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Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence O’Donnell’

Morning Chatter

LET SLEEPING DOG LIE: “Someone is very happy to be home and sleeping in a bed unlike those barbarians at doggy boarding.” — Politico’s Christine Delargy, who formerly wrote for FBDC

Was it really OTR?

“It was definitely on record. We’ve had two senior editors from our organization who scrutinized ever aspect of this story. There’s no question it was an on the record conversation.” — TPM‘s Hunter Walker, author of the story in which New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner‘s Spokeswoman Barbara Morgan called ex-campaign intern Olivia Nuzzi a series of insults that are now part of her Twitter feed, as pictured here. Walker told the above to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell last night on his program.

Eavesdrop Cafe

“Adventures in weird first date eavesdropping: ‘you’re just not into topography enough’” — BuzzFeed D.C. Bureau Chief John Stanton. He added, “I mean, who has map reading as a relationship deal breaker? I have my orienteering merit badge but that shit ain’t a fetish.”

Please, Politico, can he do this?

“If it were socially acceptable to Tweet nothing but Seinfeld lines I’d do it. And drape myself in velvet.” — Politico‘s Ben White.

The Observer

“My Twitter feed seems drunker than usual tonight. People sprung early for the impending congressional recess?” — Garance Franke-Ruta, senior editor, The Atlantic.

AC confusion?

“Air conditioning debate rages – if one says turn it down, that can mean make it warmer (as in turn down the fan).” — Dana Perino, Co-host of FNC’s “The Five.” She explained, “Husband asks why I don’t say ‘reduce’ the air conditioning …but that also can be confusion and mean make it colder! #ack!”

Father Glenn

“Now entering the lives being destroyed phase of the Weiner crack-up. Anyone getting their jollies off of this now is pretty much a sadist,” Politico‘s Glenn Thrush, whose Twitter feed has taken a decidedly preachy turn as of late. We love his passion.

Journo has karaoke advice

“The next time you think of kareoking Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’, don’t. Leave it be.” — Political blogger Dave Catanese. As some may recall, Catanese once won the highest award at a karaoke contest so he may know what he’s talking about.

Navarro says Matthews out of line…

“I’m no fan of Cruz, but this is way over the line.” — CNN’s Ana Navarro on MSNBC’s Chris Matthews calling Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) a “political terrorist.”

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 8:29 a.m.

Coworker Love

“Why @NikkiSchwab is the best co-worker ever: She sends out all-staff emails letting us know about #FreeSmoothieDayDC tomorrow!! :D ” — Red Alert Politics News Editor Kelsey Osterman on Nikki Schwab.

Confessional.

“ICYMI: ‘Anthony Wiener is a needy little bitch.’ (Not judging, b/c so am I.)” — The Atlantic‘s Scott Stossel, linking to Sydney Elaine Leather‘s appearance on the Howard Stern show in which she calls Weiner a “needy little bitch.”

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Afternoon Reading List 07.24.13.

Press conferences are not couples therapy — Anthony Weiner (a.k.a. Carlos Danger’s) presser yesterday dropped a bombshell and released a mushroom cloud of cable news commentary. But Laura Bennett of TNR argues that sex scandal press conferences are being treated like couples therapy, and they shouldn’t be. As Bennet points out, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell enlisted the help of a sex therapist last night for a segment on “standing by your man,” and Rachel Maddow was chastising Weiner’s “redemption tour” and his “online, no-pants exchanges.” On Fox, Donald Trump diagnosed Weiner as “a sick guy.” A common theme among all cable coverage of sex scandals, Bennett writes, has become close analysis of the body language, rhetoric and chemistry of the politician and “the good wife.” In the past, the disgraced politician’s wife’s silence and solemn looks left the door wide open to this type of interpretation. But at yesterday’s press conference, Huma (known by her first name in Washington, as CNN’s Dana Bush noted) took the podium herself, seemingly leaving little room for interpretation of her feelings. But that didn’t stop the media from giving the replay of the presser a close analysis.

Why you should read it: The sex scandal press conference has become almost like a championship sports game, complete with post-game analysis. But Bennet offers insight that this type of analysis shouldn’t continue with the next sex scandal, which is sure to be just around the corner.

Where do speeches come from? — As President Obama gave his speech on economic policy today, there is little evidence of the multiple drafts, copious notes and many discussions that went into writing it. Yahoo! NewsOliver Knox sat down with head speechwriter Cody Keenan for an inside look at how the speech went from an idea in early June to Obama delivering the speech at Knox College. Beginning with a half-hour meeting on June 14, in which Knox took detailed notes of “unfiltered POTUS,” Keenan assembled a 20-page outline that turned into the first draft. Working long hours with many people, Obama included, the speech became “tidier and tidier” until it was ready to go. Keenan mostly goes under the president’s direction, but occasionally argues against a presidential edit, though it’s rare. His office is full of political memorabilia, but Keenan’s favorite item is a signed football from 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears. Knox closes the piece with a sharp left turn, quoting Keenan saying that “Mike Ditka [who coached the team] could have prevented Barack Obama from becoming president, because he almost ran against him in ’04, in Illinois.” Hmmm… Ditka 2016, anyone?

