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Posts Tagged ‘Hans Nichols’

Would You Cross This Woman?

When given the choice between loud and feisty or a big-name media outlet, the White House Press Corps went with a resounding nod for the former.

April Ryan, who works for American Urban Radio, was elected Friday to the White House Correspondents Association Board as was McLatchy‘s Senior White House Correspondent Steve Thomma. Among the choices were Ryan, Thomma, Sirius XM Radio’s Jared Rizzi and Bloomberg‘s Julianna Goldman. But the real dogfight was Ryan versus Goldman.

Word on the street is that reporters wanted a fighter. They also didn’t want to risk a Bloomberg board member just looking out for Bloomberg. “April’s tough as nails, and really knows her stuff,” said Mediaite‘s White House reporter Tommy Christopher. “She’ll do a great job. And what a great way to kick off Obama’s second term.”

Ryan is certainly no wimp. Some may recall that in December of 2009, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told her to “calm down” and “take a deep breath” after she pressed him on whether then-Social Secretary Desiree Rogers had overstepped appropriate protocol in the Salahi party crashing incident. Gibbs equated the reporter’s behavior with that of his young son. April snapped back, “Don’t play with me.”

A White House reporter who spoke on the condition of anonymity gave us the lowdown on the race, saying, “April worked really hard on that race, she put a lot into it. Julianna ran a strong race, too, and as charming and well-respected she is, in the end she couldn’t overcome the Bloomberg curse. And Jared was just too new to the White House to make a serious dent in the race.”

A note on the curse: Some may recall that Bloomberg reporter Hans Nichols ran for the board last year and lost badly to then-Politico reporter Carol Lee, who now works for WSJ. At the time there was a sour taste among the Press Corps as publications such as Bloomberg, WSJ and Politico all signed up journos as White House reporters for voting purposes. Some charged dirty campaigning.

See the complete listing of officers and WHCA board members after the jump…

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CBS’s Knoller Calls for his Slurpee Royalties

Let the record show, says CBS Radio White House correspondent Mark Knoller, that he was first to raise the idea of a Slurpee Summit even though Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols stole the thunder of his Slurpee parade at the recent POTUS presser.

Watch here

He writes, “Let the record show…that I first raised the idea of a “Slurpee® Summit” at the end of a webpiece posted October 8th. I await my royalties.” Read here.

Bloomberg’s Nichols Proposes Slurpee Summit

During today’s White House presser, Bloomberg Television’s White House reporter Hans Nichols took an opportunity to lighten the mood by asking President Obama if he will invite new Republican House speaker John Boehner over for a Slurpee.  President Obama said back, “I might serve. They’re delicious drinks…The Slurpee Summit.”

WHCA Candidates Accused of ‘Garbage Campaigning’


The July 15 race for the at-large seat of the White House Correspondents’ Association is reaching a fevered pitch. The race has gotten so competitive that all three candidates — Politico‘s Carol Lee, Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols and WSJ‘s Laura Meckler — are being accused of a ballot box stuffing form of campaigning.

An e-mail letter circulating the past few days from the Washington Examiner‘s White House correspondent and WHCA at-large board member Julie Mason says all three candidates have been making sure that reporters and editors from their own publications get signed up for the WHCA to garner more votes.

Among those who have signed up in the course of the election: Bloomberg’s Al Hunt is now a member, as are Politico’s top Editors, Jim VandeHei and John Harris. WSJ‘s Gerald Seib is also now a member.

Sources tell FishbowlDC that each candidate has signed up several new WHCA members during this election. According to those familiar with the WHCA, the organization is supposed to be for grunty White House reporters who need a larger entity to give them a voice — not those they charge will do little more than give their own reporter a vote. Sources have also told FishbowlDC that all of the candidates have their downsides — with at least two of the candidates — Nichols and Meckler — having personality deficits that would make them unpalatable to voters.

Nichols had no comment, but instead this automatic e-mail response: “I am out today. Please contact White House editor Joe Sobczyk if it’s urgent.”

Meckler said she didn’t start the practice of encouraging journalists to sign up until she saw other candidates doing it: “I think membership in the WHCA should be limited to people who actually cover the White House,” she wrote in a statement to FishbowlDC. “However, in recent days and weeks, the membership requirements evidently have been relaxed, and many editors and others from Bloomberg and Politico were cleared for membership in the association. I reluctantly concluded that to say competitive in the race, I should inquire whether editors and others at my news organization who are involved in White House coverage were interested in joining the association, and a handful of them joined in the last day or so. I only did this after seeing that others had done it first, and I sincerely wish that none of this had occurred. It’s a huge waste of time and energy.”

Lee, in an e-mail: “Everyone who works at Politico and is a member of the Correspondents’ Association covers the White House, either as an editor or a reporter. The association has a process for approving members and renewing dues, and they went through that process.”

