Betty White (one week before her SNL hosting gig) Chelsea Handler Ayla Brown, daughter of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)
Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel
Attorney General Eric Holder
HHS Secy. Kathleen Sebelius
Energy Secy. Steven Chu
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
• TVNewser will be in D.C. for the weekend. We’ll be attending the annual Saturday garden party at Chez Haddad, the Dinner parties — pre- and post- and Sunday morning’s brunch and tour of the new “Meet the Press” studio. Check back with FisbowlDC and TVNewser all weekend for coverage.
Politicians and journalists descended upon the Washington Convention Center last night for the 2010 Radio and TV Correspondent’s Association dinner.
We spoke to CNN’s Candy Crowley who was looking forward to sharing the table with Kathy Griffin, but thought the crowd noise might be a problem. She told us, “I’m worried I won’t be able to hear her… Oh wait, what am I saying?”
CNN’s main table had Griffin, Crowley, John King, and Dana Bash as well as King’s invited guest: Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA). TVNewser, was a guest of CNN and at the table next to us, we spotted the Fox Newsers Brit Hume and Bret Baier, fresh from his interview with the president. Also, RNC Chair Michael Steele, and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Meanwhile, former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and the Rev. Jesse Jackson brushed past each other nearby. Miss America was even there.
Pres. Obama sent a funny taped message apologizing to the crowd of media industry pros who he characterized as “following me incessantly and waiting for me to screw up.”
Vice President Joe Biden appeared in place of the president and delivered a handful of hit-or-miss zingers. He told the story of St. Patrick who chased the snakes from Ireland, and said, “There were no snakes. He made that up. That’s why he’s the patron saint of Fox News.” Biden joked that “the only media outlet that ever gave me a fair shake in this town was Amtrak Magazine.”
Comedian Joe Wong was the evening’s entertainment and made some new fans in the crowd. Afterward, TVNewser stopped by the “BBC World News America” party where everyone from David Shuster to Wolf Blitzer to a stylin’ Roland Martin were enjoying themselves.
FishbowlDC’s Betsy Rothstein was invited to the Fox News pre-party and has the full scoop on that bash.
In between bites we pulled out the FlipCam. See how many newsers you can spot:
Page Six reports that Joe Scarborough is “under intense pressure to perform” now that Don Imus‘ FBN simulcast has debuted and competes head to head with his “Morning Joe.” Page Six’s source said:
“Those higher up at MSNBC are unnerved by Imus’ move to Fox Business Network and fear his show could push Scarborough down. They’re putting a lot of pressure on Joe to keep the ratings up. To make things worse, there are multiple scores to be settled.”
Tom Bowman, Imus’ EP, worked at NBC and MSNBC for several years. He was at the helm of Imus’ show when it aired on MSNBC.
An MSNBC insider tells TVNewser, “The only thing accurate about the Page Six story is that Imus is not on our radar.”
Ratings wise, while Imus edged out his business channel competition in his first week, he has some ground to cover before he contends with MSNBC. Says out insider, “His TV launch has had absolutely no impact on ‘Morning Joe’ – in fact, ‘Morning Joe’ showed growth in both total viewers and the demo week-to-week with Imus as a competitor. In all honesty — we wish him well. But not a factor.”
Meanwhile, not so positive news for Scarborough’s radio show. WMAL in Washington D.C., announced this week it is removing the show. Chris Plante, son of CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante will take the slot beginning Monday.
Our calls to a publicist for the radio program were not returned, but Scarborough did tweet today that he’ll be “picking up some stations in Florida soon.”
Update: WABC President and General Manager Steve Borneman point out that Scarborough “is not being canceled in DC, his time slot is being moved to evenings because that is a better fit for WMAL.” He also told TVNewser, “Joe’s show is gaining stations on a national platform weekly. Joe’s audience has grown 72% from August to September in DC and I believe his numbers will continue to grow.”
At 8:43am this morning the presidents of the U.S and France and the Prime Minister of Great Britain appeared to make a statement about Iran revealing a second uranium enrichment site. Pres. Obama, French President Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Brown are accusing Iran of concealing the plant.
