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Posts Tagged ‘Scott Wilson’

6,000 Journalists Refrain from Naming CIA Station Chief

s-CJR-FELLOWSHIP-largeLast weekend, a White House press report distributed to 6,000 journalists, included the name of the CIA’s station chief in Afghanistan, alongside said title.

On Friday, the Columbia Journalism Review reported that, “all indications suggest that every outlet has complied with the government’s request to refrain from publishing the name.”

The incident led to the White House launching a probe into how the name was included in the report and how it can be prevented going forward.

First discovered by The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson – who was in the pool at the time distributing notes of the President’s visit to Bagram Air Base to the 6k+ media list – the outing posed a major security risk for the station chief and his family. Read more

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WaPo Reorganizes White House Team

Kevin Merida, one of WaPo‘s more adept internal memo writers, has co-authored “exciting changes” to the publication’s White House team.

His begins with high drama: “We’re marking the dawn of President Obama’s second term…”

The highlights: Scott Wilson, who won a couple of important-sounding awards last year, will be White House Bureau Chief; David Nakamura will forge on as a member of team, focusing on (yawn) immigration reform — never fear, his Pool Reports are a fun read; Philip Rucker, who covered Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, will cover Obama, gun control, and the President’s complex relationship with Congress; Felicia Sonmez, who “seems to never sleep”, will head up digital White House coverage; Zachary Goldfarb joins the team as a economic policy writer.

See the full memo…

Read more

From McDonald’s to Gwen Stefani’s Nursery: Top 13 Places Where WH Pool Reporters Go To Wait

A large part of pooling with the White House involves patience and what can amount to hours and hours of waiting for very little news. The places journos must linger are routinely included in the reports, but more and more they’re turning into elaborate explanations of where “your pooler” is, or more importantly, where they are forbidden from going. Most often they wait it out in food courts. But waiting also happens in garages, outside restaurants, in cars, vans, laundry rooms and on the lawn. Even a closet, as The Orlando Sentinel‘s Bill Nelson knows too well. He was memorably placed in one during a fundraiser last year attended by Vice President Joe Biden.

13. Vans: “There’s lots of waiting… Often in vans for hours and hours,” Politico‘s Jennifer Epstein says.

12. Food courts: “When I was covering the White House, I came to believe in the concept of pool karma. A miserable eight-hour day at the Andrews Air Force Base food court while POTUS played golf would be followed by an eight hour protective hold poolside at the Beverly Hilton.”– ReutersSam Youngman.

11. Outside McDonald’s: After waiting more than hour outside of a McDonald’s in early August, freelance journalist Matt Laso wrote, “The pool now smells like grease and is daydreaming of fresh vegetables.”

10. School cafeteria: While in New Hampshire, Christian Science Monitor’s David Grant filed from “what looks like the school cafeteria.”

9. Laundry room: “[S]everal industrial strength washing machines were lined up and sports equipment, such as football helmets, were piled up in metal cages,” WaPo‘s David Nakamura wrote in a report of a college laundry room he was put in to wait. On the bleached bright side, Nakamura told us he was “pleasantly surprised at how good the Internet was in that laundry room.”

8. Outside dry cleaners: Pooling with POTUS earlier this month, Politico‘s Epstein filed from outside a dry cleaners. Sounding upbeat about it, she says “It was only about 70 degrees, so not uncomfortable.”

7. Various locations around Graceland: “When [former President] Bush took former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to pay homage to Elvis, the Japanese leader kept dropping to one knee and singing, while the pool looked on stoically,” Sirius/XM P.O.T.U.S. Channel’s Julie Mason says. “Reporters couldn’t believe their relentless, sanguinary ascent up the pitiless ladder of corporate media led them to…the Monkey Room.”

6. W. Hotel bar: This month WaPo‘s Scott Wilson pooled with POTUS for a fundraiser at the W. Hotel where he was made to wait at the hotel bar. “But no drink for me (just some club soda),” Wilson said.

5. Back deck, nursery room and garage of Gwen Stefani’s home– Pooling with FLOTUS at singer Gwen Stefani’s home in California was WSJ‘s Erica Orden. A back deck, nursery and garage sound like terrible, musty places to wait. But it was Stefani’s house and that’s something. We asked Orden if the nursery smelled like baby poop but she didn’t respond.

