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A Preview of the 2012 Presidential Race?
Fox News analyst and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich trashed the White House press corps during a Friday appearance on Greta Van Sustern’s show, “On The Record.” Gingrich claimed the White House correspondents have “taken such a pathetic dive with this President that they ought to be part of his PR firm. I mean it’s embarrassing to watch.”
Republicans have often railed against a perceived left-wing bias among mainstream media reporters and it appears they’ll continue that refrain during the Obama administration, but will it be a major campaign theme for Republicans?
In the interview, conducted at Mount Vernon, Gingrich quipped: “If you didn’t know better, you’d think that he was practicing with his own public affairs people for the future press conferences. These look like practice sessions; they don’t look like real press conferences.”
With a president who addresses the nation weekly via YouTube, can you really be surprised that the White House is now on Twitter? The account name is — surprise again — WhiteHouse, and it’s yet another way the Obama administration is trying to get its message out beyond the usual avenue of the White House press corps.
As of this moment, there are nearly 33,000 followers, including at least one White House correspondent — Jake Tapper of ABC News. The media at large have noticed with articles (Washington Post and USA Today, for instance). Doubtlessly more news organizations will as well.
The question: Is a Twittering White House a good thing? Let us know what you think in a comment.
And be sure to follow WHCInsider on Twitter, too!
Barack Obama is known to prepare his speeches skillfully and, when appropriate, with an occasional shot of humor. Doubtlessly he’ll be working up some good lines for his address to the 2009 WHCD — cracking jokes is part of the tradition. But for Wanda Sykes, the dinner’s entertainment this year, cracking on something — or somebody — just seems to come naturally.
Below are results from a quick Web search for some of her recent one-liners.
To a Los Angeles audience welcoming her with a standing ovation: “Oh, come on, it ain’t like you never seen a black lesbian before.” -The Advocate
On people opposed to gay marriage: “Why do you care that Bob and Jim are getting married, unless you were planning on [having sex with] Bob or Jim?” -The Advocate
On fame: “I guess because of my act, people think that I say things they want to say, and that they can just come up and say anything to me. That bugs me. But I’d rather have people come up and want to meet me than have them ignore me. It’s just timing. Don’t bother me while I’m eating, or when I’m coming out of the crackhouse or something. Just let me get going.” – The Onion
On random searches at airport security: “There’s nothing random about it. You get to the gate and they’re standing there with their Sherwin-Williams paint chart. If your ass is darker than khaki, you’re getting searched.” -Entertainment Weekly
On President George W. Bush: “Either he’s retarded or he thinks we’re retarded” – The Advocate
Got a favorite Wanda-ism? Maybe from a movie or TV show she’s been in, or maybe you caught her stand-up act and remember one or two that made you really laugh?
Let us know in a comment.
As hot as the Bloomberg After-Party is, the pre-party action has always belonged to Lally Graham Weymouth and her Newsweek bash celebrating the WHC dinner.
Every year, she is the eye of the media storm because of her remarkable guest list, specializing in the irresistible from Richard Gere to George Clooney.
Last year’s Lally-palooza was all politics, as top advisers of each campaign gently schmoozed each other from Obama’s Valerie Jarrett, Greg Craig and Joel Benenson, to McCain’s main men Rick Davis, Mark Salter and Karl Rove, to HR Clinton’s Mark Penn and Melanne Verveer.
