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Politics

Kate Bolduan, Mika Brzezinski, Norah O’Donnell to Interview Pres. Obama Today

NBC News Obama special report_304x200Two cable morning show anchors will be interviewing Pres. Obama today. CNN’s “New Day” co-anchor Kate Bolduan and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski will sit down with the president today. Both interviews air Monday, previewing Monday’s White House Summit on Working Families.

Meanwhile, another cable news host, Greta Van Susteren, is taking the president to task. “I am furious at President Obama if he blew this opportunity,” writes Van Susteren on GretaWire.

>Update: Norah O’Donnell also gets an interview with Obama. An excerpt will air tonight on the “CBS Evening News,” with the full interview airing on Monday’s “CBS This Morning.”

Bill O’Reilly on ‘Obama Basher,’ ‘Liberals,’ and ‘Anti-Obama Situation’ at Fox News

Bill O’Reilly went up and down the Fox News talent roster last night at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, offering his take on his colleague’s views on President Obama.

“You have Doocy, who’s an Obama basher,” O’Reilly told colleague Geraldo Rivera, who interviewed him. “Then you’re into Shepard Smith, who’s a liberal” (he also labeled Greta Van Susteren liberal). And on the cast of “The Five”: “They don’t like the president so much, but then you have Beckel [Bob] there, and he’s there to stick up for him. It’s not real fair, so I’d say that’s an anti-Obama situation.” O’Reilly credits colleagues Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum, Jon Scott, Jenna Lee, Bret Baier, and Megyn Kelly as anchors who lack agendas and aren’t ideologues. And his self-evaluation: “I’m tough on everybody.”

Broadcast, Cable Networks Cover Obama Iraq Statement

In a statement from the White House briefing room this afternoon, President Obama said the U.S. is prepared to take “targeted and precise” military action in Iraq, but reinforced his earlier decision that American troops will not be returning to combat in the region.

The broadcast and cable news networks all had live coverage of the President’s remarks. The press conference was originally scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and was pushed back more than an hour.

George Stephanopoulos anchored on ABC News, with Martha Raddatz in Baghdad and Jon Karl at the White House. On NBC, Brian Williams anchored from New York with Chuck Todd at the White House and Richard Engel in Baghdad. Sharon Alfonsi anchored on CBS with Major Garrett at the White House and Clarissa Ward in Baghdad. Bill Hemmer anchored a special report from New York for Fox affiliates.

On the cable news networks: Ronan Farrow anchored from New York on MSNBC, Jake Tapper anchored from Washington on CNN and Jon Scott and Jenna Lee anchored on Fox News.

Obama took questions from Coleen McCain Nelson of the Wall Street Journal, CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta, Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post and Peter Maer of CBS News.

Ratings: Hillary Clinton’s Back-to-Back CNN, Fox News Interviews

FNC CNN Clinton Interviews

Hillary Clinton capped off the television portion of her book tour yesterday with back-to-back interviews on CNN and Fox News. Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren‘s joint Fox News interview delivered the biggest cable news audience, averaging 2,022,000 total viewers and 313,000 A25-54 viewers from 6:45-7:15 p.m. CNN’s interview, which ran from 5 to 6 p.m., had 521,000 total viewers and 115,000 A25-54 viewers.

Compared to the same time period the previous day, Fox News was up +23% in total viewers and +30% in the A25-54 demographic. CNN was up +32% in total viewers and +55% in the demo compared to the 5 p.m. hour Monday.

Fox came in first in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic on cable news in the 6:45 to 7:15 half-hour. CNN came in second (behind Fox News) in both ratings metrics in the 5pmET time slot.

The re-air of Christiane Amanpour‘s town hall interview — which aired from 9 to 10:30 p.m. because of additional commercial breaks — averaged 579,000 total viewers and 137,000 A25-54 viewers.

At His Last Briefing, Jay Carney Tells Reporters: ‘You’ll Be the Judge of My Success’

jay carneyAfter three and a half years as White House press secretary, Jay Carney presided over his final press briefing this afternoon, calling his time in the role an “extraordinarily gratifying” experience.

“I have loved every minute of every day, even the many minutes of many days I spent in this room,” Carney said. “As I think most of you now understand and believe, it’s always a pleasure no matter how hard it can get in here, no matter how hot it can be and contentious it sometimes is.”

“The press secretary is in a unique position within a White House. And not just because I’m a former journalist, because I think every press secretary understood this and understands it: we work to promote what the President is doing and the message he’s trying to convey to the American people,” Carney told reporters. “But I also work with the press to try to help you do your jobs, to help you cover the White House, cover the administration, and report on what we’re doing here. And that is what I’ve tried to do, and you’ll be the judge of my success, at least in part.”

No word yet on the next steps for Carney, who is married to ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman.

Carney will be replaced by deputy press secretary Josh Earnest, who has worked with President Obama since the 2008 campaign.

Hillary Clinton Wraps Network Interviews with Town Hall on CNN, Ping Pong on Fox News

FNCHillaryFollowing ABC, CBS and NBC interviews last week, Hillary Clinton finished a round of network news interviews related to her new book, “Hard Choices,” with a live town hall on CNN followed by a live joint interview today on Fox News.

