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Posts Tagged ‘Al Hunt’

Rick Perry to Al Hunt: Nugent Not a Racist, Snowden Not a Whistleblower

Al Hunt joined Rick Perry at CPAC today, where the Texas governor had just finished delivering a rousing speech, exhorting the crowd to wage a “little rebellion” to devolve power to the states. Perry sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Hunt, to be aired later tonight on “Political Capital.” In it, he repeatedly declined to criticize Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and called for a secure-the-border-first approach to immigration reform.

He also said that he didn’t think Ted Nugent was being racist last month, when he called President Obama a mongrel:

HUNT: Ted Nugent recently called President Obama a mongrel You disassociate yourself from that remark. 

PERRY: I’ve said he should apologize, which he did.

HUNT: Do you think it was racist?

PERRY: No, not at all.

HUNT: You don’t think that was a racist comment?

PERRY: I don’t think that was a racist – I don’t think it was – matter of fact, I don’t think it was as racist as what President Clinton said to Ted Kennedy trying to get him to help his wife in the ‘08 election when he said, “You know what, Ted? A few years back this guy was carrying our bags.” Did you ask if that was racist? 

HUNT: I did.

PERRY: Good on you.

HUNT: But you don’t think some of the criticism of Barack Obama is not only ideological, but racist? 

PERRY: I don’t. I don’t. I don’t.

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Whose Hair: Revealed

On Thursday we asked you to name this spectacularly maned gentleman who showed up to The New Republic‘s relaunch party at Bibiana.

Guesses include Bloomberg‘s Al Hunt, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and former talk show host Phil Donahue.

The correct answer is… Read more

With Ryan Comes Spark in Journalistic Tone

Journalists were as invested as anyone in Mitt Romney‘s VP pick. After all, they’re the ones stuck covering these two for the next three-plus months. Pawlenty and Portman: Boring with two capital P’s.

But Paul Ryan? He puts a spring in their step.

This morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” TIME‘s Mark Halperin spoke of what he suspects will be a shift in coverage with the Ryan choice. Granted, his remarks might cause his colleagues to avoid him on the bus and not because he forgot mouthwash. “Another constituency he has, almost every national political reporter knows Paul Ryan and likes Paul Ryan more than they do Mitt Romney and that gives Romney a little bit of an edge he was missing, which was pro-Obama in the press corps,” he said.

Sirius XM P.O.T.U.S. Channel’s Julie Mason bristled at the idea that Ryan would bring positive coverage or that journos are in the tank for Obama. “Hill reporters respect Ryan, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into more positive coverage — especially if the campaign’s posture is still limited access, few press conferences and only friendly, safe interviews,” she said this morning by email. “And the idea that the press corps is pro-Obama is frankly laughable. So 2007!”

Breitbart.com editor John Nolte, not one to go easy on the “mainstream media”, calls bullshit on Halperin’s assessment. “I’m on vacation – headed to Ryan Country for a week – my home state of Wisconsin, so I didn’t see Morning Joe (part of my vacation is from insufferable smug),” he wrote in an email. “While I’m glad Halperin was able to openly admit what I like to call The Glaringly Obvious — that the media is in the tank for Obama — I know a hustle when I hear one. Halperin is hoping that by telling us the media likes and respects Ryan and will therefore treat him with anything approaching objectivity, that the Romney-Ryan ticket and those of us in their camp will think that makes sense. Except…it’s a trap.”

Still, Bloomberg‘s Al Hunt sounded pretty chipper about the Ryan pick. “Well Joe, they say in politics that all politics is local,” he said on “Morning Joe.” “I think it’s true in journalism too. It makes it a better race. It makes it more fun to cover. Other than Chris Christie I can’t think of a more interesting choice.”

And neither can Reuter‘s political scribe Sam Youngman, who sees the pick as an illicit drug. “Yeah, this is gonna be fun. The pick just added layers of meaning and consequence to a race that was starting to feel like a horrible movie,” he said. “Ya know, like Ides of March. Now we’re standing at a train station, watching a train that’s going one of two ways – to the White House or off a cliff into a fireworks factory. Put another way, for political junkies, this is the kind of heroin that’s so good it might kill you.”

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell sounded less hooked, but nonetheless enthused. “I think it is the most exciting choice he could have made,” she said on “Morning Joe.”

And indeed, that comfort level with Ryan is there. “Paul Ryan is known to make himself generally available to reporters on Capitol Hill,” Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody said when asked for his reaction. “He doesn’t pretend to take cell phone calls when he spots journos waiting for him on his way to the House floor, so I think there is some optimism about having him on the campaign trail. (Of course, he’s never far from his iPod ear buds.)  That’s not to say journalists go easy on Paul Ryan, but the back-and-forth isn’t unsavory.”

