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Posts Tagged ‘Phil Griffin’

Ronan Farrow Wants to Shake Things Up

Ronan_Farrow_HeadshotRonan Farrow, the famed activist son of Mia Farrow and ?, is joining the cast of MSNBC. He’ll have a one-hour weekday program that will begin in 2014.

MSNBC Prez Phil Griffin made the announcement today.

“This is a new generation of news show for a new, more engaged generation of viewers. It’s a show about why the news matters to you – and what you can do to be a part of the story,” said Farrow in a release. “I’m excited to shake up people’s expectations for cable news. And to get a ton of Twitter followers.”

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A Book Party for Chris Matthews

tipreaganbook

Look for MSNBC President Phil Griffin at a network-hosted book party for Chris Matthews on October 15. Matthews’ new book is Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked. He worked as a top aide to the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill for six years.

The venue is PJ Clarke’s Sidecar, located a stone’s throw from the White House.

By invitation only.

‘Hardball’ Leaves 5 p.m. Slot

Make way for Ed Schultz. The blustery MSNBC host moves from the dungeons of weekend duty to 5 p.m. weekdays, which is normally reserved for the first edition of “Hardball” followed by a repeat at 7 p.m. Now “Hardball” will be only at 7 p.m.

The announcement was made today by MSNBC President Phil Griffin.

See what Griffin had to say… Read more

MRC’s Prez Despises NBC

Considering Media Research Center President Brent Bozell last month called for the resignations of MSNBC’s Al Sharpton and Ed Schultz, it’s hardly eyebrow raising that today he rejected NBC’s apology regarding George Zimmerman‘s 9-11 call. At this point you’d think he’d insist that MSNBC President Phil Griffin take part in a dunking contest and you can guess who’d be in the tank.

Last night, NBC issued a two sentence explanation on the NBC apology regarding Zimmer. Bozell says that this is as dishonest as the original piece, and issued his own reaction.

“We reject this fraudulent apology,” said Bozell in a statement today.  “We’re not surprised. After all, NBC ‘investigated’ itself. We again call on Comcast, not NBC, to investigate this matter — thoroughly, honestly, and professionally.”

Bozell asserts that NBC has lost its credibility as a news organization.  “That final question is the most important. With this farce of an ‘apology’ NBC has lost its credibility — completely.”

Incest Desk: Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson Uncovers Media Matters in Bed With White House, MSNBC and Certain Scribes

Late Sunday night, The Daily Caller published its first story in what will be an investigative series about Media Matters for America and its allegedly cozy relationship with the Obama Administration, MSNBC and certain scribes such as WaPo‘s “The Plumline” blogger Greg Sergent and BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith. The story names a number of journalists and outlets who have purportedly always been “game” for accepting leaks from MMFA. Apart from the aforementioned Sergent and Smith, they include MSNBC President Phil Griffin, Daily Kos, Salon, HuffPost‘s Sam Stein and former editor Nico Pitney, LAT‘s Jim Rainey and San Francisco Chronicle‘s Joe Garofoli.

The project was a group effort: Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson, who doesn’t normally attach his byline on a lead story, and Vince Coglianese are the primary authors, with Alex Pappas and Will Rahn contributing.

The story centers on MMFA Founder David Brock and his reportedly systematic effort to “influence” the national media. Former and current employees describe what they allege to be his erratic, manic and paranoid behavior in the workplace, badmouthing Obama in social settings, cocaine use and more. The degree of security around Brock is astonishing.

An excerpt: The threat he faced while smoking on his roof? “Snipers,” a former co-worker recalled.

“He had more security than a Third World dictator,” one employee said, explaining that Brock’s bodyguards would rarely leave his side, even accompanying him to his home in an affluent DC neighborhood each night, where they “stood post” to protect him. “What movement leader has a detail?” asked someone who saw it.

A little comic relief: Brock apparently can’t stand ugly people, and once wanted to can a researcher for his or her looks. “‘David really doesn’t like ugly people,’” one employee explains.

Part I has a little something for everyone: war room researchers having sex at work, drugs, guns and mental illness.

