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Posts Tagged ‘Greg Palkot’

News Reporters Located Benghazi Terror Suspect Long Before the U.S. Government Did

Benghazi CNN FoxThe arrest of Benghazi terror attack suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala Sunday, and revealed late this morning, begs an important question: can U.S. cable news channels locate a terror suspect more quickly than the U.S. government?

Fox News, CNN, and CBS News were able to track down and interview Khattala after the attack on the U.S Consulate in Libya. “He was markedly relaxed when we spoke with him,” Fox News’ foreign correspondent Greg Palkot said on “Outnumbered” this afternoon about his off-camera interview with Khattala five weeks after the attack.

“It was not too hard to get in touch with him,” Palkot added, reporting Abu Khattala admitted to being at the scene of the consulate attack, but vowed “he had nothing to do with the planning.”

CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer also spoke with Khattala weeks after the attack, where he called the attackers “ordinary people.” Palmer reported he “didn’t look like a wanted man, sipping mango juice across the table from me in a Benghazi hotel.”

CNN’s senior international correspondent Arwa Damon interviewed Abu Khattala last summer. “This is a man whose whereabouts most certainly are known,” she said during her report. “So of course it begs the question why has he not been spoken to just yet, if not being directly accused of being involved in the attack.”

The big news of Khattala’s arrest raises the stakes for tonight’s Fox News joint-interview featuring Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren interviewing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The interview will air live from 6:45pm-7:15pmET on both ”Special Report” and then “On the Record.” CNN’s live town hall with Clinton moderated by Christiane Amanpour airs live at 5pmET.

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Mediabistro Course

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Coverage Plans for Mandela Memorial Service

Nelson Mandela memorial serviceInternational leaders, including President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, will honor Nelson Mandela at a public memorial service at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg tomorrow. The memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. local time (4amET).

Brian Williams will anchor a special report for NBC News beginning at 4amET Tuesday. Williams will also anchor “Nightly News” from Pretoria tonight and tomorrow.

CBS News will have coverage of the memorial service during “Up to the Minute,” the early morning newscast, beginning at 4amET. CBSNews.com will have a live stream of the service.

ABC News will air a special report from Times Square beginning at 4amET. George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts will anchor from New York, with Terry Moran and Byron Pitts from South Africa.

Fox News will cover the memorial service when it begins at 4amET, with coverage continuing through “Fox & Friends First” and “Fox & Friends.” Greg Palkot and producer Paul Tilsley will contribute to the network’s coverage from the FNB Stadium in South Africa.

CNN has Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo and Christiane Amanpour reporting from South Africa. Cooper will anchor both editions of “AC360″ live from outside Mandela’s home tonight.

MSNBC will simulcast NBC News’ special report, with the “Morning Joe” team taking over at 6amET. The full memorial service will stream on msnbc.com.

We’ll update this post with further coverage plans from the other networks when we get them.

Networks Schedule Weekend Specials on Nelson Mandela

ABC News Mandela speical reportThe broadcast and cable networks are scheduling special coverage on the death of Nelson Mandela this weekend. Here’s what they have planned so far.

NBC’s Lester Holt will anchor the weekend editions of “Today” and “Nightly News” from Soweto this weekend.

CBS News has slated a special “48 Hours” on Mandela’s death for Saturday night. Scott Pelley will anchor “Nelson Mandela: Father of a Nation” at 9pmET. The show will feature historical CBS News footage as well as reports from Bob Simon, Martha Teichner and Wynton Marsalis.

ABC News will have a special “20/20″ tonight anchored by David Muir and Robin Roberts. “Nelson Mandela: A Man Who Changed The World” will air at 10pmET. Tonight’s “Nightline” will also feature additional coverage of Mandela’s death.

“Fox News Sunday” will air an interview former South African foreign minister Pik Botha, who served near the end of the apartheid era. Senior correspondent Greg Palkot, who is reporting from South Africa for the network, conducted the interview.

Discovery Channel will premiere a new documentary, “The Making of Mandela,” Sunday at 12pmET/PT.

MSNBC will air a special on Mandela’s life at 9pmET.

Former President Bill Clinton is doing a round of interviews about Mandela’s death, sitting down with NBC’s Brian Williams, Fox News’ Ed Henry, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Univision/Fusion’s Jorge Ramos and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. CBS aired Pelley’s interview with Clinton on “Evening News” last night.

Nelson Mandela Dies at 95

Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, has died at the age of 95. His death was announced by Jacob Zuma, the current President of South Africa.

