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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Rutenberg’

This Week In Pool Reports

In a special three week installment of the pool reports we discover that Turd Blossom is a Stones fan, poolers Jon Ward and Sheryl Stolberg make pool duty sound almost fun, and FLOTUS gets bumped from shotgun.

  • “POTUS was looking down at some papers and scribbling some notes on them. Once again, we were ushered out very quickly, but as they started herding us POTUS swung around in his chair and looked over at the pool. He said to Jeff Goldman of CBS News, ‘How you doing?’ Then he directly addressed your pool, while shaking his head. With all the shuffling of the group it was hard to hear, but Goldman reports he said, ‘Rutenberg, what are you doing here? You don’t know anything about foreign policy.’ Start to finish the visit maybe lasted two and a half minutes.” — Jim Rutenberg, New York Times and Jeff Goldman, CBS News

  • “The event was held in an air-conditioned tent with a carpeted plywood floor. Pool held in a large, open garage structure. While we were waiting, the soon-to-be unemployed Mr. Rove rolled by in his car with the window down, blasting ‘Paint it Black’ by the Rolling Stones.” — Julie Mason, Houston Chronicle

  • “The pool arrived at Walker’s Point at 12:03 just in time to watch former prez GHWB rumble out to the street in his golf cart. We knew it was his cart because an oval sticker markef 41 is stuck on the windshield in front of the driver’s seat. On the other side, should anyone doubt his resolve, a larger sticker warns Property of 41 — Hands Off. The ex-prez wore a windbreaker, dark slacks and boating shoes. He also sported a baseball-style yachting cap.” — Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times

  • “Your tired pool fought off whining by laughing at any and every joke among themselves. We departed the filing center at 5:12 p.m. … Pool held at a public park two blocks away and had just started a game of monkey in the middle when we were called away to the vans.” — Jon Ward, Washington Times

  • “POTUS arrived back at Walker’s Point at 6:44 and your tired pool (wire reporters and photogs have done this three days in a row–print poolers have it easy) went to dinner, with a lid about 99.9% called. Good night.” — Ward

  • “On the way to Walker’s Point, we passed about 20 war protesters, one of whom asked, ‘Why is marijuana illegal?’ ‘We’ll ask,’ your pooler responded.” — Ward

  • “You might have expected whining and complaining from your early rising press corps, but no! Raucous laughter poured forth from the filing center at 5 a.m.” — Ward

  • “Unclear if POTUS was doing any experimenting on his bike ride, as your pool and the rest of the sleepy press corps was diverted to a nearby convenience store for the duration of the 90-minute ride. As POTUS worked off his calories, your colleagues dined on grilled blueberry muffins and scrambled eggs.” — Sheryl Stolberg, New York Times

  • “Inside a minute, the threesome moved up through the cordon, then stopped for the ‘bugs to snap their pictures, each giving little waves. Mr. Bush and Mr. Karzai, sandwiched between PO/FLO, exchanged small talk, none of which was audible. The trio then walked to their right. There, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice greeted Mr. Karzai: ‘How are you? Welcome.’ Also in the official greeters: Chief of Staff Josh Bolton and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. Then, there was some confusion — a breakdown in the carefully choreographed event. Mr. Karzai and Mrs. Bush went to the passenger side of the cart. Mrs. Bush, who had ridden there on the trip over, quickly moved to the backseat of the cart, the one that faces to the rear. After she climbed aboard, the gelin’ like a felon Karzai asked ‘You’re fine?’ A nod and a smile from the gracious first lady: ‘OK,’ he said as he took the shotgun seat. ” — Joseph Curl, The Washington Times

  • “After dismounting his vehicle, he spent several minutes shaking hands with and presumably thanking the. Maine state troopers guarding the road. His daughter Doro, who had come on the cart, watched and said a few words. As they did so, twins Jenna and Barbara suddenly sauntered up along the shorefront. They wore shorts and tank toppy things. They greeted grandpere and then climbed in the back seat of the 41-mobile. He cut across the lawn to head back into the compound.” — Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times

  • This Week In Pool Reports

    In this week’s pool reports, POTUS is handing out hugs free of charge and we learn that one of his special talents is something called a blanket stitch. We don’t know what it is either.

