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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Morning Media Newsfeed: AP Changes Style | Frum to The Atlantic | Phone Hacker Pressured

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AP Decides That Crimea Can No Longer Be Called Part of Ukraine (HuffPost)
The Associated Press announced Wednesday that it is changing the dateline on all of its stories from Crimea now that the region is being controlled by Russia and not Ukraine. The wire service said that it would no longer identify stories written there as coming from “Ukraine.” Rather, they will carry the dateline “Crimea.” The Hill / Global Affairs “Previously, we wrote ‘SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP).’ But Ukraine no longer controls Crimea, and AP datelines should reflect the facts on the ground,” the news wire wrote in a guidance. Effective this week, the AP said it will now name a city and then Crimea. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Because of a quirk of geography — the fact that Crimea doesn’t share a land border with Russia — the AP says it won’t use a “SEVASTOPOL, Russia” dateline, which would inevitably spur a heated political debate. The Guardian The AP has waded into controversy before on its quest to avoid controversy. A year ago, the AP banned “illegal immigrant” and “illegal” to describe a person, explaining that “‘illegal’ should describe only an action,” especially as the editors decided it was important not to label people, “instead of behavior.” Slate / The Slatest The latest decision also begs the question, what would the AP do if there were a shared border or if Russia were to grab more land in Ukraine, thereby connecting the regions?

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Ferns Plugs Obamacare | Sweeney Steps Down | Reporter Dies in Uganda

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White House: Obama’s Between Two Ferns Cameo Driving Traffic to HealthCare.gov (The Washington Post / Post Politics)
The White House said in a tweet early Tuesday afternoon that President Obama’s appearance on the Funny or Die Web series Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis has made that website the top referrer to HealthCare.gov. Politico As of 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the website had racked up more than 19,000 referral visits from Obama’s Between Two Ferns video, which was posted around 7 a.m., Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesman Aaron Albright said. But those who clicked through from the video to HealthCare.gov represent just a small percentage of those who watched the video. Around 1 p.m., the video had drawn about 3 million views through Funny or Die’s video player. By 6 p.m., the total was around 7 million. Reuters In the video, Obama got the chance to urge the youth of America to get health insurance, but not until he’d been subjected to questions like “What is it like to be the last black president?” and “What should be done about North Ikea?” Youth participation is crucial to the success of the program, but U.S. government data released on Tuesday showed that while the number of people enrolled in private insurance under Obamacare reached 4.2 million by March 1, the proportion of adults aged 18-34 remained unchanged from January at 25 percent of total enrollment in private Obamacare plans. Variety At Tuesday’s briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney was grilled by the White House press corps on whether the video demeaned the dignity of the office. “I think we made the right call here,” Carney said. “I think what it says is gone are the days when your broadcasts can reach everybody we need to reach.” He noted that Between Two Ferns videos average 6 million views, and that he expected the Obama interview would exceed that. He declined to say exactly which parts of the interview were scripted and which ones were not. THR During Obama’s six-and-a-half-minute back-and-forth with Galifianakis, the president played the role of a stern, sometimes irritated straight man as the comedian deadpanned a series of questions that were alternately outrageous and inane. “This is a perfect example of a great partnership with Funny or Die stepping up in a big way,” said Between Two Ferns producer Eric Ortner. “The site has a very robust traffic base of young men and women who are on the edge of the cultural zeitgeist.” PRNewser Will the people who hate the president’s health care law see this clip and change their minds? Of course not. The point, really, is that this appearance was far more valuable than any Sunday morning show discussion could be, no matter what Obama’s opponents think. We all know that the key to successful communication is to deliver the message to the right audience in the best possible format, which for young people is not Sunday morning on NBC with David Gregory.

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Obama, Jon Hamm and Leo DiCaprio Are GQ Men of the Year

jonhamm.jpgGQ Magazine, always looking to one-up the newsweeklies because it as a rule doesn’t break news, came out with its Man of the Year award. Oh sorry, they’re calling them Men of the Year. Way to waffle, GQ.

Of course, first up was Barack Obama. How could he not be man of the year, decade, century just for being the first black man ever elected to the office of President of the United States?

So who else competed?

This year, in Hollywood, “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm was the belle of the ball for his sleakly cut suits and non-stop smoking, which was sickeningly romantic in its own way.

leodicaprio.jpgHe was joined by Leonardo DiCaprio just for being Leo and swimmer Michael Phelps for kicking the sh– out of everyone at the summer Olympics.

With that, GQ was able to say seeya to Time and Newsweek.

