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Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Maddow’

Afternoon Reading List 07.24.13.

Press conferences are not couples therapy — Anthony Weiner (a.k.a. Carlos Danger’s) presser yesterday dropped a bombshell and released a mushroom cloud of cable news commentary. But Laura Bennett of TNR argues that sex scandal press conferences are being treated like couples therapy, and they shouldn’t be. As Bennet points out, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell enlisted the help of a sex therapist last night for a segment on “standing by your man,” and Rachel Maddow was chastising Weiner’s “redemption tour” and his “online, no-pants exchanges.” On Fox, Donald Trump diagnosed Weiner as “a sick guy.” A common theme among all cable coverage of sex scandals, Bennett writes, has become close analysis of the body language, rhetoric and chemistry of the politician and “the good wife.” In the past, the disgraced politician’s wife’s silence and solemn looks left the door wide open to this type of interpretation. But at yesterday’s press conference, Huma (known by her first name in Washington, as CNN’s Dana Bush noted) took the podium herself, seemingly leaving little room for interpretation of her feelings. But that didn’t stop the media from giving the replay of the presser a close analysis.

Why you should read it: The sex scandal press conference has become almost like a championship sports game, complete with post-game analysis. But Bennet offers insight that this type of analysis shouldn’t continue with the next sex scandal, which is sure to be just around the corner.

Where do speeches come from? — As President Obama gave his speech on economic policy today, there is little evidence of the multiple drafts, copious notes and many discussions that went into writing it. Yahoo! NewsOliver Knox sat down with head speechwriter Cody Keenan for an inside look at how the speech went from an idea in early June to Obama delivering the speech at Knox College. Beginning with a half-hour meeting on June 14, in which Knox took detailed notes of “unfiltered POTUS,” Keenan assembled a 20-page outline that turned into the first draft. Working long hours with many people, Obama included, the speech became “tidier and tidier” until it was ready to go. Keenan mostly goes under the president’s direction, but occasionally argues against a presidential edit, though it’s rare. His office is full of political memorabilia, but Keenan’s favorite item is a signed football from 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears. Knox closes the piece with a sharp left turn, quoting Keenan saying that “Mike Ditka [who coached the team] could have prevented Barack Obama from becoming president, because he almost ran against him in ’04, in Illinois.” Hmmm… Ditka 2016, anyone?

Why you should read it: Knox provides a fairly detailed account of a speech’s journey from idea to delivery. Keenan also works ungodly hours in a basement office, so it may also help you feel better about your work schedule.

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Journalists and Their Animal Twins

We’re taking Separated at Birth to new, deeper and ridiculous heights today. We liked BuzzFeed‘s rendition of this with members of Congress so much that we decided to steal the idea for our own fishy purposes. Enjoy!

10. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and a Wooley sheep.

9. Slate‘s Dave Weigel and a sloth.

8. Katrina vanden Heuvel and an Afghan breed of dog.

7. Breitbart NewsMatthew Boyle and a chipmunk. Hey, they don’t call those chipmunk cheeks for nothing right? We’re talking about the chipmunk, of course.

6. HuffPost‘s Michael Calderone and these exaggerated versions of his dark eyes in some cool cats we found online.

5. ABC’s Martha Raddatz and a blonde Afghan breed of dog.

4. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and a dog with reading glasses.

Don’t miss the top three…

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In Memoriam: Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings, a writer for Buzzfeed and Rollling Stone best known for the career-ending profile of Gen. Stanely McChrystal, was killed yesterday in a car crash in Los Angeles.

News of Hasting’s death first came Tuesday afternoon from BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, who posted a note on the site that said,”We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone.”

“Michael was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians,” Smith said in his note. “He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold.”

Rolling Stone followed with an obituary a few minutes later.

Hastings’ hallmark as reporter was his refusal to cozy up to power. While other embedded reporters were charmed by McChrystal’s bad-boy bravado and might have excused his insubordination as a joke, Hastings was determined to expose the recklessness of a man leading what Hastings believed to be a reckless war.

