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Politics

40 Years After President Nixon Resigned, Carl Bernstein Would ‘Do It Exactly the Same’

BernsteinWhen Carl Bernstein and his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward were investigating the Watergate scandal that drove President Richard Nixon to announce his resignation 40 years ago today, the stakes were high. For the country, a presidency was on the line; for Bernstein, his career.

With the anniversary today, we got to thinking whether the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist would’ve navigated the story any differently as a member of a media featuring 24/7 cable news and a never-ending social media stream.

“I’d do it exactly the same way,” Bernstein told TVNewser earlier this week at the CNN “The Sixties” finale screening. “Go out at night, knock on people’s doors, visit them at home, be respectful of them…they all worked for Richard Nixon and his re-election committee; they weren’t Democrats.”

“There’s no substitute for real reporting. Just relying on Twitter or the web to look up information is not real reporting. It can be part of the process, but the real thing… go out and talk to people and find out what the hell is going on.”

Pres. Obama Holds News Conference From U.S./Africa Leaders Summit

ObamaPresident Obama held a news conference this evening as the three-day U.S./Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC drew to a close. The president spoke about progress being made in both the economies and governance of many African nations.

The press event was delayed more than an hour. As the start times of the live editions of the evening newscasts approached, all three broadcast networks streamed the President’s remarks online rather than carrying them on air.

On cable news Fox News preempted “The Five” for an expanded edition of “Special Report with Bret Baier,” which aired from 5-7pmET. CNN and MSNBC covered the newser in its normal programming, anchored by Wolf Blitzer and Ed Schultz, respectively.

The first question went to the Associated Press’ Julie Pace, followed by ABC’s Jonathan Karl, then Margaret Talev of Bloomberg; NBC’s Chris JansingDavid Ohito of The Standard, a Kenyan publication; and the last question went to Jerome Cartillier of Agence France-Presse. The president concluded the nearly :45 minute press briefing at 6:54pmET.

James Brady, Shot During Reagan Assassination Attempt, Has Died

BradyBriefingRoom

James Brady, the press secretary for Pres. Ronald Reagan, who was shot in the 1981 assassination attempt on the president, has died.

Brady, 73, (above, second from right) was among four people shot that day. He was partially paralyzed in the attempt on Reagan’s life and required the use of a wheelchair for the rest of his life. In the years that followed the shooting, Brady and his wife Sarah Brady became leading crusaders for gun control and would go on to create the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

In 2000, the White House Briefing Room was renamed the “James S. Brady Press Briefing Room” in his honor.

Pres. Obama Delivers Statement From White House Briefing Room

President Obama delivered a statement from the White House Briefing Room this afternoon on the economy and Washington gridlock. The cable and broadcast networks had live coverage of the press conference, which included questions from the press after the President delivered his remarks.

“Good Morning America” weekend news anchor Ron Claiborne anchored an ABC News special report, joined by Jonathan Karl. On NBC, David Gregory anchored with Chuck Todd at the White House. James Brown anchored on CBS with Bill Plante at the White House.

The cable news networks also took the President’s statement live: Jenna Lee anchored on Fox News with Wendell Goler at the White House, Krystal Ball anchored for MSNBC with Chris Jansing at the White House, and Anderson Cooper anchored for CNN with Wolf Blitzer in Jerusalem, Jake Tapper in Washington and Michelle Kosinski at the White House.

> First question goes to Roberta Rampton from Reuters, who asked about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

> Second question goes to Bill Plante from CBS News, who asked the President if he’s losing his international influence. In his response, Obama says that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been going on “even longer than you’ve been reporting.”

> Third question goes to Fox News’ Wendell Goler, who asks about the President’s executive orders.

> Fourth and last question goes to CNN’s Michelle Kosinski, who asks if a cease-fire in Gaza is realistic.

Carney: White House TV Correspondents ‘Tend to Play for the Cameras’

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says White House correspondents “tend to play for the cameras” during televised briefings. Carney says when he would conduct off-camera briefings, “The difference is like night and day, in terms of the tenor.”

On the “Late Show with David Letterman” last night, Carney said correspondents from TV networks who fill the first couple of rows, “tend to be the most agitated, especially when the briefing is televised, but you can’t ignore them, because then that would be the story.”

One of those correspondents, NBC’s Chuck Todd, has responded via Twitter:

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Would Jim Lehrer Moderate Another Debate? ‘No, No, No, A Thousand Times, No’

JimLehrer1He’s known as the Dean of Moderators, having been at the helm of twelve presidential debates since 1988.

But don’t count on veteran newsman Jim Lehrer making another go of it in 2016.

“No, no, no, a thousand times, no,” he tells TVNewser about what he’d say if asked to moderate in 2016.

