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Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Levi’

Pennsylvania Temple Uses Jake Tapper, ABC To Raise Cash

On May 10 ABC’s Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper will speak at Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley, Pa. at a “Patrons Event” where congregants can sign up to contribute at varying price points. For example, $2500 gets you four preferred seats in the reserved section, reception and your name prominently displayed whereas $1000 lands you two preferred seats in the reserved section, reception and your name prominently displayed and $360 gets you two seats in the reserved section, reception and your name prominently displayed . Seats are $36 in advance and $45 at the door.

All sounds kosher, right?

Well, not entirely. The temple, which practices Conservative Judaism, is using Tapper and ABC in its advertising to raise cash. Though Tapper has never made a secret of his religion — in his Twitter bio, he tells visitors that “dissecting my tweets with Talmudic meticulousness will result in wrong conclusions” — this sounds like straight up whoring of a news network to us. Well-known TV correspondents generally speak at universities and college graduations. A network raising money for a temple? Not so commonplace. Can you imagine a national news network raising funds for a megachurch?

“Jake has a personal connection with the synagogue in his hometown of Philadelphia and its scholarship fund,” ABC spokeswoman Michelle Levi told us in an email. “This is not in conflict with his daily duties and he is donating all personal proceeds to charity.  Speaking engagements are evaluated on a case by case basis and this one was approved in advance by ABC News.” Update: We wondered what ABC meant by “scholarship fund.” Apparently this means “The Levitties Fund is associated with the religious school and they do adult education.”

In the meantime, have a look.



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Politico’s Levi to ABC; ABC’s Raabe to The Atlantic

Like a game of musical flacks… Natalie Raabe has left her post at ABC News to join The Atlantic as a communications director. She’s working out of the New York office for the next month but plans to move to D.C. in mid-April.  In a related move, Politico‘s Michelle Levi is leaving D.C. at the end of the month to work with Jeffrey Schneider and the ABC News communications crew in NYC.

Politico‘s E-mail Debacle

Few Politico reporters understand what went down Wednesday when, for much of the afternoon, the e-mail system was malfunctioning. Michelle Levi, a Politico media manager, e-mailed out at 2:41 p.m. time, saying, “Hi Guys – We are having some email problems this afternoon at POLITICO.  Please email [BLANK] for the next few hours with any TV/Radio requests.   Thank you!.” Other reporters e-mailed out notes with instructions to use their gmail and not their Politico accounts.

Largely, reporters were in the dark about what happened. And still are. The day wasn’t completely shot – some found ways to enjoy the sudden blackness.

“From a technological perspective, I actually have absolutely no idea what happened,” said one reporter. “I can tell you that it was down from about 1.30p until about 6p. I can also tell you that the newsroom felt sort of like a snow day or the last day of school.”

NBC’s Luke Russert (and other outlets such as @FishbowlDC on Twitter) spared no time cracking wise about it, saying, “Roll Call, The Hill, CQ, National Journal…please break something big while Politico’s email is down. I want to see @JakeSherman sweat.” Later Russert added, “Politico‘s @KasieHunt on the email system being down: “It’s like my right arm is gone.”

Another Politico reporter added,  “Wasn’t that big of a deal. We lost email access for a couple hours but it came back and didn’t lose any our emails, a technical glitch that seems to happen almost anywhere these days.”

But Politico reporter Kendra Marr, hinted of deeper troubles in this Wednesday tweet: “the great email outage of 2010 continues … IT emails about “urgent mailbox moves” tonite.”

Politico PR had no comment.

Schieffer Toasted and Roasted

CBS News President Sean McManus and Senators Sam Nunn and Lindsey Graham roasted Bob Schieffer at the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Awards on Friday night.  Colleagues and friends such as CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz, who in a taped appearance joked that he had never heard of Schieffer or his Sunday show, came out to toast the venerable host of Face the Nation. 

But of all the big names in the room, it was Bob’s wife Pat who really stole the show.  In her introduction of Schieffer, she recalled, “On our anniversary last year, my husband asked me if there is anything that I hadn’t done but wished I had.”  “I told him yeah – George Clooney,” she said to a room full of laughter.  And guests didn’t have to look far for entertainment.  Schieffer’s band, Honky Tonk Confidential, which includes CBSers Dianna Quinn and Kaylee Hartung, performed “TV Anchorman” and Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.”  Even MSNBC’s Luke Russert took the stage to pay tribute with his rendition of “Shout.”

Spotted at the event were Jan Crawford, Nancy Cordes and Bob Orr, DC Bureau Chief Chris Isham, Face the Nation EP Carin Pratt, Mary Hager, Rob Hendin, Christine Delargy, Politico’s Michelle Levi and CBS News’ Paul Friedman and Barbara Fedida who traveled down from NYC for the dinner. 

