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Posts Tagged ‘Tina Brown’

Howard Kurtz Gets Clock Cleaned, But Who’s the Dirty Old Perv Now?

I’m getting tired of this. Yet I’m also fascinated. Another day, another round of punches for Fox News’ media correspondent Howard Kurtz.

“Howard Kurtz is a Cad, Part IV” screams a post published Sunday by “Ken” on the site All things Democrat. (Sunday tends to be a holy day in which people tend to avoid lying, cheating and being overall perverts, but maybe Ken has been taking a long nap.)

“Ken” recaps their interest with Kurtz, which he says began with the Boston Marathon bombing and Kurtz’ despicable coverage of praising CNN owning up to its mistakes but bashing Fox News for following CNN. They stroll through a number of Kurtz’ screw ups, including the Jason Collins debacle, in which Kurtz said the gay athlete hadn’t revealed his engagement to a woman when, in fact, he had.

Eventually “Ken” makes it around to Part IV of their exhaustive “series” of Kurtz bashing in which he says he wasn’t surprised Kurtz was hired by Fox News, as if it’s a bad thing to be fired by Daily Beast‘s Tina Brown and then snagged by the nation’s highest rated cable news network. “Some folks were surprised when Kurtz was picked up by Fox, but not me,” Ken wrote. “Fox, with their situational ethics and blatantly partisan outlook and Kurtz, being a cad, seem like a natural fit from my perspective.”

“Ken,” seems to have forgotten that he’s coming from nationally “blatantly partisan” perspective, in this case, Democratic. The site, founded in 2006 by progressive Wisconsin Dem Doug Marquartd, claims to have bloggers who provide (cough cough) “smart analysis and opinion on the latest political news, issues and hot topics of interest to Dems.”

Which leads them to Part IV of their series: “Ken” nails Kurtz for being a “dirty old man” and for “leering at at pictures of someone who is related to someone that is in his field of expertise.”

For the purposes of his story, he explains, he will use Kurtz’ own tactics to write about his family members.

Holy sh-t is this about to get good.

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Weiner’s Not Alone

Daily Beast‘s report on Australian MP Peter Dowling makes us want to retch. Anthony Weiner might even look good compared to his Aussi soul mate, who plunked his junk in a glass of red wine and sexted it out to his mistress. (Well, not good, but it’s all getting relative.)

“Ew. Ew and Yucch,” remarked political reporter Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on Twitter.

We enjoyed how Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown offers “extra insight” on the “Penis Pic” as they refer to it in their headline. Brown’s thoughts are from late July in which she instructs everyone to “End the Damn Dickmanship!”

See the original story in The Courier-Mail here. “He met my mum,” the mistress told the newspaper, adding that she believed they would “properly” get together after the 2015 election.

Unlike American politicians who promise to go to emergency therapy or alcohol rehab (suddenly they have alcohol issues), Dowling apologized, stepped down from his position as – you’ve gotta love this – Ethics Committee Chairman and said, “I don’t want pity, I only ask that my family be left alone while this matter is considered by the Clerk.”

He did, however, appear to forget one important person in his litany of apologies. His wife of 27 years?  Remember her? “To my children, mum, brother and sister, my extended family and friends I am sorry for the shame and embarrassment that I have caused you,” he said.

Morning Chatter

QUESTIONS OF THE HOUR: “Why does she forgive him? Why is it okay with her?” — MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinksi on “Morning Joe” today on Huma Abedein forgiving husband Anthony Weiner for his marital sexting dalliances. And Daily Beast‘s Tina Brown: “These guys have to keep themselves in check. What is the opposite of Viagra? …I just think it’s the disease of our times.”

GOODBYE OLD NPR 1.0: “I walk this way every day and have never seen this view – gbye NPR 1.0″WaPo‘s Jackie Kucinich.

Journo’s inner conflict involves Hooters

“Conflicting email of the day: Invite to the ‘annual Hooters Charity Golf Tournament in aid of the Autism Society of Northern Virginia.’” — WaPo‘s Carlos Lozada.

Journo says Weiner obsessed with penis (Um, redundant?)