But not all political journalists are so fired up about the Ryan choice. “Everyone loves Rob Portman,” said a longtime journalist on condition of anonymity. “He is a total leaking sieve. No one in D.C. really knows Pawlenty. Honestly, I don’t get the sense that anyone really cares about this pick. It’s neither exciting nor anti-climactic. It just sort of….sits there. Like, ‘Oh. Him. OK.’ I mean, now — Rick Perry. That would have been bold!”

Often what appeals to reporters most is the element of surprise. And for Real Clear Politics‘ political reporter Erin McPike, the Ryan pick has at least some of the elements Halperin spoke of this morning — the Press Corps’ ease with Ryan and the unexpected way the story broke. She’s hoping Ryan’s presence means media access will improve.

“It wasn’t what most reporters were expecting, so of course that makes it more exciting,” she told FishbowlDC. “Add to that how it broke – late on a Friday night, and you definitely get the press corps fired up. Paul Ryan is someone that the DC press corps has gotten to know well. We know what he listens to on his iPod when he’s walking through the Cannon tunnel, for one thing, because he talks to us. We know answers about the Ryan budget because he talks to us. And for a GOP campaign that has been inaccessible and has avoided answering specific policy questions, in some way it certainly changes the game.”

But Breitbart.com‘s Nolte is beyond skeptical.

“The media heckles and taunts Mitt Romney on sacred ground in Poland, the media reads Romney’s mind from 50 years ago so they can call him a prep school gay basher — the DAY AFTER Obama stops lying about his position on same-sex marriage,” he said. “So if Halperin thinks we’re going to in any way let our guard down now that our VP candidate is an attractive, unapologetic conservative threat to Their Precious One — I say nice try.”

Correction: The copy above initially had Hunt with WSJ. Clearly he’s Bloomberg.

 

 

Separated at Birth: Bloomberg’s Al Hunt

Today we’re pairing three Washington D.C. media types. Here we have Bloomberg Washington Bureau Chief Al Hunt with Democratic strategist Peter Fenn and WaPo‘s E.J. Dionne. We nearly threw in actor Jack Lemmon at the last moment and restrained ourselves.

Tapper Dings Reliable Source’s Unreliable Sources

ABC News White House Correspondent Jake Tapper is questioning the validity of a recent item written by WaPo’s premier gossip column The Reliable Source: “Dear @WashingtonPost reporting I attended a farewell party for a departing WH staffer last week. False. Who saw me there, Mr. Magoo?” Tapper wrote on Twitter Monday afternoon.

The item…“Jen Psaki being feted at the Source restaurant Thursday night. The departing White House deputy communications director (headed to private sector PR) said goodbye to pals like Valerie Jarrett, Al Hunt, Norah O’Donnell, Gene Sperling, Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd and Mike Allen. All had sushi, dumplings, and a special drink in Psaki’s honor called ‘the prime directive.’”

As of today Tapper’s name is still included amongst the guests on the Sept. 23 item. We requested further comments from Tapper and WaPo‘s Amy Argetsinger. Tapper declined. Argetsinger replied, “A colleague called Jake’s concerns to our attention, and we’re investigating with the original witness to figure out what happened. I’ve since reached Jake and I believe him if he says he wasn’t there. A correction is in the works.”

Bloomberg’s Al Hunt Joins Riff Raff of Twitter

Al Hunt, Executive Editor for Bloomberg News in Washington and former bureau chief and executive Washington editor for WSJ (he was at WSJ for 35 years) sent his first tweet today…to Bloomberg TV anchor Margaret Brennan.

“For a guy my age it was really an adjustment,” Hunt, 68, mused.

He went on to joke, “I don’t want you to tell my wife that the first person I ever Tweeted was Margaret Brennan.”

So far he has tweeted 10 messages. One of which was to NBC’s Luke Russert congratulating him on his Weiner coverage: About an hour ago, he wrote, “Luke, helps my image to be associated with the crown prince of congressional reporters ! your stuff re weiner been great. luv to mom.”

Watch here. Hunt’s handle: @AlHuntDC.

Guess Who’ll Be Writing for Bloomberg’s Editorial Section?

HuffPost‘s Michael Calderone is reporting that none other than famed WaPo columnist Ezra Klein (looking rather muscular here) will regularly contribute editorials to Bloomberg View. He joins a roster that includes Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, former OMB director Peter Orszag, The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, and Bloomberg‘s Margaret Carlson and Al Hunt.

Not to worry, Klein will keep his job at WaPo, as will Goldberg at the Atlantic.

Read more about the new section here.

