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Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

Van Jones: “Sleep is for Mortals”

cufflinksSo who sports the super-patriotic cuff links? If you guessed Van Jones from CNN’s Crossfire, you win! Actually none of you guessed Van Jones, so none of you win. But that’s okay, even the man himself admits they’re uncharacteristic.

“My liberal friends get mad at me for wearing them,” he told us through a mouthful of chicken tacos after his 6:30 show last night.

He’s not exactly a wrap-yourself-in the flag kinda guy after all. Indeed, his appeal on Crossfire is as an unapologetic, anti-war, anti-gun, pro-social welfare Progressive. Add to that a stint as Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar,” and detractors are quick to label him as one of those people trying to “destroy America.”

VanJonesVan himself isn’t bothered by such accusations. “You know, I think there are only two parties in this countries -the ‘Give a Damn’ Party and the ‘Don’t Give a Damn’ Party. Me and everyone I work with, we’re part of the ‘Give a Damn’ Party.”

We asked Van where co-star Newt Gingrich fell on that spectrum. “Oh Newt is great! You know I think I’m the only other person in the country besides his wife, Callista, who has read every single one of his books.”

Even the alternative fiction? “Okay, every non-fiction book.”

That’s what we thought.

“Working with Newt is a privilege though. The man knows everything. You never know when he’ll turn to you and say something like, ‘President Reagan once gave me some advice about life…’ How often do you get to have access to a resource like that?”

Read more

Behind the Scenes on Election Night At CNN

We have a pretty good idea where you guys went to watch the election results come in. And while we desperately wanted to drink as well, we got an invite we just couldn’t refuse: the Crossfire Control Room at CNN.

Sam FeistUpon arriving at the First Street NE bureau we bumped into Sam Feist, DC Bureau Chief. He ushered us into his office where we peered over his shoulder at some early election results. “This is strictly off the record, of course.” Of course.  An excited Feist launched in to an explanation of how off year election coverage differs from a general election just as CNNPolitics.com editor Bryan Monroe walked in.  Monroe grabbed a handful of Jelly Bellies from a crystal bowl before assuring Feist that CNN.com’s election interactive was primed with the first round of voter data.

Soon we were off to the control room, where Crossfire Supervising Producer David Chalian was covering for EP Rebecca Kutler.  As we watched on what seemed like hundreds of screens, Van Jones and Newt Gingrich argued amicably, and the normally sedate Donna Brazile laced into the Tea Party with uncharacteristic zeal. Digital producer Eric Weisbrod sat quietly in the front, headset on, watching the screens intently. A nod to new CNN Chief Jeff Zucker’s digital focus?  controlroom

The show wrapped to light applause, and the crowded control room emptied quickly as people scrambled to get dinner –they all had to be back for an 11:30 post-election live hour with Newt and Van. The stars of the show were in a similar mindset. We caught up with them in the hallway as Van called out, “Hey Newt, isn’t there supposed to be free food around here?” Mr. Speaker shrugged, “I think it’s on floor 9?”

In the elevator ride down, Newt, with professorial ease, opined about the state of the California Republican party. Of a Crossfire guest who shall remain nameless he said, “I’m not sure _____ is too comfortable talking about that stuff.” Newt, of course, is comfortable talking about everything. Van was upbeat, even though he just came in from California, where he spends half his time overseeing four non-profits. So upbeat in fact, that he agreed to sit down with FishbowlDC for a quick chat –after his tacos of course. More on that convo to come…

CNNers Get Chummy on Red Carpet

Want to know how CNNers really feel about one another? Then watch Hollywood on the Potomac‘s Janet Donovan‘s red carpet video of the “Crossfire” fire party from Tuesday night. In it, you can see Wolf Blitzer with his arm wrapped around S.E. Cupp‘s waist (don’t worry, it has a grandfatherly feel to it) or Callista looking adoringly at her husband, host Newt Gingrich, as he blathers on about what a great success the show is going to be. (We liked him better when he pretended to despise the media.)

Another noteworthy moment is when Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) admits he hasn’t watched the new show. After he drops that grand admission bomb, he scurries off with his fiancé, Maria, (unfortunately for him, the horrid red carpet was the only conceivable way into the party). Sanford wasn’t the only one who hadn’t seen it. Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, who walked the red carpet with her husband, John Coale, looking like a Blues Brother, said rush hour kept her from the first few episodes.

Aside from the fun of watching body language, pals like WJLA’s Rebecca Cooper and CNN’s Dana Bash are asked to name their favorite Crossfire hosts from years past. Cooper says John Sununu (the older one) while Bash says Mary Matalin.

Watch here.

CNN “Crossfire” Party Packs a Punch

“It was terr i fy ying,” said CNN “Crossfire” host Van Jones, careful to enunciate every syllable when asked about his first night on the job.

At least at the Crossfire launch party held last night at the Carnegie Library he could finally let his hair down (so to speak) and enjoy a night with friends, colleagues, booze and a band.

His co-hosts popped in the crowd — Newt Gingrich with his big, shiny helmet of white hair, S.E. Cupp in a purple leather sleeveless dress and Stephanie Cutter in power red.