Why you should read it: Knox provides a fairly detailed account of a speech’s journey from idea to delivery. Keenan also works ungodly hours in a basement office, so it may also help you feel better about your work schedule.

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

“Is he about anything other than himself?” — MSNBC “The Cycle’s” Krystal Ball on Lawrence O’Donnell‘s program last night on potential voter trust issues with ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner‘s (D-N.Y.) mayoral bid.

You know your life is out of control when…

“Not remembering whether you’ve said something to public on Twitter, to friends on Facebook, or to self in lipstick on bathroom mirror.” — WaPo feature writer Dan Zak.

Confessional.

“I’m a cynical, grouchy old coot, but I reliably get something in my eye whenever I hear a ‘hero teacher protects kids’ story.” — Yahoo! News’ Olivier Knox.

Larry King is on fire

“Back in #Washington – been away a long time – can’t believe how hot it is today but I love this city” — Former CNNer Larry King.

Leaning in (or something?)

“Well-behaved women rarely make history but they do make deadline. Sometimes.” — WaPo arts reporter Katherine Boyle, whose Twitter background color could blind you if you stare too long.

See more Morning Chatter… Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

JOE SCARBOROUGH CLOTHES TWIN?: “Our own Sam Stein is causing a lot of controversy with this shirt. What are your thoughts?” — HuffPost Media. 

Are we still talking about stuffing?

“Hate to complain, but that jucy lucy released a mere trickle of gooey dairy. I prefer to tap into geysers of cultured richness #stuffingsnob” — Roll Call HOH writer Warren Rojas.

Someone’s future job?

“Someone should go pro and write nothing but ‘Why I left journalism’ essays for a living.” — Politico‘s Burgess Everett.

Anti-right-wing media observer

“In the right wing media, the incentive for saying amazingly stupid/mean things is as strong as it ever was.” — Media Matters fellow Oliver Willis.

Speaking of the right wing media…

Media Research Center’s Tim Graham writes, “Pro-lifers shouldn’t confuse abortion w/ slavery. Slaves were allowed to live.” To which WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten says, “LOVE this kinda talk from the right!”

Multitasking is…

“OMG. A man with a laptop wearing sunglasses doing one armed bicep curls.” — CNN’s Carol Costello.

FishbowlDC Fan Club Board…

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Cory Booker Appears Babyish With Press

Newark Mayor and and possible Senate hopeful Cory Booker may be popular on Twitter, but he may be a bit of a baby with the media.

In a story over the weekend, Politico‘s Maggie Haberman writes,

“Booker initially agreed to be interviewed by POLITICO, rescheduled twice, then canceled 20 minutes after a reporter asked for comment on criticisms he had received from a prominent New Jersey Democrat about how he’s handled his campaign rollout.”

Booker did appear on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” Friday night and was presumably supposed to provide a contrast to USA Today‘s Jackie Kucinich and actress Eva Longoria, who wore her hair in a bouncy high ponytail. The show isn’t the easiest, but then again Booker kept his ramblings vanilla and did nothing to make himself stand out in any way.

Haberman, meanwhile… Read more

BuzzFeed‘s Geidner Breaks Glasses, Goes Nearly Sightless During MSNBC Hit

While heading to pre-tape an appearance for MSNBC’s “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” on Friday, BuzzFeed‘s Chris Geidner broke two of his four eyes right in half.

Sadly, he was forced to sit through the segment largely unable to see and without his usual stylish frames resting on his face.

BuzzFeed‘s publicist Ashley McCollum forwarded a photo of the tortoiseshell casualty. Note that they’re Burberry brand (fancy!).

Though his vision may have been a blur, Geidner didn’t let it show on camera… Read more

Ask Piranhamous Anything

Today we have another installment of: “Ask Piranhamous Anything.” And we do mean anything. Send your queries to FishbowlDC@mediabistro.com. This isn’t an advice column — Piranhamous doesn’t know what the hell you should do with your life any more than you do — and worse, he doesn’t care. Try to keep your questions short — we want to keep this fun, simple and insightful.

1. Which journo would you most want to spend the holidays with?

Dear God, do I have to? I’m fairly certain Hell would be filled with more cheer. But since I’m obligated to answer, I’ll put it to you this way – depends on the holiday.

