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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Thomma’

WHCA Throws Photos in Administration’s Face

A small thing, but a loud gesture. The White House Correspondents’ Association is stripping all official White House photographs from the WHCA website in support of news photographers getting shut out by this administration. They put the news in a letter to all their members this morning from President Steve Thomma of McClatchy. He wrote, “This symbolic gesture is a statement of our belief that journalists should be allowed to cover the president as often as possible and that journalists should not be excluded when the White House is covering the president with its own photographers or video crews.”

See the full letter… Read more

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McClatchy Scribe Has Eye For Purple Leaves

TIPS FROM THE POOL…INTO THE DEEP END


This won’t win him a White House Pool Prize, but McClatchy’s Steve Thomma gets points for making us think someone was smokin’ something over on the White House lawn yesterday.

March 22

Marine One landed at the White House at 6:42 pm after blowing half the purple leaves off a South Lawn tree. POTUS into the residence at 6:44.

Would You Cross This Woman?

When given the choice between loud and feisty or a big-name media outlet, the White House Press Corps went with a resounding nod for the former.

April Ryan, who works for American Urban Radio, was elected Friday to the White House Correspondents Association Board as was McLatchy‘s Senior White House Correspondent Steve Thomma. Among the choices were Ryan, Thomma, Sirius XM Radio’s Jared Rizzi and Bloomberg‘s Julianna Goldman. But the real dogfight was Ryan versus Goldman.

Word on the street is that reporters wanted a fighter. They also didn’t want to risk a Bloomberg board member just looking out for Bloomberg. “April’s tough as nails, and really knows her stuff,” said Mediaite‘s White House reporter Tommy Christopher. “She’ll do a great job. And what a great way to kick off Obama’s second term.”

Ryan is certainly no wimp. Some may recall that in December of 2009, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told her to “calm down” and “take a deep breath” after she pressed him on whether then-Social Secretary Desiree Rogers had overstepped appropriate protocol in the Salahi party crashing incident. Gibbs equated the reporter’s behavior with that of his young son. April snapped back, “Don’t play with me.”

A White House reporter who spoke on the condition of anonymity gave us the lowdown on the race, saying, “April worked really hard on that race, she put a lot into it. Julianna ran a strong race, too, and as charming and well-respected she is, in the end she couldn’t overcome the Bloomberg curse. And Jared was just too new to the White House to make a serious dent in the race.”

A note on the curse: Some may recall that Bloomberg reporter Hans Nichols ran for the board last year and lost badly to then-Politico reporter Carol Lee, who now works for WSJ. At the time there was a sour taste among the Press Corps as publications such as Bloomberg, WSJ and Politico all signed up journos as White House reporters for voting purposes. Some charged dirty campaigning.

See the complete listing of officers and WHCA board members after the jump…

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Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Things We Think You Ought to Know…)

How Not to Exact Revenge on the Cable Company: HuffPost‘s “Eat the Press” Editor Jason Linkins has been in a battle royal with Comcast as of late. “Four people from Comcast have lied to me today. Just straight up lied to my face. Pretty amazing,” he wrote late last week on Twitter. He explains that he “can’t do a thing with @comcast w/o having to deal with a straight up liar. Today it’s the technician who claimed he showed up. Comcastic!” He assures he’ll be punking them sometime soon because what a better way to get a company back than to a) rant about it on Twitter and b) tell them how you will be exacting your revenge.”Oh, once this matter is resolved, I’ll be calling up Comcast to send technicians on the regular, to knock on the door of my empty apartment,” he writes along with this similarly weird threat: “I think I’m just gonna start scheduling appointments with Comcast every two weeks and then not being home when they come.” Watch out Comcast. You can’t say you weren’t warned.

