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Posts Tagged ‘Les Kinsolving’

‘Kooky’ Kinsolving Gets a Biography

Politico reports that the oddball White House reporter Les Kinsolving, a correspondent for WorldNetDaily and a talk radio host, will have a book written on him by his daughter, Kathleen. It’s due out in May.

The book title: Gadfly, The Life and Times of Les Kinsolving-White House Watchdog

Fun facts: Kinsolving has referred to gay rights organizations as the “the sodomy lobby” and has called AIDS the “gay plague.”

Read the full story here.

Guess which one’s Kinsolving? (Of course, the guy with his red pen in the air.)


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

We Want to Play, Too: Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced that the third White House-based Obama news conference is scheduled for next Wednesday at 8 p.m., following the POTUS trip to St. Louis. When reporters jabbed that this was a good way for the administration to highlight the 100-day mark that the Obama team has derided, Gibbs counter-punched that “there will be a whole lot of cards for you to pick up where you can inform your loved ones what you’ve been doing for the last hundred days, because you haven’t seen them.” Later, Gibbs would note that the 100-day milestone has long been entrenched in presidential evaluation: “We get that. We’re playing along.”

Hyper on the Hypotheticals: Fox’s Major Garrett, who pummeled the podium today with so many questions that it drew audible groans from his classmates, first asked Gibbs whether the White House would collaborate with Congress on a commission to investigate those involved in implementing the controversial interrogation methods. Gibbs pulled a classic press secretary play by rejecting hypotheticals, until it was noted that the president himself started it. “He’s the president,” Gibbs said. “If he wants to engage in hypotheticals, that’s … his business.” Major (the one-name press celeb) countered that Obama often refused to engage in hypotheticals, to which Gibbs promised it would not happen for the remainder of the administration. Start your countdowns!

I Did It My Way: When Jon Ward of Wash Times returned to the commission topic with the observation that the White House was “trying to have it both ways” by showing a hands-off approach but articulating how such a panel should be formed, an irritated Gibbs said he’d clarify with POTUS what was meant by “I’m not proposing this.” Pressed on the potential contradiction, Gibbs used the humor shield by saying the hypothetical was meant “to scratch Major’s itch on hypotheticals.” Friendly chaos ensued; Major proclaimed, “I don’t have an itch, Robert, and if the president knows about it I’d be very surprised.”
“I’ll leave that between you and your itch,” Gibbs replied, before jokingly demanding that the steno strike the exchange from the record. This prompted a zealous cry of “Censorship!” from everybody’s favorite Fairness Doctrine opponent and bizarre-question-asker, radio personality Les Kinsolving.

Get This Guy in the Science Fair: On the issue of the president’s bi-partisan pledge, Gibbs was asked whether the GOP could be brought along or if it should “just be defeated.” The query brought considerable laughter, especially as the question used the phrase “bipartisan project,” which fueled a Gibbsian comparison to elementary school science projects. “Go figure the conversation in this town is sort of held on the edges,” Gibbs added, pulling his popular populist card.

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

Spin Me Right Round: In a rare move by the young administration, the State Department ceded the Obama team’s official North Korea announcement to the White House, where Press Secretary Robert Gibbs opened the briefing by labeling North Korea’s withdrawl from the six-party talks to denuclearize a “serious step in the wrong direction.” He called on the communist regime to pull back its “provocative threats” and return to the negotiating table to honor previous agreements. Pressed on how the U.S. can be expected to hold any leverage with the rogue nation, Gibbs repeatedly spun the question — “let me turn that question a little bit around” — by citing low expectations of the eventual passage of the U.N. condemnation of the recent North Korean missile launch.

Maybe Bo Can Help?: CNN’s Dan Lothian asked Gibbs why the president’s big speech on the economy today at Georgetown University didn’t offer any newsworthy nuggets. “As I’ve been reminded many times in this room, we’ve already bitten off more than we can chew,” Gibbs replied, noting that today’s address was more akin to an economic “progress report” for the American people.

Isn’t it Ironic…: In a departure from his normally free-flowing and well-practiced responses, Gibbs today referred to his neatly tabbed briefing book to recite administration policy on a number of issues: 1) continued review of the habeas corpus (or lack thereof) for Bagram detainees; 2) disappointment in Pakistan’s passage of Islamic Shariah law for parts of the country; and 3) general satisfaction with Minnesota’s latest court ruling in the Senate debacle. But after all his own script reading, Gibbs needled radio commentator Les Kinsolving — well-known for his usually bizarre queries — for reading from his question sheet: “Why do you have to write these down? Just go with the flow!”

