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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Begala’

Brennan Center’s Michael Waldman Celebrates ‘The Second Amendment: A Biography’

Photo courtesy Hollywood on the Potomac.

Photo courtesy Hollywood on the Potomac.

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, was celebrated Tuesday night at the offices of The Agenda Project in Georgetown on his recent publication The Second Amendment: A Biography by Simon & Schuster. The book explores “the life story of the most controversial, volatile, misunderstood provision of the Bill of Rights.”

“You can have gun rights. But like all rights, they’re limited,” said Waldman in conversation with Hollywood on the Potomac. “And we have limitations on all rights and the public good has to have its place too. So I think that real clarity – whatever gun rights it may be – that when the public safety is threatened by something like assault rifles, we have the ability to pass those laws.”

Click through for those in attendance and Hollywood on the Potomac’s full Q&A with Waldman on the history of the Second Amendment and where it stands today. Read more

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Weekend Show Preview: 5.23 – 25

Who’s on the talk shows this weekend? Glad you asked!

Sunday:

CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.); Sen. John Thune (R-SD); Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.); David Finkel, author of Thank You For Your Service; Col. Tom Manion, author of Brothers Forever; WaPo‘s Dana Priest; Ben Carson, author of One Nation; Jarrett Bell, USA Today Sports; TIME’s Sean Gregory; Steven Silverman, plaintiff’s attorney in NFL lawsuit

“Fox News Sunday”Derek Bennett, chief of staff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Dr. Margaret Moxness, a VA hospital whistleblower; Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

NBC’s “Meet the Press” : TBA

ABC’s “This Week” : Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; former Utah governor Jon HuntsmanPaul Rieckhoff, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America CEO and founder

Univision’s “Al Punto” José Manuel Mireles, leader of the militia in Michoacán, Mexico; John O. Brennan; director, Central Intelligence Agency; María Antonieta CollinsBarbara Walters; musician Carlos Santana

CNN’s “State of the Union” : Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN); Penny Lee, former director, Democratic Governors Association; Corey Dade, blogger at The Take, The Root, NPR contributor; Alex Castellanos; Wes Moore, Army veteran, advocate, filmmaker

Read more

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

Anonymous Sourcing: Haberman Style

The more creative anonymous sourcing gets the harder it is to guess who may be doing the talking. And in Washington, it’s rampant as many sensitive spokespeople hardly ever want to go on the record about anything no matter how important or absurdly innocuous the information may be.

In Politico this morning is a whopper of an insider story by Maggie Haberman published at 4:59 a.m. on Huma Abedin, the victim-scorned wife of New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner. The larger point of the story is that Huma’s friends, who once had her “support,” now have their “concern.” In short: What the hell is she still doing with him? They don’t come out that boldly, but just enough to get their point across. While her friends are “concerned,” the media, writes Haberman, has gone from “sympathetic” to “savage.” The piece uses mostly anonymous sourcing outside of Clinton Camp intimate and CNN Contributor Paul Begala. Here is the impressive variety of anonymous descriptors she used:

1. “her friends.”

2. “their worry”

3. Our favorite: “The feelings about Weiner in Clintonland are unequivocal, according to one someone close to the couple: ‘Everyone’s done with him.’”

4. “Multiple sources familiar with the Clintons’ thinking”

5. “Everyone loves her to death,” said a Clinton ally who’s worked with her.

6. “sources said”

7. “Clinton insiders and allies insist they don’t believe Abedin has become a liability for the former Secretary of State…”

8. “Within Clinton-world…”

9. “’Two years ago [it was] caring about Huma, and now it’s concern for Huma,’ said a second Clinton ally, who, like almost everyone interviewed, asked not to be identified.”

10. “said one senior Democrat, who asked for anonymity”

 11. “One Clinton insider…”

12. “One source”

13. “Another source”

14. “Several other people with ties to the Clintons say…”

15. “Clinton aides say…”

16. “Several Clinton allies pointed out…”

Why King Won’t Touch Weiner

Hmmm…there’s something a little fishy happening over at CNN. John King, the chief national correspondent who usually does all the analysis on top news stories, has been mysteriously off the Anthony Weiner beat. King’s ex-wife, Dana Bash, who is the congressional reporter, has been all over it. But King? Nowhere to be found on the topic of Weiner. The morning show, “New Day,” even brought in Gloria Borger Wednesday to discuss the sext-crazed lawmaker. Today they brought on Democratic pundit Paul Begala. King, meanwhile, considered to be among cable news’ top political minds, weighed in on the considerably less sexy stories of Caroline Kennedy being nominated for ambassador to Japan and an upcoming student loan bill coming before Congress. Yesterday “New Day” didn’t have him on at all. And considering every clump of news stories, according to CNN transcripts, in the past two days has been wall to wall Weiner, that’s, um, peculiar.

