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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Brokaw’

Tom Brokaw and the Inside Track From New York’s Democratic National Committeeman

LunchAtMichaelsIt was business as usual at Michael’s today as the regulars (Jerry Inzerillo, William Lauder) packed the dining room before the summer vacation season kicks off next week. Plenty of heads swiveled in his direction as Tom Brokaw took his seat at Table Three, but mostly today’s crowd consisted of the usual suspects who were there to see and be seen between bites of their Cobb salads.

Today I was joined by two of my favorite regulars, marketing/PR man and political commentator Robert Zimmerman and producer Joan Gelman for our semi-annual Michael’s lunch, where there’s always a lot of laughs and plenty of juicy dish on the menu. (Sorry, but most of the good stuff is OTR.) Today, the two passionate democrats who first met 15 years ago in East Hampton at the home of a mutual friend, wanted to talk politics and there was plenty of fodder for us to chew on. Robert was fresh off  last night’s appearances on Lou Dobbs Tonight and The Kelly File on Fox News where, he said, he engaged in a “fiery debate” with Peter Hegseth on Iraq. “He was fantastic!” enthused Joan. Robert’s take on the issue: “The Iraqi government doesn’t deserve a second chance.” And, he said, he’s clearly not alone in believing that. Despite the contentiousness of his conversation with Hegseth as Megan Kelly played referee, Robert said with every passing day, “the consensus that opposes going back into Iraq cuts across party lines.”

Robert Zimmerman, Diane Clehane and Joan Gelman

Robert Zimmerman, Diane Clehane and Joan Gelman

After the segment aired, Robert told me he discovered that polarizing and profane points of view are alive and well on Twitter. A relative newcomer to the social media site (“My account got a baptism by fire!”), he was floored by the venomous comments lobbed at him by some “followers.”  ”The kindest ones wanted to save my soul. There were people speculating on my sex life,” he said with a laugh. “I’m glad anyone is interested.” As for the haters, he still sounded a bit shocked, they were “so vulgar I couldn’t believe the language.”

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George Lucas and Joan Hamburg’s Next Act I David Zaslav at The Mirror Awards

LunchAtMichaelsOur weekly lunches at Michael’s always deliver plenty of star power and today was no exception. When I arrived a little before noon, I was followed in the door by none other than George Lucas, who, I’m told, happened to be walking by the restaurant yesterday with his new baby daughter and her nanny in tow when he inquired if there might be a way to “squeeze him in” today. I kid you not. He’s always seemed incredibly low key on his many visits to 55th and Fifth any time I’ve seen him here. Today, the multiple Academy Award winner showed up casually clad in his signature look: a sport short, jeans and sneakers and headed right for his table, forsaking the glad handing that is favored by his fellow West Coast brethren. Despite being the first one there, he was one of the last to leave, spending the entire time deep in conversation with an elegant white-haired lady we didn’t recognize. Talking about the joys of fatherhood, perhaps?

George Lucas with a friend at Michael's

George Lucas with a friend at Michael’s

The room filled up quickly with plenty of familiar faces, including social types and publishing big wigs (Kerry Kennedy, Jay FieldenJay McInerney, Jack Kliger) as well as a fair number of fashionable folks (Joe Zee, Tomas Maier, Fern Mallis). Unfortunately my date was under the weather, so after I made my rounds I hightailed it over to Cipriani 42nd Street, where there were plenty of Michael’s regulars on hand to salute Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav, who was honored with the Fred Dressler Leadership Award at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University’s Mirror Awards. In attendance: Gayle King (mistress of ceremonies), Discovery ID’s Henry Scleiff and Tom Freston, who came back from a trip to Afghanistan so he could present the award to his longtime pal “The Zas.” Tom affectionately called David “a colorful cowboy” and reminisced of David’s earliest days in cable when he “kicked some ass!”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Second TV HQ Seized | Twitter Stock Tanks | Filmmaker Strikes Deal With the AP