4. House in Hawaii with pest problem: One one of the Obama family’s Hawaii getaways, Politico‘s Epstein pooled along. She, with other reporters, were kept in a house next door. “It had just been sold and had bug infestations in the bathrooms,” she said. The house did have a pool — Epstein and the other reporters were sure to spend time by it (though she says she never actually got in).

3. President’s Palace in Delhi: WaPo‘s Wilson pooled with Obama and the First Lady for the State Dinner in India in 2010. He said the press was held in a sitting room for the event but called the palace the “most exotic” place he’s ever been held.

2. The Sit Down Cafe and Sushi Bar: Epstein identified this venue as a favorite place of one of the White House press aides to take reporters while in Chicago. A look at the restaurant’s website shows there’s WiFi, beer, wine and sake (on Mondays bottles are 50 percent off).

1. The private basketball court of a Crocs co-founder: “We played White House staffers in ping-pong and enjoyed snacks served by waiters in white dinner jackets,” SiriusXM’s Mason said.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day — the media beat edition


“Life is too short to fake an orgasm.” – Current TV and The View‘s Joy Behar in response to being asked for her favorite life saying on Tuesday’s edition of The View. Moments later she said she had a serious answer: “Do what you can with what you have where you are.”

Olympic priorities on AF1

“AF1 wheels down Pueblo Memorial Airport at 6 p.m. No news from the flight, except no one in the press section is able to explain the rules of international handball, which was the featured Olympic sport during last leg of the flight.” — WaPo‘s Scott Wilson in a Tuesday White House Pool Report.

A seemingly innocent party question…

“Oh, did I spill on you?” — Wonkette and The Guardian‘s Jim Newell late-night at the Buzzfeed party, dumping a quarter of a pint of beer on my arm and into my shoulder bag. “It wasn’t intentional…or maybe it was, I don’t know.” More on the party later…but a late-night email from the famous Zeke Miller of the buzzy news outlet begins…”LOL” — how fitting.

A Little Birdy Tells Us That…

CBS’ Christine Delargy, a former FishbowlDC writer, is going to work as a producer for “PoliticoLive!” Politico‘s online reality news show. News traveled fast around the Buzzfeed party at Brixton last night, which Delargy attended.

The Observer

“Convinced there’s a silent contest going on among Fox News contributors to outdo each other with adjectives like ‘molotov-cocktail throwing’” — Politico‘s media writer Dylan Byers.

Reporter loses way in Washington

“You haven’t lived until you’ve gotten lost in the tunnels under the House office buildings.” — The New York Observer media writer Hunter Walker in town for the Buzzfeed party with girlfriend Rosie Gray. “I was indeed lost between Longworth and Rayburn,” he told us. “Kept getting bad directions. Amazing how many people you meet down there who have no idea where they’re going.”

FWIW translation: Not much

“FWIW, if it had been up to me, I would have honored the memory of those killed in Munich during the opening ceremonies.” — HuffPost‘ media writer Jason Linkins to WCP Managing Editor Mike Madden in an obviously profound statement weeks after the Olympics began. Memo to Linkins: You’re clearly a serious V.I.P., but when would it ever be up to you?

 

 

ABC’s Tapper Lands A Third Merriman Smith Award

For the third year in a row the White House Correspondents’ Association is awarding ABC’s Jake Tapper with the Merriman Smith Award for Broadcast Excellence in Presidential Coverage.

Tapper is receiving the award for breaking the news in August that Standard and Poor had decided to downgrade the U.S’ credit rating.

“We don’t get to say anything at these dinners – mercifully, for the audience – but if I got a chance there are two points I’d make. (Hopefully before the orchestra starting playing),” Tapper said in an email to FishbowlDC.

“First, there’s no way I could ever even get my socks on in the morning , much less break news, were it not for my amazing and unbelievably tolerant and loving wife, and the most talented White House team a correspondent could have – ABC News’ Stephanie Smith, Mary Bruce, Barry Freeman, Devin Dwyer, Jon Garcia and Ann Compton.

