The 10th floor of the Time Warner Center was packed with journalists, college students and others today, as CNN and Time Magazine co-hosted their Politics 2008 conference.
With three panels going on at a time in some instances, the late afternoon saw a split of two active sessions. In a religion and politics session, CNN contributors Roland Martin and Amy Holmes joined others in the discussion. When moderator Steve Waldman introduced Martin, identifying him as from the “left,” Martin immediately countered. “That introduction is part of the problem with the religion conversation,” he said. He also had some qualms with the name of the panel, which called for a discussion of the “‘new’ new rules” of religion and politics.
Holmes, who described herself as both a “non-believer” and a “blue state girl with red state politics,” said race has been a hot issue during the campaign, but religion has been less covered. “The media loves to talk about race, but I would ask to keep your eye on the religion issue,” she said.
In another room, CNN’s Candy Crowley, former Hillary Clinton strategist Mark Penn, Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin and others were discussing the media’s performance in the 2008 campaign. The overwhelming response — not good.
“The press is suffering,” said Penn. “Now they’re seen as increasingly partisan.” Crowley was asked if “people hiss at you” on the campaign trails. “Sure, but that’s not new,” she said.
The most biting critique was Halperin’s, who moves between ABC and all the cablers regularly as an analyst. He described the “irresponsible job the press has done when given access” during this election cycle. “We’ve done a bad job,” he said.
Below, TVNewser’s interview with Halperin after the panel. He expands on his critique of the media, and we ask what he thinks of being cited often in the first session as someone who understands new media during the first panel (and he gives some props to TVNewser):
Click continued to see which panelist appeared to be the most popular today, according to some unscientific research this afternoon…
TVNewser grabbed a seat next to CNN Washington bureau chief David Bohrman to begin the conference today, and he already was talking about his disappointment in missing the panel featuring Peggy Noonan, which was taking place during a session when he was a panelist.
Later we caught up with BBC World News America EP Rome Hartman, also on the Bohrman panel, who expressed his disappointment about missing Noonan speak as well.
And Huffington Post’s Rachel Sklar and FishbowlNY’s Glynnis MacNicol, who we were chatting with following Noonan’s panel, were elated to have her join a video interview they were conducting with CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, which turned into a lovefest of the columnist and author.
More on the Noonan panel tomorrow, and our video interview with CBS’ Jeff Greenfield, who also was on the “Influencers” panel.
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