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Posts Tagged ‘Tavis Smiley’

Weekend Show Preview – 6.22.14

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


CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); CBS’s Mike Morell, fmr. deputy CIA director; WaPo’s David Ignatius; PBS’s Tavis Smiley; Wilson Center’s Robin Wright; CBS’s John Dickerson

“Fox News Sunday”Kevin McCarthy (R-CA); Howard Schultz, Starbucks president and CEO; Cleta Mitchell, Attorney for Tea Party groups targeted by IRS; Julian Epstein, former top Democratic House Staffer; FOX contributor George Will; Judy Woodruff,co-anchor and managing editor, PBS NewsHour; Heritage Action for America’s Michael Needham; Fox News Political Analyst Juan Williams.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” : TBA

ABC’s “This Week” : Former VP Dick CheneySonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court Associate Justice; Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN); Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL); ABC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran; FOX News Anchor Greta Van Susteren

Univision’s “Al Punto” : TBA

CNN’s “State of the Union Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chairman, Select Intelligence Committee; Bob WoodwardCarl Bernstein; CNN’s S.E. Cupp; CNN’s Donna Brazile; Daily Beast’s Kristen Soltis AndersonPenny Lee, Democratic strategist

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Mediabistro Course

Social Media 201

Social Media 201Starting October 13Social Media 201 picks up where Social Media 101 leaves off, to provide you with hands-on instruction for gaining likes, followers, retweets, favorites, pins, and engagement. Social media experts will teach you how to make social media marketing work for your bottom line and achieving your business goals. Register now!

Weekend Show Preview, 5.30 – 6.1

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


CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Robert E. Wallace of the VFW, Fmr. CIA Dir. Gen. Michael Hayden, David Ignatius of WaPo, David Sanger of NYT, Leigh Gallagher of Fortune, Nancy Cordes of CBS

“Fox News Sunday”: Reince Priebus of RNC, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Rep. Jeff Miller, (R-FL), VA hospital whistleblower Dr. Sam Foote, Laura Ingraham, Bob Woodward, Liz Cheney, Evan Bayh

NBC’s “Meet the Press“: Michael Bloomberg, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Paul Rieckhoff of IAVA, Chuck Todd, Maria Schriver, Tom BrokawRana Forhoohar of TIME, Jane Harman of the Wilson Center, Newt Gingrich, NBC’s Kevin Tibbles

ABC’s “This Week“: NSA Amd. Susan Rice, Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX), Frances Beinecke of the National Resources Defense Council, Hal Quinn of the National Mining Association, Bill Kristol, Peggy Noonan, David Remnick of The New Yorker, Tavis Smiley 

Univision’s “Al Punto”:  Timothy Geithner, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Venezuelan writer and journalist Leonardo Padrón, Korean War veteran Raúl Reyes Castañeira, Frank Medina of the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance, Honduran soccer players Victor Bernárdez and Roger Espinoza, author Gerardo Piña Rosales, Daniel Fernandez of the North American Academy of Spanish Language

CNN’s “State of the Union: Susan Rice, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Fmr. NSA Gen. Jim Jones, R. Nicholas Burns of Harvard, Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress, Kristen Soltis Anderson of The Daily Beast, Jackie Calmes of NYT, Matt Kibbe of Freedomworks

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Weekend Show Preview: 4.11 – 4.13.

SundayShows12Who’s on the talk shows this weekend? Glad you asked:


CBS’s “Face the Nation” : Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University; Nikole Hannah-Jones, ProPublica and The Atlantic; Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry; Tavis Smiley, PBS; Peter BakerThe New York Times; Leigh GallagherFortune; Michael GersonThe Washington Post; and Frank RichNew York Magazine

“Fox News Sunday” : Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC); Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI); Ways and Means Committee; Ranking Member Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI); and Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)

NBC’s “Meet the Press” : TBA

ABC’s “This Week” : Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.); Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky); James Carville, Democratic strategist; Laura Ingraham, syndicated radio host; and Robert Reich, former Clinton Labor Secretary

Univision’s “Al Punto” : Luis Guillermo Solís, President-Elect of Costa Rica; Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill); Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla); Arianna Huffington; Natalia Lizeth López, Mexican Indigenous activist; and Franco De Vita, Venezuelan singer and songwriter

