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Posts Tagged ‘Katie Couric’

Incest Desk: More Hints Emerge on Why Politico’s Mike Allen Avoids Weinergate

On Sunday Politico‘s Playbook writer Mike Allen included one item regarding the sex scandal embroiling Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). Suspiciously it was only Allen’s third item in a scandal that has rocked Washington for a week and a half with new, sometimes shocking details emerging daily. The item linked to a Politico story on the latest details of what is happening and included an Allen translation of what is “really” going on. It was that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi “does NOT believe rehab is an adequate alternative to resigning.”

All in all, hardly the insidery stuff for which Allen is known.

Today we learn why Allen may be avoiding the Weiner story. It involves his close ties to Sec. of State Hillary Clinton‘s longtime press aide Philippe Reines, the subject of a lengthy WaPo Style section profile today in which Reines is hailed as a ‘spinmeister” in recent weeks for his colleague and another longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin. That profile secured a whopping space in this morning’s Playbook under the subject heading, TOP TALKER and BEHIND THE CURTAIN. Playbook made no mention of Weiner or his wife.  In the story, Reines’s close friendship to Allen is noted. In fact, outside of former CBS anchor Katie Couric, who was used as a scene setter for the story, Allen is the only Washington reporter mentioned in the piece. The story says: “At James Carville’s restaurant West 24, he ‘just hit it off’ with journalist Mike Allen, the future maven of Politico’s Playbook.”

We asked Allen: “Does the reason you are not writing much about the Weiner scandal involve your close ties to Clinton aide Philippe Reines as exemplified in the Washington Post profile you highlight in this morning’s Playbook?”

We look forward to his answer should it arrive.

FP, Nat Geo & The Atlantic Battle for “Mag of the Year”

Foreign Policy, National Geographic and The Atlantic have been named three of this year’s five finalists for American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) awards.  The local favorites are facing off against Wired and Backpacker for the title of “Magazine of the Year” which will be announced at a May 9th gala in New York City.  CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric has been tapped to host this year’s event. For more info, visit ASME’s site here.

Howard Kurtz Breaks Katie Couric Story, AP Creeps in a Week Later

On Monday the AP wrote that CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric will leave the network when her contract expires in June. The rest of their story was about the program’s slipping ratings. A buried graph speculated that Couric’s successor may be Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes,” but that CBS would seek replacements “both inside and outside of the company.”

The story cited a “network executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Couric has not officially announced her plans.”

But wait. Didn’t we hear this a week ago?

We did. From The Daily Beast‘s Washington bureau chief, Howard Kurtz.

On March 25, Kurtz reported that Couric was “very likely to leave in June, and Scott Pelley is a top contender to replace her – but CBS is looking both within and outside the network.”

The AP also reported that Couric was “expected to launch a syndicated talk show in 2012.” Ten days earlier, Kurtz wrote: “[Couric] is now exploring daytime or syndication deals” and mentioned a 2012 launch.

It’s odd that the AP wouldn’t reference Kurtz at all, given that he wrote what amounts to the same story more than a week earlier.

Kurtz told FishbowlDC: “I wrote on Mar. 25 that CBS was searching for a successor, that Couric’s departure ‘now seems almost certain and that Scott Pelley was a leading candidate to replace her. It was hard to miss, since Drudge bannered it. So the AP story, which used slightly stronger language, wasn’t news to me.”

Paul Colford at the AP said the reason their story seems to be getting attention is “because it attributed Katie Couric’s exit from the anchor chair to a…’network executive,’” citing HuffPost, which included that attribution in their headline.

Note to Readers: We’ve removed the word “more” from the above post to reflect that AP‘s Colford does not believe that the AP‘s story got “more” attention than Kurtz’s piece. On the larger, more important matter of why AP never cited Kurtz’s story? AP won’t talk about it. — BR

Diane Sawyer Talks Amanpour, Fox, and the Pope at Press Club

While her competitors Katie Couric and Brian Williams were chatting with late night hosts David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon respectively, ABC’s “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer sat down with veteran CBS journalist Marvin Kalb at the National Press Club to close the Kalb Report’s 17th season.

The program, “Diane Sawyer: A Life in News,” kicked off the International Women in Media Foundation’s week-long gathering.

