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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Arango’

NY Times Baghdad Bureau Chief Talks Iraq

Tim Arango has been The New York Times’ Baghdad bureau chief since 2010. He recently took part in a Reddit AMA, and below we’ve gathered some of the highlights.

On if America’s influence on Iraq was negative:

Yes, there is no other way to see it. Everything that is occurring in Iraq today is related the American legacy there. The forerunner of ISIS was created to oppose the American occupation, and many of its leaders were in American detention facilities in Iraq. On the other side of the ledger, as it pertains to Iraqi politics, you see the American legacy. The U.S. basically chose Maliki, whose sectarian politics alienated many Sunnis, creating the fertile ground for ISIS to sweep in to these areas. And many of those Maliki policies that have pushed aside the Sunnis were started by the Americans. Excluding Sunnis from political life? that has its origins in the American De-Baathification policy. Maliki’s security policy of conducting mass arrests of Sunni men in the name of fighting terrorism? the U.S. did that too.

On the Times’ Baghdad bureau:

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Power Lunching with Eliot Spitzer, Star Jones and Joanna Coles

1003_mockup.gifIt’s the last Wednesday power lunch of the year (or the last one ever if you believe those wacky Mayans), and the usual suspects at Michael’s came bearing gifts to be traded over Cobb salads today. Some regulars (Linda Fairstein) were hosting year-end catch-ups with pals, while others (Steven Stolman) broke bread with their bosses. Of course, even if Christmas is less than a week away, there are those who mean business with lunch.

I caught up with Eliot Spitzer while he was waiting for his guest to arrive and asked him how he’s faring over at Current TV. “Nobody’s watching, but I’m having a great time,” he told me. “I don’t mean to be facetious, but I am really enjoying myself. It’s like having a cocktail party with friends every night.” Pausing for a moment he added, “Somebody needs to buy the network.” And perhaps they will, he mused, if for no other reason than to snap up Current’s distribution system.  Either way, New York’s former governor isn’t quitting his day job, so to speak. “I’m glad all my investments are in real estate, not media companies, but if someone can make money at it, great.” Indeed.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Best-selling author Linda Fairstein, hosting her annual holiday lunch for her former colleagues from her days as head of the city’s sex crimes unit. “I love doing this for these women who are all tops in their field. We’ve been having this lunch every year for over a decade, and for one afternoon they are treated like queens of the world,” Linda told me as she placed artfully decorated gift bags at each place setting embellished with the words ‘Boss Lady.’ The incredible women who were taking a break from their usual daily grind of solving and prosecuting the city’s most heinous crimes: New York Supreme Court Judge Ann Donnelly, Karen Friedman-Agnifilo, trial division chief; Audrey Moore, chief the Special Victims’ Unit; cold case division head Melissa Mourges, who just this week got a conviction on the ‘Dating Game’ murder; Kerry O’Connell, chief of the trial bureau; and Martha Bashford, head of the Sex Crimes Unit. Ladies, I salute you.

2.  Peter Brown

3. ’Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and David Zinczenko (Happy Belated Birthday!)

4.  PR scion Steve Rubenstein

The holiday scene at Michael's

The holiday scene at Michael’s

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Andrew Rossi on How The New York Times Sets The Public Agenda

In Page One: Inside The New York Times, filmmaker Andrew Rossi followed reporters David Carr, Tim Arango and Brian Stelter for one year as they covered the changing media landscape.

However, it’s The Atlantic‘s Michael Hirschorn who makes arguably one of the film’s most profound statements: The New York Times dictates our national conversation… but no one knows it.  (We see you, trendy grandparent names.)

“There’s not like a digital bar code that’s attached to the original information,” Rossi explained in our @mediabeat interview, “and so you see that information kind of filtering out into so many different platforms, which is wonderful. That’s one of the beauties of this sort of social media connected world we live in. However, it’s important for people to realize that a lot of that information does come originally from a story in the Times.”

Watch the full video for more details on Rossi’s filmmaking process and to learn why he “didn’t necessarily have an agenda” for shooting.

You can also view this interview on YouTube.

Part 1: Andrew Rossi Goes Inside The New York Times
Part 3: Page One‘s Andrew Rossi On Getting Your Film To Sundance

A Look at a ‘Want Ad’ from The New York Times

Who wouldn’t want to work at The New York Times? Well, aside from people who hate on the paper no matter what happens. Actually, we’re pretty sure even those people would jump at the chance if it was presented.

If you’re a person who would like to work for the best paper in the world, The Cutline got a look at an internal memo from Media Editor Bruce Headlam that isn’t exactly a want ad, but gives you some idea of nonchalant the Times can be, because it’s the Times.

Check it out after the jump.

