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Posts Tagged ‘David Axelrod’

Howard Kurtz’s ‘MediaBuzz’ Projects ‘Authority, Energy and Pace’

It’s been a rough year for Howard Kurtz, but you wouldn’t know it by today’s launch of “MediaBuzz” on Fox News Channel.

After his sudden departures from CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and Tina Brown’s Daily Beast, Kurtz appears to have made a seamless transition to Fox News. “MediaBuzz” projected authority, energy and pace.

Clearly, Kurtz was in his comfort zone. Most of his guests were familiar faces from his 15-year run at “Reliable Sources” – David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson, media entrepreneur Lauren Ashburn.

In fact, Ashburn, a Fox News contributor, had so much face time, she served as a de facto co-host. Along with appearing in the opening two segments, she co-hosted “Digital Download,” and was on set with Kurtz for his sign-off.

Kurtz has a complicated history with Ashburn. His involvement in her new venture, Daily Download, a Daily Beast competitor, did not endear him to Brown, who later fired him. Ashburn showed up regularly on “Reliable Sources” and followed Kurtz to Fox News.

I couldn’t help but notice that Ashburn, like so many Fox News females, is blonde.

Ditto for guest Michelle Cottle, Washington reporter for The Daily Beast, and Fox’s Jamie Colby, who anchored a news break during the show. The only non-blonde was the Post’s Henderson, who is African American.

“MediaBuzz” opened with a lively panel discussion on media criticism of President Obama’s handling of Syria. Kurtz used the opportunity to take a shot, albeit a mild one, at his new employer. (Since joining the network in June, Kurtz had been criticized for avoiding negative assessments of Fox.)

After MSNBC contributors Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod, both former Obama officials, were lambasted by a panelist for being mouthpieces for the President, Kurtz said it was “fair to question” whether Fox regulars Karl Rove and Rick Santorum were also “pushing an agenda.” At Fox, that passes for napalm.

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David Axelrod ‘Unsympathetic’ to Bob Schieffer’s Stance On White House Access

MSNBC contributor David Axelrod criticized CBS News’ Bob Schieffer this morning, taking issue with the “Face the Nation” host’s stance on the Obama administration’s handling of the press and the DOJ investigations of the media.

Schieffer criticized the administration’s communications policy on “Face the Nation” this week, noting the show has to go through the White House press office to arrange on-camera interviews with anyone “from the lowest-level worker to a top White House official.”

“So I am glad the President has asked the Attorney General to review whether his investigations into leaks is having a chilling effect on journalists,” Schieffer said. “But it shouldn’t stop there. The president needs to rethink his entire communications policy, top to bottom. It is hurting his credibility and shortchanging the public.”

On “Morning Joe” this morning, Axelrod said while “the notion of naming a journalist as a co-conspirator for receiving information is something I find disturbing,” it should be separate from the issue of press access.

“The notion that the public should be concerned or disturbed, or that the taxpayer’s being cheated because Bob can’t book the guests he wants, I’m unsympathetic to that,” Axelrod said. Watch:

Cable News Networks Fodder for Obama, O’Brien at White House Correspondents’ Dinner

The cable news networks were a prime target for both President Obama and Conan O’Brien at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, held at the Washington D.C. Hilton.

Obama kicked off his remarks by acknowledging Fox News senior White House correspondent Ed Henry, the White House Correspondents’ Association president. “Ed, you’re doing an outstanding job,” Obama said. “We are grateful for the great work you’ve done.”

In his remarks, Obama poked fun at CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. “I know CNN has taken some knocks lately, but I admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story, just in case one of them happens to be accurate,” he said. “David Axelrod now works for MSNBC, which is a nice change of pace considering MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.” Obama joked that Fox News said it was “an insult to Satan” when an actor in the History Channel’s series “The Bible” was noticed for his resemblance to the President.

O’Brien also took aim at CNN and Fox News in his speech. “Speaking of dinner, tonight’s entrees were halibut and filet mignon. Or as John King reported it, lasagna and cous-cous,” he said. “If the President laughs, everyone laughs. And if the Fox News table laughs, a little girl just fell off her bike.”

O’Brien also made fun of NBC, saying the network has had a “rough go of it” of late. “The ‘Today’ show let go of Ann Curry. After being told, Ann Curry said, ‘let me get this straight: Al Roker tells the world that he crapped his pants at the White House, and I’m getting fired?’” O’Brien said.

Earlier in the day, Tammy Haddad hosted the 20th Annual Correspondents Garden Brunch. FishbowlDC has the details of the event, which was attended by Greta Van Susteren, Savannah Guthrie, Norah O’Donnell and Chris Matthews, among many others.

After the jump, watch the “House of Cards” spoof that opened the dinner, featuring Henry, Charlie Rose and Major Garrett. Read more

David Axelrod And Robert Gibbs Promise Fair Analysis On MSNBC

CNN’s Howard Kurtz talks to new MSNBC contributors and former Obama staffers Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod for CNN.com.

Despite their partisan pasts, both men say that they will not be acting as Obama surrogates, but as fair observers , leveraging their experiences on the campaign trail and in the White House.

Viewers will have to decide whether the analysis they give is truly fair, or tinged with a partisan filter.