“NYC truly has rebounded from some tough times. I wonder which ones Anthony Weiner thinks are comparable to his obsession with his own penis.” — The Hill‘s Sam Baker.

Reporter gets sucked into depths of YouTube

“I go on YouTube to watch a clip from the Colbert Report. 6 hours later and I’m watching a tutorial on how to speak dolphin. #BlackHole” — TWT‘s Jessica Chasmar.

Confessional.

“Been busy wasting time reporting and writing. What’s going on here on the twizzlers?” — Politico‘s Ben White.

Amazing use of profanity

“Morgan also reportedly called Olivia Nuzzi, a intern on Weiner’s mayoral campaign, a “bitch,” “twat,” and “cunt.” Nuzzi appeared on the cover of the Daily News Tuesday morning for a story she wrote about what she described as her less-than-desirable experience working for the Weiner campaign earlier this year.” — BuzzFeed story on Weiner spokesman calling ex-intern a number of choice names.

Wishful thinking? “The best part is going to be Weiner firing his spox because of course you can’t treat young women crudely and expect to work there.” — MSNBC political reporter Benjy Sarlin.

AnonymASS to FBDC: “You guys suck, DCRTV rules!” Dear ASS (or Dave Hughes) whatever the case may be), I’m not just saying this,  if Hughes is your hero you might want to get your head examined. We hope it’s not a tumor.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 9:18 a.m.

Inside the CNN Howie Kurtz Showdown

In an unprecedented move, on Sunday CNN put “Reliable Sources” host Howard Kurtz in a time out and made him answer for his mistakes. To his credit, Kurtz didn’t try to fight the internal decision, despite its horrible awkwardness.

The longtime media critic’s most recent blunder involved Jason Collins, an NBA player who announced that he’s gay. But Kurtz was also forced to answer for other mistakes he has made, including writing that he’d spoken to a congressman when he had spoken to his aide. Even when he learned the truth, he waited months to divulge his error. Another instance involved attributing a quote to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi that had her criticizing President Obama‘s messaging. Only problem was it wasn’t hers. As for Collins, Kurtz insisted in a story last week for The Daily Beast that the NBA player had not mentioned that he had once been engaged to a woman, even though he had told Sports Illustrated as much. Kurtz downplayed his error. Worse, he cracked jokes about Collins in a video with Daily Download Editor-in-Chief Lauren Ashburn. As bad luck would have it, the mistake happened on the day before Newsweek-Daily Beast‘s Tina Brown canned him as Washington Bureau Chief, which Kurtz explained was unfortunate timing. In his own defense, he said the “amicable divorce” had been in the works.

But more unfortunate for Kurtz was the fact that 15 minutes of his own Sunday show would be devoted to NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik (below right) and Politico media blogger Dylan Byers (below left) firebombing him with questions about his mistakes. It was the equivalent of parents siding with the teacher, who, in this case, were right to do so.

And still, it was tough to watch. As we witnessed Folkenflik and Byers gnaw away at Kurtz’s bony corpse, we wondered, how do they feel being cast in the roles of media police and how do they think Kurtz did? Up close, did he appear sincerely remorseful? Are they satisfied with his responses?

“He certainly appeared to me to be visibly contrite,” Folkenflik told FishbowlDC in a phone interview Monday. “I think his audience will have to reasonably think about what they saw and heard and figure out how to absorb what they’ve learned, to incorporate what seemed to be a contrite presentation and evaluate what they think about him going forward.

“It was a very human and humbled moment for him. It’s very difficult to have been in the room with him and asking him these very direct questions without getting the feeling that he was genuinely contrite about the circumstances that created that exchange.”

Byers, no less sharp-tongued than Folkenflik in his questioning of Kurtz, was far less forthcoming about his thoughts about the interview, but we may learn more from him at a later date. Still, we’re eternally grateful he came up with this bold and admirable quote. “CNN made a bold and admirable decision by inviting reporters from outside the network to interview Howie on his own show, and I’m grateful to Howie for allowing that to happen,” he told FBDC.

