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Sunday, August 31, 2008

More Light Reading

I have some more light reading for you on this Sunday, but first a quick clip from last week. Jack Cafferty seems to think that Wolf Blitzer has something to worry about.

We should keep in mind that "swag" has multiple meanings. We've heard the term a few times this week referring to "convention swag" meaning "Stuff We All Get." But there's another meaning that could be used for "Blitzer's office swag": A burglar's or thief's booty; boodle.1

Photo by Will Brumas for Congressional Quarterly

Alex Strachan from the Canwest News Service did an article last week on John King. Here is an excerpt:

The King of CNN

John King doesn't get any residuals from constantly being ribbed by the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

"I wish," CNN's fast-rising election star said, laughing easily during an interview last month in Beverly Hills.

"I get nothing," King said. "Sometimes they say nice things about me on the comedy shows, and other times they mock me. More power to them."

King, CNN's senior White House correspondent from 1999-2005, has been almost as prominent of late on the cable news network as that other King, Larry - no relation.

With his infectious enthusiasm and a high-tech toy that has wowed everyone from political pundits and serious news junkies to Stewart himself - "I want one of those!" the Daily Show host said, when he first saw King spinning the numbers on CNN's touch-sensitive electronic screen of U.S. states, counties and small localities - King has arguably become the face of CNN during the most enthralling U.S. presidential campaign in a generation.

With a flourish of a hand, King can flash hundreds of miles across U.S. state lines, calling up individual electoral districts with the touch of a finger and breaking them down into their constituent colours: blue for Democrat, red for Republican. Or dark blue for Barack Obama and light blue for Hillary Clinton, as he did during the countless Democratic presidential primaries leading up to this week's coronation of Obama.

Why, it's almost enough to make even the most jaded, cynical viewer interested in politics again.

And if Stewart wants to lampoon him . . .

"Hey," King said cheerfully, "everything I do on TV is fair game. If they're getting people to watch and getting people interested, whether I'm their whipping boy or comedy victim, it's fine by me. You have to have a thick skin in this business."

King prides himself on having a reporter's instincts - objectivity is job one ("I try to be fair and stay in the middle, unyielding") - and for being more interested in working sources on the phone than how good, or not-so-good, he looks on TV.

"I get no residuals," King insisted. "People are interested in the election, and that's a good thing. If they don't like what I do, they don't have to watch me. TV is a democracy, too, you know. The remote control is as true a tool of democracy as the voting booth. If people don't like what they see, they can go somewhere else."

King, for one, got a kick out of Saturday Night Live's lampoon in February of how CNN moderators seemingly favoured Obama over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

"Look, we're far from perfect," King said. "I would remind you, though, that we cover these things in the moment. At the outset, the Clinton campaign presented itself almost as the incumbent. `We are inevitable; we are a powerhouse; we have more money; we have more organization; we have the stronger, more tested candidate.' The Clintons' pitch was that they were coming back to power, and so we covered them as if they were Fortress Clinton. Being the incumbent front-runner does bring tougher questions. It invites a more skeptical coverage. But when Barack Obama started to win, the emphasis started to shift. As much as the Saturday Night Live skit was a wake-up call - and it was - the race progressed, and the coverage progressed with it, as it usually does. I think if you go back in time through history, you will see other examples of the pendulum shifting as the race shifted."

CNN's Soledad O'Brien, herself no shrinking violet, suddenly burst in on the conversation, hauling a suitcase and reminding King that he had a late-night flight to catch.

"I'll meet you in the lobby in 10 minutes," King said, with a quick glance at his watch. "I need to get my stuff, and I don't want to hold you up."

King had warmed to his subject and wanted to squeeze in some last-minute thoughts about November's vote might break down before calling it a night. U.S. politics hasn't been this much fun - or unpredictable - since Dewey beat Truman, he said.

King is not beholden to polls.

"If the question is, do we overuse and over rely on polls, my answer is yes, " King said. "If the question is, should we get rid of them, my answer is no. They can be helpful barometers of how people are thinking.

The rest of the article can be found on

Happy Birthday to John King who celebrates his birthday today, August 31st!

This week's CNN article in the Metro features Tom Foreman with Playing the political numbers. The full paper can be downloaded here.

"You can count on me"

That is the overwhelming message from both Barack Obama and John McCain amid the dog and pony shows that pass for political conventions. “Count on me for a better economy, cheaper gas, national security, affordable health care, better service at the dry cleaners, foot rubs and maybe even a winning season for your football team.”

But there is a corollary both parties better keep in mind: Count on math.