Hug a Paper: Following on the Iranian nuclear negotiations issue, one reporter sought to clarify reports that the U.S. might allow Iran to enrich uranium if inspections are also permitted. Gibbs denied the possibility and added a crack on print reporters: “This would not be the first time that I’ve stood at this podium… having read something in the newspaper that I found to not be accurate.”

Morning Reading List, 10.28.08


Good morning Washington.

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line or let us know in the tips box below.

We’ve got your morning mix of media Muesli after the jump…

Read more

How Perino Reacts To Les, #5

Les Kinsolving was very Kinsolving-y today:

    Q Okay. As the nation’s chief law enforcer, does the President believe that this recent Nebraska Supreme Court six-to-one ruling that electrocution be ended as cruel and unusual punishment — does he believe that was right or does he support the death penalty by fast-frying the condemned?

    MS. PERINO: No, Les, why do you have to end it like that?

    Q Well, that’s what electrocution is. It is a fast-frying of the condemned.


Trude Feldman Leaves The White House


(Photo Credit)

It’s the end of an era, in many ways: FishbowlDC has learned that long-time White House reporter Trude Feldman will no longer cover the White House: The White House canceled her pass.

The frail and diminutive Feldman was a regular presence at the White House and certainly did her part to contribute to the notion that the White House press corps is full of characters.


(Photo Credit)

Feldman was frequently cited in White House transcripts as being associated with “Trans Services” but she was perhaps most famous for the fact that, well, no one really knew for whom she worked or where he work appeared.

John Gizzi once praised Tony Snow by recalling the attention he paid to Feldman:

    Bounding back up the stairs and into the room to retrieve it, I found — to my surprise — Tony all alone with Trudy Feldman, whose outlets for columns are a mystery to most in the press corps. But Tony Snow was in no hurry and gave her the attention he would a network bureau chief.

Martha Brant wrote this in 2003:

    Only the peculiar club of White House press secretaries really understands what it’s like to work both sides. They don’t get together very often. Maybe once a year they’ll see each other at academic panels or charity events. When they do, they often talk about the reporters who plagued them. “I don’t think you could put five of us in a room for more than an hour without sooner or later the conversation circling back to Trudy Feldman,” says Clinton’s Jake Siewert, who now works at Alcoa. Feldman, who worked for several small publications but was a big headache, rivals only Helen Thomas in their reveries.

Or this:

    Gerald Ford’s press secretary, Ron Nessen, who was also on the panel, noted that there are three things that haven’t changed in the 30 years since he manned the podium: reporters Helen Thomas, Les Kinsolving and Trudy Feldman.

She did occasionally score an interview, like this one with Bill Clinton (taken from the September 29, 1998 Jerusalem Post):

    “What has really been helpful to me in the last several months, and particularly in the last few weeks, is religious guidance that I have been given about atonement from the Yom Kippur liturgy, to remind me that while it is unusual for the president to be in a public situation like this, the fundamental truth is that the human condition – with its frailties and propensity to sin – is something I do share with others,” Clinton said in an interview last week with Trudy Feldman, a White House-based journalist, that was published in The Washington Post.

Or Ronald Reagan (taken from October 30, 1981 Washington Post):

    In an interview two weeks ago with journalist Trudy Feldman, Reagan raised the possiblity of PLO participation in such talks, although he stated the standard caveat that the organization must first recognize Israel’s right to exist.

And in 2002, President George W. Bush joked with the short Trude:

    President Bush. I can’t see you. Trudy [Trudy Feldman, Trans Features], you’re blocking her vision.

ABC’s Ann Compton (also president of the White House Correspondents’ Association) told FishbowlDC: “White House reporters have long heard of her tenacity in trying to reach administration officials. Dora Bush said that she and her husband once changed their home phone number and the first call they got on their new number was Trude.”


(Photo Credit)

For the record: Although she is cited in White House transcripts (and in the news reports above) as “Trudy Feldman,” her official name is “Trude B. Feldman” and her last association was with the World Tribune Company.


According to the Tribune’s website, her last article for them was in December 2006 and she is described thusly:

    Trude B. Feldman, a veteran White House and State Department correspondent, met Gerald R. Ford when he was a congressman. She also covered his vice presidency and presidency and has often interviewed him since he left the presidency. Ms. Feldman has interviewed every U.S. president since Lyndon B. Johnson; and every U.S. vice president from Hubert H. Humphrey to Al Gore. She is a contributing editor for World

Happy trails, Trude.


(Photo Credit)

Only One Question, Les?

In the DC Fishbowl, this is actually news: Les Kinsolving asked only one question today at the White House. He’s famous for always having two.

    MS. PERINO: No, no, no, no.

