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Archives: May 2014

Father of Freed POW Bowe Bergdahl Asks Media to Keep Its Distance

BergdahlPresident Obama spoke from the Rose Garden this evening along with the parents of freed POW Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl, who had been held by the Taliban since June, 2009, was released earlier today in an operation brokered by the U.S., Qatar and Afghanistan with the Taliban. In exchange, five Guantanamo Bay detainees will be turned over to Qatari officials.

“The recovery of our son is going to be a considerable task for our family,” said Bob Bergdahl. “We hope that the media will understand that that will keep us very preoccupied in the coming days and weeks as he gets back home to the United States.”

Bob Bergdahl also spoke directly to his son in Pashto adding that Bowe “is having trouble speaking English.” Col. Jack Jacobs, a Medal of Honor recipient and an MSNBC analyst, said that’s not unusual. ‘When I was in Vietnam, I spent my entire time with the Vietnamese, speaking Vietnamese. I actually started to dream in Vietnamese and it took me several weeks after I got home before I started to think first in English.”

In addition to coverage on the cable news networks, CBS, FOX and NBC provided broadcast special reports.

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Oklahoma Student Wins $10,000 on Fox News

Seth Paxton, a student at Oklahoma State University, is the Fox News College Challenge winner. Paxton submitted a news story about ranchers who are paid by energy companies to put giant wind turbines on their land. Paxton, whose family benefits from the program, says his family was torn because the money comes from taxpayer funded subsidies. Paxton, who plans on going into law, not journalism, is $10,000 richer after winning the college challenge. He went on “Fox & Friends” Friday and got his big check.


Is Willie Geist ‘the Next Matt Lauer’?

willie geistSince Willie Geist joined the “Today” show in 2012, rumors have swirled that he is the heir apparent to Matt Lauer, whose current deal with the NBC morning show expires early next year. In a New York Observer profile, Geist addresses the succession speculation:

“I think with respect to people who say that, it’s just that—speculation. It’s totally meaningless,” says Mr. Geist. “It’s fun for people to talk about, but I can tell you honestly that I never had one single conversation about that, ever. Matt is the host, and he’s the best morning show host in the history of morning show hosts, and he’ll be there as long as he wants to be there. So there’s no point in me thinking about it. All I do is try to do a good job in our hour, and when they ask me to fill in for him, I fill in for him.”

And if the powers that be at NBC called him? “I would certainly take the phone calls from my superiors at work, but I’ve never received one like that. If it happens, I’ll answer, and we’ll see.”

Geist also appeared on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” this week, where he was asked about his craziest experience with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hota Kotb. Watch after the jump. Read more

How CBS News Remembered Maya Angelou

When Maya Angelou died Wednesday, the CBS Evening News memorialized her with her own words.

Producers asked several people from around the country: from Secretory of State John Kerry, to a student from the Chicago School for the Arts; from actor and singer Billy Dee Williams, to a teacher from North Atlanta High School, to recite lines from Angelou’s poem “Caged Bird.” WATCH:

Greta: ‘I’m Not Very Happy with Myself’

In her “Off the Record” commentary Friday night, Greta Van Susteren took herself to the woodshed for not doing more to bring light to the problems in the VA hospitals. As CNN’s Drew Griffin told us late Friday, the media must now keep a sharp eye on what’s happening to veterans’ healthcare, lest nothing be fixed. Greta says she’s “not very happy with myself” over her coverage, or lack of it. WATCH:


Will ABC’s Jonathan Karl Miss Jay Carney?

With today’s surprise announcement that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is resigning, ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl is temporarily without a “flack jacket” to spar with.

The two men had the occasional contentious exchange which created for memorable moments. But for Karl, it was never personal.

“Will I miss Jay? Of course,” Karl tells TVNewser. “He’s been a spirited advocate for the President who was never afraid to take the tough questions. To borrow one of Jay’s favorite phrases, ‘I appreciate that.’ And as heated as it sometimes got in the briefing room, it was never personal. Jay is a pro.”

Last year, Karl spoke to us about pushing beyond the White House line when reporting on a story.

