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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Huntsman’

Behind the Scenes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

For the White House Correspondents’ Association, it’s a night to celebrate the free press. For Joel McHale, it’s a night where “a guy like me can stand before the president, the press and Patrick Duffy, and tell jokes without severe repercussions.” And for TVNewser, it’s a night where the people we cover all year — executives, producers, reporters and anchors from every major network — are all together in the same room: the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which we attended this year as a guest of ABC News.

Our night began outside the entrance to the ballroom at the Washington Hilton, where we overheard now-NBC News correspdonent Cynthia McFadden ask for directions to the ABC News party. We followed her in, and a few minutes later we were chatting with Diane Sawyer, who told us she always looks forward to the Correspondents’ Dinner, and James Goldston, who said he was pleased with his first few weeks as ABC News president. In the back of the room, Fox News anchors Ainsley Earhardt and Kimberly Guilfoyle posed for a picture with Sofia Vergara; Earhardt told us afterwards that she’s “having a blast” anchoring “Fox & Friends First,” despite the crazy hours. We spotted Katie Couric chatting with former Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and his daughter, Abby Huntsman, who is a co-host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle.”

Wolf Blitzer made the rounds with Diane Lane. We saw NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and ABC’s Lara Spencer snap a picture with Tony Goldwyn from “Scandal.” We spent a few minutes with Rebecca Jarvis, and chatted with Alicia Menendez about her participation in the TVNewser Show as well as her Twitter habit.

On the way into the ballroom, we spotted Guthrie and her husband, Mike Feldman, chatting with Bret Baier and his wife Amy. We saw Jessica Simpson and her fiance, Eric Johnson, chatting with fans. Simpson’s ex, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo, was also at the WHCD as a guest of Fox News. Read more

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Huntsman Family Reunion on ‘The Cycle’

Jon Huntsman“The Cycle” co-host Abby Huntsman welcomed her father, former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman to the panel today. The former republican candidate for president said he’s never seen America more divided than today.

“We are divided, and something needs to be done,” Huntsman said. “We have to move toward problem-solving and solutions and crossing the impenetrable divide.”

Huntsman also suggested the heated healthcare issue is more complicated than political sound bites.

Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Dies

Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, known as “The Iron Lady,” has passed away at the age of 87. Her death, in the middle of the network morning shows, immediately became big news.

ABC, CBS and NBC all reported on Thatcher’s death right at 8 AM, with CBS and NBC throwing to pre-taped memorial segments not long thereafter. CBS also secured former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who called in to the program at 8:32. NBC asked Abby Huntsman of The Huffington Post (and the son of Jon Huntsman) about her family’s relationship with Thatcher.

On cable news, Fox News reported Thatcher’s death at 7:53 AM, CNN reported Thatcher’s death at 7:54 AM, and MSNBC at 7:55 AM:
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One Less Candidate for Tonight’s Fox News Debate

The news that Jon Huntsman would be dropping out of the GOP race for president came just as Huntsman was about to take the stage in a GOP forum in South Carolina, which was taped Saturday. Fox News added a lower third graphic with the news at 9:32pm — as Rick Perry was taking part in the Mike Huckabee-hosted forum — and it remained up through Huntsman’s portion a few minutes later.

Huntsman’s withdrawal, to be announced at 11am in Myrtle Beach, means there will be one less participant in FNC’s GOP debate tonight also in Myrtle Beach.

MSNBC reported the withdrawal at 9:32pmET and CNN at 9:34pm Sunday night, with the news having originated on Twitter 20 minutes earlier.

This should mean more time for the remaining five qualifying candidate during the 2-hour Fox News debate. On Friday the network announced it was also increasing candidate speaking time by 30 seconds. Fox News will also be using Twitter to measure viewer reaction to each of the candidates’ answers.

Is Wolf Blitzer Ready for ‘Bullies like Gingrich?’

It might look like the three other debates held on CNN this primary season, but the photo above is the stage for tonight’s GOP debate — the 11th of the primary season. CNN is teaming up with The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute for the debate at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington. Wolf Blitzer moderates and at the podiums above, from left to right, will stand Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Jon Huntsman.

In the past few debates — as he’s climbed in the polls — Gingrich has made a point of calling out the style and moderating of the TV debates. Baltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik has some advice for Blitzer in this regard:

There’s a civil but firm way to deal with bullies like Gingrich in follow-up questions and remarks, and I hope Blitzer will use his stature and intelligence to do that tonight. I’ll put Blitzer’s professional experience and John Hopkins University graduate education in international politics up against Gingrich’s education and intellectual track record any day.

Erin Burnett Gets OutFront on Wrong Foot

Erin Burnett flanked by her CNN bosses, EVP and managing editor Mark Whitaker, left, and EVP in charge of CNN Ken Jautz, right.

We’re thinking CNN’s Erin Burnett is eying a large Margarita when she gets of the air at 8pm tonight. Maybe during the show. Maybe right now.

Her premiere week — at least from where the critics stand — was not good. As for the ratings, more on that in a minute.

It was about :30 seconds, of a three minute story, in her (so far) four hours of programs on CNN. But if you printed out the criticism of Burnett’s coverage Monday from Occupy Wall Street, it could stretch from one end of Zuccotti Park to the other.

“Erin Burnett was way too dismissive and condescending of these protesters,” wrote Forbes’ Eric Jackson, who, 24 hours after posting his story, Tweeted that his take on Burnett was his 8th most popular story ever on Forbes.com.

The pile-on was swift.

  • From the Baltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik: “Burnett’s problem runs much deeper from what I have seen — it runs straight through to the persona, if not the person herself.”
  • Variety‘s Brian Lowery writes: “Burnett does appear to have been a terrible choice for her new role, on a program oddly titled ‘Erin Burnett OutFront.’ Out front of what, exactly?”
  • Salon’s Glenn Greenwald called Burnett, a “spokesperson for Wall Street; it’s basically what her ‘journalistic’ career is.”

After all the criticism Atlantic Wire‘s Adam Clarke Estes got this statement from CNN: “We support Erin and the OutFront team and we respect that there will be a range of opinions on any given story.”

Burnett and crew couldn’t even catch a break on the title of segment they like to call “Seriously!” Watch this NYMag.com clip for more on that. MediaMatters thinks Burnett should apologize.

Don’t count on it. We hear the plan is full-steam ahead; taking pride in what else happened during her debut week: interviews with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; talking politics with GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and women’s health issues with model Christy Turlington.

As for those ratings…

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