Lunch: Joy Behar, Star Jones & Another Sarah Palin Doppelganger

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— DIANE CLEHANE

What recession? The joint was jumping at Michael’s today. Media mavens, television types and fashionistas were still trying to digest the week’s head spinning events but, in true New York style, weren’t letting a worldwide tanking economy get in the way of a good time. There was plenty of buzz about last night’s debate — a few folks in the dining room today watched the whole thing go down at Denise Rich‘s house. The verdict: Obama won and will win.

The ‘other side of the aisle’ was more than represented when Loreal Sherman, Michael’s tireless and terrific maitre d’, launched into a dead-on imitation of Gov. Sarah Palin for departing diners Joy Behar and CNN’s Jon Klein. Ducking inside the coat closet after donning some clear square framed glasses and using the door as her debate podium, Loreal had the gathering crowd in stitches as she improvised a performance of Palin’s indelible one-liners from her debate with Joe Biden last week. Afterwards, when I told her I marveled at her ability to do spontaneous stand-up, Loreal confessed she’s a professionally trained performer who once sang at Carnegie Hall. Memo to Tina Fey: You can’t be everywhere, so if you’re ever in need of a stand-in (who even looks like you!) Loreal is your girl. You know where to find her.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Star Jones, who called minutes before noon after “a really important meeting” for a table for herself and her entourage. The mood was pretty upbeat (we overheard Star cracking some Sarah Palin jokes) and there was wine all around. When I asked the usually chatty Star about what she was dishing about with her pals, she slipped on her shades and said, “Business, Business,” before sauntering out with nary a look in Joy Behar’s direction.

2. CBS spinmeister Gil Schwartz (who is always smart enough to make his reservation for Wednesday!) with Madison Square Garden’s human resource honcho John D. Moran.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong sporting his Obama button — and talking (what else?) politics — with Cynthia Brill and major democratic booster Maureen White.

4. New York’s First Lady Michelle Paterson with Alexa Eaton and Debbie Bancroft. Word is Mrs. Paterson is “not pleased” with New York magazine’s cover story on her husband. Well, we’ll say this, the cover line “David Paterson Didn’t Ask For This” was perfect.

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Edwards Off Short List for VP: Enquirer?

John Edwards got his hand stuck in somebody’s cookie jar and the result may mean no VP slot for Obama. The L.A. Times, of all places, picked up the story that no one would touch because it originated at, yikes!, the National Enquirer. But then in true tabloid fashion, the paper couldn’t produce any quotes, photos or eyewitness accounts.

Still, ripe material for bloggers like us.

As for the L.A. Times, which refused to do the story, but did the story about the Enquirer doing the story, the paper only wrote that “Barack Obama’s VP shortlist may have gotten a little shorter.”

Them’s good eats for a hungry beast like the L.A. Times.

Covering Barack: The New Yorker Depicts Terrorist Fist-Jabbing Couple in Oval Office

goriginal.jpgIronic or just nuts? The cover of this week’s New Yorker is sure to make some waves when it hits newsstands and mailboxes. It depicts the Obama’s in the Oval Office revealing their “true” selves: Michelle is a revolutionary feminist(?) sporting an afro, Obama is a Osama-worshiping Muslim who burns American flags.

We have to assume that The New Yorker, not one to shy away from political controversy where its covers are concerned (especially under David Remnick‘s reign) is trying to be ironic. And that seems to be what one of the staff there told the Obama campaign. But considering that it comes after a week of complaints from the Left that Obama is pushing too far and fast to the center (22,000 people logged on to his website to protest his recent approval of Bush’s wiretapping bill) one has to wonder if perhaps there is not a little bit of a jab in there aimed at Barack himself. Regardless, the Obama campaign is not laughing. Says spokesperson Bill Burton: “The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree.” Either way, we think the honeymoon is officially over.

Obama Smear Emailer Tries to do Maureen Dowd’s Job For Her

dowd-tsgg190.jpgSo by this point it’s no secret how we feel about Maureen Dowd and her gender-twisting habits, but even though we are quick to point out her shortcomings we were also quick to realize that the Obama smear email making the rounds right now that purports to be a June 29 Dowd column (complete with her byline, and the Times’ font — as if these things are hard to fake) accusing Obama of accepting online funds from “Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries” was not actually by Dowd. And that’s not just because we recall reading her June 29 column! Nope, what immediately clued us in is that fact that the real MoDo rarely talks money (a point she makes herself), rarely breaks news (she’s an opinion columnist, not a reporter!) and rarely misses an opportunity to describe Obama as being effeminate, or Hillary as a ball-buster, or for that matter, tie it all in in some way to Bill’s ego or W’s daddy complex.

To her credit, Dowd herself didn’t seem too fazed by the whole thing: “The line about it being the ‘most shocking revelation,’ I don’t think I’ve ever said those words, except in a satire. Also, it is about money, which I never write about…Sometimes you try and protest things you hear about, but sometimes it’s just not worth it… It is hard to track down and control these things, and anyone who reads my column knows that this wasn’t me. I got to the second line and I knew it wasn’t me.” [Yep, emphasis added.]