Gee could it be that they don’t want King, who’s not exactly known as Husband of the Year and also shares a love of younger women, to discuss a cheater? Or maybe he’s too busy mentoring an intern? They already sauntered down that path when King seriously pissed off Newt Gingrich during a presidential debate by asking him about his ex-wife’s accusations that he wanted an open marriage. “I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that!” Gingrich replied, blasting him. “I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office.” Yikes. Guess they didn’t want to dip into that well again.

Good thinking CNN!

Morning Chatter

“No, I told you I don’t watch the news. … I don’t watch the news.”Rachel Jeantel, star witness in the George Zimmerman trial during cross examination, discussing how she knew this was thought to be a “racially charged event.”

Defending Glenn Greenwald

“The smears against @ggreenwald begin: Glenn has not been kind to me in the past, but these attacks are disgusting.” — The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza, who links to this story.

Advice for NPR

“#NPR pull on your Big Boy Pants. Declare independence from federal handouts.” — WTOP VP of News and Programming Jim Farley.

Phew! Glad that’s settled!

“To be clear, I’m not editorializing, I’m asking questions out loud. I don’t know the answers.” — The Guardian‘s National Security Editor Spencer Ackerman.

Dan Savage reacts to DOMA decision

“Human rights are universal, marriage is a human right, gay people are human, we exist in this universe. #NotThatComplicated.” — Syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who was recently in Washington for a book signing at the W.

Reporter complains in Paris

“Hey, Paris: I was cool with McDonalds, sorta OK with Starbucks. But SUBWAY? Get it together.” — Yahoo! News’ Olivier Knox.

Hey Bolt Bus: What the hell?

“Dear @BoltBus: can someone please explain to me why I’m on I-97 towards Annapolis right now? This is worst route to DC I’ve ever seen.” — Reason mag’s Preston Cornish.

Dedication is…

“NOTE: your pooler explored the possibility of an in-flight pool report via a call from Air Force One. But by the time we were preparing to make the call, the transcript of the previous exchange with Carney was already being sent out to the list.” — NYT’s Michael Shear in a White House Pool Report en route to Africa.

And decency is…

“Congrats to @newtgingrich, @stefcutter, @VanJones68 & @secupp: new hosts of new Crossfire. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. #CNN” — CNN Contributor Paul Begala.

Black bear in Maureen Orth’s hood 

“So this is the black bear that was running around my mom’s neighborhood this AM in #DC Red Panda started trend.” — NBC’s Luke Russert. Orth writes for Vanity Fair. By far the worst response to Luke’s tweet came from retired San Diego-based “white liberal guy” Bob LaPolla, who wrote, “@LukeRussert it was your dad reincarnated.” WTF planet are you living on, LaPolla?

Nobody Puts Donna in the Corner

Democratic pundit Donna Brazile is always in the mood to dance.

So she informed FishbowlDC recently when asked about the Points of Life Conference at which she danced with FNC’s Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly. At the conference she introduced Rove and former Obama advisor David Plouffe.

She did what?

That’s right. Brazile is friendly with her pundit pals no matter what side of the aisle they’re on and she isn’t ashamed. On air she might hold fast to her lefty causes, but off, she bonds with all  of ‘em — Rove, O’Reilly, Carlson, Will, Begala, Carville and more. (If you don’t believe us, watch her dance with Rove via BuzzFeed here.)

“Karl and I have been friends for a long time,” Brazile told FishbowlDC. …”Rove is fun especially when he’s not plotting a campaign to defeat you.” She continued on with a flurry of pundit namedropping:  “Also have dance pics with Wolf Blitzer. Plouffe gave me a great hug. Oh, add Tucker Carlson, Antonio Villeragosos et al [sic]. Been dancing since I learned how to walk. If the music moves you, you gotta dance.” (Might want to work on that spelling of LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, but we get the picture!)

She wasn’t finished. “I call George Will when I want to attend a baseball game, Ed Gillespie for business tips, Paul Begala for reality checks and James Carville for down home cooking,” she said. “He makes the best Cajun burgers. My motto is to find the good and praise it.”

Brazile says she connects with O’Reilly because he’s passionate about the Wounded Warrior Project – a favorite of her father, a Korean Vet who passed away last year.  “My friends span the partisan divide,” she said. “And many are simply non-partisan and dislike politics.”

 

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Bo Obama’s future boyfriend: “I dedicate this 5,001th tweet to twitter star Japser, his new gop collar and his America pillow. Thanks Jasper!” — FNC’s Dana Perino

Begala advertises his critic

Husband, father and citizen MattRGilbertson writes, “@PaulBegala Confidence in Paul Begala, sadly, at all time low.” (As RT by CNN Democratic Commentator Paul Begala.)

