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Posts Tagged ‘UPDATE:’

Ex-CBS Producer: Katie Looks Like She’s Been Drugged, Kidnapped, Making Hostage Tape

0713couric.jpgMedia Quote Of The Day

Courtesy of award-winning ex-60 Minutes producer (and star of the Rathergate scandal) Mary Mapes on this morning’s Morning Joe on MSNBC:

“The other thing, I would say about CBS, and this is having worked there for a long time, one of the fascinating things is, and I know Mika knows this, too, you can be almost 50 years old and at CBS and working with people twice your age and it can give you a false sense of job security. That is a tough place to work and the people who have survived it, have really been savvy and I really think it makes for a difficult atmosphere. I’ve always really liked Katie’s work. I think she does a good job and she’s a good journalist, but I think, by trying to put her into a completely different format, she’s gone from being sort of an exuberant presence to someone who looks like they’ve been kidnapped and drugged and are making a hostage tape. So, that’s not comfortable to watch. It has nothing to do with her being a male or female, it’s just not comfortable to watch.”

If Mapes’ rant sounds familiar — by a decade — it is. Check the transcript from Don Imus‘ infamous 1996 Radio/TV Correspondents Association Dinner speech:

Everybody knows Dan Rather is capable of anything, including pulling a gun out on the set of the CBS Evening News. Dan has these utterly incomprehensible bucolic expressions he punctuates the conversation with. Several times after talking with him, he would say to me “Tamp ‘em up solid.” Having something to do, I later learned, with fortifying underground tunnels his father dug, for reasons that remain unclear. Now I’m hearing impaired a little bit from wearing headphones for a long time. I thought he was saying “tampons up solid” and I’m, why would he say that? I mean, I know he’s nuts, but what does that mean? Anyway, I’d laugh and I’d say uh huh, and I would hang up. And he’s a great reporter, but he does not have all of his bait in the water. And he’s a little tense. Watchin’ Dan Rather do the news, he looks like he’s making a hostage tape.

UPDATE: Watch the video here …


  • CBS Producer: Notion Katie ‘Wings It’ For Interviews ‘Absurd’
  • Did Katie Couric Slap A Staffer?
  • NYC Power Outage Rocks East Side

    Remember this?


    A power outage darkened a large swath of Manhattan and the Bronx on Wednesday, knocking out traffic lights, cutting subway service and forcing the evacuation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on one of the hottest days of the year. “The entire neighborhood is out,” said Phil Quintana, a building superintendent on 94th Street on the Upper East Side. Con Edison said the blackout affected 136,700 customers in all, or more than 500,000 people. The cause was under investigation, but spokesman Chris Olert said it was some sort of transmission disturbance. He didn’t know whether the heat was a factor. “We won’t even speculate on the cause yet,” Olert said. The city was in the second day of temperatures well over 90 degrees. The outage stretched from the east side of Manhattan to the Bronx. The office of the Bronx borough president said multiple spots were affected, including the area around Yankee Stadium. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was evacuated around 4 p.m. and visitors were forced to sit on the outside steps in the sweltering heat. The street lights up and down Fifth Avenue were dark. The power outage caused suspensions and delays along the city’s subways.

    UPDATE: Gothamist has much more

    UPDATE #2: City Room reports substation explosion caused the outage …

    Developing …

    Breaking: ABC News To Axe 35 Staffers In Restructuring

    abc_layoffs_062207.jpgWe just received this tip:

    ABC News being restructured … 35 positions expected to be lost.

    UPDATE: Memo from ABC News president David Westin:

    From: Westin, David
    Sent: Friday, June 22, 2007 11:15 AM
    To: ABCTV News ALL
    Cc: Sweeney, Anne
    Subject: The Future

    We regularly take a strategic look at where ABC News stands, where we are going, and what resources we will need to get there. How can we make sure we are doing what we do best — report the news — and do it even better? What can we do that we haven’t been doing? And, given all the changes around us, what can we do without? Every healthy organization asks itself some form of these questions.