Lunch: Football, Fashionistas & Laila Ali

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was a tasty tossed summer salad of movers, shakers — and football players at Michael’s today. Now that the power set has to cram in five days of plotting into a truncated work week — Why miss out on a Friday afternoon in the Hamptons if you don’t have to? — the dining room was buzzing. We noticed diners were opting for deep conversation over table-hopping today so there must be plenty of big doings afoot.

I was lunching today with my new friend, Denise Cobb, who just arrived from Naples, Florida for a few days of fun. This weekend she celebrated with her good pal Desiree Gruber at her baby shower at the rooftop garden at the Gramercy Park Hotel and is planning to go to Judge Judy‘s housewarming for the mega-mansion she had built — in just four months! — in Greenwich. “She’s really proud that she could get the builder to work so fast,” reports Denise. Fear is a great motivator, I suppose. Who would dare incur the wrath of Judge Judy? I love to watch her cut delinquent dads off at the knees on her television show, don’t you? After our lunch, Denise was off to visit with our mutual pal Carol Brodie, who is newly installed at Faberge and has big things in store for the iconic house. Denise and I are collaborating on a top secret project for Gulf Shore Life with editor-in-chief David Sendler. You’ll be the first to know all the details, I promise.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. New York Jets D’Brickshaw Ferguson, Leon Washington and Nick Mangold with some handlers and managers we didn’t recognize.

2. Peggy Siegal channeling Jackie O in a stunning white sheath, great earrings and her new ‘do with a dark-haired young power gal “in training” so we’re told…

3. Susan Zirinksy, whose show 48 Hours Mystery on Saturday nights on CBS is one of my favorite guilty pleasures with Mattea Gold.

4. John Huey and a bespectacled gent whose face we recognized but whose name escapes us…

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Jim Rainey Upbraids Political Reporters, Invents A Word

brainshot.jpgLAT reporter James Rainey coins the term “discordulum,” an invented region of the brain of any presidential campaign reporter which is devoted to recognizing conflict.

“From this hyper-developed brain center come stories about the certain demise of some politicians (John McCain), the inevitable success of others (Hillary Rodham Clinton) and the extreme probability that hostilities, once started, will never end.”

Rainey takes political reporters and their discordulums to task for “often firing on the same overheated synapses, even when conflict is waning.”

“For discord-centric members of the media, it’s not so easy to give up the last story line. So expect another moment of cognitive dissonance on the near horizon: It will come when Clinton concedes, embraces Obama and begins working furiously for her onetime rival.

It’s what Clinton has promised all along. It just didn’t register in the media discordula.”

Lunch: Hillary—Obama Smackdown!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Bill Clinton isn’t the only one who is getting a little testy about the endlessly long and increasingly tabloid-y battle for the democratic nomination. At today’s lunch, politics were on the menu as supporters of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took sides over their Cobb Salads. Our unofficial dining room poll finds Obama holding a commanding lead. Producer Joan Gelman — between commuting from Canada where her show Triple Sensation is going great guns — has taken to handing out her very own campaign buttons. “I do one for every election,” she told us. Her latest creation got lots of attention at a party at Tina Brown‘s recently when ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong arrived wearing one. It boasts a picture of President George Bush and John McCain in an embrace and is emblazoned with the words — Four More Years. Here’s the punch line: There’s a question mark at the end of the phrase. Joan was handing them out today (thanks!) and people were gobbling them up like mad. A few tables down, the exchange at David Patrick Columbia ‘s regular perch between David (a Hillary booster — “I just don’t know why she is the subject of so much hate”), Charlie Scheips and Terry Allen Kramer (decidedly not a fan) rivaled the dust ups on Sunday morning on The McLaughlin Group. But it was all in good fun. Isn’t it always?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. One big happy family: Michael’s wife Kim McCarty and kids Clancy and Chas with Martin von Haselberg and daughter Sophie. The families’ friendship goes back 30 years, says Michael. To wit: a painting of Martin (done by Kim) hangs in the reception area of the restaurant. There was plenty to celebrate all around: Clancy just graduated from NYU last week, Chas is starting his first year at Bard and Sophie is at Yale. Impressive! We were hoping that Martin’s wife — none other than Bette Midler — would join the party but, said Michael, she was rehearsing for her eagerly anticipated Las Vegas show (the family leaves for the desert tomorrow). Knock ‘em dead, Bette!

2. Peter Brown.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and yours truly. The Mayor was the subject of a glowing New York Times piece last week which bore more than a passing resemblance to this column. But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, isn’t it?

4. Phil Smith and agent extraordinaire Ron Konecky.

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