Caucasian journo self-conscious when ordering “gringo” tacos

“Whenever I order the “gringo” tacos at Super Taco, they must be thinking, ‘Of course HE would.’” – Washington City Paper’s City Desk reporter Will Sommer.

Dunkin’ Donut clerk gets brutally honest with TV journo

“Working near Dunkin Donuts. Had 2 for lunch. Went in later for bathroom. Clerk looked at me and said ‘you dont need another donut.’” — ABC7′s Stephen Tschida.

Dare to dream…“I wish people would learn how Twitter works before engaging sometimes.” — Breitbart.com and CNN Contributor Dana Loesch.

What does it take to make Ed Henry’s day shine?

“My day brightens ever so slightly … Sheila E. will be performing at the President’s event in North Las Vegas #80′srock” — FNC White House Correspondent Ed Henry.

Too much patchouli is never optimal

“If you told me a month ago that climate would be a major issue in last week of election, I’d have said the patchouli was going to your head.” — BuzzFeed Washington Editor John Stanton.

The Critic

Eva Longoria pronounces “Nevada” wrong. #journalism” — Yahoo! NewsChris Moody.

Quote Taken Out of Context

“Great. First, it was the liberal trolls. Now I’m getting Jew-hating trolls.” — Conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain.

Dept. of Bragiculture: A special shout-out to Patricia Blaze, who was watching ABC’s “The View” Thursday and caught Whoopi and Joy chatting about a mediabistro story about Mitt Romney being the butt of late night jokes.

See who made our FishbowlDC Fan Club Board this week…

Read more

Pundits, Journos Get Pounded (Again)

Journos and pundits felt the sting of strangers’ words last night as they covered the debate. Such is the norm these days in online media.

As Matthew Ortega (who’s he? beats us, we’d never heard of his highness before), a hip hop aficionado and a digital director in Washington, proceeded to call us “trash”, RedState Editor and CNN Contributor Erick Erickson was also taking his online beating. “You sir are an idiot,” declared Sam Cantanzaro (i.e. @samsfoodblog).

Even The Fix, WaPo‘s politically neutral blog wasn’t immune. “Losers: you,” remarked @johnspeake. To which the blog’s proprietor, Chris Cillizza, graciously replied, “Always.”

WaPo‘s Ezra Klein lashed out more generally at all pundits, even though he often straddles a delicate line of punditry, journalism and Democratic strategy. “If pundits want to say who won politically, as opposed to on substance, they should wait for polls of actual voters,” he wrote.

Of course there’s always an element of pettiness that emerges on nights like these. “John King needs a haircut. Time pressure of a campaign must be keeping him from the barber,” wrote Ari Fleischer, a bald CNN Contributor who appeared on the network last night alongside the hairy King.

And insults are a pastime. “The fact that Chris Wallace poses as a straight news reporter is a total joke,” wrote ClearChannel’s Colby Hall, referring to the “Fox News Sunday” host “What a douche.”

During the previous debate, CNN Democratic Political Contributor Paul Begala was told to get a brain and grow some hair. This time, the brilliantly named @eatmerawson remarked, “Paul Begala, you always look like you’ve just sucked on a lemon when you speak on air. Eat some more lemons sourpuss.” Eat Me Raw tagged on a smiley face for good measure.

At 11:22 p.m. Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation came unglued and… Read more

Pundits, Journos Take a Beating

Pundits and journos of opposing political persuasions took their share of punches last night as debate coverage rolled late into the night.

CNN’s Paul Begala: From a follower — “Paul, grow some hair, and get a brain!!”

CNN’s Ari Fleischer: From Ari — “So according to Twitter I’m a magical undead gentle greyhound lizard zombie vampire vulcan. Got it.” This stemmed from follower Emily Pranger, who wrote, “Whoa. Ari Shapiro looks undead.” Chris Dlugosz added, “I never realized until now that Ari Shapiro looks liks a magical gentle lizard.” And yet another Emily wrote, “Presidential debate. This Ari Shapiro guy looks like he’s 15 and 97 all at once. Without a doubt a vampire.”

CNN’s David Gergen: “David Gergen looks like a thumb.” — IowaHawk‘s David Burge.

Breitbart.com‘s and CNN Contributor Dana Loesch: From a follower, Selena Hines — “@DLoesch Oh shut up! I’m about sick of you!! Romney has been disrespectful the entire debate! Your probably racist.”

The Daily Caller‘s Matt Lewis: From Lewis — “An angry reader ends an email to me with this: ‘May God have mercy on your soul.’”

MetroWeekly Co-Publisher Sean Bugg had feedback for CNN as a whole. Or else a confessional. He wrote, “CNN just hurts my eyes before I can even get to any sort of judgment about their journalism.” And Barron‘s Washington Editor James McTague agreed, saying, “Small wonder CNN ratings are so low.”

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