Buzzfeed has a full story about Hastings here, there are tributes from the Buzzfeed staff here and finally, a collection of remembrances from other journalists, here.

Read on for a selection:

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Fox’s Roger Ailes Seizes the Moment

So you’ve been given a major award and you plan to graciously accept it with a speech about how you got where you are in life, the people who helped you along the way, how humbled you are to even have been nominated, etc., etc., etc. Well, you’re a fool.

Take a lesson from Fox New Chairman Roger Ailes, who knows exactly what award acceptance speeches are really for: shrewd attacks on political enemies, deft displays of one’s lack of self-awareness and boldly told, yet mostly discredited conspiracy theories.

Ailes was at the Kennedy Center last night to receive the Bradley Prize from the Bradley Foundation, a conservative group that honors those it thinks have most advanced its mission of limited government and free markets. After Ailes said he was donating the $250,000 that comes with the award to a charity for senior citizens, he got right down to business. Here’s the Cliff Notes version: American exceptionalism, immigrants, Benghazi, President Obama, election fraud (with poor people), immigration again, the IRS, healthcare, and some more American exceptionalism. Read on for a few choice selections:

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

MAKING AN ENTRANCE AND AN EXIT: Host of “CBS This Morning” Gayle King walked into the Washington Hilton on Saturday night in an eye-popping kelly green gown by Vicky Tiel. On Friday night, she was spotted leaving the Turkish Embassy residence where The Hill was hosting its pre-WHCD party.

“Don’t hurt yourself.” — A St. Regis employee to guests of Friday night’s TIME-People party at which partygoers, many of whom were White House correspondents, received gift bags so heavy they could give you a hernia. More on the contents later…

Humility is…

“I have been told many times I look like @MatthewPerry. I just saw him at #nerdprom. He is far better looking.” — The Hill’s Managing Editor Bob Cusack.

Editor wants WHCD weekend to be more substantive

“It kind of sickens me when you’re here for the White House Correspondents’ Weekend that there are not more substantive discussions.” — Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large for The Atlantic, who hosted a discussion over the weekend with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Sen. Joe Manchin (R-WVa.) at the Ritz. The banquet room was packed. Breakfast disappeared too fast. The discussion centered on American military power today. Attendees included BuzzFeed Washington Bureau Chief John Stanton, NJ‘s Brian Fung, Yahoo! NewsChris Moody, Newsweek-Daily Beast‘s Eli Lake and The Atlantic‘s Jay Lauf.

A plea for help

“Someone catch me up on the last 9 days of news.” — Politico White House Correspondent Byron Tau.

Important Q to Ponder: “In a cab going to the airport but our driver is sleepy so he has the window down – to freeze or get into an accident?” — Oversharing Sherri Shepherd, co-host of ABC’s “The View.”

HuffPost‘s Sam Stein “impressed” with Politico

ThinkProgress‘ Judd Legum: “Politico currently has 54 separate links to stories abt WHCA Dinner on its front page.”

Huffpost‘s Sam Stein: “I’m kind of impressed.”

And in Bob Schieffer, Claire Danes father-daughter news… 

“Someone asked Bob Schieffer if he was Claire Danes’ daddy.” — former White House reporter Myles Miller.

Some buzz on BuzzFeed Party

“CSPAN showing super long line for @BuzzFeed party. A lot of sad faces who can’t get in #buzzfeedbbq” — Washington Examiner‘s Charlie Spiering. And this from Roll Call HOH’s Warren Rojas: “Crowd in #BuzzFeedbbq just let out very self-satisfied collective whoop after @cspan live shot of line @JackRoseinDC #counterwhcd”

Psy or is it more like Sigh?

“Psy just walked by me. I feel somehow cooler. Or at least more relevant.” — WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza. Good thing Cillizza didn’t actually try to communicate with Psy.