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WWD Profiles Jesse Angelo

The Daily finally launched yesterday, and today there will be about 4,374 articles about it. WWD has one of them -  a huge piece on The Daily’s Editor-in-Chief, Jesse Angelo, who just happens to be really good friends with James Murdoch. But nevermind that! The piece makes sure to point out how hard working Angelo was during his many years at the New York Post, and that he never looked like a rich kid:

‘He was this sort of gruff, archetypal tabloid editor,’ said former Postie and current Times reporter Tim Arango, reflecting on the first time he met Angelo at the Post’s watering hole, Langan’s. ‘He seemed like someone who has newspaper ink in his veins. He was smoking and all that. I had no idea about his background or anything, but he struck me as how I would have imagined the metro editor at the Post being like.’

Sounds good to us. Oh, and we need to mention this just because we loved reading it: Angelo’s mother co-wrote the theme song for Mr. Belvedere. Amazing.

Regardless of what Angelo (or his mom) has done before, he’s taking on a huge task with The Daily. Along with Angelo, the team behind the iPad paper is impressive, so they’ve got the talent. The only question is – will it work?

Fit to Print: Covering The Decline Of The Newspaper Industry

Our colleagues at sister publication FishbowlLA pointed us to this trailer from a work-in-progress documentary about the newspaper industry, Fit to Print.

The 10-minute trailer features interviews with Columbia University’s Andie Turcher, The New York TimesTim Arango and Jason Fry, formerly of The Wall Street Journal and includes scary factoids like, “Newspaper jobs will decline by 25 percent by 2018,” and “In 2009 alone, over 15,000 people lost their job in the newspaper industry.”

The documentary is being produced by a group of journalists and a videographer, including Adam Chadwick, a former copy editor at The New York Times who saw his job “evaporate” at the end of last year.

Read more about the doc and the group on their site

Fit to Print, the Documentary Trailer –FishbowlLA

Micropayments: Pay Walls’ Happy Medium?

cents.jpgWhen entertainment industry trade Variety decided to put its online content behind a pay wall earlier this month, it promised options for how users would go about paying. (Random selection being one of the more out there ideas we’ve heard for pay walls, but hey, everyone is trying something new.)

Other Web sites like those belonging to The Financial Times have embarked on a plan that would eventually allow users to purchase individual articles for a small fee, much like buying a song from iTunes for 99 cents instead of the whole album for $10.

Media analysts don’t necessarily agree that bringing down the price of content (even if it costs customers more money in the long run) will make potential readers take out their wallets. Jay Rosen New York University journalism professor, Bryan Keefer of The Daily Beast and Josh Benton of Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab both see the chink in pay walls’ armor as being that the majority of people just won’t pay for content in its current state, period. (Rosen actually predicted the paradoxical idea of paid-for “exclusivity” appealing to link-obsessed readers in a 2005 article for The Huffington Post.) So the people already paying for subscriptions will continue to pay, and the rest won’t be typing in their credit card information, no matter how small the fee is.

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Lunch: Liz Smith, Frank Langella & A Bevy of Social Swans

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The streets may be eerily empty these days (at least you can always get a cab), but you can pretty much count on a full house on Wednesdays at Michael’s. Today the dining room was buzzing as media mavens and a fair share of fashionistas made the scene. Before things really got going, I checked in with ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong, who is keeping good thoughts for his pal Robin Williams as he undergoes heart surgery. It was Joe, you may recall, who first brought Robin to Michael’s all those years ago for a lunch with Bill Clinton, which made headlines far and wide and even wound up being discussed on David Letterman. Here’s hoping one of our favorite funnymen makes a full and quick recovery.

Today I was lunching with Dorian Benkoil, mediabistro.com’s former editorial director and the man who first asked me to do this column. Dorian has a very full plate these days helming his own company, Teeming Media. He’s hosting an online show, Naked Media, broadcast monthly on NakedMedia.org, and recently had Businessweek.com’s Jon Byrne and Howard Lindzon, co-founder of Stockwits and Wallstrip, as guests. At the moment, Dorian is hard at work producing a seminar entitled “Finance for Media Professionals” to be held on March 23. If you want to check out the details for this timely talk, go to TeemingMedia.com.

I was happy to see regulars Kira Semler and Vi Huse (‘the bar-ettes’) having their monthly champagne lunch at the bar. I only wish that Kira had told me about her letter to the New York Post (which they printed) bemoaning the paper’s decision to stop publishing Liz Smith‘s column. (She showed it to me when we were all on our way out the door.) I would have loved to have introduced Liz to such an ardent fan. Oh well, next time…

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The New Yorker‘s David Remnick, publisher Lisa Hughes and Cartier’s Frederic de Narp with a few members of his incredibly chic staff.