Poor Badler, he can’t find a Starbucks: “Can you imagine living two weeks without Internet? I feel like I’ll be living in a black hole,” writes Ben Adler, a  former Politico staff writer who writes for The Daily Beast/Newsweek. As of late, the “Juicebox Mafia” wannabe and former JournoLister has been making a point of insulting conservative Washington journalists. Then he explains the horror that will befall him without Internet: “Time Warner is making me wait two weeks after I move to get my Internet installed when I move. That will make writing difficult.” The insults: To conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain he wrote recently, “If you’re middle-aged and still can’t express yourself without juvenile language, I think you shouldn’t offer lessons in maturity.” Last week he ripped The Daily Caller in a post for Columbia Journalism Review, saying a poll story in the pub was “propaganda” not journalism. He said the Rasmussen poll in the story was designed to back conservative claims. He backed up that claim by linking a story in The Washington Independent, which has been home to many Juicebox friends. Pssst Badler…we hear you, you’re a liberal journo lion. But Rasmussen has long been known for leaning right. Even TIME and NYT have said so. But more importantly, Starbucks has free WiFi.

*Kites are so Tempting: In a weekend White House Pool Report McLatchy‘s Steve Thomma wrote of President Obama‘s day of golf that decidedly did not include kite flying despite the lure that can have on a person (such as a certain NRSC Spokesman who adores kite festivals). “Mr. Obama left the course at 3:50 pm EDT. Passed the grounds of the Washington Monument, resisting any temptation to join the hundreds of people flying kites. Arrived back at the White House at 4:16 pm, where he made a rare entrance through the East Wing.” (Tips From the Pool…Into the Deep End.)

Pooler Notes Old and New Media

TIPS FROM THE POOL…INTO THE DEEP END

McClatchy’s White House reporter Steve Thomma brings us this Pool Report this afternoon involving old and new media. He’s got most of the tools covered.

President Obama chatted briefly in the Diplomatic Receiving Room before taking questions via youtube. He talked with youtube moderator Steve Grove about his snow-lengthened commute Wednesday evening from Andrews to the White House and joked about the poolers with pens and notebooks amid the laptops and cameras. “You got all the old media people here,” he said. Questions came from videos shown on a flat panel TV beside Obama’s chair. The session was streamed live on youtube and whitehouse.gov.

President Obama Holds Oil Spill Press Conference

President Obama just wrapped up his first official press conference on the Gulf Coast oil spill. It lasted about an hour.

After about ten minutes of remarks, the President took questions. Up first was the AP’s Jennifer Loven who asked if the President has been personally involved enough. “This has been our highest priority,” Obama responded.

Brian Williams, Harry Smith and George Stephanopoulos anchored special coverage on NBC, CBS and ABC. Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper and Chip Reid all also reported from the WH East Room.

After Loven, Tapper, Todd, McClatchy’s Steve Thomma, Reid, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman, Helen Thomas, NYT‘s Jackie Calmes, EFE’s Macarena Vidal and Fox News’ Major Garrett got called on by the President for questions, in that order.

Thomas asked the first non-oil spill question, on Afghanistan. She asked Obama not to give her any “Bush-ist” too (not bullsh*t, calm down everyone). Calmes brought it back to oil spill. Garrett asked about the possible Sestak job offer from the administration- Obama promised an official response shortly, adding that nothing improper took place.

CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC also carried. WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza, who’s live-tweeting the press conference, tweeted “tough image for Obama…MSNBC goes with split screen: Obama on one side, oil pipe spewing into gulf on the other.”

White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton took on criticism that the President hasn’t had a press conference in a long time on Twitter today:

@billburton44: politico: photo w/ a caption saying potus hasn’t had a press conf in 10 mos – odd since it’s from his press conf 4 mos ago

@billburton44: Other recent press conf’s: 2/9 (in the WH briefing room – documented in the photo) & 4/13 (in DC at the Nuclear Summit)

And despite press corps complaints that Presidential press conferences have been lacking, Real Clear Politics’ Mike Memoli tweeted this pic, “Low turnout from press for this event. Dozens of empty seats.”

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Steve of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Steve of McClatchy, Same Difference? Thomma Explains

Embedded video from CNN Video

McClatchy’s Steve Thomma did the unthinkable at last night’s presidential press conference: He stood up when he wasn’t called on.