Starting new pub is stressful

“Rare has oped from Jeb Bush today so big relief we can get the big names when so new. I’m on pins and needles every day.” — Rare Editor-in-Chief Brett Decker. See here. Will Jeb run or won’t he? Who knows, but his last graph sounds rather presidential. He writes, “American greatness comes from the power of individuals – not the government – to create wealth and opportunity through competition, innovation and empowerment. Not only must we pursue reform, we must do a much better job communicating how these reforms protect and promote the genius of America.”

 

More WHCD fallout…

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Aasif Mandvi: ‘Conan Had Best Joke of Night’

The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi gave fellow comedian Conan O’Brien a big thumbs up today, insisting he had the best joke of the night.

“Yeah, I thought he was good,” said Mandvi. “It’s a tough gig talking to people while they’re eating and following President Obama. I thought he was very funny and had the best joke of the night — the Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow joke.”

The joke involved comparing Obama and House Speaker John Boehner getting together to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “Nothin’s gonna happen,” he cracked.

The highlight of Mandvi’s weekend? “I guess meeting Michelle from Downton Abbey. I’m a huge Downton Abbey fan.”

Mandvi’s impromptu review of O’Brien’s performance was told to FishbowlDC today at the Thomson-Reuters/Yahoo! News post prom night brunch at Hay Adams, where a variety of journalists were buzzing around the room.

Spotted in the mix: BuzzFeed‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro and publicist Ashley McCollum, who, while making fun of her own boat shoes, said it made her feel so good being at such a posh party. Also dotting the room was WaPo‘s Erik Wemple (from the ERIK WEMPLE BLOG) and Jack Shafer (where does he work again, Reuters?) as well as The Hill‘s Emily Goodin and Judy Kurtz (Howiella!) and Washingtonian‘s Carol Joynt. A journo who shall remain nameless and genderless somehow sneaked his or her way into the party without being on the list (yes, crashing a party, even at the opulent Hay Adams, can happen.)

Quotable: “If this wasn’t here I’d be shitting my pants.” — FBDC’s Eddie Scarry standing on the balcony of the Hay Adams, safely inside the wrought-iron railing.

Eleanor Clift Drives a Prius

After The Atlantic‘s Women of Washington brunch Saturday featuring MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Newsweek‘s Eleanor Clift was spotted outside the Ritz Carlton waiting on valet to retrieve her car.

After chatting a few minutes with a chipper fan who recognized her, a blue Prius pulled up that belonged to Clift. “Of course she drives a Prius,” I said. “She’s socially responsible!” remarked her fan.

NJ, Atlantic Hosts Breakfast With Rachel Maddow and Sen. Manchin at The Ritz

Just want we wanted, another event to attend on the eve of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

But actually, this one sounds promising.

National Journal and The Atlantic are hosting MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.) for “light breakfast and conversation” on the morning of April 27. Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large for The Atlantic and Quartz, will moderate. The discussion will focus on American military power today and will feature the paperback release of Maddow’s book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power.

Goo Goo Dolls Founder Detests Rush, Loves Maddow, O’Reilly and Jesse Jackson Sr.

Johnny Rzeznik, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and founder of the Goo Goo Dolls, was in Washington, D.C. over the weekend to perform at the Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball. We caught up with him this afternoon by phone to pester him about his media preferences and ask about the low and high points of his weekend. Asked if we should call him John or Johnny, he told us men call him “John” and women call him “Johnny.” He doesn’t know why that is. At the conclusion of the interview, we asked if there was anything more he wanted to tell us. As a matter of fact, there was. Their tenth album, Magnetic, is coming out on May 7. The first single is called “Rebel Beat” and is already being played on radio stations. “We’re all really excited to get out there and play our new album, which is upbeat and very positive,” said Rzeznik. “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.”

