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Chris Matthews Hosts Event Honoring Fathers

The National Father’s Day Committee held their 68th annual “Father of the Year” awards lunch today in New York, emceed by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. Recipients ranged from Michael Krzyzewski (“Coach K”) to Gen. David Petraeus, who was not in attendance. Also honored was ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who missed the pre-lunch news conference due to some weather delays.

We talked to Matthews about what it means to be involved in this event, ABC’s upcoming special and more. Part two (featuring Matthews’ thoughts on Dick Cheney and Nancy Pelosi) is after the jump:

Click continued to see Matthews discuss Cheney, Pelosi, GM and Iran in under two minutes…

• WebNewser has an interview with Coach K about Twitter.

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ABC Pre-Special Chatter: TV Critics Weigh In

That ABC health care special broadcast Wednesday from the White House? People are still talking.

• Time Magazine’s James Poniewozik had to scrap his print column this week (“death of print — why can’t you come sooner!”), so he wrote a blog on the subject instead. “The test of the news special will be how well and skeptically ABC can examine Obama’s proposals, hold them to questioning and challenge them with alternatives and critiques,” he writes. “Given the arrangement with the White House and the criticism, the onus will be on them to be especially tough.”

Poniewozik thinks, judging from Charlie Gibson‘s debate experience, he’s up for the task. “In any case, I’ll judge after I watch,” he writes. “I’m skeptical that this draws as many eyeballs as Brian Williams eating a hamburger with POTUS. But maybe they’ll get lucky and the President will kill something again.”

• Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik weighed in as well. “I have to say in fairness that I do not believe ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and the others allow their news operations to be used by the White House for partisan political reasons,” he writes. “Based on my experience, I believe it is more a matter of business: Obama means strong ratings, and they will do almost anything to get him on their channel or network given the business he brings with him.”

He also discussed Pres. Obama’s recent comments about FNC. “Given all the reckless and irresponsible words uttered by the likes Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, I hesitate to write these words, but good for Fox. It must be doing something right, if it has the president complaining about the tiny bit of scrutiny he gets on TV.

“On the other hand, if Fox News is our last, best TV watchdog on the White House, then the TV press, as well as media critics like me, should be profoundly embarrassed, and vow to start doing a better job — immediately.”

Menu: “Life Inc.” Author Douglas Rushkoff on Iran and More

mmm_2-3.gifToday on the Morning Media Menu we’re joined by Douglas Rushkoff, the author of the new book, “Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back.”

He also wrote a column this week on The Daily Beast headlined, “How Iran’s Hackers Killed Big Brother,” about the Twitter uprising and what it means for the country. “Everyone was being very results-oriented, and ready to judge the efficacy of the Internet and politics based on whether or not they were able to overturn the election,” he said. “It seemed to me that the Twitterers could already claim a certain kind of victory.”

Staying in Iran, we discuss why there are fewer journalists in the country now, and why there are fewer media mergers as well. “That’s largely what ‘Life Inc.’ is about: the way we accept corporate logic as true, even when it’s not,” he said.

Also discussed: why “the Paris Hiltons of writing have…done a lot better than the writer’s of writing,” his “Fail Inc” multimedia approach and details of his New York “free” meet-up tonight. Plus: a mediabistro shout-out!

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

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Tom Brokaw Appointed to Pres. Commission on White House Fellowships

brokaw_6-17.jpgNBC special correspondent Tom Brokaw was appointed to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships today.

The group will meet this week in D.C. to select the 2009-2010 class of White House Fellows.

“These leaders are diverse, non-partisan, and committed to mentoring our next generation of public servants,” said Pres. Obama in the release.

Others on the commission include former ABC/NBC anchor John Hockenberry, Gen. Wesley Clark and former Sen. Tom Daschle.

Meet Your New GMA Contributor: Melissa Rycroft

After being famously dumped on “The Bachelor,” and finishing with the bronze on “Dancing With The Stars,” Melissa Rycroft is staying in the ABC family and joining Good Morning America as a contributor. She broke the news on Twitter, Access Hollywood has the confirmation.


We hear she’ll be reporting on fun, uplifting stories.

The Scoreboard: Tuesday, June 16

25-54 demographic: (L +SD)

Total day: FNC: 344 | CNN: 164 | MSNBC: 113 | HLN: 131

Prime: FNC: 621 | CNN: 256 | MSNBC: 247 | HLN: 205

  5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC Beck: Baier: Shep: O’Reilly: Hannity: Greta: O’Reilly:
  453 394 477 700 623 537 613
CNN Blitzer: Blitzer: Dobbs: Brown: King: Cooper: Cooper:
  193 209 197 157 323 287 235
MSNBC Matthews: EdShow: Matthews: Olbermann: Maddow: Olbermann: Maddow:
  150 164 163 365 244 131 169
HLN Prime: Prime: VMitchell: Grace: Dobbs: Grace: Showbiz:
  155 124 167 311 126 185 159

Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.

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Prescription For Controversy: Newest Storyline in ABC Special Uproar

ABC_6.17.jpgThe newest twist in the ABC special uproar comes from Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients Rights. Scott says his group tried to buy a 60-second ad before the “Prescription for America” to offer a different point of view, and was denied. “It is unfortunate — and unusual — that ABC is refusing to accept paid advertising that would present an alternative viewpoint for the White House health care event,” he says in a statement. “We were surprised to hear that paid advertisements would not be accepted when we inquired and we would certainly be open to purchasing time if ABC would reconsider.”

While he may think it is unfortunate, it isn’t unusual — an ABC spokesperson tells TVNewser the network has a “long-standing policy” of not accepting “advocacy advertising.”

Of course, not all ABC affiliates have the policy, so Scott’s organization could take the ad to local stations.

Shalev: “I’d Rather Be In Third And Growing Than In Second And Dropping”

shalev_6-17.jpgThe New York Observer’s Felix Gillette spent a rainy Friday at the U.S.S. Intrepid last week for a profile of The Early Show EP Zev Shalev.

He talked about the gains made by the 3rd place network morning show. “I’d rather be in third and growing than in second and dropping,” he said. “There’s less pressure. We have the luxury of experimenting.”

Shalev, who was born in Israel and raised in South Africa, said of foreign coverage: “Sometimes I think American media can be very shut off from the rest of the world. There are a lot of interesting stories out there. You just have to find the right way in.”

Shalev talked about the calm and good attitude at the CBS program now, after a tumultuous time before he took over. Or, as Gillette describes it, “the ghost of Shelley Ross felt long since exorcised.”

Said Shalev, “I think that we have a real spirit now that is terrific.”

Meade Jump With Former Pres. Bush Gives HLN Best Demo Ratings

meade_6-17.JPGHLN anchor Robin Meade and former President George H.W. Bush completed their skydive Friday afternoon, and the live coverage drew viewers to the network.

For the 1:45pmET quarter hour time period, HLN averaged 187,000 A25-54 demo viewers. FNC was 2nd with 157,000, followed by CNN and MSNBC.

Meade’s “Morning Express” Website saw a huge jump in hits from the skydive and interview with the former President, up 1,084% from Thursday-Monday over the entire month of May.

Now on WebNewser: #1… Changes…Maddow Bartends…