CNN’s “State of the Union” : 9 amJeff Densmore, director of engineering, Dukane Seacom; Ken Christensen, president, Integrated Aviation Solutions; Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), chairman, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), chairman, National Republican Congressional Committee; and Liz Mair, former RNC online communications director.  12 noonArnold Carr, sonar technology expert and Stephen Trimble, aviation journalist, Flight Global

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Weekend Show Preview: 1.17 – 1.19

SundayShows12Who’s on the weekend shows this week? Glad you asked:

CBS’s “Face the Nation“: Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Intelligence Committee Chairman; Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), Intelligence Committee; Tom Donilon, former Obama national security adviser; Mike Morell, former deputy CIA director, WaPo’s Ruth Marcus; LATimes’ Christi Parsons; and NYTimes David Sanger.

“Fox News Sunday”: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Gen. Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA and NSA.

NBC’s “Meet the Press“: Congressional Intelligence Committee Chairs Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

ABC’s “This Week“: Russian President Vladimir Putin; Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chair, House Homeland Security Committee; James CarvilleMary Matalin; Wall Street Journal Columnist Peggy Noonan; New Yorker Editor David Remnick; and TV and radio host Tavis Smiley.

CNN’s “State of the Union“: House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers (R-MI).

CNN’s “Reliable Sources” : ”Reliable Sources” goes to the Sundance Film Festival. A special live show will look at documentaries in the digital age and the state of the film business.

Univision’s “Al Punto” : TBA

PBS’s “McLaughlin Group” : TBA

PBS’s “Washington Week” : NYTimes’ Peter Baker; NPR’s Tom Gjelten; ABC News’ Jeff Zeleny; and Reuters’ Joan Biskupic.

BTV’s “Political Capital” : TBA

We’ll update ‘em as we get ‘em (email

The FishbowlDC Interview With WTOP’s ‘Brickin Brackin Sassafrassin’ JJ Green

Say hello to WTOP’s National Security Correspondent JJ Green, who has worked at the station since 2004. Asked for his thoughts on new versus old media, he replied, “I’ve always been sort of forward leading when it comes to technology. The title for my senior thesis for broadcast journalism was ‘Selected Implications of Satellite Electronic Surveillance.’” Mr. Smartypants graduated from Hampton University, near Virgina Beach. “I had no idea, no understanding that led me to believe I’d be involved in covering national security now. I had no clue, no interest and look where I ended up.” Green praises new media, but stresses that you still have to go that extra step of verification. “We’re so breathless now, with so many other avenues and sources for people to get their news that there is pressure individually to want to keep up and be recognized,” he said. “We have to be really careful when using social media.” Green covers global intelligence and terrorism. His career history is extensive, but we’ll give you highlights. He came to Washington in 1989 to work as a reporter for WMAL radio. After working as a weekend reporter on FOX-5 WTTG in the early 90s, he worked on air as a correspondent-in-training on ABC News NIGHTLINE. He covered various elements of the O.J. Simpson trial and race relations. Asked if he thinks O.J. was guilty, he said, “No, I did not and I do not now have an opinion on that. As a journalist, I don’t think that my opinion really counts when it comes to covering the news.” Green’s resume includes working at CNN, where he covered The Million Man March and The Balkan Peace Talks as a general assignment reporter in Washington. In the late 90s he began working for the Voice of America Television and as host and correspondent of Africa Journal while traveling extensively. Don’t try trash talking him in another language. He’s fluent in Spanish, speaks working level French and is studying Korean and Arabic. Among the problems he faces with government public affairs is they have lumped radio into one pool, so that it all appears to be talk radio. “WTOP is a news radio station not a talk radio station,” Green said fervently. “We have people who do opinion for us. It’s not designed to be a talk radio station.”  In 1996, Green landed what he looks at now as “the” job: host of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Asked if he kept a straight face with callers, he said, “I think I laughed once while I was at C-SPAN. A caller phoned in and said ‘Dude, you dress almost as nicely as Brian Lamb.’ I cleared by throat and regained my seriousness.” Lamb is purportedly a great dresser. And Green? “I like nice clothes.”

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? One that is finished.

How often do you Google yourself? Whenever someone says “hey have you googled yourself lately?”