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Pro-Russian Separatists Seize TV HQ In Eastern Ukraine (Reuters)
Pro-Russian separatists took control of the regional prosecutor’s office and television center in the eastern city of Luhansk on Tuesday, having earlier seized the government headquarters, a Reuters photographer said. BBC News Activists went into the regional television station, but decided not to take it over after they were allowed to make a live broadcast. Following the takeovers, President Oleksandr Turchynov demanded the dismissal of the police chiefs in Luhansk and the other eastern city of Donetsk. Business Insider Pro-Russian separatists have now seized government buildings in at least 10 cities throughout the eastern part of the country. Pro-Russian activists have also shot the mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. All the while, journalists throughout eastern Ukraine routinely face intimidation amid the threat of kidnapping and assault. The Guardian About 3,000 activists — some in masks and military fatigues — stormed the regional government HQ and other key buildings. A pro-Russian militia had occupied the security service office in Luhansk, a town of 465,000, just 20 miles from the Russian border. In recent days, Kiev’s tentative grip on local law enforcement in the east appears to have slipped completely. In Luhansk, riot police stood passively in a courtyard. “The regional leadership does not control its police force,” Stanislav Rechynsky, an aide to the interior minister in Kiev said. “The local police did nothing.” WSJ The latest moves in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region came despite a new wave of sanctions on Russia by the U.S. and European Union aimed at forcing the Kremlin to rein in the activists, who have echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin in denouncing Ukraine’s two-month-old government as illegal. The attacks on Luhansk’s regional police headquarters, administration building, prosecutor’s office and television broadcasting facilities mark the biggest advance for the pro-Russia rebels since early April, when militants took control of the regional building of Ukraine’s state-security service, the SBU.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Brokaw Has Cancer | Lauer Replaces Costas | U.S. Press Freedom Drops

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Tom Brokaw Diagnosed With Cancer, Prognosis Encouraging (NBCNews.com)
NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw revealed he has been diagnosed with cancer and said he and his physicians are very encouraged with the progress he is making. Brokaw, who has worked at NBC News since 1966, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting blood cells in the bone marrow, in August at the Mayo Clinic. TVNewser “With the exceptional support of my family, medical team and friends, I am very optimistic about the future and look forward to continuing my life, my work and adventures still to come,” Brokaw says in a statement. “I remain the luckiest guy I know.” New York Daily News Throughout his treatment, Brokaw has continued to work on NBC News projects, including a two-hour documentary on the assassination of JFK; appearances on Today, Nightly News With Brian Williams, Meet The Press and MSNBC. He is also contributing to NBC Sports coverage of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Reuters Multiple myeloma is a cancer that strikes white blood cells in the bone marrow called plasma cells, which normally produce antibodies to help fight infection. But in multiple myeloma, an over-abundance of malignant plasma cells releases unhealthy levels of a protein into the bones and blood that in turn can cause damage to bone tissue and organs.

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Tom Brokaw Reminds: The Academy Doesn’t Always Reward the Right Stuff

TheRightStuffHave you caught up yet with Tom Brokaw‘s weekday syndicated radio blast “An American Story”? If not, you should.

Brokaw has been applying a veteran newsman’s perspective to a wide range of news and pop culture topics. He’s been recording these since last fall and they never fail to entertain, inform.

Today, Brokaw highlighted a point that we have made again and again over the years. Because there are so many more worthy candidates each year than the Academy Awards process can possibly accommodate, the list of overlooked films, performers and craftspeople grows longer each year. The mistake many people make is to hold the Oscars exclusively accountable for this; simple mathematics deserves an equal share of the blame.

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Redford, Woodward and Bernstein Set for DC, Discovery Preems

There’s a special advance screening tonight of All The President’s Men Revisited at Washington D.C.’s Newseum, co-presented by the White House Correspondents’ Association. To be followed Sunday night at 9 p.m. by the feature documentary’s Discovery channel debut.

FishbowlLA’s favorite portion of this fascinating, highly recommended retelling of the intertwined stories of the real and Hollywood versions of Woodward & Bernstein comes around the half-hour mark. That’s when Redford himself notes the irony of the media’s efforts to expose the identity of Deep Throat leading, belatedly, to a street in the Bay Area called Redford Place.

Rachel Maddow shares some great comments in the Deep Throat segment, alongside Redford, Woodward, Bernstein, Jon Stewart and Tom Brokaw. Bernstein has the funniest line, noting that the only reason the secret of the Hal Holbrook-portrayed source’s identity lasted so long is because neither he or Woodward told their ex-wives. From there, the documentary moves to Marc Felt‘s daughter Joan, who recalls what it was like for her dad’s courageous “follow the money” efforts to finally be confirmed.

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Tom Brokaw on TIME 100 Influencer Steven Spielberg

Although this year’s print version of the TIME 100 features, for the first time, a total of five different domestic (Elon Musk, Jennifer Lawrence (pictured), Rand Paul, Jay Z, Malala Yousafzai) and two international covers (Li Na, Aamir Kahn), FishbowlLA’s favorite aspect of this must-read annual compilation remains the bylines.

