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Posts Tagged ‘John Hughes’

NPC Ethics Committee is Mum on Suspended Member

Bloomberg’s John Hughes, who heads up the National Press Club’s Ethics Committee, got back to FishbowlDC today on our inquiry regarding suspended club member, blogger and comm director Sam Husseini. Hughes wouldn’t discuss yesterday’s scheduled committee meeting to discuss Husseini. NPC Executive Director William McCarren, who did not return calls yesterday, was set to attend the meeting. Husseini refused to show up since officials refused to let him record it. Just like the House Ethics Committee, members of NPC’s Ethics Committee don’t talk.

Hughes: “Sorry, we have a strict policy against discussing the specifics of matters pending before the ethics committee. The Press Club did issue a broader statement on Friday — I’d refer you to that. Thanks!”

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Suspended National Press Club Member Refuses to Attend Closed, Unrecorded Meeting

Sam Husseini, a blogger for washingtonstakeout.com and Communications Director for the Institute for Public Accuracy, has been invited to the National Press Club today at 5 p.m. for a closed meeting of the club’s Ethics Committee. He tells FBDC that he will not attend, even though they said he could bring an attorney. Counsel he spoke with cannot make it today. Husseini was suspended from the club last week after questioning Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal in a manner club officials found “boisterous” and “unseemly.” Husseini is more than skeptical about today’s meeting. “I don’t want cloak and dagger stuff where there’s no record of it,” he said in a phone interview. “Someone can claim I said something I didn’t say. It should be open and recorded. Why should an Ethics Committee operate in secret? They could be good people, I’m just talking about the process.”

WaPo‘s Erik Wemple wrote about Husseini’s ordeal on Friday, spelling out the reasons for Husseini’s suspension last week. Wemple questioned whether the NPC was justified in their decision to suspend him, razzed them for suspending a member on the slowest week of the year, and largely sided with Husseni, writing, “I’d rather see a rabble-rouser or two get thrown into the mix, the better to inject a little drama into things.”

Husseini isn’t lacking for drama. “The content of my questions is tough and that makes it grating to people who are wedded to the establishment,” he says. As he explains himself, “I’m trying to reinvent journalism. Journalism needs to be reinvented. It has become a lackadaisical enterprise that allows misogynist, autocratic and draconian figures to go unscrutinized.”

Some basics on this modern-day rabble-rouser: He has belonged to the NPC since 1997. He pays $600-$700 in annual dues. And yes, he has been “harangued” in the past about his tough questioning, but never to this extent. Some years ago, he recalled being suspended after being falsely accused of behaving badly at an event. In that instance, Husseini insists, it was another member, not him. They revoked the suspension and told him they’d made a mistake. Husseini wanted an apology letter in writing. They blew off that request. This time, however, he did receive a letter telling him explicitly not to come to the club during his two-week suspension.

Obviously this edict does not include today’s meeting at 5 p.m., at which time they could end the suspension, continue the suspension, or throw him out. Members of the Ethics Committee include Bloomberg‘s John Hughes, CQ Roll Call‘s John Donnelly and AP’s Theresa Werner. Those who will not attend today’s meeting are Kiplinger‘s Mark Wojno and government relations executive Shawn Bullard. Also expected to attend today’s meeting is NPC Executive Director William McCarren.

We’ve requested comment from McCarren on the matter.

UPDATE: See the letter to Husseini from McCarren…

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Taking Out The Trash, 03.22.07

  • An ABC release announces that “World News with Charles Gibson” will air a special series — “Key to the World” — reported by ABC News’ Bill Weir. “The series will take Weir on reporting assignments around the globe, and in conjunction, ‘World News’ will have a single commercial sponsor the first four Mondays in April — April 2, 9, 16, and 23.”

  • John Kelly uncovers “some surprises” at the Radio & Television Museum in Bowie, “a labor of love by members of the Radio History Society that opened in 1999.”

  • Charles Babington reports, “The proposed merger of the nation’s two satellite radio companies came under sharp criticism” Tuesday from Sen. Herb Kohl.

  • From The Hill:

      Reporters have a lot of access on Capitol Hill, but the Standing Committee of Correspondents made it clear this week that such access has its limits.

      Following an incident in which a reporter mistakenly walked onto the House floor, the standing committee issued a memo Tuesday stating, “Reporters are not allowed on the floor of the House or the Senate.”

  • 1M Comcast Subs Face C-SPAN2 Cutback

  • Tom Friedman celebrates 100 weeks of his book’s success.

  • In Memoriam: Catherine Seipp.

  • DCRTV reports, “XM Satellite Radio will launch a special radio channel featuring a mix of music and vintage audio dedicated to the sport. Play Ball will air from 3/30 through the end of opening day on 4/2 on XM-200.”

  • Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports how advances in media technology advances could make Sen. John McCain’s second bid for president a bumpier ride than his first run.

  • New York Times looks at how Iraq has changed the face of television “since the early, heady days of shock and awe.”

  • A tipster tells us about PBS: “You should know that there’s been some moving and shaking there. They hired a new SVP of Interactive — Jason Seiken, formerly executive editor of washingtonpost.com and something or other at AOL. Also, they hired Angela Morgenstern as new director of interactive. She used to head MTV News interactive (and before that produced for PBS).”

  • The International Center for Journalists announced that it is naming its internship program after former Vice President Whayne Dillehay, “in honor of more than 15 years of dedication and passion.”

  • Today at Nathan’s, Mark Plotkin will give an update on all things political before DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

  • Did the Edwards / Fox flap backfire? Either way, Paul Begala says it’s time to go Fox hunting

  • Michele McLellan and Tim Porter, authors of the new book News, Improved: How America’s Newsrooms Are Learning to Change, will present the findings from new national survey on training for U.S. midcareer journalists. Check it out at the news conference at the J.W. Marriott Tuesday, March 27 at 9 a.m. Eric Newton, Vice President/Journalism Program, of the Knight Foundation, will also be present.

  • The Northern Virginia Daily in Strasburg, Va., “needs a copy editor who knows the basics and is ready to take the next step.”

  • CQPolitics.com probably having a ton of fun with the Congress-March Madness nexus. Check out this, this, and this.

  • Don’t forget to check out the 2007 Reel Journalism: Screenings and Symposia which starts tonight. Check out the full schedule here.

  • GW announced the creation of a master’s degree program in strategic public relations through the Graduate School of Political Management. The program begins fal 2007.

  • Josh Gerstein discovers how a “New Technique Lets Bloggers Tackle Late-Night News Dumps.”

  • David Brooks got the shaft from Rudy Giuliani, who instead gave some love to Nicholas Kristof.

  • Sign the petition to make The Colbert Report a full hour.

  • John Hughes makes his pitch to keep Voice of America’s budget in tact.

  • The staff of the forth coming Portfolio have been given a gag order on Conde Nast’s new business magazine.