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Posts Tagged ‘Soledad O’Brien’

About that Big Breitbart Scoop…

Breitbart.com editor Joel Pollack went on Soledad O’Brien‘s CNN show this morning to talk about Andrew Breitbart‘s last big scoop–linking President Obama to Harvard Law professor Derrick Bell. Didn’t go so well. O’Brien wasn’t buying it and neither were most of the other big media creatures of the world. The reaction to this story is what would have happened to any other Breitbart story that wasn’t fronted by Breitbart. Pretty much all of Breitbart’s “scoops” were bogus (Weiner’s wiener the one sensational exception). But he knew how the needle the press into giving them more coverage than they deserved.

A Fresh Start | Good to See You | Dead End Street

Screening of CNN’s ‘Tony and Gary Have a Baby’

Last night at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien was at the LA screening of the newest spin off of her documentary series Black in America. This series In America, deals with “stories that usually fly under the radar” said O’Brien. This episode follows gay activists Gary Spino and Tony Brown in their arduous and expensive journey of being a “uterus deficient couple” and having a baby of their own.

It premiers of CNN on June 24th.

Lunch: Soledad O’Brien Talks Helping Haiti’s Children

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The media mob was out in force today at Michael’s and we spotted plenty of table hopping between bites. It was fascinating to see all the head honchos make the rounds while checking in with the competition. Who needs to eat anyway?

I was joined today by CNN’s anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, who I’ve known since her days as anchor of Weekend Today, and CNN publicist Van Scott. Since making the move to cable, Soledad, who left NBC in 2003 to anchor the network’s maiden season of American Morning, has gotten plenty of attention for her on-the-ground reporting of the tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina. It was Soledad’s infamous interview with then FEMA chief Michael Brown that started the public outcry eventually leading to his resignation in September 2005.

After logging in plenty of air miles last year covering major news stories like the earthquake in Haiti, Soledad has unpacked her bags long enough to do a slew of documentaries that are kicking off next month. On May 8, CNN will premiere Rescued, an hour-long look at the plight of Haiti’s children told through the eyes of 6 year-old Cendy Jeune and former child slave Marc Kenson Oliphi. After being in Haiti immediately following the disaster, Soledad tells me she held orphans in her arms whose eyes had seen so much that “they looked old.” The documentary chronicles the lives of the children who are living in the Lighthouse orphanage where rather than being put up for adoption, they are instead taught skills, given an education, and encouraged to be valuable members of society when they “age out” of the orphanage at 18.

It was clearly a transformative experience for Soledad, herself a mother of four. She told me, “The best way to help Haiti is to help the children of Haiti help Haiti.” She’s planning on returning to the region next month with her 9 year-old daughter Sophia in tow. “My kids really want to do something to help. We’re going to ‘adopt a community’ and do what we can.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The lovely Pat Schoenfeld, in a chic red topper and matching loafers, with a few close pals.

2. Cablevision’s president Tad Smith

3. Sony Pictures’ Steve Mosko

4. Steve Rubenstein and William Lauder

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The News Literacy Project: Bringing Accountability Into the Classroom

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Vivian Schiller, Soledad O’Brien and Alan Miller Photo via Meredith Goncalves

Last night, Time Warner hosted a litany of major media players, all gathered in support of The News Literacy Project. Founded by Alan Miller, who left his investigative reporter position at the Los Angeles Times to do the unthinkable – teach students to think critically about the barrage of information thrown at them on the Internet — the program attracted the attention of board members like NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, CNN‘s Soledad O’Brien and Paul Mason, formerly of ABC News. Also on hand yesterday evening was The New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., one of the evening’s co-hosts and participants in last night’s silent auction to raise money for the NLP.

Launched last spring, the NLP brings journalists from across the media world to social studies, English, and history classes in middle and high schools in New York City, Maryland, and Chicago where they teach students how to think critically and pick out reliable information from the overwhelming amount of news that bombards them every day.

Last night’s fundraiser included panels with some of the inaugural members of the program, including Anabel Rivas, a graduate of New York’s Facing History School (one of the three public schools that participated in the first NLP program), as well as Facing History’s principal Gillian Smith, Vice Principal Mark Otto and AP English teacher Kristina Wylie, whose classroom was one of the first to benefit from the News Literacy Program.

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Mediabistro Blog-Family Roundup

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  • Recession puts media conferences on hold- FishbowlNY

  • Ladies who make lunch: Soledad O’Brien vs. Mika Brzezinski- TVNewser
  • E-textbook competition will be fierce- GalleyCat
  • Charlie Bartlett director on breaking into film- MediaJobsDaily
  • ABC News launches YouTube channel- FishbowlDC

  • Katie A No-Show @ Gracies

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    Did Katie skip to avoid reporters?