Who will be seen sipping cocktails at the Newsweek reception this year? Lally, along with co-hosts Donald Graham and newly Pulitzered Jon Meacham, scored Obama heavyweights again: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Here’s the Newsweek list, hot off the press:
R. Todd Bradley, Executive Vice President, Personal Systems Group, Hewlett Packard
David Brennan, CEO, AstraZeneca
Representative Eric and Diana Cantor (R-VA)
Fmr. Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig
Amb. Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner
Amb. Richard Holbrooke, Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Ms. Kati Marton
Attorney General Eric Holder
Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post
Jeffrey Kindler, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer, Inc., and Ms. Sharon Sullivan
Michael Kives, Creative Artists Agency
Martin Nesbitt, President and CEO, PRG Parking Management
Sir Nigel and Lady Julia Sheinwald, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the US
Puneet Talwar, National Security Council, Iraq and Afghanistan Affairs
Dr. Eric Whitaker, University of Chicago Medical Center
James Berkus, United Talent Agency
It’s a big year for NBC, which usually doesn’t field a lot of celebrities for the WHCD. This year the network has made up for it by gathering together some big names — from Colin Firth (pictured, left), Jimmy Fallon and Mariska Hargitay to Mike Myers and William H. Macy. Here is the list:
Jason Bateman, Natasha Bedingfeld, Connie Britton, Warren Buffett, Kyle Chandler, John Cusack, Ari Emanuel, Dr. Zeke Emanuel, Colin Firth, Whoopi Goldberg, Mariska Hargitay, Rep. Jane Harmon, Felicity Huffman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jim Jones, Sen. Amy Klobucher, Denis Leary, John Lewis, William H. Macy, Cheryl Mills, Mike Myers, B.J. Novak, Gov. Ed Rendell, Wilbur Ross.
NBC top execs Jeff Zucker, Steve Capus and Phil Griffin will attend, along with high-profile talent: Brian Williams, David Gregory, Al Roker, Ann Curry, Natalie Morales, Hoda Kotb, Amy Robach, Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, Savannah Guthrie, Luke Russert, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz,Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinkski , Norah O’Donnell, David Shuster, Contessa Brewer, Carlos Watson, Tamron Hall, Jim Cramer, Maria Bartiromo and Erin Burnett.
When Wonkette founder and Air America correspondent Ana Marie Cox called for the end of the White House press corps, Washington Monthly chimed in with just get rid of the briefings. Where better to get an opinion on this touchy topic than at The Week magazine’s sixth annual Opinion Awards? A-list journalists from Harry Evans to Mika Brzezinski weighed in on the debate Monday night.
NY Times WH Correspondent’s Question at Obama Presser Provokes Big Reaction Online
During the president’s televised press conference on Wednesday night, the NYT’s Jeff Zeleny asked Barack Obama what had “surprised, humbled, enchanted, and troubled” him the most about the job, now that he was 100 days into it. Zeleny’s colleagues laughed, perhaps not in a complimentary way, and the online world zeroed in on whether the question was, as one site puts it, “brilliant or BS”?
Elections usher in more than a new White House resident. It’s a time when the networks tap their new White House correspondent. For NBC, the highly regarded political analyst and editor Chuck Todd now occupies the NBC seat in the White House Briefing Room. While less than a mile away from his old perch at the Watergate as editor in chief of the Hotline, a back room backbencher of much political importance. WHCInsider talked with Todd about his much more public role. (He received an expensive old-fashioned shaving kit from a viewer when he won the NBC White House chair). Todd won’t comment on rumors he will be getting his own interview show on MSNBC, but he proudly shares anecdotes of 5-year-old Margaret and 2-year-old Harrison.
Q. What surprised you most about being a White House Correspondent?
A. The lack of physical access inside the White House. The high irony is we connect the two buildings, the White House to the West Wing. The folks in the white house get to decide where you sit, where you go. It is not new to this White House, it’s a every modern White House that’s controlling.
Q. Compare Obama campaign access vs. The White House?
A. The White House is more open and transparent than the campaign but only because you cannot run the White House in a tight circle of just five people.
Q. How about your transition into this reporter role?
A. I had a lot of real frustration. I don’t think Ana Maria Cox got it right about getting rid of the White House Correspondents. We still have a real value, but you have a lot of the good reporting outside the White House. It is easier to report from outside the White House. [Read more…]
White House Correspondents tell WHCInsider.com that Gibbs’ briefing room nickname is “The Gibbsnotist” for his ability to “bring the temperature down” and put some correspondents to sleep.
Watch ABC News WH reporter Jake Tapper and veteran WH reporter, The Examiner’s Julie Mason, on reporting from the front and back rows of the White House briefing room. Tapper talks about the change in his relationship with Press Secretary Gibbs from the campaign to the very public daily briefings. Both agree that WHC tweets are not news but a good source of information. The tweeting birds you hear in the background were not added in post but birds serenading the WH north lawn.