Meanwhile, others mingled: Newt’s wife, Callista held her own with her perfect, shiny, white-blond bob,  former “Crossfire” host Paul Begala wished the new hosts well, as Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and fiancé, Maria Belen Chapur, attracted flashbulbs on the red carpet while a very thin Caroline Kennedy, President Obama’s nominee for Amb. to Japan, drew stares. Others spotted around the room: WJLA’s Rebecca Cooper, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, The Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol (who is far shorter in person than we imagined), FNC’s Greta Van Susteren and husband, John Coale, WaPo‘s Jackie Kucinich, ex-TWT Editor Sam Dealey, TWT‘s senior opinion writer Emily Miller, The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas, Politico‘s Dylan Byers, The Hill‘s Emily Goodin, CQ Roll Call‘s Abby Livingston, Slate‘s Dave Weigel, TIME‘s Michael Crowley, MSNBC’s Karen Finney, lefty radio host Bill Press, Speaker John Boehner‘s spokesman Michael Steel and wife, Mary Kathryn Covert, lobbyist Jack Quinn and wife, Susanna, Americans for Tax Reform Prez Grover Norquist, NRSC’s fiery Brad Dayspring, and consultant Brian Walsh.

CNNer’s spotted in the crowd: CNN President Jeff Zucker, Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist, Jessica Yellin, Dana Bash, Brianna Keilar, Wolf Blitzer, Gloria Borger, Candy Crowley (without a shred of makeup), Wendell Goler, Matt Dornic, and Edie Emery.

Asked about Cupp, his conservative co-host, Jones said, “S.E. is the most likeable person ever born. I think they created her in a lab. She hypnotizes you and then she goes in for the kill.”

Cupp also had a thing or two to say about Jones. Read more

Politico’s Mike Allen Sees Dead People

Tuesday night’s big party celebrating the return of “Crossfire” was held at the Carnegie Library. As expected, it was QUITE the affair. Newt Gingrich, Stephanie Cutter, S.E. Cupp and Van Jones were all in attendance and mingled with all the V.I.P. guests.

Naturally, Politico’s Mike Allen ran through some of the faces spotted in the crowd. Bill Burton, Dylan Byers, Laura Ingraham, Rep. Mark Sanford and his fiancé were there, according to Allen. One name that stuck out in his Tuesday morning Playbook was former “Crossfire” host Tom Braden and four of his children.

The only problem is… Braden is dead. Read more

TWT Names New Editorial Page Editor

After Brett Decker quit his job as TWT Editorial Page Editor in November 2012, the paper slid former controversial Editor Wes Pruden into the job. But just temporarily. True to their word, they’ve finally named a new editor to their opinion pages — it’s David Keene. He was appointed Sunday, according to a release distributed this morning. Previous editorial page editors included the now deceased Tony Blankley and Tony Snow.

Most recently, Keene stepped down as president of the National Rifle Association. He is also a former GOP presidential advisor to Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and candidates Bob Dole and Mitt Romney. He was also an aide to former Vice President to Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew.

But for anyone who feared (or hoped) that Pruden might drift back into retirement, it just isn’t happening. “The Times also announced that Editor Emeritus Wesley Pruden, who came out of retirement to reorganize the opinion pages in January, will remain in a full-time capacity directing and producing editorials,” says the release. He will also continue writing his twice-weekly column.

See a few flowery quotes from TWT CEO Larry Beasley (a.k.a. Evil Santa)… Read more

CNN’s New ‘Crossfire’: Newt Gingrich, S.E. Cup, Stephanie Cutter and Van Jones

This just in from CNN…our sister site, TVNewser, first to report it.

CNN today announced that Crossfire will return to the network this fall. Hosting from the right will be Newt Gingrich and S.E. Cupp, with Stephanie Cutter and Van Jones hosting from the left.

“Few programs in the history of CNN have had the kind of impact on political discourse that Crossfire did – it was a terrific program then, and we believe the time is right to bring it back and do it again,” said Jeff Zucker, President of CNN Worldwide in a  release. “We look forward to the opportunity to host passionate conversation from all sides of the political spectrum. Crossfire will be the forum where America holds its great debates.”

Newt Cozies Up With the Paparazzi

Newt Gingrich may despise journalists as debate moderators, but the pap? He’s all smiles and jokes with them at National Airport last night as Celebrity Q and A’s Colin Drummond questions him about Abraham Lincoln being a Packers fan.

Reporters Watch Out: Political Prodigy Returns

krohn-4.jpeg Jonathan Krohn, the 14-year-old conservative pip-squeak who caught the attention of former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) after a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference(CPAC) earlier this year, is coming back.

In mid-February, Krohn, dubbed “The Little Conservative” by The New York Times, will again attend CPAC. He’ll have no official speaking role, but has been honing his oratory skills by speaking at Tea Parties around the country.

His upcoming book, Defining Conservatism: The Principles That Will Bring Our Country Back, has sparked praise from Gingrich and syndicated radio host Mike Gallagher, who says: “Any time I am depressed about the state of the country or the future of the modern conservative movement, I consider two words: Jonathan Krohn.”

By the way, he dedicates his book to the late Ronald Reagan, the late William F. Buckley, Jr. and the late Barry Goldwater.

Krohn, who turns 15 in March, is a homeschooled only child who lives in Atlanta with his parents.

Sneak Peak at NJ‘s Insiders Poll

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National Journal revealed its Insiders Poll this afternoon on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.” The announcement was followed by a sneak peak in Hotline On Call.

As it turns out, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) is among those lawmakers who insiders would like to see muted (but no, she’s not #1). On the R side, the list includes Fox News’s Glenn Beck (who got play last night on Barbara Walters 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009) and GOP Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman.

Members with the brightest future: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Creative thinkers: Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA). Best political strategists: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and President Bush’s former top aide Karl Rove.

The publication reveals full polls Friday in the Dec. 12th edition.

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