Meanwhile, NPR’s forthcoming and frank Folkenflik told us he noticed… Read more

The Beast Has Spoken: Howard Kurtz is Out

Washington Bureau Chief Howard Kurtz is parting ways with The Daily Beast.

As of Thursday, Kurtz no longer works there, according to Politico. But wait. Will Kurtz address the issue that led up to this fallout on his Sunday CNN show “Reliable Sources”?

It was a massive blunder the longtime media critic made Wednesday when he wrote in The Beast that NBA player Jason Collins, who recently came out as gay, failed to disclose he was once engaged to a woman. Kurtz said the same thing in a video for The Daily Download, though Collins did, in fact, make clear in a Sports Illustrated story that he had been engaged to a woman.

The good news for Kurtz, though, is that he can cover his ass by covering his own ass. On “Reliable Sources” Kurtz can redeem himself in the eyes of at least himself if not Gawker, Salon, BuzzFeed and Politico.

The show has a “Media Monitor” segment in which Kurtz notes the debatable issues of the day, like whether a reporter’s erroneous column was appropriately amended. We’ve reached out to Kurtz and one of show’s producers to find out if he’ll be addressing the matter. But in the highly unlikely event that he decides not to cover his own bungle, we’re going to preempt Kurtz’s media monitoring and do it ourselves.

To review… Read more

Separated at Birth: Daily Beast’s Tina Brown

The twins for Daily Beast-Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown may be obvious, but they veer in an unusual variety of directions. There’s Princess Diana (a stretch, but if you squint it makes sense); Sandy Duncan (think Wheat Thins commercials); actress Edie Falco and talk show host Ellen Degeneres. No doubt Brown will grace Washington with her presence this weekend at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Holy S#!T! Robin Givhan Back at WaPo?

Stop the presses! Has WaPo stolen fashion writer Robin Givhan back from the clutches of Tina Brown‘s failed Daily Beast?

Last month Washingtonian‘s Harry Jaffe reported that Brown let Givhan go. Givhan told Jaffe, “I”m shell-shocked.”

Last night at 8:47 p.m. WaPo published this lengthy story in its Style section by Givhan on inaugural gowns and the global interest the ordeal attracts. Much of the story details the fashion designers who have attracted a flash of attention from various first ladies only to later crash and burn.

As if he predicted the story in WaPo, Jaffe wrote, “Brown could not have picked a worse time, for her, to let Givhan go. The inaugural season is the height of fashion coverage in the capital.”

The headline: “The agony and ecstasy of creating inaugural gowns”

We’re told that Givhan will have more stories in WaPo. But speaking of agony, is she back for good? She left WaPo for The Daily Beast in December, 2010. A click on her name shows her picture and a single word description: “Critic.” We’ve reached out to WaPo spokeswoman Kris Koratti for more details.

Update: “It’s a freelance piece,” Koratti replied. The print version includes the phrase with her byline, “Special to the Washington Post.”

 

Newsweek Aftermath: ‘It Was a Brave Move For Tina’

Among the points Editor-in-Chief  Tina Brown made on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today on shutting down Newsweek‘s print edition was this one: “Obviously a painful piece of this is that it’s going to mean reduction in staff,” she said toward the end of the segment.

Brown played that down and set her sights on the future.

“We just decided to take the plunge,” she said. “We decided that we wanted to embrace the future and not talk about the legacies of the past. It cost $43 million dollars to print, manufacture, distribute, and manage Newsweek before you have hired one writer or one editor. … You’ve only got to walk through an airplane and see the amount of people who have screens and the amount of people who have newspapers and magazines.”

Brand man Donny Deutsch backed her, saying, “It was a brave move for Tina. It was clearly the right move. This is a dinosaur.”

Breaking away from the giddy and spinning Brown and Deutsch, WaPo‘s Gene Robinson, who appears often on MSNBC as a political analyst, was the only dissenting voice. “Let’s hope it works,” he said cautiously and somewhat doubtfully, “and it’s wildly successful.”

