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Posts Tagged ‘Ann Compton’

Guild Disappointed in WaPo’s Weymouth

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Members of WaPo‘s Newspaper Guild have written a letter to the publisher Katherine Weymouth expressing “disappointment” about her nearly “$500,000 bonus” and 10 percent pay raise”.

An exerpt:
Dear Ms. Weymouth,
As employees of the Washington Post and members of the Newspaper Guild, we were disappointed to hear that you accepted a bonus of nearly $500,000 at a time when the sacrifices made by so many people who work here – or used to work here – are still fresh.

Read the whole letter here.

> Update: We’ve been redirected to a more corporate level PR department for comment. We’ll keep you posted. Spokeswoman Ann Compton declined to comment.

There’s a New Gate-Crasher in Town

491px-RoseGardenSpring.jpg Forget the Salahis – there was another party animal at the White House Thursday, although not as well-dressed as the fame-seeking couple. Still, impressive.

On ABC’s Jake Tapper‘s Political Punch blog, ABC’s Ann Compton and Sunlen Miller report on an unusual, hairy site on the steps of the Rose Garden as the President stood at a podium talking about Wall Street reform.

It was a rodent that somehow got past Secret Service.

Read the entire post here.

Tapper’s Birthday Surprise

ABC’s Jake Tapper got a big surprise today when his wife and daughter showed up at the White House press briefing room with a cake to celebrate his 41st birthday. Note that the cake is Dora the Explorer. Happy birthday to Jake!

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Pics by Mark Knoller and Ann Compton.

Daily Caller Party Bursting with People — and Coats


The Daily Caller launch party was the place to be last night for Washington D.C.’s political party crowd.

In attendance:
Former Time scribe Matt Cooper and Scooter Libby, former Chief of Staff to former V.P. Dick Cheney (in the same room)

From the Daily Caller:
Tucker Carlson, Editor-in-Chief
Moira Bagley, Opinion Editor
Becca Glover Watkins, Publicist and Booker
Jonathan Ward, senior political and White House Reporter
Matt Labash (who also writes for The Weekly Standard)

Liz Glover, former TWT columnist
Juleanna Glover, host, GOP lobbyist

Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair, and wife, Carol Blue
ABC’s Jake Tapper, Ann Compton, The Note’s Rick Klein
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie
UrbanDaddy’s Jeff Dufour and wife, Jayne
CBS bureau chief Chris Isham, CBS’ Christine Delargy
CNN’s Amy Holmes
Talking Points Memo’s Christina Bellantoni
Politico’s Patrick Gavin, Kiki Ryan, Michael Calderone
Meet the Press’ Joey Bell
Yeas and Nays’ Tara Palmeri
Congress Daily’s Erin McPike
Roll Call’s Jackie Kucinich, Shira Topeitz, Emily Heil
The Hill’s Bob Cusack, Jared Allen, Christina Wilkie
Monocle’s Sasha Issenberg
The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder
Former Bloomberg scribe Tim Burger

Non-media types: Janet Donovan, Ron Bonjean, Christina Sevilla, Michael Feldman, Mark Paustenbach, Susanna Quinn, former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart.

One highlight of the party was a man dressed up in colonial wear, who, a partygoer surmised, was “what I can only assume was a “Daily Caller.” There were two French maids passing out vodka.

Fun was had by most. The only part anyone quibbled about was the coat check. One attendee remarked: “There were really long lines to get your coat to leave and just too many people to be in one house at the same time. By the time you got your coat from the coat check and your car from the valet, it was at least 15-20 minutes.”

Politico’s Gavin tweeted, “Even Joe Lockhart has to wait in line for his coat.”

Photographs courtesy of Patrick Ryan.
See more party pictures and Politico Click video after the jump…

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Coverage Plans: President Obama’s Tuesday Address

President Obama will address the nation from West Point 8pmET tomorrow on his Afghanistan plans. TVNewser reports that all networks will carry Obama’s primetime address. And we’re beginning to hear just how the nets and cable will cover…

CBS: Katie Couric will anchor CBS’ live broadcast at 8pmET.

ABC: Charlie Gibson will anchor ABC’s live coverage. He will be joined by George Stephanopoulos, Jake Tapper, Martha Raddatz, senior foreign correspondent Jim Sciutto in Kabul and ABC News consultant Ret. General Jack Keane. Terry Moran will anchor “Nightline” from West Point beginning at 11:35pmET. Also at 8pmET, political director David Chalian and senior political reporter Rick Klein will anchor ABC News NOW’s live coverage on Aaron Katersky, Ann Compton and Steve Roberts will cover it on radio.

