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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Russert’

Menu: DJ And Woodstock Chronicler Pete Fornatale Talks Tim Russert, Rubbernecking & “House Hippies”


Today’s media- Morning Media Menu podcast got a visit from a pro, as longtime radio DJ Pete Fornatale joined hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven to discuss the day’s media headlines and Fornatale’s recent projects.

“I miss Tim Russert,” Fornatale said while discussing the weekend’s story about a possible truce between General Electric-owned NBC and Fox News that has silenced attacks between Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly. “I really miss Tim Russert because that was the place you could go to for civilized conversation, even between combatants.”

Russert was also on Fornatale’s list of people to interview for his book, “Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock.” Russert attended Woodstock in 1969, Fornatale said. “But before I could reach out to him, he was gone.”

Also discussed: The New York Post ending its dispute with ESPN over its coverage of the Erin Andrews scandal and reports that companies are trolling the Internet for any mention of their company, good or bad.

Regarding the latter, Fornatale said, “It reminds me of the record business in the late ’60s, which was just so straight arrow that they didn’t know what to do with this new genre of progressive rock represented by groups like Cream or Jimi Hendrix. So what they did was that each company hired what came to be known as the ‘House Freak’ or the ‘House Hippie,’ the person who could speak to those groups and not make them feel alienated from the corporate culture that they were getting involved with. That is going on right now.”

Speaking of the 1960′s, Fornatale also talked his recent book about Woodstock. “It was so obvious that this was going to be a watershed moment that I started collecting — in the first year after the festival — first person accounts from people backstage, from people on stage and from people in the audience,” he explained. “My original intention was to do it for radio specials, which I have done over the course of the last 40 years.” Using his original interviews as a starting point, Fornatale worked with his son to fill in the gaps and create the completed finished product, just in time to coincide with the festival’s 40th anniversary.

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

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MSNBC Pres. Phil Griffin Kicks Off “Decision-Maker Week” on the Menu

mmm_2-3.gifOn the Morning Media Menu podcast we’ve had anchors and reporters, authors and bloggers. But this week we’re doing something different — talking to some big names in the media world who shape what that world looks like.

We’re kicking off “Decision-Maker Week” with MSNBC President Phil Griffin.

From record ratings to big upcoming programming changes (and questions about a continued shift left), there is no shortage of material to talk about.

“I think cable news is in a good position,” says Griffin. “In the middle of that is really our success. Not only did people think that cable news would lose much of its audience after the election, but they thought MSNBC would. That we had huge growth and it would go away, and in fact, that did not happen.”

Griffin previewed what’s happening on June 29, which includes new daytime shows and the launch of an HD channel. “I want personalities vested in the programming,” he says. “That’s what works in prime, that’s what works in the morning. And that’s what’s going to work during the day.” (As for other changes, Griffin says “stay tuned.”)

Also discussed: the genesis of “The Place For Politics” (it involved Tim Russert), his take on Fox News’ recent ratings success and his cautious support of Twitter.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321. Tomorrow on the Menu: Seventeen Magazine EIC Ann Shoket.

You Made The Beast’s 50 Most Loathsome People in America List

134-cov.jpg Yeah, yeah, according to internet time we’re a little late on this – according to normal time…it’s still the current issue. So there.


Charges: You think it’s your patriotic duty to spend money you don’t have on crap you don’t need. You think Hillary lost because of sexism, when it’s actually because she’s just a bad liar. You think Iraq is better off now than before we invaded, and don’t understand why they’re so ungrateful. You think Tim Russert was a great journalist. You’re hopping mad about an auto industry bailout that cost a squirt of piss compared to a Wall Street heist of galactic dimensions, due to a housing crash you somehow have blamed on minorities. It took you six years to figure out what a tool Bush is, but you think Obama will make it all better. You deem it hunky dory that we conduct national policy debates via 8-second clips from “The View.” You think God zapped humans into existence a few thousand years ago, although your appendix and wisdom teeth disagree. You like watching vicious assholes insult each other on TV. You support gun rights, because firing one gives you a chubby. You cuddle falsehoods and resent enlightenment. You think the fact that 43% of whites could stomach voting for an incredibly charismatic and eloquent light-skinned black guy who was raised by white people means racism is over. You think progressive taxation is socialism. 1 in 100 of you are in jail, and you think it should be more. You are shallow, inconsiderate, afraid, brand-conscious, sedentary, and totally self-obsessed. You are American.

Exhibit A: You’re more upset by Miley Cyrus‘s glamour shots than the fact that you are a grown adult who is upset about Miley Cyrus.

Read the entire list written by Allan Uthman & Ian Murphy
with contributions from John Dolan, Eileen Jones and Alexander Zaitchik here.

Top 2008 News Stories that Don’t Begin With ‘O’

saraggh_palin.jpgBarack Obama is not the only top story of 2008! Over at The Morning Delivery Bill Lucey has done some digging and uncovered websites such as HuffPo, Salon, and yours truly (technically who crowned others the most newsworthy this year (hello Sarah Palin!). You can find his full list here, in the meantime some highlights:

  • At The Huffington Post, for example, Sarah Palin‘s lavish spending was the most popular piece, which collected the most page views, while the Republican vice presidential candidate’s bikini photos was the blog post with the most page views-979 million to be exact.