“Second, no one ever thanks SOURCES, but deserving of gratitude are the anonymous officials and whistleblowers and honest-brokers who behind the scenes fundamentally respect the need of journalists to report so the public can know what’s going on beyond the rhetoric and press releases. This is an especially important group to honor given recent aggressive efforts to clamp down on government whistleblowers.”

ABC News President Ben Sherwood is, of course, ecstatic: “A modern news machine, Jake keeps newsmakers honest and his audience informed around-the-clock,” he said in a release. “We are thrilled that Jake has been recognized again for his excellence and scoops.”

WaPo‘s Scott Wilson and Politico‘s Glenn Thrush, Carrie Budoff Brown, Manu Raju and John Bresnahan were also selected as recipients of the Merriman.

The WHCA will present the awards at the annual dinner on April 28.

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A Weekend Sans Neckwear at White House

TIPS FROM THE POOL…INTO THE DEEP END


WaPo‘s Scott Wilson reported over the weekend that ties were not worn this weekend during tense negotiations over the budget. Oddly, canary and plaid were the big hits.

Pool escorted into Cabinet Room at 6:10pm. POTUS at center, flanked by Sen Reid and Speaker Boehner. Clearly a “no ties” memo went out; all had open collar shirts and blazers. Sen McConnell had a canary yellow polo-style shirt on, Rep Cantor sported plaid. Pool only allowed to stay in for seconds, literally. A pool member shouted, “Mr. President, can you get a deal done in 10 days?” POTUS responded, “We have to.”

A few moments later, an ever-important pool correction. Obama actually said, “We need to.” (“‘NOT we have to,’” the pooler reported.)

Shuffle in National Politics Team at WaPo

WaPo brass announced a slew of beat changes and a few open positions for their National team today.  The shuffle is well summarized in the memo below: 

“We are pleased to announce several staff moves that will enhance our coverage of Congress and the White House as we head into the postelection future.

Shailagh Murray, one of this town’s keenest observers of the legislative process, will remain anchored on the Hill but take on a new role that focuses more broadly on the political dynamic between the White House and Congress. She will pay special attention to the relationship between Democrats and the president as their party regroups for 2012. Shailagh’s sophisticated understanding of politics and policy will help us chart how a divided government confronts the great economic challenges that are sure to be themes of the next campaign.

Paul Kane, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of Congress and its members, will lead our coverage of the new GOP House majority. Paul is one of the most respected correspondents on Capitol Hill. And his deep experience and sourcing will help us aggressively and authoritatively chronicle the biggest congressional power shift since 1948.

Phil Rucker, one of our most versatile writers, will bring his energy and eye to the Capitol, capturing the spectacles, dramas and small tales that animate Congress. Whether covering the news on the Senate floor or illuminating the hallway chit-chat, he will help bring to life the institution and its characters.

David Fahrenthold, a graceful writer known for decoding complex subjects, will leave the environmental beat for the challenge of making Congress accessible. He will help explain the institution’s rules, rhythms, people and legislation—whether drawing portraits or distilling complicated policy debates.

Felicia Sonmez, one of our sparkling new talents, will anchor a congressional blog aimed at breaking news and housing all that is hot and relevant in Congress. She and fellow Deputy Fix Aaron Blake had splendid runs as campaign bloggers under The Fix banner. This new blog, to which others will contribute, will provide quick, fun, edgy takes that drive the Capitol Hill conversation. PostPolitics Managing Editor Chris Cillizza will post a separate note seeking a successor to Felicia.

On the White House beat, Perry Bacon will take on a new role: following the president. He will be the reporter who most closely tracks the president’s movements, traveling with him often and mining the daily schedule for newsy developments, features, analyses and surprises. Perry is an astute analyst of the political landscape and will bring a fresh voice to the second phase of the Obama presidency.

His arrival will create more room for ace correspondents Scott Wilson and Anne Kornblut to drill deeper into White House decisionmaking and presidential relationships, to unearth news and mount significant enterprise that will help readers better understand the man in the Oval Office.

We are adding to our White House team a fourth player whose charge will also be to discover the undiscovered. There will be a separate posting for that assignment. ”

Kevin      Marilyn     Wes     Steven

WaPo to Track Obama’s Promises

Today WaPo launches “Obama’s Promises” an online resource that tracks the President’s campaign promises.

