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Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

Morning Media Newsfeed: AJA Countersues Gore | Time Inc. Guild Talks Break Down

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Al Jazeera America Countersuing Al Gore (TVNewser)
It looks like Al Jazeera America isn’t taking the lawsuit levied by former Vice President Al Gore lying down. The company countersued Gore and Joel Hyatt Friday. The Associated Press The parties are fighting over money that is being held in escrow. The former vice president and Hyatt, the founder of Hyatt Legal Services, sued the network last month saying that it was improperly withholding tens of millions of dollars placed in escrow when Al Jazeera bought Current TV for $500 million. THR / Hollywood, Esq. According to Gore and Hyatt, Al Jazeera squandered those favorable distribution rights by making an “ill-advised, one-sided” agreement with Time Warner Cable, which set off “most favored nation” obligations to other distributors. According to Al Jazeera, it’s Gore and Hyatt who shoulder the blame — and responsibility — for what later happened by failing to get TWC on board in the first place. New York Post Friday’s countersuit insists that AJA, as Current TV’s buyer, did not “make phony claims” but had a “contractual right to be indemnified.” “Al Jazeera America rightfully seeks compensation from an escrow fund that was established solely and specifically to protect Al Jazeera against any harm resulting from these inaccurate representations,” the countersuit claimed. In the countersuit, Al Jazeera stated it made five claims on the escrow money, relating mostly to disagreements it had with distributors following the sale. Variety The purchase price was reportedly $500 million, and, although that figure also was redacted from Al Jazeera’s filing, the company noted that Gore is “reported to have made between $70 and $100 million from the sale.” Gore and Hyatt contend that they initially harbored “serious reservations” about selling the network to Al Jazeera, but decided to entertain the idea of such a sale after performing due diligence and consulting with former senior U.S. government officials.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Sawyer Signs Off World News | Freed Journalist Arrives in U.S.

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Diane Sawyer Signs Off World News: ‘I’ll See You Right Back Here on ABC News, Very Soon’ (TVNewser)
In what may be the most subdued evening news transition since John Chancellor handed off NBC Nightly News to Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd in 1982, Diane Sawyer signed off World News Wednesday night. ABC hadn’t announced when Sawyer’s final show would air. That news came in a tweet from Sawyer Wednesday afternoon. New York Post Sawyer signed off from World News on Wednesday after nearly five years — with gratitude and thanks for her viewers and staff. Sawyer took a few minutes at the end of the program to speak of the “deep privilege it has been to sit in the anchor chair” once occupied by the late Peter Jennings, and assured viewers that the broadcast was in “strong and steady hands” under new anchor David Muir. Deadline Hollywood ABC News noted Wednesday morning that she took the newscast to back-to-back sweep wins in the news demo — in May and July — for the first time in seven years. The show ranked No. 1 in the news demo for her final full week. Mediaite Sawyer will be moving on to running an ABC News team that will produce news specials and conduct high-profile interviews. She promised that the show would not change after she leaves, and as for her own future, “I am not slowing down, but gearing up in a new way.” Sawyer concluded, “With gratitude for these years, I thank you, and I’ll see you right back here on ABC News very soon.” Mashable Sawyer announced her departure from the news program and Muir’s new role back in June. Muir was set to take over the job on Sept. 2 and will continue co-hosting 20/20 on top of his new duties.

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Mel Brooks is a Big Fan of Al Jazeera America

MelBrooksAlJazeeraIt’s the kind of spontaneous testimonial that any new outlet dreams of. For The Stream, Al Jazeera America recently dialed up Mel Brooks via satellite from Los Angeles. At one point, the 87-year-old comedy legend took a moment to praise the instrument of his interview:

“Let me say something about Al Jazeera. I’m doing this because when Al Jazeera was first on the air, and I first heard about it, I thought it was probably Arab, Muslim, you know, slanted and maybe a little anti-Semitic, I didn’t know. And then I got to see it on my local station in Santa Monica and it was like a breath of fresh air.”

“It was like the New York Times of [TV] news. It was either MSNBC on the left or FOX on the right. It was giving me the news as earnestly and as honestly as I ever got it, and that’s why I salute Al Jazeera, and that’s why I’m happy to be here doing this even though the money is very small.”

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Ed Rollins Talks Presidential Politics; The 1 Percent Toasts the Good Life

1003_mockup.gifWe’ve gotten so used to the celebrity circus that has dominated Michael’s lately that we did a double take when we found the dining room populated mostly by suits, well-heeled ladies and dandies who prefer to let their bank accounts (not publicists) do the talking. Aside from the usual boldface names (Star Jones) and fashionistas (Fern Mallis) in attendance, there were a lot of folks at lunch today who I’d never seen in the dining room before.

I just had to go over to Table One and introduce myself to the couple who was working furiously to glam up the table with flowers and pretty trinkets before their guests arrived. It turns out Kelly Langberg was celebrating her birthday with her husband Jeff Langberg and a few of her nearest and dearest BFFs. Jeff told me all these ladies are the better halves of some of Manhattan’s most powerful couples.  The impeccably dressed gals all toasted Kelly, who calls herself  ”The Makeover Queen,” with a lovely rose  in the lounge before moving to their table to celebrate. When I was chatting with Kelly about her makeover business (she refers clients to cosmetic dentists, plastic surgeons,  hair colorists and other professionals essential to living the good life in Gotham),  I couldn’t help but notice the dazzling bling that adorned her ears and wrists. When I complimented her on it, she told me the pieces were from her own line of fine jewelry. Where does she find the time?