CNN: Wolf Blitzer, joined by CNN’s Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper, John King, Christiane Amanpour, Fareed Zakaria and senior political analysts Gloria Borger and David Gergen, will anchor the cabler’s live coverage beginning at 8pmET. “360″ will air live at 10pmET and “Larry King Live” will air live at midnight.

C-SPAN: Live coverage begins at 8pmET, likely on C-SPAN2 (if Senate is done for the day), plus coverage on C-SPAN Radio and live-streaming on

We’ll continue to update.

FishPoolDC: An Insider’s Notes from Today’s Press Briefing

Notes from a briefing room press insider…

For the Afghan Speech Bingo Card: While POTUS continued to work the phone tree of world leaders to outline (without specific numbers, the WH says) the new Af-Pak strategy to be unveiled tomorrow night at West Point, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs hit on several of the speech’s points in response to briefing questions from reporters. A laundry list: relationship with Pakistan, already made “stronger” through engagement and diplomacy; cost (!)–noting that this is not an “open-ended” commitment, though RG warned not to expect specific dollar numbers in tomorrow’s address; sacrifice of the troops, which will be mentioned “early” in the speech; stability and anti-corruption efforts (rather than a focus on “nation-building”); benchmarks, of which there will be “new wrinkles” from the March announcement; the al Qaeda threat that remains (“dismantle, disrupt, destroy”–and on some occasions the WH will use “defeat” as one of the three D’s); and a “renewed emphasis” on Afghan security training.

Crash Heard ‘Round the World: Overlapping the highly anticipated West Point details was the still-lingering WH/tabloid drama of the now-infamous, party-crashing Mr. and Mrs. Salahi. A rare outburst of simultaneously shouting reporters was further evidence that the week-old story won’t die easily. “None of that relay happened,” RG explained of the Secret Service’s lack of communication with the WH social office on the unlisted guests. RG continued to remind reporters that “nobody picked up the phone” to make the appropriate check, while reporters questioned whether the social office might assume some of the blame. “I will let the investigation put the onus on where the onus should be,” RG said. Impatience from the podium was evident as RG attempted to disrupt the momentum of shouted questions by calling on the next reporter in the first row. Declining to characterize the specifics of POTUS’s reaction to all this, RG did mention that his “concern goes greatly beyond ‘The Real Housewives of DC.’” He then noted the silliness of mentioning the reality show in the same line of questioning as Afghanistan….

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Achoo! In the Briefing Room

No wonder there’s so many speculated cases of swine flu among the White House press corps…

Today during press secretary Robert Gibbs‘ daily briefing, a reporter sneezed– but not into her elbow, as the press corps had previously been advised by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to do so.

“You’re screwed Ann, just FYI,” Gibbs joked with ABC radio’s Ann Compton, who sits near the sneezer.

C-SPAN has the video here (scroll to about 21 mins in).

FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes from Today’s Press Briefing

Notes from a briefing room press insider…

Chaos in Gibbs-istan: As a skeptical tone continues to rise in the Brady briefing room, Afghanistan ruled the show today as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was forced repeatedly to bat down the premise that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has earned a POTUS-backed slap on the wrist for breaking the silence on the war’s policy review in a London speech. CNN’s Ed Henry led the charge, with RG more than once accusing him of “many caveats in your question” as he quoted McChrystal; RG, in a common podium defense, said he didn’t know whether POTUS had seen the “Chaos-istan” comment and, in response to whether the speech was appropriate, that he wasn’t in charge of scheduling for each member of the military, later repeating that POTUS is “comfortable with the way the process is and how it’s moving forward.” He chastised reporters: “I get that the Washington game is to do the back and forth,” to which Henry promptly cried: “It’s not a Washington game!” RG called the 25-minute POTUS-McChrystal one-on-one onboard AF1 in Copenhagen “a constructive meeting … not about what’s going on on cable television.” In response to whether NSA Jim Jones was rebuking McChrystal in his comments on the Sunday shows: “Far be it for me to parse the words of a four-star general.”

But What if We’re Thirsty?: POTUS is set to brief Congressional leaders tomorrow on the Afghan review process, which RG says is intended to “walk them through where we are” and “solicit their views.” In the wake of the deadly weekend attack in Afghanistan, he noted that the strategy on the table is to move from such outposts and focus more on the population centers. ABC Radio’s Ann Compton followed up to ask why that strategy had not been implemented if it had in fact been agreed upon “several months ago,” as RG said. She was referred to the five-sided building. As for the hush-hush Af-Pak meetings (a five-part series, so far), RG forewarned that “it isn’t about the number of meetings” and that the fifth meeting might not immediately precede a POTUS announcement. When CBS’s Chip Reid employed the old RG baseball analogy technique to ask what inning it is for the Afghan assessment, RG replied: “You haven’t even gone for your first beer yet.”