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? “No” is the worst I’ve ever said. Thoughts are another matter.

Have you ever goofed up on air? What happened? Yes, a colleague at a radio station, who shall not be named, sneaked into the radio studio years ago and lit my news copy on fire and I huffed and puffed my way through it.  True story.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Tavis Smiley, because one day when I used to host C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and I was getting hammered by some guy on the phone for being political, which I was clearly not, Tavis, who was my guest, immediately pivoted from the cool intelligent scholar he is and verbally assaulted this guy on live television to get him off my back.

Do you have a favorite word? Yes… is my favorite word. No is such a waste of effort.

Who are you named after and what are people’s general reaction to your name? I’m named after JJ Green Sr. So Jessie James Green Jr. is my full name and our middle name, James, came from his mom’s maiden name. She was not inspired to name her son after a gunslinger.

Who would you rather have dinner with – NBC’s Brian Williams, CNN’s Roland Martin, ABC’s Sherri Shepherd or Fox News’ Megyn Kelly? Tell us why. I’d choose NBC’s Brian Williams, because I tell him how Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube are always cutting up at the Pentagon gaggle. No actually, I’d ask him if he wanted to switch jobs for about 10 years. Read more

Fish Food

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

Oh no they didn’t — Expect backlash from this one. The Root wants to know why conservatives in the media are focused on “black-on-black” violence as opposed to, say, “white-on-white” crime.  They call this a “false media narrative” and point to a statistic recently shared by conservative columnist George Will on ABC’s “This Week” program. He said that every week 150 black men are killed — 94 percent by other black men. The headline of the piece: “Don’t White People Kill Each Other, Too?” The author, an author, columnist and MSNBC Political Analyst, says the term “black-on-black” is destructive and cites a stat from the Justice Department that says that 84 percent of white people killed each year are by other whites: “The half-truth he spoke went curiously unchallenged by the panel — including former White House adviser Van Jones — largely because the meta-narrative of black-on-black violence is widely accepted in journalistic and political circles.” The author’s conclusion: “It seems that the media in general and white American society in particular prefer to focus on crime perpetrated by African Americans because it serves as a way to absolve them from the violence, prejudice and institutionalized discrimination engendered for generations against blacks.” Read here.

Is WaPo “She the People” blogger just asking for trouble? — In a new post by Bonnie Goldstein, she skirts around a topic sure to rile some readers — namely, the issue of whether the Santorums should have had Bella in the first place. She never comes out and boldly says it. If she was going there, why not just go there? Instead she writes, “The little girl’s parents knew when she was still in utero that she would have serious developmental and physical disabilities. They nevertheless welcomed her joyfully despite having many other children to raise and not unlimited resources.” She also insinuates that Santorum hitting the campaign trail has affected the girl’s health. Again, gingerly broaching what could be dangerous territory without really fully going there. Read the rest here.

New book to hit the shelves… PBS’ and PRI’s Tavis Smiley and Professor Cornel West are out with their first co-authored book together, The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto out in stores, Tuesday, April 17. They will appear in Washington on April 17 as part of their 10-city book tour.  On April 22, West will also speak at Howard University. On April 16, Google will host a special The Rich and the Rest of Us online chat LIVE from Google Headquarters, 12 p.m.–1 p.m. PT.  To watch, visit:

President Obama makes funny monster faces…See BuzzFeed’s picture spread here.

Fishbowl5 With Suze Orman

Suze Orman takes compliments well. For instance, when she showed up to the National Press Club this week for a presser with TV commentator Tavis Smiley and Prof. Cornel West, Tony Gallo, who heads up the newsmaker program, told her she looks much better in person. Her reaction? “Thank God.” Another compliment came during an elevator ride to the first floor where she was doing an interview for CNN. This one was on her hairdo. “We did it ourselves,” Orman boasted. “We’re trying it.” By “we” she means she and her life and business partner, K.T., who was along for the ride. “I can’t tell other people to save money and not do it myself. I saved myself $200.”