HuffPost’s Ultimate Media Couples List

HuffPost readers have spoken. And when HuffPost readers speak, the world listens. This time, they have chosen the “Ultimate Media Duo.” (Important to note: unlike most HuffPost lists, this has nothing to do with hotness.)

The title of most ultimate of all ultimate media duos goes to ABC “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer and her husband, director Mike Nichols. In second place, Bloomberg News‘ Washington executive editor Al Hunt and PBS’ “Newshour” anchor Judy Woodruff. And, in third, host of ABC’s “This Week” Christiane Amanpour and Bloomberg‘s Jamie Rubin.

Among the couples not chosen: WaPo‘s Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn, CNN contributors James Carville and Mary Matalin, CNN’s John King and Dana Bash, and Daily Beast‘s Tina Brown and her husband, former Sunday Times (London) editor Sir Harry Evans.

Sunday Show Preview: 09.19.10

SSP.jpg

NBC’s Meet the Press: Fmr. President Bill Clinton and Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.)Fmr. Secretary of State.

ABC’s This Week: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

CBS’ Face the Nation: Former President Bill Clinton, WaPo’s Michael Gerson and Republican Strategist Ed Rollins.

CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).

CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard KurtzJohn Avlon, The Daily Beast; CNN political contributor; Craig Crawford, Congressional Quarterly; Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle; Tina Brown, The Daily Beast.

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: Dan Balz of The Washington Post; Jeanne Cummings of POLITICO; John Dickerson of SLATE Magazine and CBS News; John Harwood of CNBC and The New York Times.

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: NRCC Chairman, Representative Pete Sessions. 

CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria:  Noman Benotman, former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group; Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large for Reuters; Bernard-Henri Lévy, bestselling author; French philosopher; Kathleen Parker, co-host Parker Spitzer, syndicated columnist; Dan Senor, adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies, Council on Foreign Relations. 

NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show:  Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent; Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent; Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune Columnist; Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst.

C-SPAN’s Newsmakers: Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.  Guest reporters are Janet Adamy, Health Policy Reporter for Wall Street Journal, and Susan Heavey, Health Reporter for Reuters News Agency. 

Washington Watch with Roland Martin: Back from hiatus. Attorney General Eric Holder and House Majority Whip James Clyburn.   

•Politico’s “Turn the Table” after the jump. 

We’ll update as we get ‘em!

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WHCA Candidates Accused of ‘Garbage Campaigning’

campaign1.jpg

The July 15 race for the at-large seat of the White House Correspondents’ Association is reaching a fevered pitch. The race has gotten so competitive that all three candidates — Politico‘s Carol Lee, Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols and WSJ‘s Laura Meckler — are being accused of a ballot box stuffing form of campaigning.

An e-mail letter circulating the past few days from the Washington Examiner‘s White House correspondent and WHCA at-large board member Julie Mason says all three candidates have been making sure that reporters and editors from their own publications get signed up for the WHCA to garner more votes.

Among those who have signed up in the course of the election: Bloomberg’s Al Hunt is now a member, as are Politico’s top Editors, Jim VandeHei and John Harris. WSJ‘s Gerald Seib is also now a member.

Sources tell FishbowlDC that each candidate has signed up several new WHCA members during this election. According to those familiar with the WHCA, the organization is supposed to be for grunty White House reporters who need a larger entity to give them a voice — not those they charge will do little more than give their own reporter a vote. Sources have also told FishbowlDC that all of the candidates have their downsides — with at least two of the candidates — Nichols and Meckler — having personality deficits that would make them unpalatable to voters.

Nichols had no comment, but instead this automatic e-mail response: “I am out today. Please contact White House editor Joe Sobczyk if it’s urgent.”

Meckler said she didn’t start the practice of encouraging journalists to sign up until she saw other candidates doing it: “I think membership in the WHCA should be limited to people who actually cover the White House,” she wrote in a statement to FishbowlDC. “However, in recent days and weeks, the membership requirements evidently have been relaxed, and many editors and others from Bloomberg and Politico were cleared for membership in the association. I reluctantly concluded that to say competitive in the race, I should inquire whether editors and others at my news organization who are involved in White House coverage were interested in joining the association, and a handful of them joined in the last day or so. I only did this after seeing that others had done it first, and I sincerely wish that none of this had occurred. It’s a huge waste of time and energy.”

Lee, in an e-mail: “Everyone who works at Politico and is a member of the Correspondents’ Association covers the White House, either as an editor or a reporter. The association has a process for approving members and renewing dues, and they went through that process.”

The e-mail written by Mason, who has two years remaining on the board, has been circulating around the bureaus. In it, she expresses her distaste for the campaign…

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