2. My new Facebook friend Terry Allen Kramer with Broadway producers James Neiderlander and Rob Greenblatt

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and The Hallmark Channel’s honcho Henry Schleiff. I had to go over and tell Henry that I’m loving those Saturday night made-for-TV movies on his network (What can I say? I have a four-year-old and don’t get out much). Henry told me he’s particularly excited about this week’s offering, Relative Stranger, starring Eriq La Salle, Cicely Tyson and Michael Michele, about a football player who leaves his family and years later returns to make amends. It premieres Saturday night at 8 p.m. I’m in! And, for all you fans of I Love Lucy and The Golden Girls reruns (Come on, confess, I know you’re out there) Hallmark is now home to these television gems. You’re welcome…

4. Liz Smith and Frank Langella (who gallantly got up and offered to pull out Liz’s chair — chivalry is not dead! Liz and I chatted before Mr. Langella’s arrival (he’s just too imposing to call Frank) and she told me now that she’s made the move to the Internet writing for her Website wowOwow.com (check it out, it’s addictive), she’s “trying to pump up her sources.” Aren’t we all?

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Strange Bedfellows in Sun Valley

SV2008b.jpgDan Cox, on special assignment for FishbowlLA, covering the 2008 Sun Valley Media Conference.

As Hollywood mavens drifted into Sun Valley, a few were eager to talk.

Universal Studios COO and President Ron Meyer, asked whether Hollywood was making too many movies, said: “I’m part of that Hollywood, so I’d be criticizing myself.”

RMeyer_7.8.jpgMeyer, a regular at Sun Valley, said he’s just staying for a couple of days this time. While holding court before about a dozen reporters and photographers, Meyer smiled when CAA agents Bryan Lourd and Richard Lovett complained that he was blocking there way as they exited the Sun Valley Lodge driveway.

“Ronnie, get out of the way,” Lourd yelled.

Asked for a comment himself, Lourd said: “Why would you ever want to talk to me? There are much more important people here.”

Lourd is one of a handful of Hollywood agents, including William Morris Agency’s Jim Wiatt, United Talent Agency’s Jim Berkus and ICM agent Jeff Berg.

Wiatt was the first to introduce former Viacom chief Tom Freston to the assembled media. “We rode in on the plane together,” Wiatt said.

• In the strange bedfellows department, the New York Times and the New York Post, always bitter enemies in the news arena, ended up splitting the cost of a Sun Valley Lodge suite for Times reporter Tim Arango and his girlfriend, Post photographer Victoria Will. The couple, who ironically met at Sun Valley four years ago, have been dating ever since.

Lunch At Michael’s: Lance Armstrong — For Governor?

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Remember a few weeks back when I promised Lunch readers a full report on the off chance we had our own encounter Lance Armstrong at 55th & Fifth? Well, here’s your early holiday treat. The Tour de France winner-turned-man about town was holding court at Table One today so I couldn’t resist chatting up the surprisingly shy guy. When I first spotted Lance in the power spot I was struck by how dashing (and slim) he looked in his power suit (accessorized, of course, with his own LiveStrong bracelet). All you gossipmongers out there will probably be disappointed to learn he wasn’t dining with his ex-Tory Burch or his one time canoodling partner Ashley Olsen. When I introduced myself to Lance as he got up to leave, he looked a bit nervous when he spotted me surreptitiously (or so I thought) taking notes. “What are you writing?” he asked nervously. That’s when I knew it wasn’t exactly the right time to ask about Tory or Ashley, so I told him I write this little column about who lunches at Michael’s on Wednesdays and asked him if he could tell me who he was with today. After giving the question a bit more time than one would think it warranted, he warmed up and answered. Turns out my new pal was dining with the head of his foundation, Doug Ulman and Kathy Giusti, founder of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. “She does an incredible job raising money for the prevention of that cancer,” he said. When asked why he chose to come to Michael’s (it’s his second visit in so many months), he said with a big smile, “Whenever I ask people where they want to have lunch they say, ‘Let’s go to Michael’s!” He told me he had another date planned but since he seemed a bit skittish about generating any press I promised him I’d keep mum on the specifics. In the meantime, ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong says fellow Texans are so impressed by Lance’s heroic fundraising efforts that there’s a movement afoot to draft him into running for governor of the Longhorn state. If Arnold can do it, why not?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Lance Armstrong, Doug Ulman and Kathy Giusti.

2. Peter Brown.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Dorothy Kalins enjoying a long awaited “reunion lunch.” These good pals go way back to the days when Joe was founding publisher of Saveur and Dorothy was editor …

4. Would love loved to have been a fly on the wall for this one: Jim Dolan and Viacom’s Philippe Dauman.

5. Herb Siegal — congrats on your engagement! Ain’t love grand …

6. A group of gents we didn’t recognize …

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