I also got  to chat with politico Ed Rollins who specializes in a different kind of makeover. He was assistant to President Ronald Reagan and managed his reelection campaign. Earlier this year, Ed stepped down from his post as Michele Bachmann‘s campaign manager. I just had to ask what he thought of  the results of yesterday’s primary. “Santorum is for real,” he told me. “I expect Romney will get the nomination, but it’s going to be a slugfest right up until the end.” Having seen him on PBS’ recent documentary on President Bill Clinton (“I’d take either Clinton right now!”), we also chatted about the HBO political drama Game Change, based on the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. “I liked the book better. The movie had a deliberate purpose. That’s not the John McCain I know,” he told me. ” (Ed Harris) was too soft and fuzzy.” He did characterize Julianne Moore‘s depiction of Sarah Palin as “very accurate,” though. Ed gave the film high marks in one respect: “It caught a lot of the pace and excitement of a political campaign.” Speaking of campaigns, what does he think of President Obama‘s chances come November? “Presidents often get too much credit and too much blame for what’s happening. Right now, he’s paying the price for promising a lot of things he couldn’t deliver.”

Michael's restaurant in New York City
The scene in the Michael’s dining room

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

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The LA Times‘ Tim Rutten Not a Fan of Simon & Schuster Right Now

Tim Rutten of the LA Times already panned the upcoming Simon & Schuster book “O: A Presidential Novel”–a fictional rendering of Obama’s upcoming 2012 presidential campaign, written anonymously by a supposed political insider with access to Obama–in a review last week. Done deal, right?

Not good enough, Rutten argues in today’s LA Times. There’s something more sinister going on with this book worth noting in a second piece.

Simon & Schuster’s publisher, Jonathan Karp, has claimed that the book “offers some resonant truths about what President Obama is really thinking.” As I noted in The Times’ wholly unfavorable review of “O” last week, “my reviewers’ copy arrived with an unusual letter from … Karp, informing us that the author of this novel ‘is someone who has been in the room with Barack Obama and knows this world intimately. The author wishes to remain anonymous to avoid being pigeonholed or ignored or scorned on the basis of associations, views or background.’”

The author, Rutten notes, has no access to Obama’s inner thoughts, nor is he anonymous anymore. He’s former John McCain aide and ghostwriter Mark Salter.

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Bill Hicks WAY Ahead of His Time on ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’

Sadly, we missed the screening of  the Bill Hicks documentary “AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story” when it premiered in LA last September. But we finally got a look at the film last night and found it a refreshing reintroduction to one of America’s greatest comics. We were especially amazing to see how much of Hicks’ material is beyond relevant today, more than a decade later. His bit on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” above should be required viewing for…say, every politician in America. Especially John McCain.

More info on the film here.

Previously on FBLA: The Daily Show to John McCain: It Gets Worse

LAFCA President Simon Says: Inception Not on my Top Ten

On Sunday, October 24th, members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association will gather to decide who is going to receive their 2010 Career Achievement award. As with all matters involving LAFCA, the man at the helm of the proceedings will be President Brent Simon, truly one of the nicest-guy film critics out there.

Because LAFCA has had a history with this award and others of thinking outside the publicist box – past Career kudos for example have gone to editor Dede Allen, cinematographer Conrad Hall, executive John Calley and French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo – they are fairly impervious to the full-court PR press. But that doesn’t mean it won’t get heated this coming weekend.

“We frequently have around two dozen Career candidates,” reveals Simon via e-mail interview with FishbowlLA. “Any member who nominates an individual speaks for a bit about their reasoning, and we typically have at least eight to ten solid candidates who garner the majority of the vote. Sometimes, candidates make strong showings several years in a row before being selected. Other times, they remain perennial bridesmaids.”

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Lady Gaga Takes on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

“I’m here to be a voice my generation. Not the generation of the senators who are voting but for the youth of this county,” says Lady Gaga. She also calls John McCain out by name.

About time these celebrities do something useful.

Former Journo Turned Politician Promises to Hire Laid Off Journos if Elected

john-mccain-snarling.jpgWe will file this story under politicians taking care of their own. John Dougherty former Phoenix Times staffer, an investigative journalist who most notably uncovered John McCain‘s involvement in the Keating Five Scandal is trying to firm up his nomination to take on the Senator at the polls.

And if that wasn’t interesting enough to us – part of his campaign promise is to hire out of work journalist when he’s senator to “root out corruption.”

Of course, regardless of Dougherty’s rooting, McCain has been re-elected and re-elected and nominated to run for president – twice. Cynical? Nope. Just true.

Is this like Bob Woodward running for president? We don’t know. All we know is if you’re running on the pandering to laid off journo vote – your campaign is doomed.

Conservative Female Former CEO Descends on 2010 CA Election…Another One

fiorina.jpg
Ousted HP exec, former John McCain adviser, Sarah Palin bus throw-her-undererCarly Fiorina has announced her candidacy for Senate. She’s seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Senator Barbra Boxer next year.

Fiorina now joins former eBay exec Meg Whitman in running for a political office. Whitman is seeking to slum it the governor’s mansion in Sacramento as a Republican.

We spot a trend. It really makes us wonder who is less popular right now – Republicans or CEOs. And if combining the two neutralizes or enhances the stigma. Will a state, home to the county with the highest unemployment rate in the US want to give golden parachute eligible women gigs on the government payroll?

We’re staying tuned.

Previously on FBLA: Gavin Newson Drops Out Of Governor’s Race

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