What was the highlight of Inauguration for you? The highlight for me was standing int he press line during the red carpet and seeing Jesse Jackson Sr. standing right next to us. He’s just one of those people who has an aura about him when he walks in a room. Also, doing the show. That’s why we came to town. That was really exciting. It was a real honor to be asked to be part of that celebration because they do a lot of great work on behalf of the arts.

Are you an Obama supporter? I definitely supported him in the last election. I couldn’t get behind the Republicans’ views on women’s issues and marriage equality. I don’t know, I just felt like they are really out of touch with what is going on in America. Just like Joe the cabdriver, it’s the same thing. Joe the cabdriver gets to have a political opinion, so I’m entitled to mine.

What do you like and hate about Washington? I love the Smithsonian. I’m a real dork for that kind of stuff. I love Georgetown, I love all the row houses, I love the feel and energy of this city. The only thing I hate is the traffic and I live in LA. It’s a beautiful city and it’s got so much character and it’s old and I like it.

Who are your favorite members of the media? I enjoy watching Chris Matthews a lot. He reminds me of a throwback to the older school kind of pundits like Tim Russert. I like George Will, I don’t agree with him particularly, but he’s probably the smartest conservative out there. I refuse to listen to Rush Limbaugh. I listen to a lot of conservative radio when I drive around in my car. I refuse to listen to him because he’s just ridiculous, just a clown. I love Rachel Maddow obviously. Jon Stewart. I know it’s a comedy show, but its probably one of the most informative shows out there. Stephanie Miller! I love her! Like ughhh, she’s the best. I agree with her views on issues, I think they check her facts pretty carefully. She’s got an insane sense of humor. It’s nice to see Tim Russert’s son [Luke Russert] in there and doing well too. I was brought up in a very blue collar, Democratic, pro-union house and that’s soaked into your DNA.

Do you have an opinion about Beyoncé lip syncing America the Beautiful? There’s no question in my mind that even if it was a computer playing it back because it was 20 degrees outside, she actually sang whatever on the page. She is brilliant. When you’re in situations like that and the whole world is watching on television, no one plays live on the Super Bowl. There’s no time for a mistake. Could she have sang that live? Absolutely. It was freezing out there. Unless you know how incredibly hard it is to sing when it’s 25 degrees out there, your opinion means nothing.

Have you ever been burned by the media? No. Not really. Maybe a nasty review of my work in a magazine, but who cares?

Does TMZ follow you around? I’m not dating an actress or a supermodel. Nobody is throwing me out of Hyde.

What networks or cable shows do you prefer? I do watch Fox. Sometimes I really enjoy watching Bill O’Reilly. It’s interesting because the older he gets, the more moderate he seems to get. Sort of like watching the end of how the Grinch stole Christmas. I still have hope for him. I can’t discount that everyone I’ve mentioned is part of an agenda. There is no fairness doctrine with the media and you spend time watching everyone and give them equal time.

 

Cher Sets Her (Surgically Altered) Sights on Chris Hayes

Everyone knows the term “Cougar,” right? The older woman who goes after younger men. It was funny five years ago for about 10 minutes. Now it’s a sitcom and a slogan found on T-shirts at the Goodwill.

But the “OC,” the original cougar, is back on the prowl – and no nerd is safe.

Cher, the great-grandmother, patron saint of the cougar movement, has herself a bit of a crush… on MSNBC’s Chris Hayes (or Rachel Maddow depending how you see him.) Hayes, who is happily married, nerdy, not funny or a lesbian, has no known fetish for plastic nor a known desire to leave his wife for the vapid actress twice his age (he’s 33, she’s 66). So that love will remain unrequited.

Cher has no delusions about her ability to get Hayes, so she’s interested in his “type.” After a good 45 years of dating hippies and bikers, she’s is now interested in the nerdy type. She’s put friends on notice to be on the look out for someone with whom she can avoid raising hell with and discuss economic policy and world affairs.

Given the intelligence level of her tweets… Read more

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