The e-mail written by Mason, who has two years remaining on the board, has been circulating around the bureaus. In it, she expresses her distaste for the campaign…

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Sunday Show Preview 02.21.10


NBC’s Meet the Press: General David Petraeus, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), WaPo’s E.J. Dionne, WSJ’s Peggy Noonan, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

CBS’ Face the Nation: Exclusive interview with former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

ABC’s This Week (with Terry Moran): Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), Gov. Edward Rendell (D-PA)and roundtable with George Will, Donna Brazile, Matthew Dowd and Arianna Huffington.

CNN’s State of the Union (with Candy Crowley now): Gov. Jim Douglas (R) Vermont; Gov. Deval Patrick (D) Massachusetts; Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.; Susan Molinari (R) former U.S. Representative, and former Democratic NJ Gov. Jon Corzine.

Fox News’ Fox News Sunday: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Governor Haley Barbour (MS-R), Gov. Jennifer Granholm, (D- Michigan) and Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics at YouTube.

CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: Christine Brennan, USA Today, ABC News contributor; Jason Whitlock, Kansas City Star; ESPN contributor; Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: Alexis Simendinger of National Journal, CNN’s Gloria Borger, Jackie Calmes of The New York Times and Politico’s Eamon Javers.

CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria: James Baker, former U.S. Secretary of State; Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, Yemeni Foreign Minister

NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show: NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie, WaPo’s David Ignatius, NYT’s Helene Cooper, Politico’s John Harris.

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Deficit committee co-chairmen Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, Bloomberg’s Rich Miller, Hans Nichols, Indira Lakshmanan, Margaret Carlson and Kate O’Beirne.

Washington Watch with Roland Martin: Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and John Boyd, Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association.

CNN’s Amanpour: Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.S.; Michael Shifter, VP for policy and director of the Andean Program at the Inter-American Dialogue; Leopoldo Lopez Mendoza, former District Mayor of Caracas

C-SPAN’s Newsmakers: Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.)

We’ll update as we get ‘em.

Bloomberg’s Weekend Lineup

Al_Hunt-740140.jpgCarslon_Margaret_WEB150X200.jpgO'Beirne_Kate_150.jpgThis weekend on “Political Capital with Al Hunt” features a New Year’s reporters’ roundtable with Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman, Rich Miller, Hans Nichols and Indira Lakshmanan. Margaret Carlson and Kate O’Beirne offer their New Year’s predictions.
The show airs on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET and re-airs throughout the weekend.

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

Notes from a briefing room press insider…

7-’11: The point that WH senior administration officials had predicted would be the most “misunderstood” of POTUS’s Afghan address was the focus of many a question in the briefing room. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs identified the July 2011 date as a “transition point” that ensures the Afghans must make progress, and he used the word “incentivize” more than once to describe how this strategy is expected to affect Afghan performance. Fighting the popular criticism that this date-setting might encourage the enemy, RG said it was “highly illogical” that critics were complaining that the Taliban would retreat until that date and then attempt a return. This, RG said, would give us “space” to train Afghan forces to secure such territories. Predictably swearing against engaging in hypotheticals about July 2011 conditions, RG simplified: “A conditions-based drawdown will begin in July of 2011.” And in response to the Defense Secy’s testimony this morning where Gates noted that POTUS could change his mind, RG said he wouldn’t disagree with that (but that the focus should be on POTUS’s words). On offense, he noted that at the end of the two years between summers 2009 and 2011 we will essentially see “triple the resources” in the war.

Happy Holidays to All: The gloomy weather was not confined to the outdoors, as several exchanges today indicated a tense mood in the post-POTUS address briefing. For the third time this week, RG compared a reporter’s temperament to that of his six-year-old son, and twice today he questioned the importance of reporters’ queries. “I’m going to get back to weightier topics,” he said as things heated up over Salahi-gate. “Can we get onto something semi-pertinent?” he asked as Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols and Fox’s Major Garrett asked why the Chamber of Commerce might not be invited to tomorrow’s jobs summit. On the topic of Rumsfeld criticism of war strategy, RG said to ABC’s Jake Tapper, “You go to war with the Secretary of Defense you have, Jake,” to which an agitated Tapper replied: “That’s cute. The question, though….” (There was clarification here that the Obama team’s primary “underresourced war” argument is focused on the 2008 requests — not during Rumsfeld’s term in office — that they say they inherited when their predecessors did not okay them.)

