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Archives: November 2008

Sen. Specter Responds to Possible Chris Matthews Run: “I’ll be Prepared, Whoever My Opponents Are”

Blitzer_11.30.jpgOn CNN’s Late Edition today, Wolf Blitzer asked Sen. Arlen Specter about one of his potential challengers next year. Blitzer also spoke with New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez who’s head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

BLITZER: …you’ve seen these reports out there that Chris Matthews, the anchor for MSNBC, is think of running in his home state of Pennsylvania as a Democrat against you when you’re up for re-election in 2010. A, do you believe these reports? B, what do you think?

SPECTER: Well, I’m going to have an opponent. In fact, I’m going to have two opponents, Wolf, one in the primary where I always have a tough race, and again in the general. I long ago adopted the philosophy of Satchel Paige, the old pitcher, and that is I never look over my shoulder, never look behind. Somebody may be gaining on me. I run with blinders. Wolf, I’ll be prepared, whoever my opponents are.

BLITZER: Are you ready to try to get him defeated, Senator Menendez? You’re in charge of getting Democrats elected to the Senate. If Chris Matthews decides to throw his hat in the ring, are you going to be with him?

BLITZER (to Menendez): You’re in charge of getting Democrats elected to the Senate. You’ve heard these reports about Chris Matthews. Do you believe him? Have you spoken to him? Have you spoken to intermediaries on his behalf?

MENENDEZ: I haven’t spoke on the Chris or to intermediaries as to whether reports are true or not. You’ve been in the business a long time, Wolf, and we’ll see when there are announcements and then we can judge them.

BLITZER: Go ahead, Senator Specter.

SPECTER: Wolf, I don’t know what anyone else is doing, but I know what one man is doing — Arlen Specter is running.

BLITZER: I know you are. We also wish you the best of health, Senator Specter.

Related: Politico.com: Matthews Staffing for Senate Run

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A General as Conduit for Military Contractor and News Network

MccNBC_11.30.jpgThe NYTimes’ David Barstow continues his reporting into U.S. Generals-turned-TV analysts.

He focuses on retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey and his work for military contractors while providing war analysis for the networks of NBC News.

NBC News president Steve Capus told Barstow, McCaffrey was a man of honor and achievement who would never let business obligations color his analysis. Capus added that as a consultant, McCaffrey is not required to abide by the network’s formal conflict-of-interest rules. Nor is he required to disclose his business interests. But Capus said that the network had conversations with its military analysts about the need to avoid even the appearance of a conflict, and that McCaffrey had been “incredibly forthcoming” about his ties to military contractors.

In his 5,000-word piece Barstow also concludes, “Access was part of what drew NBC to General McCaffrey. Mr. Capus said General McCaffrey ‘opens doors with generals and others who we would not otherwise be able to talk to.’”

Couple Accuses CNN of Compromising Their Safety While Trapped in Mumbai

> Update – Monday, 5pm: Statement issued by the United Kingdom’s Press Association Wire Service. ADVISORY: With reference to our story TERROR India Appeal, which ran on Friday November 28 at 1750 (MEDIA PUT US AT RISK, CLAIM MUMBAI BRITONS), Press Association would like to make clear that the interviewee’s allegations that CNN broadcast details compromising her and her husband’s safety have since been clarified by the interviewee’s husband to Press Association as “not valid”.

> Update – Sunday, 4:30pm from CNN spokesman Nigel Pritchard: “This story is not true. CNN has been told by Lynne Shaw that the accusations reported to have been made by her in the UK Press Association story are not accurate. She has no issue with CNN. The alleged broadcast never happened and CNN at no time compromised her or the safety of her husband as reported.”

A Welsh couple is accusing CNN of putting their lives and the lives of western hostages at risk during the siege on Mumbai. Lynne and Kenneth Shaw, of Penarth, Wales are home safe after escaping from the Taj Hotel.

Lynne Shaw told WalesOnline, “the terrorists were watching CNN and they came down from where they were in a lift after hearing about us on television.” She added: “People talk to one another on mobile phones and that gets broadcast and the terrorists knew from that.”

A spokesman for CNN, said: “CNN has received no complaint from any individual regarding our coverage and their safety. We take such matters very seriously. We are not aware of the allegedly compromising broadcast, but even in the absence of key details such as when and where, we will continue to check.”

Barack Obama on Meet the Press Next Sunday

Obama_11.30.jpgAt the end of today’s Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw announced Pres.-elect Barack Obama would be the guest next Sunday. This will be the third sitdown interview Obama has conducted since being elected. First with CBS’s Steve Kroft; last week with ABC’s Barbara Walters, and now NBC’s Brokaw.

Next Sunday could also be Brokaw’s final appearance as moderator. Last week the LATimes reported NBC is closing in on a decision for a permanent moderator or panel of moderators.