Hanukkah – Chris Hayes, Ezra Klein, Dave Weigel and the rest of the Boy Banders. Some are Jewish, some aren’t, but that doesn’t matter because I’d imagine it would be an 8-day bender. Come to think of it, any 8-day stretch with them is probably a bender, and it would be a lot like hanging out at a hipster bar after all the hipsters moved on because the wannabes started outnumbering them. And I value my IQ points too much to emerge myself in that much MSNBC so I’ll just limit it to one MSNBCer and revise my remarks to Al Sharpton. This may seem like an odd choice but I think picking up all the remarks he mutters under his breath each of the 8-days would be amusing.

Christmas – Bill O’Reilly. Aside from the embarrassing gang on Fox & Friends, no one has done more to defend Christmas from idiots who seem only to engage in their “War on Christmas” to get publicity for their fringe group no one has ever heard of before or will hear from again than Bill. And I imagine the whole day will be spent tackling anyone who tries to TP a pine tree since he never stops.

Kwanza – Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Schultz. Why would I pick the two whitest men on the planet next to Sean Hannity to spend a little-known, radical separatist black holiday with?  Because I think they’d try to celebrate it to prove they’re multi-cultural and would have no idea how to do it. Can you imagine anything more amusing than watching them trying on Dashikis and trying to mean it? I can’t.

Boxing Day – Howie Kurtz: For no particular reason.

Or course this is all moot, or at least most of it, since the world is ending on Dec. 21st. So I’d just like to say thank you to the Mayans for saving me from this Hell.

2. Do you have high hopes that Jeff Zucker will really shake things up at CNN? 

Am I supposed to? I don’t have high hopes that the guy who sucked up NBC and re-unleashed Katie Couric on the world will be able to patch the hole in that Titanic. He’d have a better shot, and I’d probably actually care, if he were one of the Zuckers who brought us the movie “Airplane!” But he’s not, so I don’t.

Read about reporters sleeping with their sources… Read more

Empty Suits Keep Trying Empty Chair Acts

Talking to a chair is hardly ever a good idea. In the course of the last year, the act has been pulled by a handful of media types and each time, it flops.

Last night actor and film director Clint Eastwood was the latest to give the talking-to-an-empty-chair routine a whirl. He did it on the final evening of the Republican National Convention, just before Mitt Romney officially became the party’s nominee for president. How fitting.

Standing at the podium, Eastwood motioned to the empty chair next to him and said he brought President Obama. He then entered into a monologue that got a few laughs but was mostly perceived as bizarre.

Ann Romney appeared on CBS this morning to talk about the convention. “He did a unique thing,” she said of Eastwood’s speech while laughing uncomfortably.

“Bill Clinton introducing Michael Dukakis just went to a distant second place as a bizarre moment,” NBC’s Tom Brokaw told Politico. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, meanwhile, said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that Eastwood’s speech made him “cringe.”

Then again, this was an 82-year-old man giving an unscripted speech. And the empty-chair routine is a proven bust.

Back in March, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell was set to interview Craig Sonner, the lawyer representing Florida Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman. Sonner bailed at the last minute. Rather than bringing on a contributor who might be on standby or moving to the next segment, O’Donnell asked the chair a series of questions, including: “Who is paying you? Who hired you?” and “Does George Zimmerman have a job?”

Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart noted the stupidity, saying he knows many people in New York City who talk to chairs and “none of them have TV shows.”

Two days later Thomas Roberts, also an anchor on MSNBC, had intended to interview Maggie Gallager, spokeswoman for the National Organization for Marriage. Roberts was unable to make the segment. But guess who was? Read more

Vagina Journalism

There are a lot of loose lips on the subject of vaginas lately.

Last week two female Michigan State congresswomen were barred from speaking on the House floor after angrily using the word “vagina” while debating an anti-abortion bill.

Daily Show host and comedian Jon Stewart mocked the House’s decision a few nights ago, saying, “What are they worried about? Vaginas aren’t like Voldemort or Beetlejuice. Invoking the name ‘vagina’ doesn’t make them suddenly appear.” He then highlighted in a “moment of zen” a clip of one CNN anchor saying sarcastically, “Fair warning: I’m about to say a word some of you are going to find offensive. So here’s the warning. Here we go: Vagina.”

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed one of the congresswomen about an earlier protest that took place outside Michigan State Capitol, in which there was a live performance of the Vagina Monologues. During O’Donnell’s program, Metro Weekly‘s Chris Geidner tweeted, “If you don’t like vaginas, this is not your TV show.” – [O'Donnell], creating a false choice for me.”