As charming in real life as her SNL impersonator, Orman was just what you’d imagine her to be: blonde and chatty with spanking white teeth, and in your face about your finances. Case in point: Suze wasn’t in the building 10 seconds when a woman recognized her in the elevator and began sharing her financial woes. This scenario would repeat itself for hours as complete strangers poured out their pain. The woman said she avoids reading her column in O Magazine because she “can’t face her truth.” Suze started asking her why not, what’s stopping you… and then the woman got off on the 10th floor.

The press conference involved poverty and Orman unveiling her new prepaid card — the Approved Card — which she’s hoping will revolutionize how people experience their money. “We barely have the heart to look in the mirror and tell ourselves how we’re doing,” she told a packed room of media and ordinary people who came to share their hard luck stories. “The one fascinating thing about money is you can’t look at someone and know they’re poor,” she said, instructing an unemployed woman in a black suit to stand and be the poster child for poverty. “There should be no face of poverty in the United States,” Suze stressed, making her point. As for her new card, she said emphatically, “This card is to give people a viable alternative. I have put my name on it. I have put my reputation on it. And no financial institution or blogger is going to stop me.”

At the end of the presser, Gallo concluded: “I judge each event by how many people fall asleep and how many leave early. We had absolutely zero — the highest possible score.”

I trailed Suze and K.T. to her interview with CNN. Not surprisingly, behind the scenes Suze is no-nonsense and doesn’t like annoying surprises — so she’s a tad irked that the CNN spot wasn’t better planned. “She hates lipstick and she hates makeup,” remarked K.T. “So we argue — it’s the only time we do.”

“She’s not a prima donna at all,” said CNN Commentator Hilary Rosen, whose firm, SKDKnickerbocker, is handling Suze’s press for the card.

Finally we gathered in a quiet conference room on the first floor of the building for five questions with Suze and discovered one thing for certain: She knows her way around a Fishbowl metaphor.

The Questions…

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Fishbowl 5 With Tavis Smiley

This time next week broadcaster Tavis Smiley will be in town to host the nationally televised discussion, “Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity.” The event will be at GWU and broadcast live in C-SPAN. It will rebroadcast on PBS for three nights beginning Jan. 16. His panel: Cornel West, Princeton University professor and author; Suze Orman, America’s authority on personal finance; Michael Moore, Academy Award®-winning filmmaker; Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America; Jeffrey Sachs, poverty expert and prof at Columbia University; Majora Carter, Urban Revitalization Strategist; Roger Clay, President of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development; and Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America.

We caught up with Tavis by phone this morning to pick his brain on a range of topics.

1. What are you most looking forward to about this summit? Doing what we can to help make poverty a priority in this country. Four years ago, during the last presidential campaign, in those presidential debates the word poverty and poor did not come up one time. As you recall, the economy was tanking. Obama never raised it. McCain never raised. The moderators never raised it. I have committed myself to making sure that I’d do everything I can to make sure we had every platform we have available to us. This is a another step in that process.

2. How about Michael Moore? Are you hoping he gets dressed up for this one and not look like a slob as usual? I don’t care how he looks as long as he shows up and tells the truth. Michael challenges us to face to deal with to be unsettled by hard truths. And that’s why he’s an Academy Award Winner. And seeing as poor people aren’t walking around in Brooks Brothers and Farragamo shoes, I can guarantee you that Michael will have on his baseball cap and Cornel will have on his three-piece suit.

3. Have you met and interacted with Suze before? I know her very well. She is a dear friend of mine Next week at the National Press Club, Suze is making a major major major announcement that I think is going to turn the financial services industry on its ear. I’m going to be with her when she makes her announcement. The point is, when it comes to talking to ordinary everyday Americans, no one is better than Suze Orman. I’ve never had a panel so full of long distance runners on this issue. I’m chomping at the bit with all kinds of boundless energy to moderate it.

4. What do you think of the Republican crop of hopefuls as it relates to your cause about poverty in America? “I think that the White House, Congress, Republicans and Democrats – none of them have stepped up to the issue on poverty. Poverty, at the moment in this country, is not a priority. On the issue of poverty, none has laid out a credible plan. It’s not just about the Republican crop, they are all deficient, all bankrupt on the issue of poverty.” He adds hopefully…”At the moment.”

