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President Obama’s Year-End News Conference Features ‘Naughty or Nice’ List

ObamaPresident Obama’s year-end news conference comes on the heels of an action-packed news week, including a breakthrough with Cuba and elevated tension with North Korea.

As usual, all of the cable news networks have been fixated on the news conference. MSNBC is airing a special report with Chris Matthews.

NBC News will provide a Special Report with Chuck Todd and Senior White House Correspondent Chris Jansing providing insight from D.C. Over on CBS,  Anthony Mason is anchoring from New York with Major Garrett at the White House and Bob Schieffer in Washington.

On ABC, George Stephanopoulos leads a special report from New York and Jonathan Karl report from the White House with Pierre Thomas from Washington. We will provide information on the coverage by other networks as we receive it.

After an opening statement, President Obama revealed that his “naughty or nice” list will determine who gets to ask questions.

The first question went to Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico, who asked about cyber attacks.

President Obama made it clear he isn’t happy with Sony pulling “The Interview” and said the United States “will respond” to North Korea. He also joked about Seth Rogen and James “Flacco.” Obama went on to ask Budoff Brown about her upcoming move to Europe.

The second question goes to Cheryl Bolen of Bloomberg. Up third, Julie Pace from the AP asked about Cuba and whether or not North Korea was acting with another country. The fourth question goes to Lesley Clark of McClatchy Newspapers. ”World news Tonight” anchor David Muir just received a shout out from the president.

The fifth question goes to Roberta Rampton of Reuters. Colleen McCain Nelson was up next, asking about executive actions. Juliet Eilperin gets the next question, asking about the Keystone pipeline. April Ryan of Urban Radio Networks gets the last question, asking about the “state of black America.”

It appears only women will be allowed to ask questions, forcing us to assume that all the male reporters in D.C. were “naughty” in Obama’s eyes.

Time political reporter Zeke Miller sent the following Tweet regarding the all-women presser.


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Greta the Diplomat

NYPGretaThe New York Post, which until last year was a corporate sibling of Fox News, says Greta Van Susteren would have been a better Cuban negotiator than Pres. Obama. In an opinion piece, the Post writes:

It’s hard not to note that in another recent case — Mexico’s jailing of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi — Fox News’ Greta van Susteren helped get this US Marine freed without any of the compromises Obama agreed to in exchange for Alan Gross. Maybe next time the president needs a back-channel negotiation with some thug regime, he should send Greta instead of John Kerry.

The U.S. will be looking for an ambassador to Cuba in due time. Perhaps Greta is ready.

‘Oh, God, It’s Mom’: Political Strategist Brothers Scolded by Mom on C-SPAN

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Brad and Dallas Woodhouse bring a built-in political argument everywhere they go. But their Mom says leave that stuff in Washington when you come home for Christmas. “I’m hoping you’ll have some of this out of your system when you come here for Christmas,” Joy Woodhouse warned her sons on live television. “I would really like a peaceful Christmas and I love you both.”

The Woodhouse brothers were on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” Tuesday morning to talk about a documentary, “Woodhouse Divided”, that examines their unique sibling rivalry–Brad Woodhouse is president of American Bridge, a Democratic opposition research organization, and Dallas Woodhouse is president of Carolina Rising, a conservative political organization headquartered in North Carolina.

The brothers had no idea the caller “Joy in North Carolina” was Mom until she began scolding them about having a nice, friendly holiday. “Oh, God, it’s Mom,” said Dallas Woodhouse.

Watch it, after the jump: Read more

Barack Obama Becomes Stephen Colbert Being Bill O’Reilly: ‘How Hard Can This Be?’


Pres. Obama sits down with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos today. The interview will air on “Noticiero Univision,” the network’s evening newscast, tonight, with the full interview airing on Ramos’ Sunday public affairs show “Al Punto.”

Last night, the president made his first — and last — in-person appearance on the “Colbert Report” which was taped at George Washington University. Colbert is winding down the show next week, as he takes over “Late Show” on CBS next year. Before the interview, the president took over the show, doing his best Stephen Colbert. “How hard can this be?” WATCH: Read more

Ann Compton: ‘I Have Seen Barack Obama Really Angry Twice’

ComptonQAAnn Compton, who retired earlier this year after 41 years with ABC News, opened up to C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb about her time covering the White House.

In the interview, which occurred Oct. 30, but re-aired on C-SPAN this morning, Compton says she “was a strong voice for complaining that this particular administration has been more opaque than any I have covered about what the president does in the Oval Office every day.”

Compton says Obama “is the first president with his own journalistic tools. He has his own photographers and videographers. He has a newscast on Friday mornings anchored by his former deputy, now Press Secretary, Josh Earnest.”

