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Posts Tagged ‘George W. Bush’

Ex-Spy Claims Bush Administration Asked CIA to Attack Blogger

Juan Cole

Glenn Carle, an ex-CIA spy, is alleging that the White House – under then President George W. Bush – at least twice asked the CIA to gather information that would discredit Juan Cole, an outspoken liberal blogger and Professor at the University of Michigan. At this time, Cole was writing highly critical posts regarding the Iraq War on his blog Informed Comment.

Carle tells The New York Times that he refused to take part in the operation because it’s illegal, but that didn’t stop other CIA officials from trying to gather information that would slander Cole:

In an interview, Mr. Carle said his supervisor at the National Intelligence Council told him in 2005 that White House officials wanted ‘to get’ Professor Cole, and made clear that he wanted Mr. Carle to collect information about him, an effort Mr. Carle rebuffed. Months later, Mr. Carle said, he confronted a C.I.A. official after learning of another attempt to collect information about Professor Cole.

If Cole’s claims are true, it’s pretty insane. Think about it: The President put out an order to have a private citizen smeared because of what the person was writing. It’s scary because it seems a little too likely to be true.

LA Times Appoints New Managing Editor, Online

According to Omniture, the website LATimes.com in 2010 registered 1.64 billion page views and 493 million unique visitors. Of that visitor total, 30% were from the southern California area.

This is the purview of Jimmy Orr, who it was announced today will take over as the LA Times‘ managing editor, online, beginning February 28th. He replaces Sean Gallagher, who is moving to London.

“We are extremely pleased to have Jimmy take on overall responsibility for latimes.com,” said Times editor Russ Stanton. “Since joining our newsroom last August, he has made significant strides in improving the usability of the site and we look forward to continued growth.”

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Stars Flock to Huffington Post Game Changers Party

Image via HuffPo

“Innovators, mavericks, visionaries, and leaders” convened in downtown New York Thursday night as The Huffington Post celebrated its 100 Game Changers of 2010. Neon centerpieces including a flaming orange shopping cart and lime green globe adorned the darkly lit Skylight Studios space, and we thought for a minute we mistakenly showed up for Arianna Huffington‘s big, fat Greek Bat Mitzvah. Not to worry: A bacon cheeseburger passed hors d’oeuvre cleared up the confusion. Giant screens projected winners in each “Game Changer” category, from food to activism to education — though we didn’t spot a Divorce vertical (maybe next year!).

Amid the swarm of celebs, we spotted Sean Penn, Anderson Cooper, Gayle King, Paulina Porizkova, Tom Colicchio (adorably holding hands with his wife), Marcus Samuelsson, Gail Simmons, and Fern Mallis, but we just had to stop and talk to former governor Eliot Spitzer. Even though we were tempted to ask to see his socks, we took the high road and asked him about his new show on CNN, Parker Spitzer. We asked Spitzer what the hardest part has been so far, and he responded, “Only having eight to 12 minute segments to work with” for each guest. What has he learned since the first taping? “Talk quickly because you only have eight minutes.” He told us he wishes he had an hour instead (we have a feeling that’s never gonna happen), and when we asked who he’d most like to have on the show, Spitzer named Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, remarking that the latter ex-prez “always has a lot to say” and adding, “The fun part is interviewing people I don’t necessarily agree with.” We couldn’t agree more, Mr. Spitzer.

Follow the jump for HuffPo’s red carpet video coverage.
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George ‘Doublya’ Bush Hits YouTube to Plug His New Book

After a long period of post-presidential silence, George W. Bush is finally speaking out. He went on YouTube to plug his upcoming book “Decision Points.” You know, ’cause he’s “The Decider.”

Love how he says this isn’t going to be a typical memoir about his life–it’s going to be an inside look at his presidency. Then he says he’ll start the book when he quit drinking at age 40. So it is about his life, just not about his wildly privileged upbringing. It starts at a low point ordinary folks can relate to, instead of the first 40 years of running around with daddy and friends’ money.

A pretty smart PR decision actually. Look at you Decider! Too bad you didn’t run the country like you’re running your literary career.

Liberal Criticism of PBS Too Quick To The Draw

111pbs.jpgTavis Smiley Ends Racism” reads a Gawker post today about the PBS host, but they’re not talking about The Covenant with Black America editor bringing people together.

Instead, the article is about Tavis Smiley‘s decision to end his 10-year-old State of the Black Union conference, which some would argue is inherently race-related (though how it may be “racist” is a different matter entirely, based mostly on Smiley’s previous criticism of Barack Obama). This news comes barely a week after PBS ombudsman Michael Getler addressed readers and explained that there’s a difference between something being on public television, and it being distributed by PBS, as viewers emailed to complain about the station being in bed with a George W. Bush institution in producing a series called “Ideas For Action.”

In fact, it is EPS (Executive Program Services, run by several ex-PBS staffers) which is distributing and co-producing the series, though the shows will be shown on public television.

Though it may seem like a splitting of hairs in both of these cases, the anti-PBS rhetoric of late seems bent towards liberal blogs (The Huffington Post, Gawker), ironically reinforcing the idea that only left-wing writers pay attention to public television in the first place.