The Scoreboard: Thursday, May 29

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 213 | MSNBC: 71 | CNN: 91 | HLN: 103
  • Primetime: FNC: 280 | MSNBC: 110 | CNN: 207 | HLN: 135

4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC
Cavuto:

159

TheFive:

249

Baier:

277

Greta:

249

O’Reilly:

329

Megyn:

273

Hannity:

239

O’Reilly:

247

Megyn:

228

MSNBC
Wagner:

43

EdShow:

64

Sharpton:

98

Matthews:

121

Hayes:

111

Maddow:

115

O’Donnell:

104

Hayes:

81

Maddow:

109

CNN
Tapper:

59

Blitzer:

66

Blitz/Cross:

50/58

Burnett:

91

Cooper:

95

Sixties:

284

Sixties:

243

Cooper:

130

Sixties:

108

HLN
News:

41

WWYD:

45

DrDrew:

43

Jane:

97

Grace:

180

DrDrew:

131

Files:

95

Files:

161

Files:

230

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Definiton of Talking to Americans’ Not Confined to Sunday Shows

clintonPOLITICO reports exclusive excerpts from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s upcoming book “Hard Choices,” specifically the chapter on the 9/11/12 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton addresses criticism that she didn’t appear on Sunday morning shows several days after the attack.

Clinton takes aim at people who “fixate on the question of why I didn’t go on TV that morning, as if appearing on a talk show is the equivalent of jury duty, where one has to have a compelling reason to get out of it. I don’t see appearing on Sunday-morning television as any more of a responsibility than appearing on late-night TV. Only in Washington is the definition of talking to Americans confined to 9 A.M. on Sunday mornings.”

The potential presidential candidate writing about her lack of responsibility to appear on Sunday shows adds to previous statements she’s made about the platform: last year during her Benghazi testimony, she “confessed” that going on Sunday shows “is not my favorite thing to do.”

For her book, Clinton is seemingly more favorable to weeknights and weekday mornings. Her first interview goes to Diane Sawyer in a primetime special on June 9; her second to Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” June 10. She’ll also do a joint interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren on June 17.

Jay Carney Resigns; Josh Earnest Named White House Press Secretary

Carney resignationShortly before 2pmET, President Obama appeared in the White House briefing room for the second time today to announce Jay Carney is resigning as White House Press Secretary. He will be succeeded by Josh Earnest, currently the deputy press secretary.

Obama said he will continue to rely on Carney, who is married to ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman, as a “friend and advisor.”

“Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great Press Secretary and a great advisor,” Obama said. “He’s got good judgment, he has a good temperament and he’s got a good heart. And I’m going to miss him a lot.”

The White House press corps applauded as Obama officially “passed the flak jacket” to Earnest, saying “his name describes his demeanor … you can’t find just a nicer individual, even outside of Washington.”

The cable news networks all took the announcement live. “I’m literally picking my jaw up off of the ground,” NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker said on MSNBC. “I was not expecting that. The rest of the press corps, to my knowledge, didn’t get a heads up about this. It really was a surprise announcement. That is rare at this White House, for the press corps to be surprised.”

Video after the jump…

Read more

Jeff Zucker: ‘Today We Have Seen the True Scope of What CNN is and Can Be’

cnn the sixties promoThe premiere of CNN’s “The Sixties” averaged 1,390,000 total viewers and 284,000 A25-54 viewers Thursday night, according to Nielsen Fast National data. The preliminary numbers indicate the show’s premiere won the 9pmET timeslot and the re-air won the 10pmET timeslot in the demo. Final numbers will be in later today.

>Update: Finals are in, and CNN did indeed win in the demo at 9pmET and 10pmET.

In a note to staff this afternoon, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker wrote, “I wanted to take a moment to tell you how proud I am to work at CNN today.” Zucker cited the successful launch of “The Sixties” and the “outstanding, months-long reporting” by Drew Griffin, the reporter who broke the VA scandal story — which led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki this morning — as examples.

“Today we have seen the true scope of what CNN is and can be,” Zucker writes. “…CNN is evolving. Our commitment to news, investigative journalism and inspired storytelling is what we are all about.”

For the 9pmET hour, CNN was up +312% in total viewers and +190% in A25-54 viewers compared to the prior four-week average. Compared to past CNN specials — including “Blackfish,” “Weed” and past episodes of “The Sixties” — last night’s premiere ranked second overall in total viewers and 10th in the A25-54 demographic.

Zucker’s full note is after the jump. Read more

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