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Posts Tagged ‘Walter Cronkite’

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Things we Think you Ought to Know…)

Shuster Faces Down Snake – Current TV’s David Shuster was recently on vacation in Morocco and engaged in what would appear to be a stereotypical tourist activity when visiting the area. He posed with a giant cobra. Don’t believe us? He tweeted the following picture as proof. As Shuster notes, handling snakes is nothing new. “Years in DC made this a breeze,” he told FishbowlDC.

Kurtz Self-Pimps Throughout Latest Story – We hardly think it’s breaking news when Newsweek/Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz uses his pieces to talk about himself. His latest on Walter Cronkite is no exception. It’s an examination of a new biography on Cronkite that claims that Cronkite wasn’t the most ethical of newsmen. There are tantalizing details in the piece, but Kurtz makes sure we know about HIS relationship with Cronkite right up front. He’s barely three graphs in when he tells us, “I got to know Cronkite after his anchoring days as a charming, hard-of-hearing, slightly stodgy spokesman for old-fashioned news values against the encroachment of tabloid entertainment.” Thanks, Howard! We were dying to know your experiences with Cronkite.

SNL Dings Sharpton…  Again – We can’t really blame Saturday Night Live for lampooning MSNBC’s Rev. Al Sharpton. Let’s face it. When you have a subject that consistently churns out unintentionally funny lines with the regularity of Sharpton, why stop? Check out the video below to see Sharpton Lettuce’s take on “JiP Morgan.”


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Fishbowl5+ With Dr. Aaron Perlut: The Follically Rugged Man Behind the Million Mustache March

The American Mustache Institute, an entity we’ve been intermittently quarreling and laughing with for the past few weeks, offered up their hairy leader, Aaron Perlut, yesterday for a deep afternoon dive into the Fishbowl by phone. We accepted the challenge as Perlut comes to town this weekend for a Million Mustache March on Capitol Hill to raise money for Millions From One, which builds water wells in third world countries with poor drinking water. He talked press strategy, shared what it was like having facial hair at an obscenely young age and offered his delusional thoughts on how sexy he thinks mustaches are. Perlut has chaired the Institute since 1965. Heed this warning Fishbowlers: Perlut speaks with the driest of humor. We went beyond five questions because we just couldn’t help ourselves. Read what you like and leave the rest.

What is your personal mustache history? I’ve had it since I was 7. Parents were afraid to let their children play with me because I was alarmingly developed. It’s tough being this ruggedly handsome for this many years. I have a horseshoe style mustache. Basically, are you familiar with a Fu Manchu? It hangs over the corner of the mouth,, half way down the chin but it doesn’t hit the base of the chin. It’s pretty awesome though. (At this point, however unsolicited, Perlut explained that there are people who compete in facial hair contests. “They call it competitive bearding,” he said. We were frightened but he continued. “Physically we tend to be the JV team compared to them. We’re advocating for the lifestyle more than anything else.

How many people to you expect to attend Sunday’s mustache march? At least one million if not two, but probably two.

Your press strategy is unusual for Washington. Lots of jokes and quirkiness that sometimes amounts to horse shit. Without a doubt. Quite frankly, if we were to deliver our message in straight-laced manner it would get far less traction. We have found by injecting humor into our efforts it goes further. We don’t mind people getting a chuckle out of the mustache.

Do you think women find the mustache sexy? I’ve had my wife tell me that she’s tired of it at times, because not only am I living the lifestyle but I am talking it ad nauseam. But she also never tires of the dashing handsomeness associated with it. She’s very familiar with the science that it raises a man’s good looks by 38 percent according to AMI science so she knows she’s getting the whole package.

Have you ever experienced ridicule for your mustache?

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FishbowlDC Interview: Bob Schieffer

Bob Schieffer is a living legend and icon of American journalism.  The moderator of “Face the Nation” and Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News has worked as a journalist for more than 50 years.  Since joining the network in 1969, Schieffer has won six Emmy Awards, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, was inducted to the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and became the namesake of Texas Christian University’s School of Journalism.

And though he’s moderated two presidential debates, earned nearly every award under the sun, and is arguably one of the most recognized figures in American media, Bob’s ability to maintain humility and a wicked sense of humor may be his greatest accomplishments of all – and the secret sauce behind his ‘staying power.’

When I asked Bob what it’s like to be considered an icon, he replied, “I’m not sure I am, but as Jack Benny once said, ‘I find being famous quite enjoyable.’”

Next Wednesday, CBS brass will host an event to toast Schieffer’s 20 years as moderator of “Face the Nation.”  In anticipation of his platinum anniversary, we caught up with Bob for a very special FishbowlDC interview…

What was the proudest moment of your career? I’m not sure it was deserved, but I think the thing that means the most to me was when my alma mater TCU named the journalism school in my honor.