    So, we’ve begun a two-year process to take a fresh look at ABC News from top to bottom. We’ve enlisted all of senior management and all of the executive producers and others who run our platforms in this effort. In everything we consider and everything we do, we will have three principal goals. First and foremost to maintain and enhance the reputation of ABC News for its unparalleled reporting. Second, to maintain and build wherever possible on the strengths of our broadcasts. And third, to re-design the division to reflect the growing importance of our digital offerings — and their centrality to our future.

    What will this all mean? It will mean that we will be adding people and resources in some places — particularly in our digital world. We will also be looking at smart ways to increase our newsgathering, particularly overseas. We’ve already posted new openings for India, Australia, Iran, and Brazil and are in the process of interviewing candidates. It also means that we will be looking closely at areas where, because of technology or because of changes in our competitive environment, we can trim. We will be consolidating some operations, we will be asking some of you to take new assignments, and, yes, some positions will be lost where that makes sense.

    Some of you may wonder why we’re considering fundamental changes at a time when the news division is enjoying such hard-earned success.

    Read more

    Did Times‘ Kristof Steal War Nerd’s Dick Cheney Iranian Mole Column?


    That’s what Gary Brecher — a.k.a the “War Nerd” — wants to know. Brecher fired off a letter to the New York Times accusing op-ed columnist and world-weary traveler Nick Kristof of plagiarizing a March 6 column in which Brecher alleged “more or less ironically” that Dick Cheney is an Iranian mole.

    On March 20, the Times published Kristof’s column, “Iran’s Operative in the White House,” with “Is Dick Cheney an Iranian mole?” as its subtitle. [For those of you without TimesSelect, here's a link to Kristof's full column.]

    “Kristoff [sic] could have done the decent thing and cited my column,” Brecher wrote. “Instead he claimed the Cheney-as-Iranian-mole idea as his own.”

    FishbowlNY combed through both columns and found no direct evidence of lifted text but, as Brecher points out, the mole “idea” no doubt appeared in his column first:

    So far, Iran has been the big winner in this war, and they haven’t fired a shot or lost a man. Pretty incredible. Makes me dizzy to think of it, makes me wonder if Cheney isn’t actually a mole.


    But in fact there’s an American who has provided services of incalculably greater value to Iran in recent years. So you have to wonder: Is Dick Cheney an Iranian mole?

    “Dozens of my readers have written to me to call this brazen theft to my attention,” Brecher continued. “I expect the NYT to publish an acknowledgment of this plagiarism, with an apology by Kristoff [sic]. My agent informs me that he has a history of such theft, so he should be familiar with the drill.”

    E-mails to the Kristof and the Times seeking a response have yet to be returned. UPDATE: New York Times spokesperson Diane McNulty denies any plagiarism:

    Nick Kristof never saw the blogger’s posting before writing his column, and there plainly is no “plagiarism.” The blogger used the term “mole” in regards to Cheney once deep in a posting about the partitioning of Iraq. Nick wrote a column about how various policies of the Bush administration have benefited Iran and used the “mole” idea thematically throughout the piece. Where’s the plagiarism?

    Brecher’s full memo:

    Read more

    Lunch at Michael’s: Blood! Explosions! Dueling Weathermen!

    lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgPerhaps it was the nice weather. Or maybe a hangover from the Time 100 party last night. Today’s media lunch at 55th & Fifth was relatively full, but lacked the star power of lunches past (no heads of state nor Penelope Cruzes to report). There was, however, some excitement near our perch at the bar, as a bottle of Pellegrino spontaneously exploded, bloodying the bartender’s hand. After returning from a brief trip to the DL, a lawyer at the bar quipped, “Michael, say hello to your new owner.”

    The lineup card:

    Table 1. Peter Brown and four guests, including a stunner of a blonde.