“Their Only Strategy Seems to be Picking out the Red M&Ms at the Green Room on Hardball”

CNNEisenstadt_11.30.jpgThe two men who made up the fake John McCain adviser Martin Eisenstadt went on Reliable Sources this morning. Host Howard Kurtz aired a clip from MSNBC in which Eisenstadt was cited as being the source of a leak related to Gov. Sarah Palin. Kurtz asked filmmakers Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin their reaction when MSNBC reported the news.

“I laughed out loud,” Mirvish said. “I mean, the funny part was we hadn’t even actively sent it to MSNBC. We had just posted this on our blog and they had found it on their own. Someone e-mailed it to a producer over there and they put it up. Which is funny because there were times over the course of our various other pranks that we had actively tried to get things onto air and into print but this wasn’t one of them. They just did it all on their own.”

The men also gave their take on the growing list of TV pundits:

KURTZ: Is the lesson here, the way that you guys have been able to pull this off, that the media are awfully gullible?

MIRVISH: That’s part of it. They’re gullible. They’ll believe anyone. If anyone had looked at our videos even for a minute or looked on our Web site, people would have known we were a hoax or a spoof or a satire for months. Just a little bit of research would have proven that out. But the other thing is that the 24 hour news cycle goes so fast and they really – they don’t always check and then the pundits they do have on, they are identified as “Republican strategist” or “Democratic strategist” and their only strategy seems to be picking out the red M&Ms at the green room on HARDBALL. Are these people any more qualified than the fake pundit we developed?

The entire transcript is after the jump…

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Anderson Cooper in a Bathing Suit

cooper_11-28.bmpDid we get your attention?

Two weeks after 60 Minutes saw its best ratings in almost a decade, Anderson Cooper contributes a report on Michael Phelps for the CBS program tomorrow.

Besides discussing his diet in the profile, Phelps also accepts Cooper’s challenge to an on-camera swim race. But Cooper had some conditions: “How about if I get to dive and I get to do freestyle, one lap, you go underwater the whole way, you can’t breathe and you can’t take a stroke. And you’ll still beat me?”

Click continued to see how the race turns out…

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CNN’s License to Broadcast From India Expires

sidner_11-28.jpgIn the midst of one of the biggest international stories in months — the ongoing siege on Mumbai, CNN’s license to broadcast live from India has expired. CNN had applied for and received a 5-day license which began last Monday and expired today. CNN had a license when the story broke because they were broadcasting a special series on India and business. All foreign broadcasters need to have a license to transmit live from India.

“Live satellite transmission from India has to be approved by the Indian government,” CNN spokesperson Nigel Pritchard tells TVNewser. “Unfortunately, the officials are not extending CNN’s live transmission license.”

CNN/U.S. and CNNI can still simulcast the transmissions from their partner CNN IBN. Pritchard says the network will also “continue to have correspondents at the Taj Hotel and other locations in Mumbai and will be reporting from the various scenes on the latest news via phone.”

Soledad’s Doc Streak

soledad_11-28b.jpg“CNN Presents: Escape From Jonestown,” was the top-rated show in the A25-54 demo when it premiered on November 13, with 861,000 viewers and 2,352,000 Total Viewers. To date, its re-airs have amassed more than 11.5 million viewers.

CNN correspondent Soledad O’Brien reported the documentary, and it marked the fourth consecutive time O’Brien’s documentaries have premiered at #1 in the demo during 2008.

Her other documentaries were “Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination,” “The Black Woman & Family,” and “The Black Man.”

Liz Claman De-listed from the S&P 500?

Just after the opening bell on this shortened trading day, CNBC’s Melissa Lee, reporting from the NYSE, was talking about some changes to the list of S&P-listed companies:

We’re watching changes in the S&P that were announced. Republic Services will replace Allied Waste Industries. That happens on December 3rd. And also Dunn and Bradstreet will replace Liz Claman. That happens after the close on December 1st.

Of course, Lee meant Liz Claiborne. Liz Claman de-listed herself from CNBC more than a year ago and later joined Fox Business Network.

In a Knot Over Brian Williams

williams_11-28.jpgThe Associated Press’ David Bauder calls attention to a blog that pays more attention than most to one specific aspect of NBC Nightly News — Brian Williams‘ ties.

The Brian Williams Tie Report Archive is a snarky, occasionally appreciative and flat-out funny read that will have you looking at Williams as never before,” writes Bauder.

Here’s Wednesday’s entry about Williams’ selection (pictured):

Debut Tie. Oh! my dear Brian Williams. You have given me much for which to be thankful on tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Day! That lush, deep verdant cravat — with its tasteful trios of narrow pearlescent stripes widely spaced upon its grassy field — helps to close that Fashion Gap in your Tie Wardrobe. Can…paisley be next?

What does the anchor think of the site? “I’m flattered,” he tells Bauder. “But with all due respect, I’ve got to keep my eye on the ball.”

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