Brock and the named reporters chose not to defend themselves… The piece is predominately comprised of anonymous sources, but there are a lot of them, and internal memos such as one stating that “Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage.” Neither Sergent nor Smith would comment for the story despite requests. Brock also had no response. “I called Brock’s cell and office, texted him and sent notes to both of his email addresses,” Carlson told FishbowlDC. “No response. Disappointing.”

MSNBC to Fete Matthews & New Book

On Wednesday, November 2nd Phil Griffin and MSNBC will toast to the release of new book “Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero.”  Penned by Hardball host Chris Matthews, the biography promises to shed a light on JFK’s role in the genesis of the Peace Corps, his stand on civil rights, his push to put a man on the moon, his ban on nuclear arms testing, and the origins of his inaugural call to “Ask what you can do for your country.”

The invite-only event will be held at the Hay Adams Hotel from 7.30 – 9.30 pm.  For more information or to pre-order Matthews’ “Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero,” click here.

Happy 15th Birthday MSNBC!

MSNBC President Phil Griffin and wife, Kory Apton

Former Democratic PA Gov. Ed Rendell and NBC’s Andrea Mitchell

MSNBC’s top brass pulled out the metaphorical pom poms Thursday night for the network’s 15th birthday party in downtown Washington. MSNBC President Phil Griffin dramatically climbed stairs, looked out at the crowd and profoundly praised some of the network’s top stars such as Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and Chuck Todd.

On Schultz: “Honesty he’s got more heart than anyone on TV.”  On Todd: “Honestly the best political show in the morning after the 9 o’clock hour,” Griffin told a chuckling audience, making a clear reference to the popular “Morning Joe.” On Matthews: “He’s the heart and soul of MSNBC.” He praised Mitchell for being to go all over the world and back just to meet a deadline.

Matthews arrived at 7:45 p.m., an hour and a half after the party began, and left within 25 minutes. While awaiting his turn to speak, he folded his arms tightly to his chest and had a sourpuss look planted on his face — this is typical Matthews. Grumpy. Impatient. Glancing skeptically around the room.  He did manage dry humor. “Thank you for letting me speak freely, mostly,” he said pointedly, eying Griffin. Matthews then gave a shout-out to former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, a star in this D.C.-centric crowd. “He’s skinnier than he should be,” Matthews said. “I liked it better when he was fat.” At the end of his speech, his speech turned into a one-man pep rally with each passing word getting louder and LOUDER to the point where people turned to look at one another.

During Griffin’s speech, one chatty D.C. writer got the evil eye as he told the vast crowd to quiet down. “It’s like I am in high school. I was always getting yelled at for talking during the program,” the writer whispered to FishbowlDC.

Moving on to more unusual party topics: the Casey Anthony trial and CNN’s dumping of Eliot Spitzer. FishbowlDC polled a wide swath of journos at the party. We asked, “What did you think of the Casey Anthony verdict?” Most were happy to respond, even if their answer was that they purposefully stayed as far away from story as possible.

“That and synchronized swimming,” said MSNBC Contributor Richard Wolffe, naming topics besides the Casey Anthony trial that he doesn’t readily discuss. “Justice is blind and so am I.” Onto the topic of Spitzer, Wolffe remarked, “Inevitable. That was so predictable. Smart guy, but the show never took off. I don’t think you can find redemption  by anchoring a cable TV show. Redemption requires good deeds, community service and charitable work.”

Strangely, Schultz went mute on the topic of the trial and would not say a single word about that or anything. His amiable wife, Wendy, tried to coax him out of his shell. “This is a fun little event,” she said eating chips and guacamole. “Come on Eddie.” No budging. No speaking. Wendy kindly responded to our questions. She said neither she nor Ed followed the trial in any in-depth way.

The couple, who have been married for 13 years,  lives part-time in Detroit Lakes, Minn. and the rest in Manhattan. Wendy prefers Minnesota. She says she offers her husband feedback, but always makes sure it’s supportive. “I give him honest feedback,” she said. “A lot of it is pillow talk. I’ve always encouraged him.”