What we learned:

  • Sawyer credits the the more conversational tone of “World News” not with any personal style of reporting, but rather with her lack of a strong speaking voice. “I always wish I had one of those,” she said.
  • Asked why she went to report from Japan (seems like a rather obvious question), Sawyer told Kalb it “was a story I had to experience tangibly.”
  • Sawyer doesn’t check the ratings for “World News.” She said: “I know you won’t believe this, but I don’t check them…I’d rather not. I simply don’t want to be held hostage.”
  • She has a lot of respect for Christiane Amanpour. Kalb asked her why she didn’t join Amanpour and other journalists in Egypt to report on location about the revolution. “I wanted to go there,” she said, “but I thought, ‘It’s Christianne Amanpour!’”
  • Of her early days at ABC co-anchoring with Sam Donaldson, Sawyer said: “We were actually a skit on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ we were so bad.” Kalb insisted she wasn’t that bad, to which Sawyer responded: “Then why did you call me and tell me to fix it?” (Kalb and Sawyer were colleagues at the beginning of her career.)

Find out what Kalb and Sawyer had to say about Fox News, Sawyer’s dream interview and the worst part of her day after the jump.

Read more

Morning Surprise: Gridiron Welcomes Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea will attend this Saturday’s Gridiron dinner as the guests of Vanity Fair‘s Todd Purdum. The Gridiron Show includes a parody of “Livin’ on a Prayer,” which prompted in invitation, explained USA TODAY Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, who is the club’s president this year.

Page reports that the dinner is sold-out with more than 650 guests. Among other notables: Hollywood director James Brooks. Chicago mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel. TV anchors Katie Couric, Jim Lehrer and Diane Sawyer. Plus Christiane Amanpour and Wolf Blitzer. The Republican speaker is Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and the Democratic speaker is HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

POTUS will offer the evening’s closing remarks.

Date Night Roundup

A number of pubs and media outlets wrote and created off-beat videos on last night’s love fest or “prom” on Capitol Hill in which lawmakers of opposing parties pretended to cozy up to one another for an hour. We watch and read so you can only if you feel like it.

Roll Call: Some D.C. journos hailed this as best video of the night by Andrew Satter. Watch here.

Best Part: The “Perfect Strangers” music and closeups of lawmakers twiddling their thumbs repeatedly. Just the truest depiction of how awkward this whole thing really was.

MSNBC: On today’s Jansing & Co, Richard Lui breaks down the “Date of the Union” into categories. Watch here.

Funniest details: Lui goes into great, in-depth detail about male lawmakers hugging one another. Great picture of the miserable match of New York Reps. Anthony Weiner and Peter King.

WaPo: “Reliable Sources” offers a guide to the hookups. Read here.

Best quote: “This is really stretching the outer limits of civility for Weiner and I to be sitting together,” Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) told Politico, saying it was his wife’s idea.

CBS News‘s Katie Couric. Watch here.

Worst line: “It all started when Billy passed Susie a note in home room.”

The Daily Caller: Two journos guide us through an evening of horrible, amusing dates. Read here. The more you read the lines below the more painfully awkward they get. Please, Wyden, stop.

Most awkward date moment: Walking toward the House floor, Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley looked like he’d grudgingly picked up his date, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, at the last minute. Wyden, however, was beaming. A reporter called out to the awkward couple, “Are you sitting together?” “WE ARE!,” replied Wyden. “Is this your date?” the reporter asked. Wyden turned around and through a mile-wide smile exclaimed again:  “WE ARE!”

Politico: Story puts “snark of spark” on display. Read here.

He said what? Must have been a late night. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough has a quote about “Ghostbusters!” and “dogs and cats” that is a head scratcher.  “This is out of Ghostbusters!” Joe Scarborough, “Morning Joe” host (and POLITICO contributor), noted on Wednesday morning. “Dogs and cats living together!”

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


C-SPAN as a sleep aid

“No offense to C-SPAN, but if you have trouble falling asleep, it’s awesome.” — Ed Rendell, NBC News Political Analyst on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning.

Politico allows ‘fart’ into feature

“All calls for bipartisanship should be responded to with a fart in Joe Lieberman’s general direction.” GQ‘s Ana Marie Cox in a quote in a Politico feature on SOTU drinking game. (Farting? Wow. Pretty edgy prose for Politico editors…)

CNN’s Henry distances himself from Kardashian

“haha to be clear i was RT’ing Piers NOT Kim” — CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry explained in a Monday tweet that he was RT new colleague Piers Morgan, not Kim Kardashian, a recent guest on Morgan’s show. (Morgan had writtten, “Come on, let’s help a damsel in distress RT @KimKardashian I’m soooo close to 6 Million followers! OMG Please RT and push me to 6 Milli.”)