Negative Nerd Prom Fallout

Bad form? CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux got called to the carpet Monday and not the red carpet, mind you, but rather conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh tore into her for her gushing tweets during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Malveaux’s Twitter feed looked like it was taken over by a star-crazed teen, the me-walls to end all me-walls. Isn’t this great? There she was with Woody Harrelson, and Valerie Jarrett, and Dave Chappelle. Mediaite has the recap.

Was Tina holding a gun to Howie’s head? You’d have thought The Daily Beast/CNN host Howard Kurtz wasn’t enjoying himself Saturday night from the story he published Monday slamming “Nutty Nerdprom.” Sure he slammed what appeared to be creamed corn on his ballroom dinner plate. But Kurtz is about as nerdy as it gets for Washington. He’s also as enmeshed in the culture as many other members of the media. So how two-faced it is for him to slam what the White House Correspondents’ Dinner has become — which, in his view, is apparently a celebrity invasion of Washington gone wild — and tweeting about his own celeb encounters all the way  through it. Did his boss, Tina Brown, have a gun to his head? If Kurtz really wanted to show strength, instead of knocking the prom with a story, maybe he could show he means business with a boycott as opposed to say, going and fawning, and then writing about how ridiculous all that fawning is.

Hollywood and Congress collide, again — This morning Roll Call has a report on Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) using Hot in Cleveland actresses Betty White and Wendie Mallick in a campaign spot in which they gush about his love of animals and support for community safety. Of course, then he has to release a statement, saying how much of an honor it was to work with Betty and Wendie. Really, congressman, a statement for that? Berman is battling Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif. ) post redistricting. Read the piece here.

Top 10 Most Memorable Media Breakups

By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn, Eddie Scarry and Piranhamous

Relationships are funny. They can last nights, years, or a lifetime. That can mean an eternity of laughs and love and mutual respect. It can also mean that you get stuck in a rut where it just drags on and on and you can’t stand the way the other person fake laughs at your jokes or crunches their cereal in the morning or never actually FOLDS the laundry, they just throw it on the floor. But, breakups happen. Sometimes, it’s no one’s fault — just simple, obvious incompatibility. Other times, it’s personal. Two people united in a vile hatred for each other. Heated blowups, spitting in food, infidelity, rage-filled silence and threats of lawsuits are all common symptoms of a relationship gone south. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, today we bring you the Top 10 Most Memorable Media Breakups of recent times. Enjoy!

10. Keith Olbermann and MSNBC  — Calling Keith Olbermann a “big fish in a small pond” overstates the ratings at MSNBC. He was more like a goldfish in a cereal bowl. But still, he was MSNBC’s biggest fish. So when they split last year, it came as a shock to his fan(s). It was an abusive relationship, for sure. Tales of Olbermann’s temper tantrums are the stuff of legend. The world in which his ego lives is one in where he his popular and influential, the world in which his body lives is the real world. When Olbermann abruptly announced on January 21, 2011, that that night’s Countdown was his last, his fan(s) cried, and throngs of Americans he painted as enemies, laughed. Both knew he would be back, his ego wouldn’t allow him to keep his opinions to his favorite and most loyal audience – himself. He returned to basic cable last fall, on something called Current TV. With production values just this side of public access and an audience almost as small, Keith quickly returned to his abusive habits. After some couple’s therapy, things seem to be going more smoothly. Not audience wise, no one watches Current TV, but at least Keith isn’t abusing the staff anymore.  Winner: MSNBC. They unloaded an angry man for whom no one enjoyed working. Loser: Olbermann. He’s now in the basement (both in ratings and, from the looks of it, his set). His contract with Current TV is technically larger, but based on company stock which, if the black hole that is his ratings don’t improve, is less valuable than a plastic bag filled with chewed gum. — Piranhamous

