ director Tom Rosenstiel. “The term ‘blog’ might be obsolete.”

  • His Extremeness has the real news from yesterday’s White House briefing.

  • DCist reports, “Local NPR station WETA-FM recently completely reversed course a second time, switching back to a classical format after two unsatisfactory years as a news station.” And listeners are offering to help out with CD donations.

  • NRO’s Bruce Bartlett notes, “If, as I believe, the major media tilted left and have moved toward the center, then this means they moved to the right. It is this movement that the left has picked up on and is complaining about. But the idea that the media now tilt toward conservatives is absurd.”

  • Drudge reports that CNN “has barred former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel from their New Hampshire debate, without giving a reason. … This decision calls into question media censorship and goes against a fundamental American belief in ‘Fairness,’ which is especially critical in the political process.”

  • B&C reports, “The Radio-Television News Directors Association Wednesday praised passage of a bill (HR 1309) that strengthens the Freedom of Information Act.”

  • A Zogby poll shows, “The vast majority of American voters believe media bias is alive and well — 83% of likely voters said the media is biased in one direction or another, while just 11% believe the media doesn’t take political sides.”

  • The AP reports, “Advertising revenues at U.S. newspapers edged down 0.3 percent last year as gains in online revenues weren’t enough to compensate for a worsening downturn in print ads.”

  • Julie Mason has no one to play with.