  • “President Bush told the several thousand attendees at the 26th Annual Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on the Capitol grounds that he brought them a ‘collective hug’ from America. Then he descended the stage and gave out actual hugs — lots of them. He spent an extra hour on top of the time scheduled, working the rope line.” — Julie Mason, Houston Chronicle

  • “A brief interlude in the Oval with President Bush and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. Usual seating in front of the fireplace, large contingent of Swedish press. No questions. Reinfeldt proved himself Bush’s kind of leader by speaking only a few words. As Bush talked about greenhouse gasses, Reinfeldt nodded and smiled.” — Mason

  • “Just prior to that, POTUS and FLOTUS also received a lesson in sailmaking from Josiah Freitus, who insisted that is his real name. Sitting on a bench with his sail and needle in his lap, he gave the Bushes a discourse on how the Royal Navy was setting standards for making sails, and was eventually going to put him out of business (in 1734). Nothing worse than government interference, Mr. Bush cracked. Then Mr. Fenty attempted to show Laura Bush a blanket stitch. I’m sure you have done a blanket stitch before, he told her. Bush shot his wife a look and raised his presidential eyebrows. Then, after a pause for effect, the president said wryly, was just doing one the other day.” — Sheryl Stolberg, New York Times

  • Marine One delivered POTUS, Rove, Crouch, Stanzel, and the rest of the traveling White House contingent to Andrews at 8:58 a.m. AF1 was up by 9:14. Stanzel came back to gaggle but the flight was so short that after a few minutes everybody had to run to their seats because we were literally minutes (like two or three, tops) from landing — proving once again that all of the restrictions on commercial flights are merely part of an
    unnecessary system of control by the airlines.” — Jim Rutenberg, The New York Times

  • “We landed in Pittsburgh just before 9:50. Potus was greeted by local reps, led by ‘fresh-faced’ Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. … No sign of protest during short ride to the event site, a large gymnasium, hoops up. We were at first surprised that we were not offered frosty cold Rolling Rock ponies upon arrival, but alas, the brewery has pulled out of town. Bush appeared in a purple and black robe at 11, and received loud cheers.” — Rutenberg

  • Rosen, Lewis on Prom (Oh, And Other Things)

    The New York Times Neil Lewis thought NYU Professor Jay Rosen was unfair to NYT’er Jim Rutenberg in a previous post.

    In this exchange, the two hash out lots of issues, including the NYT decision to pull out of WHCA weekend.

    From Rosen:

      Watching the dinner on C-SPAN, I found it impossible to decide: Are the press people sitting there with Bush sitting there as professionals who…

    • previously understood and corrected for their most egregious failure in 50 years?

    • remain in general denial about their most egregious failure in 50 years?

    • persist in ironic detachment from this debacle, so as to return things as smoothly as possible to Normal?

    • are completely deluded about the current state of the watchdog press and our basis for trusting it?

    • aren’t worried at all because the bloggers and “activists” who say things like that have an ax to grind?

      It’s impossible to know when you look at that crowd, and this is what Colbert exploited so skillfully for laughs. The WHCA saw it and got Rich Little to come the next year. Dean Baquet and Bill Keller saw that, and pulled the plug. A perception problem, they called it.

      I agree with Michael Getler that newspapers like yours and the Washington Post have done more to reckon with their collapse under Bush than their colleagues in other places, especially TV news, who have done almost nothing. But this is not the same thing as doing enough. Maybe I am wrong, but I get the impression you think the whole subject talked to death.

    This Week In Pool Reports

    Pres. Bush goes back to school, the term “financial literacy” seems like an oxy-moron to us and POTUS does not wear pink.

  • “Pool held only 30 minutes at the New York diner before being hustled into the vans because POTUS was planning to duck out of the fundraiser early. Then the pool waited in the vans for a full hour, suggesting POTUS may have found it harder to escape than anticipated.” — Peter Baker, Washington Post

  • “When POTUS came in with Rangel and Spellings, he asked the students what they were studying. They told him. ‘And so what did you learn about volcanoes today?’ he asked, leaning in to hear a softspoken boy answer. ‘Does anybody like science?’ POTUS asked. Every hand went up. ‘Must have a good teacher,’ POTUS said. Rangel said, ‘Let’s hear it for the teacher.’ Then POTUS asked, ‘Anybody here going to college?’ Every hand went up again. ‘Let’s hear it for the students,’ Rangel said.” –- Baker

  • “The president made brief remarks at 4:10 pm following his 3:15 pm meeting on financial literacy with cabinet members and private sector representatives in the Roosevelt Room. He said that it was in the country’s interest that people from all neighborhoods and walks of life understood financial literacy. He also said that many people who hoped to realize their dreams in the United States would not be able to without financial literacy.” — Louise Radnofsky, Newsday