Read More: APNewsBreak: Smiley Ends State of the Black Union –AP/The New York Times

Another Case of ‘It’s on PBS, but It’s Not PBS’ –PBS Ombudsman

George W. Bush Institute To Co-Produce Public Television Show “Ideas In Action” –Huffington Post

Tavis Smiley Ends Racism –Gawker

On The Menu: The Best Movies Of 2009

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Avatar was the topic du jour on the mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast this morning, as hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven discussed the year’s best movies with Infrastructurist.com editor and movie buff Melissa Lafsky.

All three decided that Avatar was one of the year’s best films, although Jason had trouble with the movie’s story and Melissa criticized its swipes at former President George W. Bush. Still Avatar‘s plot, involving humans overpowering an alien race while one man betrays his own kind to save the natives, is “a constant theme in movies,” Melissa pointed out. “It’s a constant plot line for a reason. We all have these fantasies of…going back to nature.”

In addition to Avatar, Matt’s list of the top 12 movies of the year included Where The Wild Things Are, The Informant, The Hangover, Adventureland, I Love You Man and Inglorious Basterds. Jason named The Hurt Locker his favorite film of the year, and picked The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Where The Wild Things Are as two of the best adaptations of the year, in addition to critical fave Precious and the blockbuster Twilight sequel New Moon.

Melissa disagreed with Jason about Where The Wild Things Are but sided with him on The Hurt Locker. She also named Drag Me To Hell and Up as her picks of the year. “You don’t see to many movies about getting old,” she said of the poignant Pixar pic.

Also discussed: the biggest infrastructure stories of 2009 and the decade.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at BlogTalkRadio.com/mediabistro and call in at 646-929-0321.

Former First Daughter Joins “Today”

jenna.jpgIf you’ve been wondering what former President George W. Bush‘s daughters have been up to, look no further than morning TV.

Jenna Bush Hager will soon be starting a gig as a correspondent for NBC‘s “Today” show. Although the 27-year-old is currently a teacher in Baltimore, she will be working part time at her school while working part time out of NBC’s Washington, D.C. bureau to produce once monthly stories for the morning show.

Hager was sought out by “Today” executive producer Jim Bell, who told the Associated Press that she had a “natural presence” on air during previous “Today” show appearances.

In fact, during an appearance in April 2008 — the video’s below — she seems very comfortable being interviewed and being on camera. But will that translate into being a good reporter?

We’ll find out when Hager files her first report, which will most likely focus on education, next month.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Former first daughter Jenna Bush joins Today — Associated Press

Earlier: Jenna Bush Locked Out

Kevin Spacey, Method Actor is Studying Abramoff Behind Bars

kevin_spacey.jpgThis is a really fun bit from Nikki Finke. Awesome:

EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me that 2-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey and film director George Hickenlooper (Factory Girl, Hearts of Darkness) are right now visiting Washington DC lobbyist Jack Abramoff in Cumberland Federal Prison. Abramoff, of course, was responsible for one of the biggest political scandal to hit the nation’s capital since Watergate, and is the subject of a screenplay Casino Jack starring Spacey and directed by Hickenlooper and written by Norm Snider (Dead Ringers) and produced by Bill Marks, George Vitetzakis and exec-produced by Donald Zuckerman and Richard Rionda of Hannibal Pictures. A portion of the project is being financed by Brad Feinstein of Titan Multi Media Group in a deal being negotiated by Paradigm. The story is described to me as a modern day GoodFellas set in Washington DC that plays like a thriller involving Karl Rove and others in former President George W. Bush‘s inner circle. Cameras will roll later next month.

I’m told that Kevin Spacey is set to star as Jack Abramoff,

Read the whole piece here.

Ron Silver, Dead at 62

16silver_190.jpgWe think it both fitting and tragic that both the NYTimes and LATimes used a picture of Ron Silver from the 2004 RNC. Sure, he did some stuff in his life, movies blah blah, theater blah blah – but he endorsed George W. Bush. We didn’t know Silver personally, but we think he’d be cool with that.

Bruce Weber at the NYT writes:

Ron Silver, a versatile actor and independent-minded political activist who played Henry Kissinger, Alan Dershowitz and Angelo Dundee on the screen and supported Bill Clinton, Rudolph W. Giuliani and George W. Bush on the stump, died at home in Manhattan on Sunday. He was 62.

Dennis McClellan at LAT writes:

As for those who mock celebrity participation in politics, Silver told the New York Times in 1993: “What do you want us to do? Have affairs? Become drug addicts? We have a certain visibility and power in the society. We’re a celebrity-driven society. Why not use that to try to do a little good?”

Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.

George W. Sweeps the 2008 SPOGG Awards

bush_book.jpg
March 4th is National Grammar Day. The day we donate all our typos to charity.

And it’s the time for the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar to hand out their awards for the worst.

From their site:

This year, the award goes to President George W. Bush, who does not realize the plural of “child” is “children,” not “childrens.”

He beat Paris Hilton, who produced T-shirts that say “THATS HOT” without the apostrophe, and Courtney Love, who generates so many errors per inch of text on her blog that even the best instruments known to grammar scientists have failed to record them all.

Poor Courtney – she just can’t catch a break from anyone…

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