This is hard for me to admit, because I was once an eager young scholar reduced to blank stares and drools by algebra. When geometry came along, I threatened to hole up in the basement with canned goods. I still wake up screaming, “No, no, no, I will not solve for Y!”

All that said, politics has taught me something that my teachers never could. Math really matters.

Presidential elections are all about calculating which states are “safe” for a candidate (meaning they can be safely ignored), which states are leaning a candidate’s way (meaning, like toddlers, you don’t have to hold their hands, but you better keep them in sight) and which states are toss-ups.

Ten states are considered toss-ups on one of our latest CNN electoral maps: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia. They account for 123 electoral votes.

Much has been made about how McCain and Obama, heading into their conventions, were neck-and-neck in polls of likely voters. Undeniably, McCain has been moving up. So much so that even staunch Democrats are privately shuddering that the chill winds of autumn will somehow, once again, blow away their late summer advantage over the Republicans.

But do the math on the electoral votes, and the picture is decidely different. According to our latest calculation, if America voted right now, Obama would get 226 electoral votes, McCain only 189, and they would duke it out for the toss-ups. That means by pumpkin season, McCain has to gain a good bit more ground than Obama to win.

Obama beat Hillary Clinton because he figured out the numbers game. While she was scoring big wins in Democratic strongholds, he was racking up delegates in smaller states. And delegates decide the nomination.

So weeks before she surrendered, the delegate math said she was finished.

Right now, the math still says each man has a good shot at winning. But they better have their calculators humming. The candidate who best figures the tricky equation of toss-up states, days left until the vote, and electoral totals, will get the White House. The other one? You can count him out. | Catch Tom Foreman on CNN every Saturday at 6 p.m. on This Week in Politics for a look back at the presidential campaign trail.

1 swag. (n.d.). Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. Retrieved August 31, 2008, from website:

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Gumbo of Clips

All eyes were on Denver this week, but by the weekend attention had turned to New Orleans and the threat of another hurricane. On Wednesday, Sean Callebs was already in NOLA and did a story on the early preparations:

Meanwhile, Morgan Neill is back in Havana and did some updates from there as Gustav approached:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, Harris Whitbeck had a piece about Mexican jail inmates learning yoga:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dara Torres, who just won 3 silver medals in Beijing, had surgery Wednesday to repair damage to her right shoulder. Dr. Sanjay Gupta was in the operating room, and filed three reports. The first one is pre-op, but if you're squeamish you may want to skip the second and third, which do include some footage of the surgery itself:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Two new promos aired late in the week -- the first focuses on the convention/political coverage:

The second seems to be a re-make of one that is running on International that focuses on CNN's foreign correspondents, but adds the Domestic anchors. The theme is "the search for truth":

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Finally, Anderson Cooper did a cameo on The Daily Show this week. I just pulled the bits he was in (don't want to annoy the fun folk at Viacom!):

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Where in the World...?

Denver was the place to be this week. And while I normally try to keep track of which anchors are on/off... this week they were juggling shows and anchors and I finally quit trying to keep them all straight! Issue #1 was replaced by America Votes 2008, hosted by John Roberts (in Denver) and Soledad O'Brien (in NYC), but with news breaks still handled by the Newsroom anchors.

SATURDAY: John King, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Suzanne Malveaux, and Joe Johns all reported from Denver (through Thursday); Candy Crowley was in Springfield, Illinois for the Obama/Biden speech.

SUNDAY: Dana Bash and Candy Crowley were in Denver (through Thursday).

MONDAY: John Roberts was in Denver (through Thursday), Soledad O'Brien was in New York, Michael Ware was in New York (clips in Monday's post).

WEDNESDAY: Sean Callebs was in New Orleans, Nic Robertson was in Atlanta and appeared on Newsroom to talk about Darfur (clips in Monday's post); Matthew Chance (above) was in Sochi, Russia, where he reported on US aid to Georgia but also was interviewing Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin (clips in Monday's post); Sanjay Gupta was in Boynton Beach, Florida.

THURSDAY: Morgan Neill reported from Havana.

FRIDAY: Anderson Cooper, Tom Foreman and Chris Lawrence were in New Orleans; Dana Bash was in Dayton, Ohio for the McCain rally and in Cambridge, Ohio as the tour bus rolled along; and Wolf Blitzer, John King, and Campbell Brown were in St. Paul, Minnesota for the upcoming Republican convention at the XCEL Energy Center.

(By the way, for those of you wondering where Ali Velshi is, he reported from Grand Isle, Louisiana this morning.)

We'll all be keeping a close on Gustav this weekend and praying for those in its path.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Friday, August 29, 2008

From Radio Row & More...

