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Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Todd’

Breaking News Just Got Broke All Up in MSNBC’s Chuck Todd’s Behind

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Stay Classy CNN and MSNBC.

BREAKING: Social media has obliterated any hope for broadcast news to break any stories before Twitter gets its talons on it. I understand the hypersensitivity of competition in broadcast news, which is why PR professionals are constantly trying to get their game up. However, lately, “breaking news” seems to be about as overstated as a Kardashian anywhere in the news.

Recently, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd took to Twitter trying to place CNN on blast for its “breaking news” terminology. And then CNN producer Vaughn Sterling returned the volley with some serious stink on it. So great.

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Calm Down, Everybody: Big Bird Will Be Fine

We’ll just go ahead and say it: last night’s debate was a big bore. Mitt Romney did quite well, Jim Lehrer did quite poorly, and a few million people became aware of the current President’s sleepwalking problem for the first time. (It is worth noting that, way back in June, Chuck Todd predicted that Obama would probably not win this first debate because “no one has cut his remarks short during his term in office”.)

The night’s most contentious moment, however, clearly concerned none other than Big Bird. When listing public entities that he would stop funding if elected, Romney took a moment to pick on perennial bogeyman PBS, telling Public Broadcasting employee Lehrer that he would have to cut funding for the channel despite the fact that “I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too.”

The Internet quickly made it a meme, and a predictable number of mildly amusing tweets ensued. So yeah, it was a weird line—but it wasn’t quite accurate. (In case you hadn’t noticed, this is a common problem in presidential debates.)

Unfortunately, we have to ruin everyone’s fun by calling an official end to this non-scandal. Take it away, Sherrie Westin, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Sesame Workshop–give CNN’s Soledad O’Brien some of that sweet, sweet damage control!

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Media Training Tips and Cautionary Tales

In the high-risk, high-reward world of media training, major stumbles during television interviews are seared indefinitely in the public’s memory. Nailing an interview is not so easy, even for well-known public figures and corporate executives.

Media relies on basic principles and varied techniques. Today we’re focusing on seven tips–and what can happen when interviewees ignore them. As noted below, not everyone is as well-versed in handling the media as Joe Torre, (left) a former Major League Baseball manager.

Preparation is key since winging it is never a good idea. Interviewees need to wrap their heads around not only the core topics, but also the show, the interviewer and his or her questioning style. An example of what not to do? Herman Cain appeared completely clueless when asked about Libya during a video interview in Milwaukee last November, leaving several seconds of awkward, empty air time.

Keep answers brief, limited to quick sound bites. While Vice President Joe Biden is well known for his rambling remarks, the communicator in chief may need to heed this tip as well: During NYU’s Hospitality Investment Conference in June, NBC’s Chuck Todd predicted that President Obama may not win the first debate this fall, because [almost] no one has cut his remarks short during his term in office–and debates have strict time limits.

Beware softball questions. “What newspapers and magazines do you read?” is not a technically difficult question. Still, it was enough to trip up Sarah Palin during her now-infamous interview with Katie Couric during the 2008 Presidential election that was later parodied on SNL.

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What is Off the Record?

When we polled PRNewser readers this past April and asked if they go off the record with the media, 50% said, “Yes. It’s a great way to build relationships and help reporters,” while 25% said, “No way. It’s too risky for me, my clients, or my company.”

In a story in The Atlantic, NBC News chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd and managing editor for NBC News’ Washington bureau Albert Oetgen look into the differences between “off the record,” “on background” and “on the record.”

They often can mean different things to different people, and of course, that’s when trouble can arise, as it did for Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who lost his job after Rolling Stone feature story had him and his staff criticizing top White House officials, including the White House President.

Here’s how Pete Williams, the network correspondent covering the Justice Department and Supreme Court for NBC News described the terms:

There is ‘On The Record.’ Quoting verbatim with attribution: ‘Santa Claus is a fraud,’ said Pete Williams.”

“There is ‘On Background.’ You can use the information without attribution, or with generic attribution: ‘Santa Claus is a fraud,’ said a network correspondent.”

“There is ‘Off The Record.’ You know it, you can shop it around, act on it, but you can’t report it, until you get it somewhere else.”

“Where the thing begins to get hazy is around the idea of Deep Background, the shadowy territory between On Background and Off The Record: ‘NBC News has learned that some network correspondents think Santa Claus is a fraud.’”

Do you agree? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

It’s Official: Fox News to Interview Obama

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After some speculation last week, it’s now official: Fox News’ Major Garrett will interview President Obama tomorrow morning in Beijing. The interview comes after recent attacks on the network by now outgoing White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, and despite reports that said the administration told Fox News not to expect an interview with Obama until 2010. News broke last week that Dunn will be stepping down from her post at the end of November.

“I am not a person who is known for going rogue,” Dunn said at a media conference last week, claiming Obama was aware of the strategy to go after Fox News. Nonetheless, a source told PRNewser, “it’s a shame when they throw people under the bus,” hinting that the timing of Dunn’s departure was not her choice. Fox News spokeswoman Dana Klinghoffer said to Bloomberg only, “We wish her well in her new position.”

CBS’ Chip Reid, ABC’s Jake Tapper, NBC’s Chuck Todd and Ed Henry for CNN will also interview the President.

Robert Gibbs on ‘Today’ Show: NBC’s Chuck Todd Denied Pardon, Must Shave Goatee

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs appeared on the “Today” show this morning as part of a lighthearted segment on the “Goatee Gamble.” The gamble, in case you haven’t heard, is a bet between ABC’s Jake Tapper and NBC’s Chuck Todd.

If the Dodgers win the NLCS, Tapper would grow a goatee and if the Phillies win, Todd would shave his goatee, “his signature look, or a $1,000 donation will be paid by the losing correspondent to the winner’s choice of charity,” according to FishbowlDC. Well, the Phillies won, and now it’s time to settle up.

Gibbs appeared on the segment bearing shaving cream and an electric razor. “Chuck has applied for a presidential pardon and that has been denied,” he said. Al Roker egged on Todd to shave it right on the show, saying “It’s go time,” and “we have three hours.” Things got so far as Gibbs squirting some shaving cream into Todd’s hand, but alas, he didn’t shave the goatee on air.

Robert Gibbs On MSNBC: “Easiest Thing For This Town To Do Is The Same Old Thing”

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was interviewed by Chuck Todd, who sat in for Chris Matthews yesterday afternoon on MSNBC’s Hardball. Gibbs came to the interview in a joking manner, laying out some light hearted comments about him and Todd being out of shape.

One of the hot topics covered in the interview was the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which some have said the administration have changed their stance on. They at first opposed it and are now being a bit more vague by “saying they want Congress to do it,” according to the Huffington Post’s Nicholas Graham.

On a more macro-level, Gibbs did re-enforce the Obama campaign message of change when he said, “the easiest thing for this town to do is the same old thing.”