NBC News and CBS both produced special reports beginning at 4:45pmET, with Brian Williams anchoring on NBC and Scott Pelley anchoring on CBS. David Muir anchored a special report on ABC News at 4:46pmET.

On the cable networks, CNN joined Zuma’s press conference at 4:44pmET. MNSBC began broadcasting NBC News’ special report at 4:45pmET, and Fox News joined Zuma’s press conference at 4:46pmET.

>More: President Obama will speak at 5:20pmET.

> “NBC Nightly News” will be expanded to an hour tonight.

> Anderson Cooper will anchor on CNN from 8pm-11pmET tonight. He will be joined by Wolf Blitzer, Christiane Amanpour and Robyn Curnow in Johannesburg.

>Fox News will preempt “The Five.” Shepard Smith will anchor from the Fox News deck. Juan Williams, who covered Mandela’s release from prison for The Washington Post, contributed to the breaking news coverage. Fox News senior correspondent Greg Palkot is headed to to South Africa and will report for FNC beginning this weekend.

>ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” will be expanded to an hour tonight. ABC will also have a special edition of “Nightline” dedicated to Mandela’s life tonight. The show will be live on both coasts.

>Al Jazeera America will stay in breaking news coverage through midnight. Ali Velshi will join Tony Harris and John Siegenthaler, followed by “America Tonight” at 9pmET.

>ABC News has canceled the “Good Morning America” holiday party scheduled for tonight. “In light of tonight’s events and the death of Nelson Mandela, we will postpone the party tonight. We will reschedule,” senior EP Tom Cibrowski wrote in an email to “GMA” staffers. “Now let’s make a great GMA tribute to an incredible man who changed the world.”

The Ticker: Bourdain, ’60 Minutes,’ Menendez

  • Sunday’s episode of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” was the show’s second highest-rated episode of the season, averaging 639,000 total viewers and 304,000 A25-54 viewers. The show was number one in the 9pmET timeslot Sunday.

  • “60 Minutes” was in the top 10 shows of the week for the third time in five weeks. The show had 15.8 million total viewers and a 4.3/09 in the A25-54 demographic, ranking #4 in total viewers and #8 in the demo.

  • The Washington Post profiles “a voice for the millennials,” Fusion’s Alicia Menendez.I feel like there are conversations I have all the time about choices before us,” Menandez says. “Whether to believe in marriage as an institution. Whether to buy a home. Whether to participate in an election.”

Should the U.S. Media Give Equal Time to the Syrian Opposition?

In the last 10 days Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad has been given two hours on U.S. television networks. An hour on PBS (with clips on CBS) last Monday and tonight, an hour on Fox News. Following the FNC interview, the network’s State Department correspondent James Rosen said equal time might be in order for the Syrian opposition. Rosen was a part of the “Special Report” panel analyzing the Assad interview conducted by Dennis Kucinich and Greg Palkot.

“I predict that you may see calls from viewers, from critics, et cetera, for us to give a like amount of air time to the Syrian opposition,” said Rosen. “It may be seen as incumbent on us to make sure that the Syrian opposition is heard. If not an equal measure, in some kind of measure.”

“We will talk to the second floor in New York about that,” said Baier, referring to the executive offices of Fox News.

What do you think? Should the U.S. networks set aside an hour of time for an opposition interview?

As for tonight’s interview, Charles Krauthammer had this assessment: “[Assad] spoke for almost an hour. There wasn’t a true word he said including ‘and’ and ‘but.’”

As we reported earlier, Kucinich, an FNC contributor got the interview, but Fox executives only agreed to do it if a Fox News journalist participated.

Dennis Kucinich, Greg Palkot Interview Syria’s Bashar al-Assad for Fox News

On Sept. 7, Fox News Channel contributor and former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) told his bosses at Fox News that he was confident he could get an interview with Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad. Kucinich, in his capacity as a member of Congress, had met Assad before.

Fox News then had to decide how to produce an interview, using an interviewer who isn’t a journalist, but rather a politician-turned-pundit. So they called up Greg Palkot, FNC’s Senior Foreign Affairs correspondent.  “I decided that Kucinich should pursue the interview, on condition that FOX News journalists would also be included,” says Fox News EVP Michael Clemente.

Fast-forward 10 days, to yesterday. Kucinich and Palkot are side-by-side, while Clemente is in a control room in the Syrian Presidential Palace (set up temporarily, we’re told, as Assad has been giving several interviews of late). While Fox News used a Syrian camera crew, Clemente says the interview “was conducted with no restrictions on the questions that could be asked.”

News of the interview was first reported by British journalists in Syria, including ITV’s Bill Neely. A few hours later Atlantic Wire wondered: “It’s interesting that Fox News sent Kucinich to interview Assad and not, say, their hard news front man Chris Wallace.”