9. Pat Buchanan and MSNBC — As the closest thing to a Republican as MSNBC will allow on its air, you’d think Pat Buchanan would’ve had some job security simply based on the network’s desire to hold on to the last thread of a plausible claim of credibility and objectivity. If you thought that you’d be wrong. Buchanan, a former Republican and Reform Party candidate for President, was suspended for having opinions that strayed from the progressive orthodoxy MSNBC has sacrificed its objectivity for. Color of Change, the race-based thought police group, with the help of other left-wing groups, paid for an Astroturf campaign against Buchanan, to which MSNBC brass was only too willing to cave. Buchanan has a long history of saying stupid things, but had comfortably settled into the role of “right-wing” dancing monkey for MSNBC’s left-wing organ grinders. When the pennies stopped flowing he was cast aside for a newer, incredibly stupid model – Meghan McCain. While Pat is smart, McCain is not. Pat would probably call it  “affirmative action,” but it’s really, like our credit rating, a downgrading. Pat could make points and use facts that would stump and contradict MSNBC hosts, Meghan confuses the words “modicum” and “emoticon.” Winner: No one. They’re like the couple that should’ve broken up years ago, but stayed together for the kids. The kids are grown now, though they still live at home, so this break-up was a long time coming. Buchanan is ready to retire, and he’d actually have a larger audience if he retired to The Villages and just gave speeches in the rec room. MSNBC now has a pure line-up of progressive mouthpieces, so their audience won’t be threatened by being exposed to opposing viewpoints. It’s win-win. Well, technically it’s lose-lose, but who’s counting? — Piranhamous

8. Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker–  Almost immediately after ex-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and WaPo‘s Kathleen Parker were teamed up for a primetime show on CNN, there were rumors that things just were cooling between the two. The show, titled “Parker Spitzer,” started in October 2010. Ratings were terrible, usually putting the show in last place in the cable news race. Then,  just four months after its debut, Parker announced she was leaving. A report in the New York Post said that Parker often felt upstaged by Spitzer who was more adversarial in his questioning of guests. The report said Parker “stormed off the set” during one taping of the program in November. But who ever thought Parker and Spitzer, who once had a thing for prostitutes, would make good bedfellows? After Parker scrammed for good, Spitzer was back the following week flying solo with a new program, “In the Arena.” That show itself was canceled nine months later. — Eddie Scarry

7. Politico and EVERYONE – Few media outlets have broken more hearts than the behemoth that is Politico. Last year alone, we saw them lay waste to several high profile reporters. Amie Parnes left her perch as FLOTUS-ass-kisser-in-Chief to cover the White House for The Hill. Chris Frates left Politico last year and jumped to NJ. This was particularly heartbreaking, since Frates had been with Politico since the beginning. Soon enough Politico threatened with threats of a lawsuit after Frates allegedly used a reader list for his new job — a charge NJ has always denied. Nonetheless, he pulled names to appease the situation. Kendra Marr resigned after she was busted plagiarizing the work of NYT writer Susan Stellin. We could go on and on and on with all the reporters that left Politico last year, but the most notable was Ben Smith, who left to become Editor-in-Chief at BuzzFeed. Sure, he’s still associated with Politico, but let’s not kid ourselves. They’re friends with benefits at best. — Peter Ogburn

6. David Shuster and MSNBC – This one goes back to 2010. MSNBC just didn’t know WHAT to do with David Shuster. He was their utility man, filling in for Keith Olbermann and various MSNBC shows. He had his own show with Tamron Hall, but no one could decide on which time slot to put him in. All of the back and forth and non-committal behavior from MSNBC prompted Shuster to explore his options. He filmed a pilot with CNN, which is a HUGE no-no. When MSNBC boss Phil Griffin heard of the news, Shuster was “suspended indefinitely” and later, sent packing. Shuster has landed on his feet after the ordeal. Or maybe he’s just landed. He is at Current TV as the primary substitute host for Olbermann and he hosts a weekend radio show on 1480AM. He also has plans to launch an investigative journalism website. Shuster gushed about MSNBC. Think warm fuzzies. “The breakup with MSNBC was amicable,” he told FishbowlDC. “We parted on mutually respectful terms… and I continue to have many close friends there.  Furthermore, leaving MSNBC opened up some amazing doors for me — a rewarding internet venture, weekly radio gigs that are as much fun as one can have in broadcasting, and the opportunity on Current TV to deliver the kind of analysis/commentary that I’ve always desired.  So, I have no regrets and wish the best to everybody at MSNBC.” — Peter Ogburn

See the five remaining breakups…

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