Several political reporters are contributing to the project with White House Reporter Michael Shear and graphic designer Karen Yourish assuming lead roles.

So far, the site is peachy on Obama with categories divided up as follows: To Do (3), In Progress (15) and Completed (7). There are no negative-sounding categories such as “broken promises,” though the site shows clearly that Obama’s “In Progress” category is highest.

“Change Washington” is among the “kept promises”. An example: “Ban registered lobbyists from working in the administration on areas in which they have lobbied over the previous two years and bar officials who leave the administration from lobbying the executive branch for the duration of Obama’s presidency.”

Other journos and designers working on the project include: Juliet Eilperin, Michael A. Fletcher, Anne E. Kornblut, Alec MacGillis, Philip Rucker, Scott Wilson; Design: Wilson Andrews, Jacqueline Kazil,and Laura Stanton.

Check out the feature here.

FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes from Today’s Briefing

Politics Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry: The Outburst Heard ‘Round the CSPAN Dials got a little more attention today at the WH briefing, where Press Secretary Robert Gibbs channeled No Drama Obama and accepted, again, Congressman Joe Wilson‘s apology for yelling “You Lie!” as his chamber hosted POTUS last night. (Creative editing of the classic reaction freeze-frame here: http://twitpic.com/h6x9r) “If you talk to the press secretary of that congressman today, I would not think he’s gone unpunished,” RG said.

But Really, About Those Illegal Immigrants…: Reporters pressed on the crux of Wilson’s grievances — how illegal immigrants will or won’t receive health care — and Gibbs maintained that last night was not the first occasion for POTUS to declare his plan does not include coverage for that crowd. He pledged more than once to check with the WH health care team on whether the proposed legislation would affect the 1986 immigration law that prevented emergency rooms from turning away patients — despite citizenship or inability to pay. NYT’s Sheryl Stolberg pointed out that POTUS used “more than 30 million American citizens” as a figure in his speech, which seemed to be a deliberate distinction to calm the Wilsonian crowd. (Funny how that worked.)

To the Calculators!: Since it’s Back-to-School week, and in honor of a First Day of School POTUS admission that math was not his high school strong suit…. Acknowledging he’s no mathematician, RG estimated that 10-11 million or so illegal immigrants, subtracted from the 46.3 million uninsured Americans, would leave about 35 million or so to be covered under the new legislation, creating what RG figured would be a “2/3 to 3/4″ improvement. The WH might be happy to learn that American citizens make up about 78 percent of the total uninsured. So under the rough figures discussed today, new legislation would actually take care of a larger segment of the current uninsured than our dear press secretary originally assumed.

Sweet 2016: A scheduling clarification by WaPo’s Scott Wilson triggered a number of follow-ups from the “Gentlelady from Chicago,” Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times. Wilson (not of the “You Lie” family) asked whether POTUS would attend an IOC meeting Oct. 2 in Copenhagen, joining the leaders of the other three finalists for the 2016 Olympic Games. “Thank you for bringing it up,” Sweet applauded Wilson, who replied, “No — please.” Sweet took over the questioning but with little response, as RG pledged to verify the potential trip and all but dodged judging prospects for the Chi-town bid. “You don’t just hop over to Copenhagen,” a skeptical Chuck Todd added. When Congress Daily’s George Condon later asked about a POTUS remark about “going to the moon” for health care, RG promised to check on that trip’s scheduling, too.

CBO — As Frustrating as BO?: Gibbs had an interesting response to Jon Decker of Reuters, who asked what organization — CBO, OMB, or other — would be the final arbiter of “deficit-neutral” health care legislation, since Obama has veto-threatened that he won’t add to the country’s tab. “That would certainly be a large part of this,” RG said of CBO, which has ruffled feathers at the WH for less cheery estimates of OMB deficit projections. Following on whether the CBO’s analysis would be “binding,” RG replied: “I didn’t say binding… but it goes a big, big way.”

Kevin Sullivan Named WaPo Foreign Editor

WaPo has named Kevin Sullivan foreign editor, replacing Scott Wilson who recently joined the paper’s White House team.

Sullivan will move from London with his wife Mary Jordan, a WaPo foreign correspondent, and start in the new position in May.

WaPo’s memo after the jump.

Read more

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