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Who Will Get Called On Tonight? A Look Back At Obama’s Pressers

Tonight is President Obama’s fourth prime-time press conference, fifth overall. Each presser has lasted about an hour and averages 13 reporters’ questions. Fox did not air Obama’s 100th day press conference, the third, on the network and will not tonight either.

In his first prime-time press conference Feb. 9th, the President called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, Reuters’ Caren Bohan, CBS’ Chip Reid, NBC’s Chuck Todd, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman, ABC’s Jake Tapper, CNN’s Ed Henry, NYT‘s Helene Cooper, Fox’s Major Garrett, WaPo‘s Michael Fletcher, Helen Thomas, HuffPost’s Sam Stein and NPR’s Mara Liasson.

In his second prime-time press conference March 24th, Obama called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, NBC’s Chuck Todd, ABC’s Jake Tapper, CBS’ Chip Reid, Univision’s Lourdes Meluza, Stars and Stripes’ Kevin Baron, CNN’s Ed Henry, Fox News’ Major Garrett, Politico‘s Mike Allen, Ebony’s Kevin Chappell, ABC Radio’s Ann Compton, TWT‘s Jon Ward and AFP’s Stephen Collinson.

In his third prime-time press conference April 29th, the President called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, Detroit NewsDeb Price, ABC’s Jake Tapper, CBS’ Mark Knoller, NBC’s Chuck Todd, Reuters’ Jeff Mason, CBS’ Chip Reid, CNN’s Ed Henry, NYT‘s Jeff Zeleny (“surprised, troubled, enchanted and humbled”), Telemundo’s Lori Montenegro, BET’s Andre Showell, Time‘s Michael Scherer and WaPo‘s Jonathan Weisman.

President Obama’s fourth presser was during the day, in the briefing room June 23rd and he called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, HuffPost’s Nico Pitney (remember this?), Fox’s Major Garrett, USA Today‘s David Jackson, CBS’ Chip Reid, NBC’s Chuck Todd, ABC’s Jake Tapper, McClatchy’s Margaret Talev, EFE’s Macarena Vidal, Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols, American Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan and CNN’s Suzanna Malveaux.

Will the AP’s Jennifer Loven go five-for-five? Will President Obama snub Fox? Will HuffPost’s Nico Pitney get called on again? And who do you want to see called on tonight? Tell us.

RELATED: From US News & World Report: Press Getting More Adversarial With Obama: Some expect Obama’s news conference to take on a more negative tone.

FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes from Today’s Briefing

When “Two Minutes” Equals Two Minutes: A prompt Press Secretary Robert Gibbs took the briefing room’s first row off guard today as network and wire bigwigs trickled into their seats. “I feel like we’re running out of a tunnel at a big football game,” Gibbs joked. “Is the Huffington Post here?” CBS’s Peter Maer jabbed. (Maer would later trigger a lengthy classroom debate about the “designated hitter” in yesterday’s presidential newser.) RG countered: “You’ll have to get someone else to ask that question.” More on that topic on FBDC in a little bit…

Cabinet-Level Show and Tell: To complete the WH’s continuing energy-healthcare-education trifecta, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman joined Gibbs today to discuss a new initiative to trim the student financial aid application process. Apparently the Secretary had been through some mean arts and crafts time, as he brought two giant posters for Show and Tell. “This form itself was a huge barrier for entry,” he said of the old FAFSA, explaining that the new system achieved a 20% reduction in questions and 50% reduction in web pages. “This thing’s a little bit more friendly,” he said, showing off the second of his “before and after” visual aids.

“No Fourth For You!”: Gibbs clarified that invitations issued to Iranian diplomats for social gatherings surrounding July 4th are officially revoked in the wake of the current post-election turmoil. “Not surprisingly… nobody’s RSVP’d,” he said of the outreach. Gibbs said the other unanswered invitation to Iran — to join talks about its nuclear programs at the upcoming P5+1 meeting — still stands.

Of Note: In a heavy response to a question from ABC Radio’s Ann Compton, Gibbs maintained POTUS’s pledge that Americans wishing to keep their healthcare will, in fact, be able to do just that under a new system. Of course, we’re all still arguing about what the various proposals to that new system will look like…