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Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Cottle’

Jill Abramson : ‘What is Next for Me? I Don’t Know’

AbramsonSpeech

The cable news networks covered this morning’s graduation at Wake Forest University. It’s newsworthy because of the commencement speaker: dismissed New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson. MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry — a Wake Forest alum and new professor at the University — is doing live shots from campus as is NBC News correspondent Rehema Ellis. CNN and Fox News too also dipped into Abramson’s address during which she told the graduates, she feels like one of them: “What is next for me? I don’t know. So I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you. And like you, I’m a little scared, but also excited,” Abramson said.

Both media criticism shows — which are both anchored by former print reporters — led off their shows Sunday with Abramson’s firing.

Brian Stelter, who worked for Abramson at the Times, acknowledged that at times, she could be “gruff” and “rude.” When Stelter told Abramson he was thinking about departing for CNN, her attitude “made it easier to leave,” Stelter said.

Over on Fox News “MediaBuzz,” Howard Kurtz, who previously covered media for The Washington Post, talked about the PR nightmare the firing touched off. “They bungled it,” Lauren Ashburn said.

Both clips after the jump…

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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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