Gibbs tells me he sees his job “as a political analyst and as someone who has been in the room during important meetings and when big decisions are made who can convey what that’s like to viewers. I don’t see it either as being a cheerleader for the president or as a spokesman for the administration’s point of view.”

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Former Obama Adviser David Axelrod Joining NBC News/MSNBC

Former Obama adviser David Axelrod is joining NBC News and MSNBC as a senior political analyst, the network says. Axelrod will contribute on all NBC platforms, and appear on shows for both channels.

He joins former John McCain adviser Steve Schmidt, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and former RNC chairman Michael Steele as NBC News/MSNBC contributors. Last week NBC/MSNBC named another former Obama stafferRobert Gibbs–as a contributor.

Viewers may also recall that Axelrod famously shaved his signature mustache on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” back in December.

It has been a busy few weeks for political insiders. In addition to Axelrod and Gibbs, Herman Cain and Scott Brown joined the political contributor ranks at Fox News.

More information below.
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The Morning Ticker: ‘Axelstache,’ King, Faux FNC Study

  • Democratic strategist David Axelrod has already shaved his mustache on “Morning Joe,” but he can’t help himself, and is taking his mustache-shaving ways to CNN. Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor, says that if they can secure another 500 contributions for Axelrod’s charity, then he will shave his mustache off as well, live in “The Situation Room.” Stay tuned…
  • The man behind a fake press release about Fox News speaks to The Huffington Post. The hoaxster posted a plausible-reading press release on PRWeb, claiming that a conservative research group found that Fox News viewers had lower IQs than average Americans. It was a ruse, designed to be picked up by some bloggers, and indeed, it was. The details are here.

Roger Ailes, George Stephanopoulos, Tom Brokaw and Arianna Huffington Turn Out for CURE

Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod spent his final night with his mustache at New York’s Four Seasons Restaurant raising awareness — and money — for epilepsy research. Axelrod and his wife Susan hosted many Manhattan luminaries at the CURE New York reception at which Mayor Mike Bloomberg was presented an award for his support. In his brief remarks, Bloomberg caught sight of NBC’s Tom Brokaw in the crowd: “There’s Tom Brokaw. He’s my neighbor …. and my golf partner. Maybe he’ll even give me a few strokes next round.”

TVNewser spotted Fox News chairman Roger Ailes giving a warm hello to Susan Axelrod and Arianna Huffington as David Axelrod gave his remarks. The Axelrods established CURE: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy as the family struggled to come to terms with their daughter Lauren’s epilepsy. Now 31, Lauren experienced her first seizure at seven months old.

We chatted with “CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose, who, with his co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, is treating the “This Morning” staff to a holiday party next week. “It takes two jobs to be able to do it, but we’ll do it,” joked Rose, who also hosts “Charlie Rose” on PBS and Bloomberg TV.

Also at the event, organized for the most part by Tammy Haddad: “Good Morning America” and “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos and his wife Ali Wentworth, ABC political analyst

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David Axelrod Shaves His Mustache On ‘Morning Joe’

Democratic political strategist David Axelrod had his legendary (40-year old!) mustache shaved off on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today. It all stemmed from a bet Axelrod made with host Joe Scarborough. If Obama won, Scarborough would grow a mustache, if Romney won, Axelrod would shave his. Obama won, but the two politicos made a new bet:

“If we could raise $1 million in a month [For Axelrod's charity CURE] I would shave my mustache off on this show, and we did it,” Axelrod said.

MSNBC to Produce Obama, Romney Documentaries

MSNBC is producing two new documentaries on the two major party candidates for president. Chuck Todd hosts “Mitt Romney: The Making of a Candidate,” and Chris Matthews hosts “Barack Obama: Making History,”

The Romney special features an exclusive with the candidate which was conducted yesterday. It also looks at Romney’s rise as a successful businessman; the role of the Mormon faith in his life; and his relationships with his family and staff.

The Obama doc features interviews with Vice President Joe Biden, Obama Campaign Advisor David Axelrod and Caroline Kennedy. The special examines Pres. Obama’s rise to the highest office in the land and highlights his first term accomplishments.

“Mitt Romney: The Making of a Candidate” airs on MSNBC two weeks from tonight at 10pmET. “Barack Obama: Making History” airs Monday, September 3 at 10pmET.

More details in the press release after the jump…

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The Morning Ticker: 50, 41, 11…

  • The rapper 50 Cent will be a guest on MSNBC’s ‘The Ed Show’ tonight. Michael Eric Dyson will be guest-hosting for Ed Schultz, who is off this week. 50 will talk with Dyson about politics, music, pop culture, and more, live in-studio at 30 Rock.

  • In last night’s HBO documentary, “41″ George H.W. Bush said the media (and this was before FNC and MSNBC) made a difference in the ’92 election: “I know I sound like I’m bashing the press. But there was almost unanimity in the press corps that I should lose, and that they were for [Clinton]. And that makes a huge difference.”

  • Today at 11am, it’s the premiere of “DC Bureau,” a new weekly politics show hosted by Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief Jerry Seib. The first show, on WSJ.com and WSJ Live, will feature an interview with Pres. Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod and Kevin Madden, Mitt Romney’s senior strategist.

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