    Q One question –

    MS. PERINO: One?

    Q The day after tomorrow, December 1st, is the World Day on HIV/AIDS. I’m wondering if President Bush is going to address this crucial issue and if he would like to make any statement, since this health crisis is –

    MS. PERINO: The President will be –

    Q — for the U.S. population.

    MS. PERINO: The President will be making a statement tomorrow at an event in Mt. Airy, Maryland. He will mark World AIDS Day, and Mrs. Bush will be with him.

How Perino Reacts To Les

Les Kinsolving is famous for asking oddball questions. So we’d like to track how White House Press Secretary Dana Perino reacts to them.

Today’s installment:

    Wow, what is the question?

Morning Reading List, 10.02.07

morningsun.gifGood morning Washington.

  • It is almost unanimous. You think Les Kinsolving is “A total pain who’s become a joke”

  • Yuille Moves to CBS News

  • An NBC release announced, “NBC’s ‘Meet the Press with Tim Russert’ reached a ratings milestone as the nation’s No. 1 Sunday morning public affairs program, winning its 10th consecutive season among total viewers and its 14th straight season among the key demographic adults 25-54.”

  • ABC’s “World News” webcast launched a new page on yesterday.

  • Washington Post reports, “New mom Tracey Neale thought she understood how adopting twins would change her life. She had no clue.”

  • Ken Walsh helps pass the torch from Tony Snow to Dana Perino.

  • A reader weighs in on The New York Times magazine on D.C., calling it “horribly juvenile, amateurish, unprofessional, offensive, way off-base, and so full dumb generalizations, stereotypes and over-simplifications that it was worse than some high school newspaper articles that I’ve read. For about the millionth time: D.C. is NOT New York and New York is not New Orleans and New Orleans is not Austin and…etc., etc. No one can compare cities, and no one can say what is ‘energy’ or what is not, and no one can just bolt into a town and make generalizations that are not true. And, what, for some period of time there were no clubs in D.C. with ‘energy,’ and, poof, all of a sudden there are? Huh? What? What a stupid, dumb article to appear in The New York Times.”

  • A reader weighs on in Kucinich, “Dana Milbank gets the same treatment from the Kucinich camp. this is at the end of his column last week about the event at the press club on aliens: ‘So far, however, the presidential candidates remain, well, alienated.’ Even Kucinich. ‘If you have a serious question, just ask me,; Kucinich spokeswoman Natalie Laber replied when told of the UFO crowd’s hopes for her boss. ‘If not, then just keep your silly comments to yourself.’ (Milbank skewered Kucinich earlier this year over a press event he had to impeach Cheney, I believe).

  • The International Reporting Project (IRP) announced “12 senior editors and producers from across the United States to participate in an intensive 11-day visit to Korea this November as part of the IRP’s annual ‘Gatekeeper Editors’ fellowships. For the full list, click here. IRP also announced the three U.S. journalists awarded International Reporting Project (IRP) Fellowships for the fall 2007 program.

  • FishbowlNY has launched the 360 Daily Angle: “a video update of the morning’s news stories.” It’s produced and anchored by NYCTV’s Amy Palmer.

  • MarketWatch reports, “News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch joined heads of state from Turkey, Croatia and Timor-L’Este in condemning violence in Myanmar and called on economic prosperity as a cure for the global turmoil.”

  • Los Angeles Times reports, “Since the public blow-up in July between Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari over corporate governance and succession issues at their family-controlled entertainment empire, the 84-year-old chairman of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. has been on a campaign to convince the world that the feud has blown over.”

  • Dallas Morning News reports, “Belo Corp., owner of The Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV, announced this morning that it intends to spin off its newspapers and publishing operations into a separate, publicly traded company.”

  • The Guardian reports, “The FT has announced a radical overhaul of the fees users must pay to access its website”

  • reports, “Across the category, men’s titles are adapting to a field swept clean of most laddie magazines and men’s shopping titles, where luxury is king, and where reaching the older man is now a desirable proposition. GQ, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Esquire, which will celebrate its 75th next year, used to be cast as stodgy by the British lad invasion, and both resorted to copying their formula of gross-out humor and barely clothed starlets.”

  • Bloomberg reports, “Time Warner Inc.’s AOL is poised to capture a bigger share of Internet marketing budgets as its unit more than doubles sales to $1.3 billion in four years, a Bear Stearns Cos. analyst said.”

  • MarketWatch’s Jon Friedman writes, “If the speculation is true about you and GQ magazine, you are playing a dangerous game with the media. This time, you apparently crossed the line.”