NBC News broke in to the Today show for a special report at 8:37 with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira anchoring. Correspondent Savannah Guthrie reported from Pittsburgh, where the leaders are meeting for the G-20 and from Washington, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell contributed.
CBS was next to interrupt the “Early Show” at 8:40am with Harry Smith anchoring and Bill Plante reporting from Pittsburgh.
ABC seemed least prepared with Robin Roberts mentioning the leaders were about to speak, tossing to Chris Cuomo for a segment on hamburgers, only to be interrupted as Obama approached the mic. “And still talking about Pres. Obama. We’re not going to talk about what he likes to eat. We’re going to go to that right now. Here comes the president…”
Outside at Lincoln Center, prior to the Walter Cronkite memorial service.
At this hour, a veritable who’s who of journalists, political figures, and other newsmakers are either on their way to Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York — or have arrived there by now — for the public memorial service for legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite.
Attendees were asked to arrive early for the 10:30amET service “due to security concerns surrounding the appearance of President Obama at this event,” according to a CBS press release.
President Obama has left the White House en route to the service, where he is scheduled to speak, along with former President Bill Clinton, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and others.
CBS will stream live coverage of the service on CBSnews.com, CBS.com, TV.com, and other sites as well. Chris and Kevin are providing updates today on Twitter, and will have a full report this afternoon.
Walter Cronkite passed away at the age of 92 on July 17.
Van Jones, Pres. Obama’s green jobs czar, resigned late yesterday amid growing criticism about his past comments.
According to the NYTimes, Jones said in a statement released early today, “I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past.”
In recent weeks, Jones, and his past comments, had been the focus of almost daily segments on Glenn Beck‘s Fox News Channel program. Last week, Beck wondered where the other media were in reporting the story: “Hey! ABC, NBC… well I know where NBC is… CBS where the hell are ya? CNN where are ya?”
On Friday, CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante reported a story for Friday’s Evening News which laid out those past comments and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’ “let’s see how this all works out” attitude. 24 hours later, in the middle of the Labor Day weekend, Jones resigned.
Beck’s critics complained the talk radio and TV host was only going after Jones because he had co-founded an organization that launched an ad boycott of Beck’s show.
Still, Beck has been talking about Jones since before the boycott began, which was triggered by this comment Beck made on Fox & Friends July 28. Beck first began talking about Jones on his radio show July 16 and on his TV show July 23.
The White House press briefing this afternoon has been contentious, with some major give-and-take between CNN’s Ed Henry, ABC’s Jake Tapper and other correspondents as they pressed press secretary Robert Gibbs over the decision today by Pres. Obama not to release detainee abuse photos.
All three cablers were taking it live when the tension was lifted briefly by a series of cell phone rings, first from John Gizzi of Human Events. “Just put it on vibrate, man, we did this before,” said Gibbs. When it rang again, Gibbs stepped off the podium, demanded the phone, and tossed to an aide in the back room. When Gibbs began to answer the question, CBS’ Bill Plante‘s phone rang. But Plante ignored Gibbs’ request to hand it over. Instead, Plante, a 28-year White House veteran, left the room to laughter. About five minutes later Plante returned to his front-row seat.
Click continued to see the video…and for an update on who Plante was talking to.
CBS’s Bill Plante just now at Robert Gibbs‘ first White House press briefing, questioned the administration over ABC’s inauguration night exclusive with President Obama…
Plante: How is it transparent when it looks like pay to play when the president gives his only interview on inauguration night to a network that’s paid $2 million for the privilege of exclusive coverage of an event… the Neighborhood Ball?
Gibbs: No interview is decided on by me or anybody else who works for the president based on who might sponsor an activity.
Interestingly, Plante was standing, off to the side, not seated in the front row as most of the broadcast network correspondents are. >Update: CBS’s chief White House correspondent Chip Reid was seated in the front row.
More notes from the briefing coming up in another post, including one CNN anchor’s message to a former CNNer: “Tell him I said hi and I miss him working for CNN…”
> Update: From Chris Cilliza‘s Twitter feed: “Plante is a gatekeeper of White House press…he is standing up for how things are done…this will be a constant push/pull”