The town hall moderated by Christiane Amanpour included questions from the audience, ranging from immigration, to gun control, and marijuana policy. The town hall wrapped at 6:02 and 40 minutes later, Clinton was on Fox News taking part in a joint interview with Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren, which amounted to a ping pong match as Baier got 7 minutes, followed by Van Susteren for 7 minutes, then Baier, and back to Van Susteren, wrapping at 7:20pm.

Today’s news of the arrest of a suspect in the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack led both interviews. CNN’s Amanpour spent about 5 minutes on the arrest and Clinton’s role as Secretary of State at the time. Amanpour went for the emotional, asking Clinton if she had known how dangerous the situation in Benghazi was shaping up to be, “might you not have held [Amb. Chris Stevens] back on 9/11, of all days?” “I think we would have certainly cautioned, and maybe even directed people to just shelter in place,” Clinton said.

On Fox News, Baier spent his first 7 minutes, and part of his second 7 minutes, questioning Clinton on Benghazi, from the news of today’s arrest, to that night in 2012, to how the administration characterized it early on, and whom to blame for it. “This was the fog of war,” Clinton said.

Other topics in the Fox interview included the crisis in Iraq, the release of POW Bowe Berghdal, (and the Guantanamo prisoners released in exchange), the IRS scandal, whether she’ll run in 2016, and the detention of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooresi in Mexico, a case Van Susteren has been following closely.

As Clinton finished her round of interviews the results of a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll were released. 38% of registered voters said they would “probably” or be “almost certain to” vote for Clinton should she run in 2016, while 37% said they would definitely oppose her.

Dana Bash: I Tried to Get Eric Cantor ‘Off His Talking Points’

Bash CantorFollowing her “State of the Union” interview with recently defeated Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor yesterday, CNN’s Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash acknowledged her game plan.

“I tried to get him off his talking points. I don’t know how successful I was,” Bash told chief political analyst Gloria Borger (the two filled in for Candy Crowley).

One of Bash’s attempts: “You’re a pol [politician], you’re such a pol,” she said, trying to get more out of Cantor as he suggested it wasn’t worthwhile to evaluate the results of his race against Dave Brat.

Cantor also appeared on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” speaking with ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl. “Absolutely, I don’t think anyone in the country thought that the outcome would be what it was,” Cantor said, acknowledging his shock at the results.

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A Busy Friday for Senator John McCain

As potential U.S. action in Iraq drew saturation coverage on TV news today, Senator John McCain lent his voice.

The Arizona Senator, who has urged President Obama to “get a new national security team,” appeared on cable news five times across MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN.

He started on “Morning Joe” and “New Day” this morning, first telling an MSNBC panel we should’ve left stabilizing forces in Iraq similar to Japan, Germany, Korea, and Bosnia. Speaking with Chris Cuomo, McCain got specific on Iraq: “Airstrikes are something to be considered.”

Next, he appeared on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” in a pre-recorded interview. “I think I’d put David Petraeus on a plane to Baghdad right now to sort all of this out,” he told Mitchell.

On-set in New York, McCain joined Neil Cavuto on “Your World” in the 4pmET hour following an Army press conference updating the condition of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who is now back in the U.S. undergoing treatment. “Right now, he probably deserves a lot of our patience,” McCain said.

McCain rounded out the day back on CNN, appearing on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” weighing in on which members of the president’s national security team need to go. “The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, number one, the National Security Adviser [Susan Rice], number two…who should probably spend time with her family on Sundays,” he said.

Pres. Obama: ‘We Will Not Be Sending U.S. Troops Back Into Combat in Iraq’

President Obama delivered a statement on Iraq from the South Lawn of the White House shortly before noon. The broadcast and cable networks all provided live coverage of his remarks on the increased violence in the region.

On NBC, David Gregory anchored from Washington with Peter Alexander at the White House and Richard Engel in Iraq. David Muir anchored for ABC, joined by Terry Moran in Northern Iraq. CBS’ special report was anchored by Scott Pelley in New York with Major Garrett at the White House.

As for the cable networks: Wolf Blitzer anchored on CNN, with Arwa Damon in Iraq. Eric Shawn and Uma Pemmaraju anchored on Fox News, joined by “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier from Washington. On MSNBC, Tamron Hall anchored with Chuck Todd contributing.

Obama said he is weighing the options for U.S. military support in Iraq, but ruled out using ground forces in the conflict. “We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options,” he said.

Bret Baier: Cantor Loss ‘Biggest Political Story We’ve Seen in Decades’

BaierFNC’s Bret Baier is officially ready for the midterms.

“This definitely puts you in election mode,” Baier tells TVNewser following coverage of Eric Cantor‘s loss last night in his House race primary. “Seeing this type of upset throws you right into the mix of what November will be.”

We talked with Baier this afternoon about his new book, “Special Heart,” (more on that tomorrow) but had to ask about last night’s Virginia primary and how the media were caught off guard by the results.

“There was no internal polling [at Fox News]. There wasn’t a lot of polling in the race period,” Baier says, noting that the signals he was getting from Republicans on Capitol Hill was that Cantor’s victory was a “no-brainer.”

“No one really expected it. We noted on my show last night before the numbers started coming in that it was a little closer than people thought. But still, it didn’t seem like it would happen. It’s arguably the biggest political story we’ve seen in decades. There has never been a House Majority Leader who has lost in a primary in the history of our republic.”

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