Liberals also started the hashtag #sayvagina on Twitter. As with anything these days, particularly anything regarding vaginas, it was highjacked. “#Sayvagina but don’t say #8.2%JoblessRate,” wrote Breitbart.com Editor Dana Loesch.

Liberal radio show host Leslie Marshall tweeted, “#sayvagina I tell my toddlers to stop saying that in public! Grown women who are legislators? Go ahead!”

We asked a few journos around town what they thought about seeing so much vagina in the news lately and how they handle the subject in their own professional lives. HOH“s Neda Semnani told us it’s not weird at all. “That is what those crazy kids are calling that part of the body these days,” she told FBDC. “Other body parts with names that don’t make me feel awkward: penis, fallopian tube, uterus, urethra, testicle, balls, vulva, breast, boob, hair, nail, shin, pancreas, gland, cells, pinkie, big toe, follicle. Actually, scratch that… ‘Follicle’ sounds gross.”

A TV industry insider did some soul searching and remarked, “I hate the word ‘vagina.’ But not nearly as much as the dreaded P word. In everyday life I prefer to use C U Next Tuesday because it’s succinct and so offensive that it’s funny. In mixed company, I may opt for other humorous terms like ‘hatchet wound.’ But for TV, let’s all agree to stick with ‘vagina.’ That is, unless everyone can rally behind ‘pikachu’ or ‘tamagotchi.’”

A more serious Kevin Glass, managing editor of Townhall.com, said his publication has no official policy on the matter. “We don’t allow any words to be used in poor taste, but don’t censor our authors where it’s appropriate,” he said.

The Daily Caller‘s Taylor Bigler said she’s free when it comes to using the word. “‘Vagina’ is at the very bottom of the list of words that I’m squeamish about saying or using in copy,” she said. “It’s just a part of the body. I’m much more concerned about getting words like ‘douchebag’ and ‘Octomom porn’ past the editors.” Her boss, Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson, takes a far more conservative slant on the matter. “I approach that word as the ancient Israelites did YHWH: I have too much respect to use it lightly,” he said. On the subject of using the word on TV: “No.”

Host of XM Radio’s Press Pool Julie Mason told us she could say “vagina” loud and proud on the air if she wanted, but she tries playing it “mostly square.” She said, “My boss’s general rule is to imagine an eight-year old in the car listening to the show — don’t say things that might cause their parent to switch to [shock jock] Howard Stern as the sober alternative.”

Then there’s this from Bretibart NewsTony Lee, who by far had the most interesting personal policy on the matters. “I don’t use that term in person,” he said, “and given what I refer to it as would be too crude for print, I would write ‘female genitalia’ or ‘female genitals,’ which would be consistent with the the word choice in stories dealing with horrific ‘female genital’ mutilation.”

Author of the Mr. Media Training Blog Brad Phillips acknowledged how “absurd” it is “that if George Carlin were alive today, he’d need to expand his list of dirty words you can’t say on television to include ‘vagina.’” His personal advice on using “vagina” in media comes in the form of an introspective question: “Does it help them make their point, or does it serve as a distraction that prevents people from hearing their larger point?” He said the two state congresswomen used the word effectively, as “it drew national attention to an issue they were passionate about.”

Watch some vagina-talk clips after the jump…

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Question to Ponder: “How many dumb people are going to think that President Obama is actually gay now?” — HuffPost‘s Ethan Klapper.

Quote Taken Out of Context

“And then @RadioBabe called me an asswipe. #nprlife” — NPR Elections Producer Arnie Seipel. Before that, he said, “Being serenaded on a Friday afternoon by @RadioBabe singing Patsy Cline’s Crazy.” Radio Babe is NPR Correspondent Andrea Seabrook.

Writer wonders about ‘prissy’ Cranbrook

“Why do prep schools have such so often have such prissy names? ‘Cranbrook?’” — Tucson Sentinel Technorati writer Jimmy Zuma, referring to the Michigan prep school Mitt Romney attended and site of the haircut incident.

A Boybander’s Emotional Admission

“Running is the only healthy thing I genuinely love to do but more and more my body’s telling me I shouldn’t. Having a hard time dealing.” — TPM‘s Brian Beutler.

Self-appointed Media Critic

“Why do I get the impression that news magazines would put *anything* on their covers to sell 5 extra copies?” — Politico‘s Roger Simon.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“Just spotted in Santa Monica: car with Hawaii plate ALOHA. Car with most desired Hawaii license plate belongs in Hawaii.” — MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell with this stellar announcement you won’t likely see anywhere else in the next decade.

Journo sees connection to Prez’s fundraiser

“Obama fundraiser in NYC Monday — special guest Ricky Martin — is sold out, organizer says. Gee. Wonder why?” — Politico‘s Glenn Thrush.

Eddie Scarry contributed to this report.

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