    At last night’s Gracie Awards hosted by American Women in Radio & Television — where a head-spinning 41 awards were given out — Katie Couric, despite reports from her reps late last week that she would be attending and talking to reporters, was a no show. Couric had been scheduled to appear to accept an award for the piece she did on Condoleezza Rice for 60 Minutes with the show’s writers and producers. Instead she accepted the award via video.

    Sitting in front of a desk with the 60 Minutes logo behind her, Couric, in her best earnest anchor woman persona, said she “wished she could be there” but she “was taking a few days off to spend time with my daughters who are heading off to camp.” Associate producer Jenny Dubin and writer Tom Anderson took the stage when the lights came up. There was plenty of chatter afterwards — all off the record, of course — among the evening’s attendees that the formerly ubiquitous newser is tired of defending herself and the network’s last place broadcast to reporters. Dan Rather‘s comments about CBS “tarting up” the evening news with Couric’s arrival seemed to be the last straw.

    Longtime pal Soledad O’Brien hopes Rather’s remarks aren’t keeping Couric up at night: “His comments really are irrelevant and I hope she’s taking them as such.”

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    Partying With The King

    King and his wife flank the Trumps

    The short hallway between the “Pool Room” and bar acted as a sort of cosmic, generational media portal last night at the Four Seasons, where a pair of cocktail parties — one celebrating Larry King‘s 50 years in broadcasting (a.k.a the “old people room”), the other celebrating the New York Observer‘s redesigned paper and Web site (a.k.a the “kids room”) — were in full, boozy, media-centric swing.

    In the “Old People Room”: King and his television and famous New York pals, like Joan Rivers, Donald and Melania Trump, the View‘s Barbara Walters (at one point Trump and Walters were just feet from each other, but didn’t appear to acknowledge each other) and Joy Behar, Campbell Brown, Mario Cuomo, Lou Dobbs, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Tina Brown, Jeff Greenfield, Ron Howard, Time Inc. managing editor Jim Kelly, Keith Kelly, Ray Kelly, Oprah B.F.F. Gayle King, Calvin Klein, Time Warner chief Dick Parsons, Sandra Bernhard, Jerry Stiller, Arliss actor Robert Wuhl, Mort Zuckerman, American Morning‘s newly-installed Kiran Chetry, Glenn Beck, Montel Williams, James Carville, Tom Wolfe, Andy Rooney and artist Peter Max, whose colorful rendering of King served as the room’s centerpiece.

    In the “Kids Room”: 23-year-old Observer owner Jared Kushner held court with twentysomething bloggers and their youthful bosses, like Gawker’s Choire Sicha, Radar‘s Jeff Bercovici and Maer Roshan, Page Six‘s Corynne Steindler, Slate‘s Jacob Weisberg, Domino‘s Deborah Needleman, WWD‘s Irin Carmon, and HuffPo’s Julia Allison, Katharine Thomson and Rachel Sklar. Fittingly, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, chose the Observer party over King’s.

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    Imus Snubs Larry King Party

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    One of the more intriguing questions about tonight’s Larry King 50th anniversary party in New York has already been answered. Beleaguered radio host Don Imus, a longtime friend of King’s, was on the invitee list for tonight’s bash, but don’t expect to see him.

    “He’s not coming,” our inside source says.

    Here’s who is: Fox News chief Roger Ailes, Tom Brokaw, Donald Trump, Tina Brown and Ron Howard.

    Planned co-hosting duties were to be done by King’s fellow CNNers Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Soledad O’Brien and Paula Zahn, but they are all in Blacksburg covering the Virginia Tech shooting.

    EARLIER:

  • Larry King Thinks God Is From Brooklyn
  • CNN Flips American Morning: Soledad, Miles O’Brien Out; John Roberts, Scorned Fox Newser Kiran Chetry In

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    Weird 24 hours at CNN. First, a shooting at CNN HQ in Atlanta yesterday, which killed a woman. Then the news that Miles O’Brien and Soledad O’Brien — not married and/or related [above right] — co-hosts of CNN’s American Morning, had been ousted from hosting duties, replaced by CBS vet John Roberts and ex-Fox Newser Kiran Chetry [above left].

    Chetry, you’ll recall, was unceremoniously let go by Fox News after a scandalously-failed contract renegotiation, after which Fox leaked a memo blasting Chetry’s agent and inferring Chetry had demanded a spot Fox & Friends, which would’ve required a current host’s firing. Chetry was immediately hired by CNN and filled in for Soledad on American Morning the next day.

    TVNewser reports Soledad will become anchor of CNN’s “Special Investigations” unit.

    EARLIER:

  • Fox News Blasts Kiran Chetry Agent’s ‘Arrogant Disregard’; Chetry Quickly Jumps To CNN
  • Fox News’ Letter To Chetry’s Agent [PDF]
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