(Photo credit: Studio08Denver)

The 2008 Democratic National Convention is history. TV wasn't the only place that you could find CNN. Tonight, I have video, audio, and print for you. Here are few clips from radio row:

From Talk Radio News Service, Elia Herman talked with CNN’s John King.

Re: Re: Convention Coverage PUBLIC Account
Interview with John King from CNN from Radio Row at the DNC08

Audio Only or Video is available from the Talk Radio News Service website.

This one is from 96.9 FM out of Boston with Michael Graham:

From KGO Newstalk Radio AM810, John King talks to Ronn Owens.

Tom Schaller of The American Prospect posted this article:

CNN television analyst John King took a break from live coverage from the floor of the Pepsi Arena in Denver to talk about the media effects of national party conventions.

People dismiss conventions as pageantry, but the party and candidate that gets the biggest polling bump tends to win. Is it an oversimplification to call them pageants?

It is an oversimplification. It’s obviously not like the old back-room wheeling and dealing, cigar-smoking days. But they are important, and this year I think they’re particularly important. In this hall there’s a bit of dysfunction within the Democratic family. About 40 percent of the people [delegates] on this floor voted for Sen. Clinton and a good deal of them don’t think she’s been treated with respect. ... And that makes Obama’s challenge a significant one.

Last time around Bush had the special stage on the final night, and now you have Barack Obama taking it over to Invesco Field for the final night. Is it overkill or is this just the next stage of maximizing the media value of conventions?

It’s not my job to make judgments but it is certainly an escalation of the drama. They want to show a huge event. They believe there is a new movement in American politics and they want to show it that way. The Republicans are trying to create this narrative of Obama as a celebrity, a rock star, and not a substantive politician. So it feeds into both narratives: The narrative the Obama want to create is that they are bringing new people and young people and others who left the process back into the process again, and Republicans will use it to say “this guy’s all talk and no substance.” So both parties will use that event to feed their narrative, and out in nine weeks we’ll find out who wins.

There are 15,000 credentialed media including unprecedented foreign press. Are you surprised by how much the rest of the world is paying attention to this election?

There’s enormous interest overseas. I’ve travelled a couple of times to overseas countries in the past year, including Iraq and some countries on the way back, interest in this election. ... Because I used to cover the White House I still talk to a lot of the diplomatic corps in Washington, and I still touch base with a lot of people on that beat. There’s an incredible interest in the election overseas, far more than I’ve seen in the past. It’s a hugely consequential election for a whole host of domestic issues, but also for a few, huge international questions -- whether that’s Iraq and Afghanistan, or U.S. relations with our allies in Europe.

We have two conventions, one featuring a candidate from the largest city in the Midwest at a convention in the Southwest, and the other featuring a candidate from the largest city in the Southwest at a convention in the Midwest. And these are the two swing regions. Does it matter where the conventions are held?

I think it helps. Is it decisive? Hard to say. But look, the electoral map is changing. That’s one of the things I play with on my [electronic] wall. ... The Mountain West is a huge battleground, and Democrats want to get regional press as well as national press.

That interactive thing you do on TV is pretty fascinating. How long did it take you to get comfortable with that technology?

I’m still learning every time because it’s an amazing piece of technology. …The first night I did it on television, I only practiced about eight minutes before I went on. It’s very user-friendly and very intuitive. We’ve put some new programs on it based on things I wanted, and Josh Braun, my producer, has done a great job with it. … It’s a great tool for explaining things that are very technical or involve a lot of statistics. I get stopped a lot and people ask me very specific questions about the campaign, and that tells me that the technology is making a difference.

Where Will The CNN Election Express Be?

9/1: Minnesota State Fair, 1265 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55108. Time: 10am - 9pm

9/2: University of Minnesota, On the lawn in between Coffman Memorial Union and Northrop Memorial Auditorium (Campus Quad) Minneapolis, MN 55455. Time: 11am - 5pm

9/3- 9/4: Mall of America, 5000 Center Ct, (Sears Court), Bloomington, MN 55425. Time: 10am - 9:30pm

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Star Gazing in Denver

So in the last four days the stars have been out in full force in Denver. In watching the coverage on CNN and Live, I have seen the likes of Susan Sarandon, Charles Barkley, Spike Lee, John Legend, Will.I. Am, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Hudson, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder, Deidra Hall (Days of our Lives) and many, many more. Live anchor Melissa Long secured an exclusive interview with Jennifer Lopez at the Democratic National Convention in Denver . You can see Melissa's interview with J.Lo below

I wanted to show a video that aired on CNN. It is a time lapsed video of the crews getting Invesco Field ready for Thursday night. It is quiet an interesting thing to see.