Past honorees include Helen Thomas, who was in attendance, and Walter Conkite

CBS’s Goodbye Toast to Michelle Levi

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CBS News toasted Michelle Levi last evening at the M St. Bar & Grill. She recently joined former CBS’er Steve Chaggaris at Allbritton Communications. Bureau chief Chris Isham, Bill Plante, Fernando Suarez, Christine Delargy, Kaylee Hartung and new colleague Kiki Ryan (who works at Allbritton-owned Politico) partook in the festivities. CNN’s Ed Henry stopped by.

And fresh off a sing-along with country music star Garth Brooks, Bob Schieffer and his wife, Pat, made it just in time to wish Michelle well.

From CBS to Albritton and “Washington Unplugged” producer Michelle Levi is leaving the Washington bureau for a new gig with Albritton Communications. She’ll join former CBS News political director Steve Chaggaris who started as the director of television projects/senior executive producer earlier this year.

Friends will toast Michelle at a going away party next week. The invitation reads, “We knew it wouldn’t be long before Chaggaris snagged her…”

CBS’ “Washington Unplugged” Turns 1!

CBS News’ weekly webcast, “Washington Unplugged” celebrated its one-year anniversary with a slew of media types at 14K restaurant on Wednesday evening. And though the TVs above the bar were set to CNN, the guests below were rubbing elbows with CBS-ers like Washington Bureau Chief Chris Isham, John Dickerson, Chip Reid, Bill Plante, Nancy Cordes, Marc Ambinder, Kaylee Hartung, Christine Delargy, Michelle Levi and Fernando Suarez.

Boozing with the broadcasters were Daily Caller’s Becca Glover, Roll Call’s Jackie Kucinich, Emily Miller, Tammy Haddad, Politico’s Kiki Ryan with boy toy Tim Burger, Janet Donovan, Juleanna Glover, Matt Cooper, Cantor Press Secretary Brad Dayspring, Doug Thornell from Cong. Van Hollen’s office, Examiner’s Tara Palmeri, Mark Paustenbach, Politico’s Mike Allen and WH wunderkind Ronnie Cho (wearing pants…sorry ladies).



Photos by CBS News’ Tom Albano. More after the jump.

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CBS’s “Washington Unplugged” Prepares to Party


CBS’s Washington bureau is getting ready for tonight’s cocktail party at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza hotel. The party celebrates the one-year anniversary of their daily political webcast, “Washington Unplugged”.

The segment began with Bob Schieffer hosting. It was a weekly webcast that soon expanded to daily. Today CBS News Political Analyst John Dickerson and correspondents such as congressional reporter Nancy Cordes, investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson and national security correspondent Bob Orr share hosting duties with Schieffer.

Guests on “Washington Unplugged have been a mix of bigwigs in Washington and Hollywood – including Zac Efron, Claire Danes, Goldie Hawn, and Woody Harrelson. Favorite guests: Elmo (Schieffer interviewed the popular red fuzzy animal himself) and Cheech and Chong (they offered anchor Bill Plante a joint).

Tonight’s party is sure to attract reporters from publications such as NYT, WaPo, HuffPost, and TPM to Daily Caller, Politico and more.

From CBS: Chief White House correspondent Chip Reid, Dickerson, Atlantic reporter Marc Ambinder, bureau chief Chris Isham, web producers Michelle Levi and Lauren Seifert, digital journalist Fernando Suarez, Christine DeLargy and Kaylee Hartung, who has been doing the “Unplugged, Under 40″ pieces.

And there will be cupcakes. Fresh off their appearance on “Washington Unplugged”, Georgetown Cupcakes is making cupcakes specially for CBS’s party – and the girls will attend.

Remarked Schieffer: “What’s great about Washington Unplugged is that it gives us a place to report those little stories, the delicious little nuggets of news that there is no room for on television.”

A Toast to CBS’s Chaggaris

From L to R: CBS’ Fernando Suarez, Steve’s wife Jennifer Chaggaris, Steve, Kaylee Hartung and Rob Hendin.

Colleagues and friends came together for a goodbye party for CBS News former Political Director Steve Chaggaris at Darlington House in Dupont Circle. Chaggaris is going to work for Allbritton as the new director of TV projects and senior executive producer, where he will help launch a new metro website cable channel.

In attendance: CBS Washington Bureau Chief Chris Isham, Deputy Bureau Chief Jim McGlinchy, White House correspondent Chip Reid, Christine Delargy, Meredith Stencil and Michelle Levi.

Cheech & Chong Offer Plante a Joint On Camera

cheech-and-chong.jpgCelebrity burnouts Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong dropped by CBS News’ Washington bureau today for “Washington Unplugged.” After an epic interview they offer Chief White House Correspondent Bill Plante a joint…on camera, writes Michelle Levi, executive producer of “Washington Unplugged,” in an e-mail.

See the offer here.