Katie Couric does D.C.

“In D.C. for state of the union…watching Conan…Larry King, Sean White band called Iron and Wine. Nice show Conan!” — CBS News’s Katie Couric in a Monday night tweet.

Scribe on pins and needles waiting for Olbermann’s first words

“THE ANTICIPATION!! So this must be what it felt just before the first telegraph was sent #waitingforolbermann.” — Politico‘s Patrick Gavin in a Monday night tweet after fallen MSNBC host Keith Olbermann wrote, “At exactly 8 Eastern tonight I will issue my first tweet. Well, other than THIS.” Then later, “My humble thanks to all Friends of Keith for the many kind words. The reports of the death of my career are greatly exaggerated #FOK.”

Gossip writer has a request

“Can we please, please, please retire the word “nom”? It is meaningless and overused.” — Roll Call HOH writer Ali McSherry in a Monday tweet.

Is Politico paying him to write this?

“One of my favorite lines: ‘News…was first reported by Politico.’” — Politico reporter Jake Sherman in a Monday tweet.

FNC anchor boasts of ‘fair and balanced’ day ahead

“Having breakfast with Speaker Boehner and lunch at the White House. Nothing like a fair and balanced meal plan – SOTU comes once a year.” — FNC anchor Bret Baier in a Tuesday morning tweet.

Anticipating what POTUS won’t say

“Words no President has ever spoken in a State of the Union Address: ‘Please hold your applause till I finish speaking.’” — CBS White House Radio Correspondent Mark Knoller in a Tuesday morning tweet.

Incoherent quote (but we get the gist)

“Ms Holmes pls try to be truth [sic] on the tv when you are asked [sic] we are suprise [sic] when you are making your points.” – An Anonymous Tipster to FBDC tries to tell us (we think) that he or she doesn’t care for the words of conservative commentator Amy Holmes, who appeared on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” Monday night.

Reporter amused by Coburn’s fresh shave

“Tom Coburn shaved for his date tonight with Chuck Schumer! #cute #SOTU” — Politico‘s Meredith Shiner in a Tuesday morning tweet.

Katie Couric Comes to Washington

CBS News’s Katie Couric will grace Washington for President Obama‘s State of the Union address early next week.

The live primetime coverage will be followed by a live webcast anchored by Couric featuring extended analysis from the CBS News political team, interviews and special guests.  Expect to see her live on air on Tuesday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Newsman to Female Interviewee: ‘You are Making my Brain Bleed’

Think of this as a mid-morning snack. In this xtranormal video, two cartoon characters engage in a really awkward job interview at a TV station. Horrible silences and a serious inability to listen to each other make this well worth a watch.

Best lines:

Female Interviewee: I have a lot of student loans. Do you think $65,000 is too much to ask for my first contract?

Male Interviewer: I think you may have a learning disability. I made $17.5 my first year with no benefits. I once ate Ramen Noodles for five straight weeks. It gave me dysentery.


Female Interviewee: Did I mention Katie Couric is my idol?

Male Interviewer: You did. I tried to ignore it because I already have high blood pressure.

Female Interviewee: Perhaps I can work a beat like a medical reporter and with my other time I can anchor your morning show. I have a bubbly and outgoing personality.

Male Interviewer: I am concerned you are going to make my brain bleed.

Female Interviewee: Do you think I should die my hair blond?


Female Interviewee: I will leave my tape and resume on this growing pile beside your desk.

Male Interviewer: Did you really print your resume on pink paper?

Female Interviewee: Yes, do you like it?

Male Interviewer: I hate you.

CBS’s Cordes Goes Techy for Election Coverage

CBS News is going high tech for Election Night. This is CBS’s Nancy Cordes using the new iPad interface last night in its “debut” on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

CBS News’ Senior Election Graphic Artist Tim Hunter created a custom interface, which, says a spokesperson, “allows CBS News to program a series of graphics that Nancy can call up in any order whenever she’s ready. In addition to vote boards and other graphic displays, Nancy’s screen will show off new graphics including “sliders” – which let her focus on specific groups of races, such as members of the House in “at risk” seats.”

As explained to FishbowlDC, a blue bar represents Democrats in the group, a red for Republicans. With one tap on her iPad, Cordes “can reveal how well each party did, displaying wins, losses, and not-yet-decided races, all based on the very latest data.”