Most embarrassing moment? I once dropped a hot cup of coffee on Maria Shriver, but that was on the morning news. And then there was the time President Ford called on me at a prime time news conference and I couldn’t think of a question to ask. So I just said, “What about the Russians?” and lo and behold he gave me an answer that made page 1 news.

Most shocking answer you’ve received in an interview? The most startling answer I ever got on Face the Nation came from Bob Bennett, then President Clinton’s attorney. A woman named Paula Jones alleged she had intimate relations with President Clinton. She was said to have described characteristics about Clinton that only someone who had been intimate with him would have known. When I asked Bennett about this he said, “The President is normal in size, shape and direction.” I nearly fell out of my chair.

Who was your most memorable guest? I guess the most antagonistic interview I ever had was with Ollie North when he was running for the Senate. I have fond memories of interviews with Henry Kissinger, various presidents, Billy Graham and also, Morgan Fairchild.

What inspires you? Walter Cronkite was my hero when I was growing up. I always wanted to be like Walter and I still do.

Any career regrets? Yes, I wish it was just starting.

What’s one unfulfilled item from your bucket list? It involves Gwyneth Paltrow but I don’t want to go into detail.

*Bob’s favorite journalists,  rising stars, advice for aspiring reporters and why he wears purple socks every day after the jump.

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GWU Gets Three New Media Fellows

Just what this town needs — more “fellows”, along with more impressive graduate degrees and longer titles.

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett (pictured at left), former White House videographer Arun Chaudhary (shown below) and P.J. Crowley, former asst. sec. of state for public affairs, are joining the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) as its newest fellows for the 2011 – 2012 academic year.

In anticipation of the upcoming presidential election, the fellows are supposed to provide behind-the-scenes insight to students and faculty.

The press release is lengthy and snoozeworthy. So we’re bringing you the only quote mildly worth reading and it’s from Bennett: “I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for GW because so many Utahans have gone to school there including my father-in-law, who got his law degree at GW,” said former Bennett. “I’ve watched the media world change from the days when Walter Cronkite could inform the entire nation to a time now of rampant blogs, 24 hour news cycles and information overload. It has created a clutter that has changed the relationship between an elected official and his constituency. We need to examine and discuss what this means for the country and our future.”

Separated at Birth: Author Carol Joynt and Ozzy

We’re going way outside the box on this one. Carol Joynt, Washington blogger and author of the newly released Innocent Spouse: A Memoir, bears an uncanny resemblance to the Godfather of Heavy Metal Ozzy Osbourne. We think they’re different on a number of fronts. For instance, he has 15 tattoos, he has bitten the head off a dove and a bat and speaks in an English accent. Joynt’s more old school. She prefers the cuisine at the Ritz, where she hosts her Q & A Cafes. In 1972 she was one of three writers for Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News.

Lehrer Wins 2011 Fourth Estate Award

Photo by Robert Severi

PBS Newshour’s Jim Lehrer has been named the winner of this year’s Fourth Estate Award for career achievement by the National Press Club.  Regarding their selection, Club President Mark Hamrick said, “Jim Lehrer has embodied the time-tested core values of journalism dating back to when many people had only black and white screens and continuing through today’s era of high definition television and social media. Amid the cacophony of a sometimes shrill media landscape, he has remained the true voice of reason, balance and fairness.”

Previous winners of the Fourth Estate Award include Walter Cronkite, Christiane Amanpour, David Brinkley and David Broder. Lehrer will be presented with his award at a gala dinner later this year.  Congratulations to Jim!

Fishbowl5 With National Press Club’s New Prez

Meet AP‘s Mark Hamrick, a new V.I.P. in town. The Washington, D.C.-based online video producer and business correspondent was sworn in as National Press Club President Saturday night. Watch the video with President Obama here.

1. You’ve been elected President of the Press Club. How does it rank with other great moments in your life? It ranks right up there with our wedding and the birth of my son, Christopher. As I told those on hand in the ballroom, it will probably be the best, largest such gathering before my funeral, except I got to be present for this one.

2. You’ve worked for AP for a quarter century. How does that feel and how do you think you’ve changed as a person and journalist in that time? First, as a person, I hope I’ve developed more empathy. As a journalist, my sense of mission has only grown stronger. On the job, I’ve learned to trust my instincts and intuition more. I think more about trying to make emotional connections to people with my work.

