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Political Coverage

After Completing Rehab, Rep. Trey Radel Sits Down With His Former Station

trey radel wink interviewRep. Trey Radel (R-FL) met with the media Wednesday for the first time since he completed his substance abuse program following an arrest for cocaine possession in November. Radel gave an emotional one-on-one interview to his former station, Fort Myers CBS affiliate WINK.

“This is embarrassing. I’ve dragged my family through a lot,” he told WINK’s Amanda Hall. “I have made a real conscious effort at times to shut off the computer, not look at the internet and not watch the TV because I know that I’ve caused a lot of pain.”

Watch the interview here (WINK’s video player does not allow embedding).

ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Pushing Beyond Official White House Line

How does a top network reporter break through the official White House talking points? ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl has been busy trying — and in the process has gotten into it twice over the last month with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, including just yesterday.

In this installment of Media Beat, Karl spoke to TVNewser’s Jordan Chariton about the need to remain skeptical of what the White House is telling you, regardless of who’s in office. Karl also revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits from campaign 2012. You might be surprised to know how little Karl saw candidate Mitt Romney—even when flying on the same plane.

WXYZ to Host Final Detroit Mayoral Debate

wxyz logoDetroit ABC affiliate WXYZ will host the final debate between Detroit mayoral candidates Benny Napoleon and Mike Duggan on October 29.

The candidates will face off in front of a live studio audience for a one-hour debate exactly a week before Detroit residents head to the polls. WXYZ editorial and public affairs director Chuck Stokes will serve as debate moderator, and questions will be asked by a panel including anchor Lloyd Jackson.

“WXYZ has a long history of televising important political forums,”  WXYZ vice president and general manager Ed Fernandez said in a statement. “We’re honored to be presenting this important event that will have such a profound impact on the future of Detroit and the region.”

Leaving Concession Speech, Anthony Weiner Flips Off WNBC Reporter

With his defeat in the New York mayoral primary yesterday, Anthony Weiner is done in the New York political arena, at least for now. Weiner, who has often been critical of the media throughout his five-month campaign, had one last message for the press last night after he delivered his concession speech: after getting into his waiting car, he directed a raised middle finger at WNBC reporter Shimon Prokupecz (pictured right, via Prokupecz’s Twitter feed).

The disgraced former Congressman, who resigned after a sexting scandal, ran from reporters into a neighboring McDonald’s before delivering his speech, Prokupecz reports. “Security pushed us away from him,” he tweeted.

What we want to know: how long before one of the networks signs Weiner as a political contributor?

WATCH: ‘You Work for the People’: Fargo Anchor Rips Congressman For Snub

KXJB may lead Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) to regret ignoring requests by the station for an interview.

Anchor Chris Berg hosts a news and opinion show on the Fargo, ND, CBS affiliate called “6:30 Point of View.” On the show, Berg publicly called out both Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Rep. Peterson, who is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture, for not coming on his show to talk about the Farm Bill, which is a big deal in North Dakota.

While Berg told viewers Senator Heitkamp’s office responded to interview requests by saying, in effect, she didn’t have time to talk to her “pesky constituents,” Berg saved the brunt of his ire for Rep. Peterson who has remained silent.

“I know you’ve been there forever,” said Berg “You think this is your seat. You own it. But guess what? You work for the people here in the valley, show up.” Read more

KMOV’s Larry Conners: IRS Issues Began Before 2012 Interview With President Obama

KMOV anchor Larry Conners, who claimed he was targeted by the IRS after he pressed President Obama on government spending during a 2012 interview, walked back his allegation on the St. Louis CBS affiliate’s 5 p.m. newscast Tuesday.

“First, I need to state those were my personal views, not those of KMOV-TV,” Conners said (video above). “Second, to be fair, I should disclose that my issues with the IRS preceded that interview by several years. As a journalist I understand the importance of keeping personal matters separate from my professional work — sometimes you have to do that retain your independence as a newsman. Those lines might have been unintentionally crossed yesterday by my [Facebook] post.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Conners and his wife owe more than $85,000 in back taxes.

KMOV’s Larry Conners: After Interview With the President, ‘The IRS Started Hammering Me’

KMOV anchor Larry Conners suspects the IRS has been targeting him since he pressed President Obama during an interview last year. In a lengthy Facebook post Monday, Conners wrote, “almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me.”

“At the time, I dismissed the ‘co-incidence,’ but now, I have concerns … after revelations about the IRS targeting various groups and their members,” Conners wrote.

During the interview, Conners asked about government spending, telling the President that some KMOV viewers were concerned about the First Family “jetting around on different vacations” and wondered if he was “out of touch.”

“The President’s face clearly showed his anger; afterwards, his staff which had been so polite … suddenly went cold,” Conners wrote on Facebook. “What I don’t like to even consider … is that because of the Obama interview … the IRS put a target on me. Can I prove it? At this time, no. But it is a fact that since the April 2012 interview … the IRS has been pressuring me.”

Conners declined to comment for this post. Watch his 2012 interview with the President here. [h/t Politico]

Matt Horn Joins Capitol News Service

Matt Horn begins today at Capitol News Service, where he will cover political news for ten local stations in Florida.

Horn comes from Wichita, where he was Salina bureau chief and general assignment reporter at KSNW. In his new role, he will be based in Tallahassee.

Capitol News Service provides political reporting to several national outlets, as well as WFLA in Tampa, WTVJ in Miami, WFTV in Orlando, WINK in Fort Myers, WPTV in West Palm Beach, WCJB in Gainesville, WCTV in Tallahassee, WJHG in Panama City, WEAR in Pensacola and WJXT in Jacksonville.

Anthony Weiner Sits Down With NY1 For First TV Interview Since Resignation

As he continues to contemplate a return to the political arena, former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner sat down with NY1′s Errol Louis in his first television interview since he resigned from office (video above).

Louis began the interview on a personal note. “The last time you were on our show was in the middle of this crisis that led to your resignation, and I think the most troubling thing for me and for many other people was that there was such an element of deception involved,” he said. “You asked to come on the show, and then said a lot of things that just weren’t true.”

“There’s no disputing what I did was wrong, the actions that led me into this place were wrong,” Weiner answered. “They were dishonorable … they were by extension dishonest to you and to my constituents. And for that I’m very sorry. I’m very sorry in general, but I’m very sorry to you as well.”

Watch the full interview here (NY1′s video player does not allow embedding).

KMEX to Host Los Angeles Mayoral Debate

KMEX, the Univision station in Los Angeles, will host a Spanish-language mayoral debate between Democratic candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel next week.

KMEX is partnering with Mi Familia Vota Education Fund to host the debate. León Krauze and Gabriela Teissier will moderate the hourlong debate, which will air April 19 at 6pmPT.

“This mayoral debate is part of Univision’s on-going commitment to the Los Angeles Hispanic community in providing the most comprehensive coverage surrounding the topics of most relevance to them,” KMEX general manager Alberto Mier y Terán said in a statement. “We hope this debate will motivate our community to exercise their right to vote on May 21.”

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