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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Gibbs’

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 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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Robert Gibbs Joins MSNBC/NBC News

Former press secretary Robert Gibbs made his debut as an MSNBC/NBC News political contributor ahead of his former boss’s State of the Union address last night. He was back on this morning on “Morning Joe.” Gibbs was Pres. Obama’s press secretary from 2009-2011.

He follows in a long line of former press secretaries who’ve made the leap to TV news, including Geroge W. Bush press secretaries Dana Perino, a co-host of FNC’s “The Five,” and Tony Snow, who was with Fox News before joining the White House and with CNN after. Bill Clinton‘s press secretary Dee Dee Myers (1993-94) was the host of “Equal Time” on CNBC, George Stephanopoulos‘s short run as Press Secretary before Myers in 1993 would lead to an association with ABC News that’s lasted 17 years. He’s now the co-host of “GMA” and host of “This Week.” Joe Lockhart (1998-2000) had stints with ABC and CNN.

Going back even further, Bill Moyers was LBJ’s press secretary in 1965-66. He has hosted various shows on PBS over the years.

Current Press Secretary Jay Carney did the reverse. He was a journalist with TIME for 20 years before joining the White House in 2009.

Jack Welch ‘Not Sorry For the Heated Debate’ Over Jobs Numbers

Former GE Chairman and CEO Jack Welch is defending his position questioning the September jobs report. On Friday, Welch Tweeted:

“Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.”

That Tweet — more than the numbers themselves — became the story on cable news. No stranger to cable news watchers, Welch did interviews on CNN, Fox News, CNBC and MSNBC, (the last two networks part owned by the company he once ran.) The debate continued on the Sunday public affairs shows as Obama adviser Robert Gibbs on “Meet the Press” said Welch “embarrassed himself.” NBC’s White House correspondent Chuck Todd  added: “The idea that Donald Trump, Jack Welch, rich people with crazy conspiracies, can get traction on this is a bad trend.”

Well, today in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal (since he’s not writing for Fortune and Reuters anymore), Welch explained what he couldn’t in 140 characters.

As I said that same evening in an interview on CNN, if I could write that tweet again, I would have added a few question marks at the end, as with my earlier tweet, to make it clear I was raising a question.

But I’m not sorry for the heated debate that ensued. I’m not the first person to question government numbers, and hopefully I won’t be the last. Take, for example, one of my chief critics in this go-round, Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers. Back in 2003, Mr. Goolsbee

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Last Night On Jeopardy!: Chris Matthews Fumbles, And Robert Gibbs Eeks Out A Win

Last night was night one of “Jeopardy!” “Power Players” week, which features Washington politicos, influencers and TV news personalities competing for charity.

The contestants were MSNBC host Chris Matthews, CNN aviation and regulation correspondent Lizzie O’Leary and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Notes and observations:

Chris Matthews should stick to political talk shows. Matthews had a lot of trouble with the “Jeopardy!” format. After selecting the category “New York Times Crossword Clues ‘E,’” Matthews answered the first question as such: “At ease, soldier, what is at ease soldier, ease soldier!” In fact, all he had to say was “What is ease?”

Matthews also answered a question about geography (“Beirut!”) before Trebek called on him, allowing Gibbs to get the point by buzzing in first. Finally, a question about espionage led Matthews to answer “Who is Gary Powers?” host Alex Trebek responded that they needed the full name, and Matthews replied by saying “Who is GARY POWERS!” O’Leary stole the cash by answering correctly, “Who is Francis Gary Powers?”

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TV News Talent Competes In ‘Jeopardy!’ ‘Power Players’ Week Starting Tonight

Tonight marks night one of syndicated game show “Jeopardy!’”s “Power Players Week,” featuring TV news talent and political insiders playing for charity. We gave you the rundown on who would be playing a few weeks ago, and we will be sure to fill you in on who won, and who didn’t, throughout the week.

Tonight’s matchup features MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and CNN’s Lizzie O’Leary taking on former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

TV News Well-Represented During Jeopardy! ‘Power Players Week’

Anchors, correspondents and contributors for TV news organizations make up most of the contestants for “Jeopardy!” “Power Players Week.” CNN, NBC News, Fox News and the BBC are all represented, with the contestants all playing for their favorite charities.

The players are:

From CNN: Anchor Anderson Cooper and correspondent Lizzie O’Leary.

From NBC News/MSNBC/CNBC: CNBC anchor David Faber, MSNBC host Chris Matthews, correspondent Kelly O’Donnell and anchor and correspondent Chuck Todd.

From Fox News: anchor Chris Wallace and contributor Dana Perino.

From the BBC: Katty Kay.

Other players are: Read more

Emails Show White House Anti-Fox News Bias

JudicialWatch.org, a conservative, non-partisan foundation which seeks accountability in government, has obtained emails going back to the Fall of 2009, when the Obama White House was in a battle with Fox News Channel. At issue: whether the Obama White House had excluded Fox News from interviews with Obama Administration officials.

One email, dated Oct. 23, 2009 went like this:

“I’m putting some dead fish in the fox cubby — just cause.”

That was from Jennifer Psaki, Deputy White House Communications Director to Jenni LeCompte, then-Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs in the Treasury Department.

In another email the day before, from Dag Vega, Director of Broadcast Media at the White House, to LeCompte, Vega informs LeCompte that “…we’d prefer if you skip Fox please.”

This goes against the administration’s position that it did not set out to exclude Fox News from getting access to Treasury official Kenneth Feinberg. That denial followed a decision by NBC News, ABC News, CBS News and CNN to stand together and refuse an interview with Feinberg if Fox News was going to be blocked.

The battle really began to intensify earlier that month, when then-White House Director of Communications Anita Dunn went on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and criticized FNC calling it “the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.”

The fight headed toward resolution on Oct. 28, when FNC SVP Michael Clemente met with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs at the White House. That same day, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The results of which — including these emails — were produced last week.

Seems like ancient history now, but during the final week of that month, the Fox News vs. the White House chronicle was the 5th most-reported story of the week.

After Statement on Egypt, Pres. Obama Joins Press Secy. Robert Gibbs in Briefing Room on his Final Day

A big day for the White House press office — an end, and unsure start, to a foreign policy crisis, and the end of Robert Gibbs‘s tenure as press secretary. About 15 minutes after he finished his statement on the resignation of Pres. Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Pres. Obama appeared at Gibbs’ final briefing to give his farewell.

“Obviously Gibbs’ departure is not the biggest one today,” joked the president.

“Robert has not only been an extraordinary press secretary,” said Obama, “But he has been a great friend. And you could not ask for somebody better in the foxhole with you during all of the twists and turns of my candidacy and then the incredible challenges that we faced over the last two years.”

The president returned a tie — in a frame, with a personal note — that he’d borrowed from Gibbs seven years ago, ahead of Obama’s speech to the Democratic National Convention in Boston. See the tie, in action, from the 2004 DNC after the jump…

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