The miscue led to a light moment in the hourlong health-care seminar by President Obama. Here’s how it all went down:

Near the end of the presser, the President, set to travel to Cleveland the next day for a health care event, finished up an answer to a question, then clearly said, “Steve Koff, the Cleveland Plain Dealer.”

“I just heard him wrong,” Thomma said by e-mail. “I heard him say Steve, then what sounded roughly like my last name and wrongly assumed it was me. I immediately turned to grab the microphone from the young aide who was kneeling right next to me and didn’t hear the president add, ‘…of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.’ ”

C’mon, after four prime-time press conferences, he didn’t just want to slip past the president’s set list of questioners and snag one?

“Gosh, no, I never intended to steal another reporter’s slot, and I’ve apologized to Steve. It’s true I was very eager to ask my question, but I wouldn’t do that to another reporter,” Thomma said.

He “didn’t know anything was amiss until I asked a follow-up and he made a comment about visiting my home town on Thursday.

“I knew he was heading to Cleveland. My home town is Chicago. Heck, I’m a loyal White Sox fan and been a White Sox fan longer than the president. In fact, this is the second time he’s made personal comments to me at a news conference, both about my home town. During the transition, he apologized to me at one press conference for having assigned me a seat labeled for Cubs fans. And now he’s had to say “shame on you” for jumping into another reporter’s slot.

“I don’t know which is worse, having a national TV audience see me as revealed as over-eager knucklehead, or identified as someone from Cleveland.”

But Thomma apparently gets misidentified all the time. “I took some pride in the Atlantic‘s note last night that the “best question came from Steve Thomma of Reuters…” he said.

RELATED: WaPo‘s Sleuth Mary Ann Akers‘ take, “Obama’s News Conference Sparks Battle of the Steves.”

WHCA Election Results: Examiner‘s Mason, Newsweek‘s Bailey, NPR’s Gonyea and Reuter’s Bohan Win Seats

And the winner is…

The White House Correspondents Association election board results are in. Congratulations to 2011-2012 President Caren Bohan of Reuters. The at-large seat goes to the Examiner‘s Julie Mason, the radio seat to NPR’s Don Gonyea, the magazine seat to Newsweek‘s Holly Bailey and the wire seat is filled by Bohan.

Other contenders included McClatchy’s Steve Thomma, Politico‘s Mike Allen and American Urban Radio’s April Ryan.

We hear Mason’s victory was a landslide- 85 votes to Thomma’s 29 and Allen’s 27. Her “campaign manager” Bloomberg’s Karen Leigh say this win was a big deal for a someone from a smaller paper (and that the campaign-promised massages on the White House South Lawn will cost $20, with a special discount for anyone who works for a daily).

The ever-gracious Allen offered his congratulations in today’s Playbook.

More, including comments from the winners, to come today…

Three Strikes, You’re Out

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During Barack Obama‘s first press conference as president-elect (held on Nov. 7), he fielded questions from the Associated Press, NBC, ABC, CBS, Reuters, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, CNN and the New York Times. At the time, we noted that Fox News was left out of the questioning.

During Barack Obama’s second press conference (held yesterday), the Washington Post, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Reuters, Wall Street Journal and USA Today were called on to ask questions.

During today’s press conference (to announce Budget Director-designate Peter Orszag and Deputy Budget Director-designate Rob Nabors), Obama called on NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, LA Times’ Peter Nicholas, ABC7′s (Chicago) Andy Shaw and McClatchy’s Steve Thomma.

Which means it’s 0-3 for Fox News.

(NBC’s Guthrie reports on MSNBC that another presser is slated for tomorrow.)

Related: “Who’s At The Obama Presser?”

Who Got To Ask Questions At The Obama Presser?”

Who’s Front Row at Obama Presser?”

About Tonight…

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(Photo Credit)

Where will you be watching tonight’s election results? We’ve asked all sorts of journos for their evening plans and they include an Atlanta hotel room, the Phoenix Biltmore, and Champs Sports Bar in Cincinnati.

Join us after the jump…

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