    2. John Tisch.

    3. Webby Award chairman Gerry Byrne in a Webby-ready casual suit, and Katherine Oliver.

    4. Allen & Co. fortune heit Terry Kramer and Margo McNabb. Stilettos!

    5. Bob Friedman and Stanley Jaffe.

    6. Steve Cohen and CBS weather dude Dave Price, who wore sunglasses (hopefully prescription) for the majority of the meal and dropped a purple pen that was quickly returned by Michael’s staff. Sitting at the adjacent table? Al Roker, Price’s nemesis.

    Read more

    Couric, Kristof To Host Overseas Press Club Awards


    CBS News chief Sean McManus and Couric last summer

    Katie Couric may be mired in third place and has yet to set foot in Iraq, but she’s getting the honor rival Brian Williams had last year: hosting the Overseas Press Club Awards in New York.

    New York Times op-ed columnist Nick Kristof — who embarks on the “Win a Trip With Nick” contest trip in June — will provide the keynote at next week’s ceremony.

    CBS News producer Kimberly Dozier, seriously injured last May in a car bombing in Iraq, will accept the President’s Award on behalf of all journalists killed or injured in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Couric can handle a live audience of peers as deftly as Williams — whose closet stand-up act definitely helped lift an emotional evening.

    The OPC is also using the occasion to announce an online registry of journalists wounded covering the fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan because, it says, the lists maintained by the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders are “fragmented at best.”

    UPDATE: The list of this year’s winners is here.

    FishbowlNY’s Coverage Of The 2006 OPC Awards:

  • Notes From the Overseas Press Club Awards Gala
  • Breaking: CBS Cancels Imus

    imus_head_fbny.jpgWFAN just announced during its annual Radiothon that CBS has cancelled the Imus in the Morning program, a day after MSNBC dropped its simulcast.

    Developing …

    UPDATE: Statement from Leslie Moonves:

    From the outset, I believe all of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air about the young women who represented Rutgers University in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship with such class, energy and talent. Those who have spoken with us the last few days represent people of goodwill from all segments of our society — all races, economic groups, men and women alike. In our meetings with concerned groups, there has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society. That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision, as have the many emails, phone calls and personal discussions we have had with our colleagues across the CBS Corporation and our many other constituencies.

    UPDATE #2: Imus’ wife, Deirdre, and co-host Charles McCord will fill in for him during tomorrow morning’s radiothon on WFAN.

    UPDATE: Shots Fired In CNN Atlanta Building


    A gunman shot a woman today at Atlanta’s CNN Center. CNN employee Brad Lendon saw the shooting at the Omni Hotel, which is part of the CNN complex. Police have a suspect in custody. The woman’s condition is unknown. Lendon saw a woman on the ground next to a potted plant near a back entrance to newsroom. A man stood over her “and fired at least two shots into her,” he said.

    UPDATE: One confirmed dead.

    UPDATE #2: Were MSNBC producers told to ignore CNN shooting?

  • Shots Fired Inside CNN Building; 2 Wounded [AP via NYT]
  • Woman Injured in Shooting at CNN Center []
  • BREAKING: Bomb Threat At E!

    depandi.jpgGiuliana DePandi seen milling about outside the Wilshire Blvd. E! building in a trench coat. This and more exciting news as it develops. Stay tuned.

    UPDATE: LAPD told FBLA that security guards at the 5750 Wilshire Blvd. building received two separate calls before 10 a.m. today from someone claiming that an explosive was in the building. The police sent about six units the scene, though a police source told us, “It’s probably a prank.” As of 12 p.m. the building was still evacuated.

    Graydon Carter: Time Inc. Run By People With No Love For Magazines

    Carter writes in the March/April issue of Good magazine:

    Many of the big magazine companies, such as Time Inc., are run these days not by people who love magazines but by people in search of profit.

    UPDATE: Time Inc.’s response, via WWD:

    “I guess this is why we never see Graydon at the Time Life alumni meetings.”


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  • Graydon Carter’s Bush Bashing Has Yet To ‘Run Its Course’