  • At, the shocking news of NBC Meet the Press host Tim Russert, dying from a heart attack at age 58 was the story that received the most reaction of the year.
  • Google, meanwhile, posted their most popular search terms of 2008, which shows Sarah Palin, the fastest rising search term around the globe, followed by ‘Beijing 2008,’ and Facebook.
  • Who Will Be the Next Tim Russert?


    The final event of the first day was “Insights and Analysis: Leading National Political Reporters Discuss the Campaign” panel. And yes, all panel’s names were also long descriptions. It was, after all “ELECTION 2008: Obama vs. McCain: What Happened and What Comes Next?” conference that we will call EOVMWHAWCNCon for short.

    You can watch all the panels here.

    The final panel had Mark Halperin of Time, John Heilemann of New York Magazine, Mark Barabak or LAT, Mike Allen, John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei all of Politico.

    During the Q&A the question was floated who would be the next Tim Russert. Who will be the next television journalist to vet future candidates?

    Mike Allen said the names John King of CNN, Gwen Ifill and Chuck Todd. John Harris offered up Chris Matthews. Then Mike Allen noted that NY Observer had also mentioned John Harris as a possible replacement.

    Denver ’08: Sunday Morning Talkers at the Shorenstein Brunch

    100_2835.JPGThe Shorenstein brunch is underway (thus far free wireless signals appear to be rather easy to come by in Denver…hooray the future). The brunch opened with a tribute to Tim Russert and Joan Shorenstein (the Center was established in her memory). Judy Woodruff is moderating the panel, which includes the current Rushmore of Sunday morning television faces: Tom Brokaw, Bob Schieffer, and George Stephanopoulos. The three are discussing “The Press and the Election.” This is good stuff (and not just because the food and drinks are free), it’s too bad someone hasn’t thought to either televise this, or organize a similar event for television. Thus far Brokaw appears to fall on the side of “the media could have done a better job”: “the coverage was robust, sprawling, but uneven.” Shieffer says that the “coverage reflects the campaign” and generally it has “been very good, however, this time, there’s just so much more of it.” Stephanopolous is the most defensive of the three in terms of the job the press has done, he also notes that the current election season is “an entirely different process than the ones I worked on in ’88, ’92, and ’96.”

    Brokaw also remarks on the fact the moderators of the upcoming presidential debates are all white men of a “certain age” (Brokaw, Shieffer, and Jim Leher).

    I have suggested that we put up our social security records and have the candidates review them.
    Says Brokaw: This has been a three act season. Act one was the primaries, act two is the conventions, and act three will start in September and be a sprint to the finish.”

    FBLA EXCLUSIVE: The Truth About Eric Longabardi’s Necktie

    Eric LAPC Awards.jpgOur post about the L.A. Press Club awards inspired a few lamentations among winners who were not listed, but no lamentations were as interesting as those of’s Eric Longabardi, who won a shared 1st place prize along with Suzanne Murch, Melanie Switzer and Raheem Dawson for an E! Entertainment documentary about the paparazzi.

    His site also won the top prize for Best Website, Online Only.

    The judges said of The world needs more investigative reporters, and it’s refreshing to find those who have the patience, focus and fortitude to do the hard work. Too bad they have such a lousy name. (OK, maybe we added that last bit.)

    To make amends, we asked Eric to answer a few of our patented stupid questions. In the following Q&A, you’ll learn that not only is Eric a consummate journalist; he’s a consummate journalist whose mother still dresses him.

    Read more

    LAT In 90 Seconds

    40030044.jpgEasy Riders? Leave it to Patrick J. Mcdonnell. Just when you thought you could feel good about your french-fry-smelling biodiesel car, this LAT reporter comes along and tells you that the people who cut the sugar cane used to make the fuel are victims of human rights violations.

    39933738-13073739-140105.jpgWhat Same-Sex Marriages Mean to Us: For the media, same-sex marriages are an excuse to crash other people’s weddings. At least we bring our own photographers.

    39959627-13134033.jpgRemembering Russert: As of this writing, more than 200 people had commented on the LAT story about the Meet the Press on-air memorial to Tim Russert. We now know what it takes to have 200 people leave nice comments online.

    Colbert’s Presidential Bid: Springtime For Journos

    Ever since Stephen Colbert announced he’s running for president (in South Carolina), there has been fanfare, there has been balloons and there have been stories. Lots of them.

    Colbert’s kinda-fake-kinda-not bid for the White House will do nothing to change the political landscape of the primary season — but it has already done wonders for the reporters covering those primaries.

    Larry King got a chuckle out of it. Tim Russert didn’t know what to make of him. Leslie Gornstein talked to the FCC about it. Now Joshua Green, of the Atlantic, writes about Colbert’s chances, comes up with a campaign strategy for Colbert to make it to one of the 2008 conventions and offers to be his campaign manager.

    It’s as though reporters facing the exhausting campaign season have all suddenly fallen in love. Everyone is giddy. Everyone is newly energized.

    Including us. True, we’re not a political site, but we’d like to do Green one better: Need some official campaign bloggers, Mr. Colbert?

    Don Imus Gone from MSNBC.

    TV Newser’s got the scoop! Don Imus is gone from MSNBC.

    Barack Obama told ABC News Imus should be fired, and American Express, Procter & Gamble and General Motors all pulled ads from the show.

    Gee, what will Tim Russert and the rest of the gang do now ?

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