5. How do you think journalists are doing on the whole in terms of covering the administration? On the issue of poverty, the Occupied Movement is an absolute rebuke of the media. The media have only covered this story reluctantly and they were forced into doing it. When the numbers are as they are — half are in poverty or a step away from poverty — the media has to be basically pushed and pulled and pricked and prodded into covering the issue. We ought to be basking these questions. We ought to be unsettling people with hard truths. What the media does is follow stories as opposed to using the public airwaves to empower people with information. We’ve got to do a better job.

5a. In roundtables like these sometimes guests can go on too long. How do you stop yourself from doing this and in this case, others? Short answer is, this is what I’ve done for 20 years. I’m not good at a whole lot of stuff, but this is what I do. These are real persons I know and they’ve been on my programs. They’re all very respectful. These are persons who love to learn. No one is coming to GW next week to filibuster. You just lean forward and say, ‘Hey Michael, let me ask you this.’ There is a gentle way to do it.

5b. From an FBDC reader on Twitter: “Mr. Smiley with this year being an election year, do you foresee an invitation to the White House for an interview?” He replied with long laughter and remarked, “My answer is, I am not holding my breath.”




Sunday Morning Panels: Only Males Need Apply

It’s time once again to check in on how many one-eyed anacondas will hit the political talk show circuit this weekend. Last week we began our series looking at how many females appear on Sunday morning political talk show panels. Last week was rather dismal, with FNC coming in at a big fat zero and the highest showing, two females, appearing on NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show.” Update: It’s official. This Sunday, ABC’s “This Week” claims the most number of female panel guests.

CBS’s Face the Nation: 1

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics
Norah O’Donnell, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent
John Dickerson, CBS News Political Analyst

NBC’s Meet the Press: 1

Donna Shalala, Former Sec. of Health and Human Services
William Bennett, Former Sec. of Education
Tim Shriver, Chairman and CEO, Special Olympics
Tavis Smiley, PBS

Fox New Sunday: 1

Brit Hume – Fox News Senior Political Analyst
A.B. Stoddard –The Hill
Bill Kristol – Weekly Standard & Fox News
Juan Williams – Fox News Political Analyst

ABC’s “This Week”: 3

Mary Matalin, Republican Strategist
Amy Walter, ABC News Political Director
Donna Brazile, Democratic Strategist
George Will, ABC News, WaPo columnist

CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: 2

WaPo‘s Jennifer Rubin, Current TV’s David Shuster, Craig Crawford, former WSJ reporter Ron Suskind, former Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Connie Schultz, wife of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

NBC’s Chris Matthews Show: 2

The Daily Beast‘s Andrew Sullivan, NYT‘s Helene Cooper, CNN’s Gloria Borger, and WaPo‘s Michael Gerson.

Tavis Swims in the Fishbowl Daily (So he Says…)

LA-based talk show host Tavis Smiley comes to D.C. next week to moderate a “multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-ideological” panel next Thursday at GW’s Lisner Auditorium. The panel is set to include opinion-makers such as Cornel West, Arianna Huffington, Maria Bartiromo, David Frum, Dana Milbank, David Brody, and Maria Teresa Kumar.

“We’re going to talk about how this country can get back on the right track, if that’s possible,” Smiley told FishbowlDC in a phone interview on Thursday morning. (Horribly, I completely spaced our Wednesday interview and he agreed to chat with me Thursday. When I answered the phone and apologized profusely, he said, “I’m just happy when you answer the phone. Turns me on.” Laughter ensued. A well-deserved crack for standing him up.)

Anyway, back to the interview and getting the country back on track. “There is so much happening in Washington in our body politic,” he’s saying. Asked if he thinks our country can get on a better path, he said, “I think America’s a great country, but I think we have to be on the right track on this divided government that we have to endure. I think the president squandered some time. He could have been more aggressive in the past two years.”

Smiley’s media diet in Washington includes a brief buttering up of our sister site, FishbowlLA, and FishbowlDC: “Oh man, I read most everything online. I live in LA. I’m swimming in the Fishbowl every day, every other day.” When in Washington, Smiley prefers boutique hotels like the Hotel George. But this time he’s staying at the host hotel, the Madison Loews. As for eating, he says he always ends up at Georgia Browns and Ben’s Chili Bowl.

What else can we expect to hear from Smiley next week and what are his thoughts on the media? As he put it…

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