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Posts Tagged ‘Rick Davis’

CNN Tweaks Ethics Policy For ‘Crossfire’ Hosts

CutterGingrichCNN has apparently changed its ethics policy for the hosts of “Crossfire,” after a pair of complaints against hosts Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter were made.

Conservative groups targeted Cutter because she is a former staffer for President Obama’s campaign, and still keeps in touch with many of her former colleagues. She also still works as a consultant for Democratic candidates and causes, including the President.

Liberal groups targeted Gingrich, as his PAC gave money to a number of conservative politicians. One of those politicians, Rand Paul, appeared on “Crossfire” and was interviewed by Gingrich, with no mention of his PAC’s donations.

One of those media watchdog groups, Media Matters, spoke to CNN standards executive Rick Davis earlier this month about the ethics guidelines the “Crossfire” hosts need to follow. Today, Davis told them that they are “clarifying” the policy. The issue in question is whether the hosts need to mention on-air if they are funding or helping a politician or candidate. The new, “clarified” rules say that they do not, because their political position implies support already.

“Crossfire” is a high-profile launch for CNN, which has committed seven figures to securing the four co-hosts to substantial deals with the channel. Given the investment it shouldn’t be surprising that CNN is moving the goalposts with regards to its ethics policy.

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CNNers Past and Present Celebrate Network’s 30th Anniversary

Sat Party 4.jpgA large crowd of former and current CNNers gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Saturday night to celebrate the network’s thirtieth birthday.

The bash — an unofficial gathering organized by former CNN producer Elissa Free — drew over three hundred people and was emceed by former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw.

“It was a celebration of what we had built,” former CNN correspondent Kelli Arena tells TVNewser. Arena, who started her career at CNN in 1984, said that joining the then-four-year-old network “was a labor of love… There was an energy and an innocence about the place. We brought live to the air things that people had never seen live on the air before.”

CNN founder Ted Turner addressed the group, telling attendees he was proud of what staffers have accomplished. Former CNN president Tom Johnson also spoke.

Current CNNers in attendance included anchor Wolf Blitzer, News Standards and Practices EVP Rick Davis, Political Director Sam Feist, and correspondent Jeanne Meserve.

Former CNNers in the house included Cissy Baker, Ralph Begleiter, Charles Bierbauer, Mike Boettcher, Tony Collings, Roger Cossack, Patty Davis, Bill Dorman, Rusty Dornin, Bob Franken, David French, Frances Hardin, Leon Harris, Sandy Kenyon, Jamie McIntyre, Brooks Jackson, Kathleen Koch, Eileen O’Connor, Chris Plante, Frank Sesno, Mark Shields, Linda Taira, Mary Alice Williams, and Judy Woodruff.

“It was a lot of reminiscing about the little network that could,” Arena said. “There was no griping, no discussion about the current CNN — that’s not why people were there. People were there to celebrate what we had accomplished. It was like a family reunion.”

More photos, after the jump…

(photo by Richard Kolko)

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Rick Davis Reflects on Palin Media Roll-out

palin_11-14.jpgWith the election over, Sen. John McCain‘s campaign manager Rick Davis is speaking out about the thinking behind Gov. Sarah Palin‘s initial interviews (via Jossip).

The National Review’s Rich Lowry takes a lengthy look at the McCain campaign in the upcoming issue of the magazine, but gives some of Davis’ answers in a blog post on National Review Online.

The reason for putting “Palin out in a big, hostile network interviews,” beginning with ABC’s Charlie Gibson was, “Our assumption was people would not let us release her on Fox or local TV,” said Davis.

As for the second network interview, with Katie Couric, Lowry writes, “Davis says Palin thought [it] would be softer because she was being interviewed by a woman: ‘She was under the impression the Couric thing was going to be easier than it was. Everyone’s guard was down for the Couric interview.’”

The Ticker: Wallace, Cramer, Sawyer…

> FishbowlDC’s Patrick Gavin has a name for the joint David Axelrod and Rick Davis appearance on last weekend’s Chris Wallace-hosted FOX News Sunday: “Greatest Sunday Showdown Ever.”

> The Kansas City Star’s Aaron Barnhart thinks FBN is “working,” now that they’ve found “enemies.” One of those enemies, and someone who Barnhart picks as not working: Jim Cramer.