  • AP reports, “Barnes & is getting a new look. Starting Monday, the online site for the superstore chain will have a thoroughly revised home page, including a running scroll of featured releases, and a number of new offerings, including Barnes & Noble Review, a magazine that will be updated daily with reviews and interviews.”

  • The Charlotte Observer reports, “In an address that made the musings of Nostradamus seem rosy by comparison, a respected industry observer warned radio executives Wednesday that their industry would all but evaporate within 20 years.”

  • Washington Post reports, “The industry has tried to get the word out, but many consumers still aren’t getting the message: In a year and a half, millions of television screens could go dark. Not the fancy high-definition TVs or those connected to cable or satellite. But the 70 million sets relying on rooftop or ‘rabbit ears’ antennas will end up showing nothing but snow.”

  • PBS Ombudsman writes, “This was a big week for PBS. On Monday night, the Public Broadcasting Service won 10 ‘Emmy’ Awards in the News and Documentary category, more than any broadcast or cable television network. And the night before, the highly-touted and much-publicized series ‘The War’ by famed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns made its debut on hundreds of PBS-affiliated stations across the country. But did PBS try to make what, by any measure, was a big — and justifiably good — week appear even bigger? The officials here say no, but it looks to me as though they did.”

  • “WHYY’s Bill Marrazzo is America’s best-paid public broadcasting exec. So why does his station give Philadelphians news from Delaware, produce almost no national or local programming, and have employees who are calling for his head?” asks Philadelphia Magazine.

  • Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz asks, “Out-of-Town Critics Too Tough On Thompson?”

  • A reader wonders whether shuster got the idea to ask blackburn…from

  • Media Week reports, “For the fourth consecutive season, Fox’s American Idol is network TV’s highest priced regular series for advertisers. The cost of a 30-second unit for upcoming episodes (which begin in January 2008) is $700,000 for both the Monday and Tuesday installments of the program, according to media buying and network sources.”

  • New York Times’ Brian Stelter reports, “When does a television show become an event worth covering on the evening news? Lately, the answer seems to be every week — at least when the show has high ratings expectations and runs on the same network as the newscast.”

  • TVNewser reports, “Juan Williams, whose conversation with Bill O’Reilly on The Radio Factor has been the subject of a week’s worth of cable and print stories, has written about being brought into the fray, and being labeled a ‘happy negro.’ He writes in Time magazine that he was ‘astounded’ to hear O’Reilly was being attacked ‘on the basis of that radio conversation as a ‘racist’”

  • Bloomberg reports, “The British Broadcasting Corp. bought travel guidebook company Lonely Planet, gaining a catalogue of 500 travel guides from Antarctica to Zimbabwe to boost holiday coverage on television and the Web and expand outside the U.K.”

  • TVNewser reports, “TVNewser tipsters tell us more executive changes could be in the works at ABC News. ABC NewsOne VP Kate O’Brian is being tasked with a project to review the assignment desk. The desk is currently overseen by VP of news coverage, Mimi Gurbst. What this means for Gurbst is not yet clear. An ABC insider says O’Brian’s review should be finished in a few weeks. The insider says the review had been planned before last week’s hiring of Dave Davis as ABC News’ new #2.”

  • Kansas City Star reports, “The U.S. military needs to get over its fear of the media and open up, a panel of officers told newspaper pundits Friday.”

  • New York Times reports, “As the newspaper industry bemoans falling circulation, major papers around the country have a surprising attitude toward a lot of potential readers: Don’t bother. The big American newspapers sell about 10 percent fewer copies than they did in 2000, and while the migration of readers to the Web is usually blamed for that decline, much of it has been intentional.”

  • AP reports, “They speak English at the BBC, but CBS News veteran Rome Hartman still faced a language barrier when he was hired to create a newscast specifically for American viewers.”

  • The New York Times reports, “During the next year or so, The St. Petersburg Times plans to continue pursuing deeply reported, long-term features about such topics as Florida’s property insurance crisis, complex tax issues, public education at all levels, and wildlife and endangered species. It will balance this slate of stories against all the other bread-and-butter issues it covers everyday for its readers: politics, business, sports, community affairs, culture and more.”

  • NY Post reports, “The appointment of Dave Davis as ABC News’ new No. 2 has roiled staffers who believe the shuffling of the news division’s executive suite was mandated by corporate parent Disney — or more specifically Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney, sources said.”

  • Bloomberg reports, “New York Times Co. began a campaign to bolster awareness of, less than two weeks after it stopped charging readers to access parts of the Web site of its flagship newspaper.”

  • PRNewsire reports, “A new survey finds that 101 million adult Americans now get most of their news from Web sites, while 35 million people rely on TV comedians and eight million individuals turn to blogs for their main source of news.”

