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Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

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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Breitbart Assassination Theories Running Rampant

Here’s a theory: President Obama had Andrew Breitbart assassinated because Breitbart was about to release incriminating videos of the president from his college days. Sound crazy? Welcome to the Internet. Buzzfeed tracked down 25 tweets that subscribed to this theory in the hours after Breitbart’s death. There are more.

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Another Newsweek Cover Controversy?

Newsweek’s January 23 cover features President Obama with the accompanying headline:  “Why Are Obama’s Critics So Dumb?”

The piece, written by Andrew Sullivan, examines the middle-of-the-road politics of the President.

Doesn’t really matter though.

It’s the headline that’s got some circles riled up.  Heck, things just wouldn’t be right if Fox News didn’t shoot back on its show The Five with a segment entitled, “Why Are Newsweek Editors So Dumb?

But isn’t attention the purpose of it all? Mission accomplished.

5 Things You Need to Know This Week: Road Tripping with Obama and Watching McDonald’s McSitcoms

In this week’s episode of “5 Things You Need to Know This Week,” we go on the road with President Obama, call dibs on #Occupy spots, sample the new McTV menu at McDonald’s, and… there was one more thing… oh yeah, the World Series.

For more videos, check out Mediabistro.tv, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV


5 Things You Need to Know This Week: Road Tripping with Obama and Watching McDonald’s McSitcoms

In this week’s episode of 5 Things You Need to Know This Week, we go on the road with President Obama, call dibs on #Occupy spots, sample the new McTV menu at McDonald’s, and… there was one more thing… oh yeah, the World Series.

For more videos, check out Mediabistro.tv, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV


Ask About It | Bo Knows Comebacks | Three Steps

  • TVNewser: President Obama is being interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America this Friday. We’re hoping she’ll ask him about the NFL lockout, because we’re starting to get nervous about that.
  • SportsNewser: Speaking of the NFL, Al Michaels says there will eventually be two teams in Los Angeles. We’re guessing both will attempt to bring Bo Jackson out of retirement.
  • SocialTimes: A game teaches kids how to be safe on the Internet. First step: Get off the Internet. Second step: Go outside. Third step: Play.

White House Stops Staging Pictures of Live Speeches for News Photographers

Since Ronald Reagan, the White House has had a policy that still photography cannot be taken during a live presidential address, like the one President Obama gave announcing Osama bin Laden‘s death.

The reason still cameras are not allowed is simply because of the noise from the camera shutters and the placement of the teleprompter. But this policy results in the president having to re-enact part of his address so photographers can take pictures. After Obama’s speech on bin Laden, for example, once the president had finished addressing the nation, he “then re-enacted the walk-out and first 30 seconds of the statement for us,” explained Reuters photographer Jason Reed.

Apart from just being an odd thing to do, this re-enactment goes against the National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics, which says: “Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.”

Even though this policy has been going on for decades, since Obama’s speech, it has blown up into a huge story, and not just on journalism blogs — we’ve even seen it covered on cable news channels. Perhaps the unexpected public outcry is because, as Poynter found in a survey,  30 of 50 newspaper front pages that used an Obama photo from the speech “implied or strongly suggested it was an image of the live address.”

But really, we think it had more to do with the fact that headlines on this story allowed for the serendipitous combination of the words “Bin Laden,” “Photo,” “Obama,” and “Staged.”

In any event, the White House caved into the demands of the angry public, and now has ended its practice of re-enacting presidential speeches, the Washington Post reports.

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The Osama Bin Laden Death Story’s Flawed Spin Job

Is the media to blame here, or the White House?

There has been a great deal of back-pedaling and rewriting and general muddling of the story of Osama bin Laden‘s death since it was first announced by President Obama on Sunday night. And everyone’s been looking the worse for it.

The Wrap provides a summary of the events:

  1. Sunday, May 1, 11:30 p.m. | President Obama Addresses the Nation, in Which We Learn of a “Firefight”
  2. Monday, May 2, 2:00 p.m. | John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Introduces “Human Shield” Myth
  3. Tuesday, May 3, 1:57 p.m.| White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Bin Laden Was Unarmed, But Dangerous”
  4. Tuesday, May 3, 7:00 p.m.| CIA director Leon Panetta Says Bin Laden May Not Have Had a Gun, But Made “Threatening Moves”
  5. Tuesday, May 3, 8:27 p.m| Unnamed Senior Congressional Aide, Says Bin Laden Surrender Would Have Had to Take Place in the Nude (seriously)
  6. Wednesday, May 4 | U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Says All It Takes for Self-Defense Is No Surrender
  7. Wednesday, May 4 | The New York Times Reports There Wasn’t A Whole Lotta Shooting Going On in Abbottabad
  8. Thursday May 5|  Press Secretary Carney: Accuracy Was Another Casualty

Phew! It’s difficult to keep up. As The Wrap says, “Carney told the media that the administration was still in the process of cobbling together all the facts.”

Take a little time on this one, administration. Maybe do some fact-checking this time around. We’re in no hurry.

How Photos from Obama’s Speech on Bin Laden’s Death Were Staged

There is a fascinating piece at Poynter that describes how since the Reagan era (and possibly before) it has been the standard operating procedure that during a live presidential address, like the one President Obama gave announcing the death of Osama bin Laden, still cameras are not allowed to photograph the actual event.

Photojournalists from Reuters and AP described how President Obama basically had to silently re-enact part of his speech for the still cameras after giving it.

Reuters White House photographer Jason Reed writes:

As President Obama continued his nine-minute address in front of just one main network camera, the photographers were held outside the room by staff and asked to remain completely silent. Once Obama was off the air, we were escorted in front of that teleprompter and the President then re-enacted the walk-out and first 30 seconds of the statement for us.

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A President and His Memes

Since President Obama announced the killing of Osama bin Laden, the internet has been dominated by the news — and the resulting jubilation. A few of our favorite memes:

 

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