Lehrer felt the same way when we talked with him 2010. But he ended up moderating the first 2012 presidential debate.

“The only reason that I finally changed my mind [in 2012] was because I was persuaded by the Commission on Presidential Debates to do it, because we were going to try a new format,” he says, referring to the “new, open” approach that enabled the candidates to more freely speak and interact with each other.

Lehrer, 80, was roundly criticized, for not doing enough to challenge candidates, Pres. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, or control their questions.

Would anything change his mind when it comes to 2016?

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Jorge Ramos Asks Hillary Clinton: ‘Do You Think You Have a Latino Problem?’

In a preview clip ahead of Tuesday’s full interview, Fusion’s Jorge Ramos asks former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she has a potential problem with a rising voting demographic.

“Do you think you have a Latino problem?” Ramos asked based on recent comments Clinton made on sending back Central American children who cross the U.S. border. “I hope not!” Clinton responded, laughing that she “never has before, so I hope not.” “Some of them should be sent back,” Clinton continued, adding she’d deport children who don’t have claims to asylum or family connections in America.

Hillary Clinton Acknowledges She’ll Have to ‘Work on’ Media Expectations

abc_hillary_clinton_nightline_interview_lpl_130129_mnShe’s already provided ample cable news fodder for months, and today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged she might need to reexamine her media outlook.

In an interview with NPR’s “On Point,” Clinton responded to former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson‘s criticism in a POLITICO interview. Abramson said Clinton is “incredibly unrealistic about journalists,” expecting too much loyalty.

“I think maybe one of the points Jill was making is that I do sometimes expect perhaps more than I should,” Clinton said about her relationship with the media. “And I’ll have to work on my expectations, but I had an excellent relationship with the State Department press that followed me for four years and enjoyed working with them, and whatever I do in the future, I look forward to having the same kind of opportunities.”

Clinton recently had ample opportunity to work on her interview skills ahead of a potential 2016 presidential run. Her “Hard Choices” book tour included interviews with ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Fox News, CNN, and Comedy Central.

‘Pimped Out’ Returns. New Clinton Book Details Old Cable News Firestorm

shuster“Clinton Inc.,” another new book about the former, and perhaps future, White House occupants dredges up a cable news moment that regular readers of this site will recall.

In February 2008, as the Democratic primary for president was heating up, then-MSNBC anchor David Shuster waded into the debate about the Clinton family dynamic and how it plays out on the campaign trail. “Doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?,” Shuster asked.

That line set off a firestorm from the Clinton camp to the highest levels of NBC and even its corporate parent at the time. Politico reports on an excerpt from the book by Daniel Halper:

According to a source close to the situation, the Clintons called people on the board of NBC’s parent company General Electric to say, “Well, this is outrageous, how NBC News and MSNBC are handling this, and we need to do something about it.” Before long, GE’s chairman Jeffrey Immelt was on the phone with Jeff Zucker, the president and CEO of NBC Universal at the time, and (former NBC News president) Steve Capus asking, “What the hell is going on over there? Why are my board members talking about the reporter, and why is your reporter referring to Chelsea as a prostitute?”

Shuster was suspended for the remark. His employment with MSNBC came to an abrupt end in April 2010 when it was revealed that he took part in the taping of a pilot for CNN. Shuster had been with MSNBC since 2002 following a six-year run at Fox News Channel. He is now an anchor with Al Jazeera America. Ironically, Chelsea Clinton would go on to work as a special correspondent for NBC News.

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Political Journos Repeat Claims Rather Than Check Facts

TwitterCongressA new International Journal of Press/Politics study finds that during the 2012 presidential campaign, political journalists opted to repeat presidential candidates’ claims rather than challenge them.

The Poynter Institute reports on the findings today, which combed through 430 journalists’ tweets during presidential debates, examining whether they merely repeated candidates’ claims or fact-checked them.

They found that 60 percent of the journalist tweets “reflected traditional practices of ‘professional’ objectivity: stenography—simply passing along a claim made by a politician—and ‘he said, she said’ repetition of a politician’s claims and his opponent’s counterclaim. Journalists largely repeated the claims and statement of candidates, rather that check or challenge them. In the end, 15 percent of the tweets reflected the traditional fact-checking approach. These tweets saw journalists “referencing evidence for or against the claim and, in a few cases, rendering an explicit judgment about the validity of the claim. The data showed that checking was done more frequently by those in the data set who identified themselves as commentators rather than reporters. This again suggests that traditional notions of objectivity may be a factor.”

Last year, we spoke with ABC’s Jonathan Karl about leveraging social media in his reporting. “You gotta use it, but you gotta use it in doses,” he said. Watch the video after the jump.

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