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

Notes from a briefing room press insider…

The T-Word: In a rare morning on-camera briefing, Press Secy Robert Gibbs tag-teamed with Jared Bernstein and Melody Barnes, chief WH economic and domestic policy advisors, respectively, to tout 250,000 saved/created education jobs reported under the Recovery Act. The announcement faced a skeptical press room (esp. on the lack of clarity on “saved” v. “created” numbers), and generated “transparency” contagion, originating with JB remarks — including that he “never contemplated this level of transparency” in local/state reporting to the RAT (independent Recovery Accountability and Transparency board). Capitalizing on the t-word, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked about the transparency of the health care debate (RG: “I do think the administration has been transparent”) and NBC’s Chuck Todd followed later with, “And this goes to the whole transparency question that Jake asked” to introduce a public option question that met with RG’s “I shockingly don’t have a lot new on this.” On bank bonuses, Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols questioned whether, “in the interest of transparency,” RG could discuss WH convos with banks reported to be ready to dole out excessive bonuses. RG said he didn’t know “who has talked to whom on this.”

Axe-ing Fox: In more colorful comments today, RG continued to engage the Fox/WH wars by elaborating on top advisor David Axelrod‘s Sunday comments. As for Axe charging that Fox is just trying to make money, RG clarified: “I assume all of you are trying to make money, but maybe I have misinterpreted your otherwise altruistic ventures.” Landing the conversation-ending uppercut, RG observed of the targeted network, “Sometimes programming can be tilted toward accentuating the most profits.” Ouch.

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Sunday Show Preview

NBC’s Meet the Press: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), former DNC Chairman Howard Dean, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and a roundtable with CNBC’s Erin Burnett, author Joshua Cooper Ramo and NBC’s Chuck Todd

CBS’ Face the Nation: Senior White House advisor David Axelrod, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker and Politico‘s Roger Simon

ABC’s This Week: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) and a roundtable with ABC’s George Will, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson and NYT‘s David Brooks

Fox News Sunday: Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern and a panel with Fox News’ Brit Hume and Fox News’ contributors NPR’s Mara Liasson, Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol and NPR’s Juan Williams

CNN’s State of the Union: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor Donna Brazile, former RNC Chairman and former White House counselor Ed Gillespie and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: WaPo‘s Ceci Connolly, Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, NYT Book Review’s Sam Tanenhaus, Air America’s Ana Marie Cox, Washington Examiner‘s Chris Stirewalt, TVNewser’s Gail Shister and Time‘s television critic James Poniewozik

CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria: Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, former Afghan Diplomat Masood Aziz, “The Places In Between” author Rory Stewart, “Limits of Power” author Andrew Bacevich and WSJ‘s Bret Stephens

NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show: Time‘s Joe Klein, NYT‘s Helene Cooper, Newsweek‘s Howard Fineman and WaPo‘s Ceci Connolly

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: NYT‘s Peter Baker, AP’s Charles Babington, USA Today‘s Joan Biskupic and LAT‘s Doyle McManus

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols, Kristin Jensen, Rich Miller, Margaret Carlson and Kate O’Beirne

Will update as we learn them.

Bloomberg’s Karen Leigh Packs DC Bags for Cambodia

Bloomberg’s Karen Leigh is “trading in golf pool and helo landings for the splendors of Phnom Penh.” She’ll still be working for Bloomberg, and additionally the Cambodia Daily, just now in the home country of Maddox Pitt.

FBDC caught up with Leigh as she packs her bags for a big move from Washington…

Why Cambodia? Credit my overwhelming desire to see monks riding tandem bikes.

What differences do you anticipate going from covering the White House to working in the “splendors of Phnom Penh,” as you put it? How are you preparing? It’s going to be hot, loud and crowded — a lot like White House briefings. To prepare, I’ve been getting massages, spending as much time as possible with the friends and getting on a seriously first-name basis with Jack and Stella.

What and who will you miss most in DC? Late night walks around the monuments. Biking along the canal. Fighting with White House security when I forget my Hill pass. Forcing Georgetown tourists onto the street. Running home to shower after Marine One departures. Our Colonel, Al Hunt. My favorite boss, Robin Meszoly. Descriptions of Phil Elliott‘s home cooking. Making Jeff Mason sing (ask him for selections from “South Pacific.”) Soliciting life advice from the goddess-like Julie Mason. Tennis with Perry Bacon. Never having to pay for drinks (Mike Memoli). The questionable tie fashion of Keith Koffler and Hans Nichols. Julianna Goldman, Athena Jones, Christina Bellantoni and Sunlen Miller, all lovely, who have brightened many a pool. And Roger Runningen, who was there on my first day at the White House last January and coined my nickname — Annette — based on the “American President” character who, like me, was excited on day one she could barely get through the Northwest Gate.

You campaigned hard for Julie Mason‘s White House Correspondents Association (successful) election and now you’re skipping town. What does this mean for campaign promises of White House South Lawn ice luges and briefing room massages? I’ll be working from afar to ensure that each promise is fulfilled. The luge tournament will be timed for the Vancouver Olympics and I’m working on getting Gibbs to cut a hole in the podium so we can use it as a massage table.

After the jump, Leigh’s goodbye messages for her media friends…

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