> Good Morning America co-anchor Diane Sawyer got a surprise this morning from Sam Champion. During his 8:30amET weathercast (from Louisville today), he brought on Sawyer’s mother to join him.


MSNBC Removes Olbermann & Matthews From Election Anchor Duties

With less than 60 days until the election, MSNBC is replacing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as co-anchors of prime time political coverage and replacing them with NBC White House correspondent David Gregory.

For months the network has been criticized for allowing Olbermann to anchor election coverage while he continued to host “Countdown” where his opinion was made clear in segments and “Special Comments.” In a story in tomorrow’s New York Times, Olbermann calls his situation as being, “not utterly neutral.”

For MSNBC president Phil Griffin the shift to the left is less ideological and more bottom line. “In a rapidly changing media environment,” he tells the Times’ Brian Stelter, “this is the great philosophical debate…the bottom line is that we’re experiencing incredible success.”

But that success, more limited than “incredible”, is coming at a cost. In recent months, the network has received letters of criticism ranging from Hillary Clinton’s campaign to the Bush White House. And since MSNBC is now so closely tied to NBC News, the critics started seeing the two entities as one.

Last month John McCain‘s campaign requested a meeting with NBC News president Steve Capus over something correspondent Andrea Mitchell said on Meet the Press. McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis wrote, “We are concerned that your News Division is following MSNBC’s lead in abandoning non-partisan coverage of the Presidential race.”

During the RNC last week, which Olbermann co-anchored from New York, insiders from both NBC and MSNBC opened up to TVNewser, most speaking on background. “It’s a completely untenable situation,” one MSNBC insider said. And, in what now seems prescient, added, “It’s not going to be workable forever, to have two anchors like that. It’s just too bizarre.”

Olbermann_9.7.jpgIt’s not known when Chris Matthews was made aware of the changes. Matthews, who was in St. Paul for the RNC dismissed reports he and Olbermann don’t get along. Matthews told TVNewser Wednesday, “Don’t you see that we get along? Forget the scuttle, don’t you see how we get along? I think it’s pretty obvious we get along.”

Matthews and Olbermann will continue to be analysts during coverage and Matthews’ Hardball will continue at 5pmET and 7pmET as will Countdown at 8pmET. In fact, Olbermann’s show is expected to be the lead-in for the three presidential and one vice presidential debates which will air at 9pmET beginning with the first on Sept. 26.

As for Olbermann, he returned to the NBC airwaves tonight for the season premiere of Football Night in America. He kept politics out of the pre-game show, but during halftime, while reporting on the New Orleans Saints Reggie Bush and his game-winning touchdown, he took a line from Countdown’s “Bushed” segments. Olbermann stretched out Reggie’s last name saying the Tampa Bay Bucaneers got “Bushhhed.”

McCain: RNC Will “Suspend Most of our Activities Tomorrow”

Shortly before 4pmET, the cablers moved to a Sen. John McCain briefing on RNC plans (FNC joined a few minutes later). McCain announced the RNC would, “suspend most of our activities tomorrow except for those absolutely necessary.”

It looks like cablers will not have to make the choice about convention or Gustav coverage — Rick Davis took to the podium following McCain to say the actions required by the rules of the conventions is, “all we will do tomorrow.” He predicts that will end sometime around 6:30pmET.




McCain Campaign Requests Meeting with NBC’s Capus

MitchellMTP_8.18.jpgPolitico’s Mike Allen reports that John McCain‘s campaign manager Rick Davis has fired off a letter to NBC News president Steve Capus requesting a meeting. The letter comes after a comment made by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell yesterday on Meet the Press about Saturday’s presidential forum. Here’s what Mitchell said:

“The Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because what they are putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama. He seemed so well-prepared.”

Mitchell tells Allen, “I wasn’t expressing an opinion. I was reporting what they were saying.”

But the McCain campaign isn’t buying it. The letter to Capus begins, “We are extremely disappointed to see that the level of objectivity at NBC News has fallen so low that reporters are now giving voice to unsubstantiated, partisan claims in order to undercut John McCain.”

And the letter ends with a jab at MSNBC too: “We are concerned that your News Division is following MSNBC’s lead in abandoning non-partisan coverage of the Presidential race.”

Click continued to read the letter…

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