  • Justin Fishel, Andy Rooney’s grandson, is FOX News’ new Pentagon producer.

  • Media Week reports, “Hearst Magazines is building a case that, properly done, sweepstakes can be a legitimate way to grow circulation as well as online traffic. In August, Hearst’s Good Housekeeping launched the Pay Off Your Mortgage sweepstakes, which led to such an increase in traffic and sub growth (a challenge for any mature title) that the company is applying the model across its other titles.”

  • TVNewser reports, “Two weeks before the TV network launches, the web component of Fox Business Network is up and running.”


  • Fraud Squad TV is looking for a TV Reporter.

  • International Resources Group is looking for a Writer/Editor and Research Analyst.

  • The Daily Progress is looking for a Photojournalist.

  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is looking for a Feature Writer/Editor.

  • Avalon Publishing Group is looking for a Guidebook Writer and a Seeking Hiking Guidebook Writer.

  • FierceMarkets, Inc. is looking for a Senior Editor, Telecom & Digital Media

    Hat Tips: DCRTV, TVNewser, IWantMedia, Romenesko, MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, JournalismNext

  • Kinsolving: Out! And Then In! (And The White House Press Corps Steers Clear)

    Out of frustration with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, the White House press corps’ most colorful character — WorldNetDaily’s Les Kinsolving — said that he would no longer attend WH press briefings.

    Remember when we recently told you that “Patience With Les Kinsolving Is Wearing Thin“? Turns out that that incident, in which White House Press Secretary Tony Snow singled out Kinsolving for not asking “questions that bear on the President’s responsibilities” and for writing a piece that twisted “out of context the answer I gave you,” was enough to drive Kinsolving and his employer away from the daily White House press briefings.

    WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah wrote:

      [W]e will no longer ask Kinsolving to suffer the indignities of Snow’s humiliating and condescending public scoldings. And we will not be lectured about the craft of journalism by a partisan pundit who never worked as a legitimate newsman in his life.

    Farah says that Kinsolving will remain their White House correspondent, he just simply won’t attend the briefings, “unless and until we hear from him that he will be fair.”

    Farah continues:

      I’ll admit it. Kinsolving is a character. He sometimes asks tough questions. He sometimes asks perplexing questions. He occasionally even asks ridiculous questions. But he’s not just “a character.” He has character. He is a living institution — the kind of man who should be honored with dinners and testimonials, not treated like somebody’s crazy aunt.


      If Tony Snow wants to have a public debate about journalistic ethics, standards and practices, I’m sure either Les Kinsolving or I would be more than up to the challenge, given our many decades of experience each as reporters, editors, newsmen. Tony Snow’s sole experience in the media is as a pundit — an editorial writer, professional Bush I and Bush II defender and TV talking head.

      I’ll tell you what a disservice to the craft of journalism is — when partisan political hacks are allowed to crisscross at will over the boundary between government and independent watchdog.

    When reached by FishbowlDC, Snow declined to comment.

    But, then, Kinsolving said that he would return, “after a one-on-one conference with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow — ending Kinsolving’s ‘boycott’ of the daily press sessions brought on by what he considered Snow’s disrespectful treatment of him.”

    What do other White House reporters think about this? Amazingly, only three out of nearly 40 White House reporters contacted by FishbowlDC (before the resolution) were willing to go on the record about the Snow-Kinsolving spat (perhaps a sign of the press corps’ lack of affection for Kinsolving?!?).

    Says the Houston Chronicle’s Julie Mason:

      If the eccentrics and oddballs start to feel alienated and unwelcome in the briefing room, then we’re all in danger. I hope Les comes back.

    And National Journal’s Carl Cannon:

      Maybe he’s is on to something. If we all boycotted the White House briefings because we didn’t like the answers – or the level of individual attention — we received from the podium, the briefing room would be empty. Of course that ain’t gonna happen, so Lester should hurry back. Where will Americans get their executive branch reaction to the latest sodomy news?

    ABC’s Ann Compton:

      Lester has been here for a long time…I’m a big believer in being an inclusive profession, not an exclusive one…Lester comes in everyday with two questions, handwritten on his clipboard. They rarely have anything to do with the president of the United States…He writes them as embarassments, to goad the press secretary, always has…As irritating as he is, who are we to say that he shouldn’t be able to sit there and ask any questions, as stupid as the ones I ask.

    One reporter, speaking on the condition of anonymity:

      I haven’t observed that Tony is personally disrespectful to Les. I think many of the questions Les asks would prompt the same reaction from Tony, no matter who was asking them.

    For a taste of some of Kinsolving’s Greatest Hits, keep your mouses clicking all over the place