3. Your dad worked for AP. Did you always know you’d go into the journo business? My dad brought home a cassette recorder from his work in the 1960s and I was immediately fascinated by it. I knew I wanted to go into radio very early and was hanging out at my first station when I was 15 years old. I was employed soon after that doing newscasts and everything else one did around a small station. I went to a presidential news conference with my dad when Ford was visiting Topeka, saw the network reporters there like Tom Brokaw and knew that was what I wanted to do.

4. What improvements do you think need making at NPC? What is your platform for change or doesn’t it need it? The National Press Club has never been stronger financially. I want us to seek higher-profile speakers, including those who can participate in discussions about journalism. The public is eager for it, given what I’m seeing in the social networking space. Another project we’ve started is with a new Diversity Committee, which will help us to reach out to a variety of groups and individuals. We can do a better job telling the story of the National Press Club and why it presents a compelling value to prospective members.

5. Assess the state of journalism today and where it’s going. What do you miss from the “old” days and what do you think is exciting about today’s version of journalism? I miss the journalists from earlier generations, like Walter Cronkite and Christopher Glen from CBS and succinct writers like Art Buchwald and Jack Anderson. But I don’t yearn for those days. The pace of change in technology and media is breathtaking.  And, as in the past, people are always interested in knowing about good stories, no matter in video, radio or in print.

A bonus question…

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Crawford Makes CBS Debut on Today’s “Face the Nation”


CBS’ Bob Schieffer revived a Walter Cronkite tradition on this morning’s “Face the Nation”– the holiday roundtable. The CBS News team- chief White House correspondent Chip Reid, national security Bob Orr, national security correspondent David Martin and congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes- joined the anchor and chief Washington correspondent for 2010 analysis and predictions. Roundtable video here.

And that wasn’t all… today’s “Face the Nation” was also the CBS debut of chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford. She recently made the move from ABC and kicks off a new year in CBS’ Washington bureau.

Photo via

Morning Reading List 09.24.09

Good morning FishbowlDC! Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

Happy Birthday to Sara DuBois and former DC-er turned NY-er Sarah Rosefeldt! check out our Fishbowl-er to the North Amanda Ernst on mediabistro’s Morning Media Menu today. It could be a tough day for some at CQ-Roll Call. What know and what we’re reading this Thursday morning…



A run-down of interviews with world leaders with the UN General Assembly meeting, courtesy of TVNewser. And also on TVNewser, the 2008-2009 evening news ratings- NBC’s “Nightly News” wins the seasons, CBS and ABC both had decreases in total viewers.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is recovering from swine flu.

Fox News is the most and the least trusted news source. A national Sacred Heart University survey found only one-quarter of news consumers say they believe all or most of news media reporting- 30% say Fox News is the most-trusted and a comparable 26.2% says it is the least-trusted. (Poynter)


The latest Capitol File mag hits newsstands today- we’ll have some dets on the issue on the blog later.


The Fix is looking for your recommendations for the best political reporters from each state. “One of the Fix’s pleasures in life — yes, we know we are weird — is reading the work of the best political reporters from across the country to get a on-the-ground sense for what’s happening in the states.”

RTNDA (Radio & TV News Directors Association) will soon be known as RTDNA – The Radio, TV, Digital News Association, effective Oct. 13th. From the website: “RTDNA will still do what it does best — protect journalists and allow them to provide unencumbered coverage, offer training in the best practices for all digital journalists, and recognize excellence within the field of journalism. We’ll just do it with a renewed sense of purpose, a more inclusive spirit and a new name.”

USA Today: The FBI destroyed its files on former CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite two years ago under a policy that has been criticized by researchers for allowing potentially valuable records to be wiped out. Cronkite’s death in July made any FBI files about him available for release under the federal law.

HAT TIPS: mediabistro, TVNewser, Politico, NJ‘s Wake-Up Call and Last Call!

NPC Remembers Cronkite and Hewitt

Rather, Kalb, Schieffer and Schorr last night at the National Press Club.

Marvin Kalb moderated a discussion between Bob Schieffer, Daniel Schorr and Dan Rather last evening at the National Press Club called “A Tribute to Walter Cronkite and Don Hewitt.”

They shared their favorite stories and memories of the “most trusted man in America” and the creator of “60 Minutes.” And they reacted to comments the President made at Cronkite’s memorial service in New York last week. “We find ourselves wondering how he would have covered the monumental stories of our time. Would he have been able to cut through the murky noise of the blogs and the tweets and the sound bites to shine the bright light on substance?”

They agreed with how the President ended that thought too: “And somehow we know that the answer is yes. The simple values Walter Cronkite set out in pursuit of, to seek the truth, to keep us honest, to explore our world the best he could, they are as vital today as they ever were.”