Clemente straightens that out: “Kucinich was not there in the capacity of a journalist nor was he representing Fox News in that role,” he says.

The interview will air tonight in a 2-hour “Special Report with Bret Baier.” The interview will run from 6:30-7:30pmET followed by analysis from Stephen Hayes, Charles Krauthammer and Juan Williams.

Who’s Going to Rome to Cover the Pope?

Fox News’s Shepard Smith will soon be on his way to Rome, reporting from the Vatican on the resignation of Benedict XVI and upcoming Conclave and election. Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Greg Palkot will be there tomorrow while Amy Kellogg should be on the ground by this afternoon. Smith, Palkot and Kellogg all covered the death of Pope John Paul II and election of Benedict in 2005.

NBC News correspondent/MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing, who also covered the last Papal transition will be leaving this afternoon for several days of reporting/anchoring and will also cover the election of the next pope. In a Media Beat interview, Jansing told us covering the death of John Paul II and election of Benedict was the most fulfilling assignment of her career: “It was just an extraordinary global event and also had some personal meaning to me.” Jansing will join NBC Rome correspondent Claudio Lavagna already on scene. Richard Engel will also report.

CBS has Allen Pizzey in Rome and London correspondent Mark Phillips will be joining him.

“GMA” Weekend Anchor Dan Harris, along with David Wright, Jeffrey Kofman, and Nick Schifrin will be reporting from the Vatican. Wright covered the 2005 transition. ABC’s Cokie Roberts, whose mother served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, will provide a historical perspective.

CNN’s Rome-based correspondent Ben Wedeman will cover and will be joined by Jim Bitterman, Max Foster and Jose Levy for CNN en Español are all en route.

A Brief Timeline Of American TV Correspondent Kidnappings, Injuries and Deaths

NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel is safe, after being kidnapped in Syria late last week and released overnight. Unfortunately, kidnappings, injuries and death are part of the job of the foreign correspondent and their crew. With stories out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt and Libya in the last few years, just about every news outlet has had at least a handful of staffers affected by violence or misfortune.

In April, 2003, NBC News correspondent David Bloom died in Iraq due to a blood clot.

In June, 2003, NBC News Soundman Jeremy Little was mortally wounded in a grenade attack in Iraq. He was treated in Landstuhl, Germany but succumbed a few days later to a post-operative infection.

In January, 2006, ABC anchor Bob Woodruff and camera operator Doug Vogt were badly injured in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded next to the vehicle they were traveling in.

In May, 2006 CBS camera operator Paul Douglas and sound technician James Brolan were killed in Iraq when the U.S. Army unit they were embedded with came under attack. CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier was seriously wounded in the attack and survived.

In August, 2006 Fox News Channel correspondent Steve Centanni and camera operator Olaf Wiig were kidnapped while reporting in Gaza. Centanni’s family would make a televised plea for their safe return, and they were eventually freed. Wiig would see another incident in Egypt in 2011 (see below).

In May, 2007 ABC News camera operator Alaa Uldeen Aziz and sound technician Saif Laith Yousuf were killed in Iraq when the car they were traveling in was ambushed.

In August, 2008 Fox News camera operator Chris Jackson was injured in Afghanistan while traveling with Oliver North.

In August, 2009 CBS News correspondent Cami McCormick was injured in Afghanistan when the vehicle she was traveling in was hit by an IED.

February 2011 saw a number of incidents, particularly in Egypt:
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Greg Burke Joins Vatican Communications Staff

Greg Burke has left Fox News Channel, where he’s been a Rome-based correspondent since 2001, and is joining the Vatican’s communications staff as a senior advisor.

It was just last month that TVNewser interviewed Burke in Italy, where he discussed his newly-obtained dual U.S.-Italian citizenship, and why he valued being stationed in Rome.

“There are more than a billion Catholics, and you have the Vatican here,” he told TVNewser at the time. “You’re always going to have some news out of the Vatican.”

Now Burke will be switching roles, helping the Church with communications strategy.

“I’m a bit nervous but very excited. Let’s just say it’s a challenge,” he tells the AP.  “You’re shaping the message, you’re molding the message, and you’re trying to make sure everyone remains on-message. And that’s tough.”

Burke says he was offered the job twice before but declined both times.  An FNC spokesperson confirms with TVNewser a mutual parting of ways, and says that London-based correspondents Amy Kellogg and Greg Palkot will take the lead on future regonal coverage.

After the jump, WATCH TVNewser’s video interview with Burke in May…

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