This year for example, the ode to Justin Timberlake was composed by one Stevie Wonder; Timberlake returns the favor by praising Jimmy Fallon. And, for the bow-down to Steven Spielberg, the magazine enlisted Tom Brokaw:

However different their subjects, Spielberg’s productions have a common thematic DNA of humanity, so we are enlightened as well as entertained. His work on Lincoln alone was worthy of enduring acclaim, for it brought to life as no other film has this quintessential American President struggling with the greatest moral dilemma of our history.

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Harrison Ford Tapped for Anchorman Sequel

Nice little scooplet for Tatiana Siegel, the one-time Hollywood Reporter staffer who recently returned to the publication’s fold.

According to her sources, it’s not just Kristen Wiig who will be stacking the Anchorman 2 deck, set to begin shooting later this month in Atlanta. Also joining the fray is none other than Harrison Ford:

Ford will play a legendary newscaster a la Tom Brokaw in the Adam McKay-helmed comedy… He previously played an anchorman in the film Morning Glory.

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Tom Brokaw Recalls His KNBC Days

Tom Brokaw told some great stories over the weekend as Conan Nolan’s guest on Press Conference, including running into Jack Benny next to the food truck during lunch hour at NBC4′s Burbank studios and mingling with other Hollywood celebrities:

“The first night I was on the air in the fall of 1966 for the election of Ronald Reagan [as governor], we were doing a lot of network feeds. I was 26-years-old, not that long out of South Dakota, and we took a break and I heard somebody off to the side say, ‘Psst, kid!’”

“There were two guys standing there, and I said, ‘Yes?” And they said, ‘How’s Reagan doing?’ And I said ‘Well, I think he’s going to win it.’ And they said, ‘Are you sure?” And I replied, ‘Well I’m pretty sure, Mr. Hope and Mr. Crosby.’”

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Tom Brokaw, Randi Zuckerberg and David Zinczenko’s Next Chapter

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As any self-respecting power luncher knows, December is no time to slack off and dip into the egg nog. Quite the contrary. The noontime hour during the holidays may be reserved for a little shopping for those that still go the brick and mortar route, but the regulars at Michael’s know that now is the time to get real business done, score some valuable face time and plot your next big move. As one mogul told me today, “I’ll celebrate in January. Now is the best time to get in there when the competition isn’t looking.” Consider yourself warned.

Judging from the interesting combinations of folks at the tables around the dining room today, I’d say there are plenty of movers and shakers whose New Year’s resolutions involve making some changes to the resume and fattening up that portfolio (even if the tax man is going to come looking for a bigger piece of the action come 2013). There were so many suits in the lounge eagerly awaiting to be seated when I showed up that I thought there was some kind of Wall Street holiday hoo-ha going on.  The appearance of Mark Zuckerberg‘s sister Randi Zuckerberg with AOL’s Jolie Hunt caused a bit of stir, and I spotted more than a handful of mavens “in transition” who have seemingly aligned themselves with some interesting power players in hopes for a brighter new year. Here’s hoping.

I was invited to join ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and David Zinczenko for a dishy lunch. While Joe and I waited for Dave to arrive, I noticed that the Mayor’s omnipresent, tri-colored western boot that doubles as a centerpiece when he’s in the house had been replaced by a bigger, bronze version. The Mayor tells me that he decided to keep the red, white and blue version at home for safe keeping. It’s signed by music men Jimmy Buffet, Willie Nelson, Fats Domino and Elton John (on the day Joe hosted a lunch for Elton in celebration of the Broadway debut of Billy Elliot in this very dining room), as well as Laura Bush who happened to spy it on Joe’s table during a visit a while back and whipped out a Sharpie before Joe knew what hit him.

Diane Clehane, David Zinczenko and Joe Armstrong

I couldn’t wait to catch up with Dave when he arrived. His headline-making departure from Rodale a few weeks ago after his incredibly successful tenure at the top has gotten plenty of coverage. Just this week Women’s Wear Daily and AdAge weighed in, with the latter speculating on “Rodale’s Rocky Road” in the face of Dave’s exit. As you undoubtedly know, Dave was the high-profile  face and voice of the Men’s Health brand, with regular appearances on the Today show and scores of other shows from Ellen to Oprah. His much imitated Eat This, Not That bestsellers became their own franchise for Rodale, cementing the company’s place in pop culture as long as Dave kept churning out different versions.

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