  • “Potus got a couple of laughs: When he spoke about FLOTUS’ work on the issue and cracked that she had even managed to get him to wear pink (he had hints of pink in the stripes of his red tie); When he complimented Mikulski by providing a humorous pause when he said ‘When you get on an issue…you get things done,’ and when he recited the long name of the bill. Ceremony was over by 10:38 and POTUS was on his way to Michigan event.” — Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

  • Dana informs me that I had seen phantom hints of pink in the stripes of the president’s tie. Per Dana, ‘the president’s tie is maroon with orange stripes,’ in honor of Virginia Polytechnic Institute.” — Rutenberg

  • This Week In Pool Reports

    A quiet week for the pool, complete with an ostrich farm, some good natured teasing and a naked lady for good measure. Ok, ok, the naked lady was a tattoo.

  • “The helicopter ride from Victorville was fairly dramatic. We hovered over miles and miles of mostly empty desert, a cluster of houses here, an ostrich farm — yes — there (okay, there was one that I saw). POTUS landed in a lot at Fort Irwin and strolled over to a make-shift mini-village that was set up for his visit, but offers a sense of 12 others that are deeper in the desert.” — Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

  • “The first stop was a card table set up in front of a cinderblock-type hut. Sitting on top of it were suitcase devices used to view the images sent back from predator drones. ‘Train it on Holland,’ POTUS said as a soldier held up the drone, about two feet long and pointed it at Steve Holland of Reuters. Peering into the image received in the suitcase device’s monitor, POTUS said to Holland, ‘You’re as rough looking here as you are regular.’” — Rutenberg

  • “No news, some color. You have the transcript. (Apologies for the brief delay in filing this report – your pooler was going through the WHCA’s new pool guidelines, to make sure they weren’t being immediately violated.)” — John D. McKinnon, Wall Street Journal

  • “The patients had a variety of severe injures. The president shook the prosthetic right hand of one soldier, jumped onto a Stair Stepper next to another patient missing a right leg and admired the tattoo of naked woman on the left shoulder of another soldier who’d lost both legs.” — Bartholomew Sullivan, Scripps Howard News Service

  • This Week In Pool Reports

    In this week’s episode, President Bush tries his hand as an artist, weird book choices in NW and President Richard Nixon gets egged.

  • “The two men sat on straight-backed chairs in front of the fireplace, and the mood in the room was warm, even without a fire. POTUS in striped shirt and red tie, clasped his hands throughout the remarks, exchanged diplomatic eye contact and kept his legs casually and comfortably crossed.” — Caroline Daniel, Financial Times

  • “After the remarks, Ban must either have been so speedily dispatched after the pool was ushered out, or he must have jogged through the White House because within seconds of the pool arriving outside the Brady briefing room, he was quietly holding forth at the stake-out,optimistically using the word ‘strong’ three times to describe the relationship between the UN and the US.” — Daniel

  • “Before he spoke Warner told a story about being a young advance man for VP Nixon during a visit to Michigan where some rowdy youngsters egged Nixon. Warner described how then-Rep. Ford helped him clean the egg off of Nixon and how Ford later consoled the despondent young Warner, telling him it would not be the end of his career.” — Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

  • “POTUS and FLOTUS had signed the books that POTUS handed to school Principal Barbara Childs as gifts to the school library. The books were: ‘An American Plague’ by Jim Murphy, about the yellow fever outbreak of 1793; and ‘Frontier House’ by Simon Shaw, a companion piece to the PBS program on living in a Montana frontier house in the 1880s.” — Anne C. Mulkern, Denver Post

  • “At the high school POTUS walked slowly through a hallway where students and volunteers were painting on a wall, inspirational sayings and scenes of historic DC. Wearing dark pants and a light blue, stripped shirt with the sleeves rolled to the elbows and the collar open, POTUS talked to the painters. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales walked behind, wearing a navy polo shirt. ‘Good to see you. How are you?’ POTUS asked someone the pool couldn’t see. He stopped where volunteers and/or students were painting a picture of the famed Ben’s Chili Bowl restaurant. POTUS took a paintbrush and helped out. ‘Gettin’ the drift of this thing here?’ POTUS asked as he painted. The pool was then ushered out and the president remarked, ‘Sure, now that I’m making progress.’” — Mulkern

  • “Your pool was called off just before 7 a.m., then called back an hour later, then forced to sprint across the south driveway as word came that POTUS was on his way out. The morning drizzle could not deter the president from his Sunday bike ride.” — Sudeep Reddy, Dallas Morning News