Read about the journo who got scolded by Griffin and see more photographs…

Read more

Palin, Cee Lo Create Spectacle @ MSNBC After Party


While attendees at another post-WHCD party struggled to gain admittance due to their host’s chronic and unapologetic guest list failures, MSNBC’s guests breezed though check-in and down a sprawling red carpet to the Italian Embassy.  Rather than watching celebrities make their way to an isolated VIP space, MSNBC’s guests rubbed elbows with the likes of Glee’s Jayne Lynch, SNL’s Andy Samberg, Valerie Jarrett, Meghan McCain, Eliot Spitzer, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), Bristol Palin with aunt Molly McCann and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL).

Perhaps the weekend’s best event, MSNBC’s soiree drew a huge array of journalists – many from competitive networks.   CNN was represented by Ed Henry and Shirley Hung Henry, Edie Emery, Peter Hamby, Mark Whitaker, Sam Feist, Roland Martin, David Bohrman, and Christa Robinson.  We spotted ABC’s Rick Klein, Jim Sciutto and Polson Kanneth, as well as CBS’s Christine Delargy.  Fox News anchor Bret Baier was there.   And so was Greta Van Susteren who made quite an entrance when she and husband John Coale appeared with Todd and Sarah Palin.  The family Palin was swarmed by cameras and party-goers only moments before Cee Lo Green took the stage to perform a short set including his hit song “F**k You.”  As Palin posed for what seemed like thousands of photos, Todd, Bristol and Molly conversed with the hoards of guests who circled their table in the room’s far corner.

“We’re still getting used to this,” Sarah’s sister Molly admitted to FishbowlDC.  “I find it kind of exciting but I’m not around it all the time,” she added.

As we turned away, we nearly bumped into WaPo‘s Ezra Klein who was doing a drive-by “Mean Girls” impression.  The liberal blogger laughed out loud and rolled his eyes as he passed by Palin-palooza.  Back on the dance floor, another former governor was getting a different kind of attention from one Kiki Ryan.  The fearless reporter’s blonde ambition must have been in overdrive on Saturday because we hear she tried to persuade Eliot Spitzer to shake his groove thing.  He kindly declined:

From @burgerinfo:
@keeekster(@Italian Em):Mr. Spitzer,would you like to dance?
Spitzer: Dancings not really my forte
@keeekster:Thats not what I hear #winning

Besides our favorite celebrity bartender and TV host Rachel Maddow who spent the evening slinging drinks, NBCers like Luke Russert, Kelly O’Donnell, Domenico Montanaro, Phil Griffin, Tanya Hayre, Ed Schultz, Dylan Ratigan, Erika Masonhall, Betsy Fischer, Savannah Guthrie and Contessa Brewer were among the guests gifted Starbucks swag, a slice of pizza and bottle of Fiji as they left the fete in the morning’s wee hours.

Spike Lee Directs New MSNBC Ads

MSNBC debuted new “Lean Forward” ads today featuring the network’s four primetime hosts: Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz.

But there’s something different about the ads this time around. They’re directed by Spike Lee, and Oscar-nominated Matthew Libatique, who worked on “Black Swan,” served as the director of photography.

According to a press release, the ads were “all shot completely unscripted” and will appear on television, msnbc.com, and in movie theaters across the country this summer. Separate print ads will run in “major publications.”

“These ads are unlike anything else,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin said. “They are mini-documentaries that express the passion of our primetime hosts. You’re able to truly learn what drives them and why their audience tunes in to watch their shows.”

Check out the new ad campaign here.

MSNBC’s WHCD Party Lands at Embassy of Italy

It begins…

Embassy of Italy

MSNBC and Phil Griffin officially kicked off prom season this evening with the release of an invitation to their White House Correspondents’ Dinner After Party.  Last year the network made a splash by hosting  a blowout, post-dinner bash at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in downtown Washington.  Guests like Chelsea Handler, Kim Kardashian, Jon Bon Jovi and Morgan Freeman grooved to a live performance by KC and the Sunshine Band, nibbled on funky finger food and sipped cocktails mixed with love by celebrity bartender, Rachel Maddow.

This year’s event will be held at the Embassy of Italy and benefits classrooms in need through DonorsChoose.org.  No word on what surprises MSNBC has up their sleeves but we look forward to finding out on April 30th.

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