Compton revealed she has also seen a side of Pres. Obama, most haven’t:

I have seen, in the last year, Barack Obama really angry twice. Both were off the record times. One profanity-laced, where he thought the press was making too much of scandals that he did not think were scandals. Another was where he took us to task for not understanding the limits that he has with foreign policy and the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

“I find him willing to stand up to the press, look them in the eye, and just give us hell.”

Video after the jump… Read more

Boston Globe Critic Watches Scott Brown on Fox’s ‘Outnumbered’: ‘You Gotta Pay the Rent’


Having lost his most recent Senate bid in New Hampshire, Scott Brown has joined Fox News as a contributor, and the folks back in Boston, where Brown is known as a former Massachusetts Senator, were watching. Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen checked out Brown’s recent appearance on FNC’s “Outnumbered”, and explained what he saw to readers who may have an aversion to watching Fox:

The format is pretty simple. Brown sat on a couch with a pair of women on each side. He’s outnumbered. Get it? In case you don’t, they flashed a hashtag on the screen below Brown: #oneluckyguy. All of the women had perfect teeth, high heels, and really nice hair. Brown sat there wearing a suit and, lest you forget his political leanings, a bright red tie. They talked about myriad issues, but if you had to boil it down it was something like: Why Everything Wrong In The World Is Obama’s Fault.

Cullen noted that Brown lived in a home where he is the only male, and failed to beat female opponents in two different states. Cullen argued sitting on a couch with the women (or “Fox-y ladies”, as Cullen puts it) from “Outnumbered” might be the last place Brown would want to be. “But you gotta pay the rent,” he writes.

Chris Rock Says He’d Love to Report for ’60 Minutes’ in Ferguson…’And It Would Be Funny’

2011-topic-celeb-chris-rockIn an extensive interview with Frank Rich in New York magazine, comedian Chris Rock talks about television, President Obama, and the news business. He compares Obama to CBS’ Les Moonves, arguing that Obama’s mistake has been trying, like CBS, to appeal to everyone. “The thing liberals don’t like about Obama is that he’s a network guy. He’s kind of Les Moonves. He’s trying to get everybody. And I think he’s figured out, and maybe a little late, that there’s some people he’s never going to get.”

Asked to evaluate Obama’s legacy, Rock said “everybody wanted Michael Jordan, right? We got Shaq. That’s not a disappointment. You know what I mean? We got Charles Barkley. It’s still a Hall of Fame career.”

Rock also said he’d love to be a correspondent on CBS’ “60 Minutes”:

What would you want to cover?

I would cover anything. I mean, I’d be in Ferguson right now, and it would be in-depth, and it would be funny.

It’s hard to do funny in journalism.

No, it’s not. It’s all in the cut.

What would you do in Ferguson that a standard reporter wouldn’t?

I’d do a special on race, but I’d have no black people.

Malia Obama on Chuck Todd’s The Stranger: ‘Looks Like a Sad Book’

ObamasPoliticsThe First Family took part in Small Business Saturday by heading out to Washington, D.C. bookstore Politics and Prose. As Pres. Obama, accompanied by daughters Malia and Sasha, checked out, he noticed a book about him. The New York Times reports:

Mr. Obama spotted a new book behind the register, “The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House,” by Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The president noted that he looked “lonely” on the cover, and Malia asked, “How is he already writing a book?” With a smile, Malia added that her father looked sad on the cover. “Looks like a sad book,” she said teasingly, in a typical family exchange not often seen from the Obamas in public.

Those Surreal Split Screens: Even the President Can’t Control This Message

split screen

It’s an accepted fact that President Obama, like all American presidents, has near absolute power to control his own public image. The president’s every public appearance is meticulously planned and stage-managed, from the clothes the president wears to the backdrop that awaits the president when he steps before the cameras to speak. Nothing is by chance, and every decision is made in support of the White House’s media message of the day.

Last night, we saw one example of something even the President of the United States can’t control: a split-screen. When President Obama emerged after 10 p.m. ET to make remarks about the Ferguson grand jury’s decision, his tone was measured, his words were chosen carefully. He wanted to make clear that the anger felt by many in Ferguson and across the country would be addressed. “Communities of color aren’t just making those problems up.”

But as the president spoke, the split-screen revealed violence had begun.

Read more

On Cable, FNC is Most-Watched for Obama Immigration Remarks

O'ReillyImmigration4.3 million viewers tuned in to Fox News last night for Pres. Obama’s remarks on his immigration executive action, more than MSNBC and CNN combined. FNC drew 958,000 in the A25-54 demo, again more than CNN and MSNBC combined. As we reported earlier, 6.8 million watched on the two U.S. Spanish-language broadcast networks.

  • 8-8:15pm | Network: Viewers / A25-54

FNC: 4,294,000 / 958,000
CNN: 1,678,000 / 637,000
MSNBC: 1,758,000 / 320,000

  • 8-9pm | Network: Viewers / A25-54

FNC: 4,153,000 / 885,000
CNN: 1,652,000 / 578,000
MSNBC: 1,452,000 / 283,000