CNN, in conjunction with the Times Square Alliance, hosted a public viewing of Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) presidential nomination acceptance speech. The over 500 attendees watched the speech in Times Square – located at the corner of 47th Street and Broadway. Here are a few pictures courtesy of CNN and photographer Marvi Lacar.

Mario VanPeebles joins a crowd numbering in the hundreds in Times Square at the CNN Viewing Event.

And what a speech it was. Until next week ~ Sapphire

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

CBS's The Early Show with Erica Hill

All the focus this week has been on CNN and it's fabulous convention coverage. The ratings truly have been phenominal. But let's change it up a bit and take a little break from politics with a look at Erica Hill's new gig on CBS.
CNN's Erica Hill has been moonlighting for the last month or so on the Saturday's Early Show. After working the night shift at AC360 she manages to pull off perky at 5 AM the next morning. If she could bottle that energy she'd make a mint.
For those of you who don't have the opportunity to watch The Early Show we've clipped a few segments from Saturday, August 23rd's broadcast.
First up is the opening host banter, it's not as good as Anderson Cooper/Erica Hill banter but what is?

Erica did a one on one interview with Bob Schieffer, former anchor of the CBS Evening News and the anchor of Face the Nation since 1991 .

This segment takes a look at what Erica would have looked like in her yearbook pictures if she was born in a different decade. Erica got quite a kick out of her pictures.

We were so amused by the classroom pictures from the past that we went to and created a few of our own. Can you guess the CNN personality and the year we chose for their pictures? For the answers check comments.

The last clip in our Erica Hill tribute is the obligatory morning show fitness segment.

Special thanks to Sapphire for the Bob Schieffer clip. That's it for us this week. Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone! ~Phebe

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ratings At A Glance

Ratings for the week AUGUST 18, 2008 - AUGUST 22, 2008

Adults 25-54
FOX434,000 4
CNN202,667 3
Adults 25-54
CNN347,500 2
MSNBC203,000 1
Adults 25-54
CNN281,750 2
MSNBC205,750 1

There are many exceptions to this week's average ratings. FOX and CNN both had special programming during the week. But once the numbers were crunched, the averages for the regular programming left FOX at the top in all three prime time slots. HLN was not able to repeat their second finish in either the 8PM or 10PM hours.

Last week was the week for Presidential candidate profiles. FOX ran their profiles on Monday night (Obama) and Tuesday night (McCain) at 8PM. CNN ran their profiles on Wednesday night with Obama's starting at 8PM and McCain's starting at 9:30PM.

FOX's profiles won their time slots with 493,000 Adults 25-54 during the Obama profile and 569,000 Adults 25-54 during the McCain profile.

CNN's Revealed program on Wednesday night had 359,000 Adults 25-54 during the McCain 90 minute documentary and 566,000 Adults 25-54 during the Obama 90 minute documentary. CNN won the 10PM time compared to regular programming on the other networks.

This isn't very scientific, but FOX received higher ratings for the McCain profile while CNN received higher ratings for the Obama documentary. They aired on different days and different time slots, but the ratings difference doesn't surprise me.

1 4 day average. MSNBC Friday special programming excluded.

2 4 day average. CNN Wednesday Revealed documentaries excluded.

3 3 day average. CNN Wednesday Revealed documentaries excluded. Friday special programming excluded.

4 3 day average. FOX Monday & Tuesday candidate profiles excluded.

^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mile-high Party Begins

Well, the CNN=Politics extravaganza reaches a mile-high pinnacle today as the Democratic Convention begins in Denver. Of course The Best Political Team in Television is there, and they have prime seating right on the convention floor. (Although... please, delegates, stop with the waving and the "Hi Mom!" antics. Seriously. It's embarrassing. To you.)

It seems like every election is touted as "the most important election of our lifetime," and once again, this one is right up there. I've been a political junkie my whole life (I first handed out campaign brochures for a presidential election when I was 12) and even I have overdosed on all the political coverage CNN has given us this year -- especially when there wasn't enough to talk about and we got to listen to pundits discuss rumors, guesses, and things that other pundits had said -- but the conventions are truly the heart of American politics. 

And today, I will not argue that they have The Best Political Team in Television.

But it isn't just television. CNN also has the best political coverage online: the Ticker, the websites, the blogs, Facebook... if it happens anywhere, you can find out about it first on CNN. The early reveal of Senator Obama's running mate proves how good their connections are, and the gavel-to-gavel coverage of the conventions shows their commitment to the process. Of course, they also get to wind down afterwards...

So hats off to all the behind-the-scenes folks that made it all possible, and best of luck with the rest of the campaign season. Your hard work has been well worth it. Hits Billion Page Views
 as ‘Political Ticker’ Scores Record Day
As the Democratic National Convention kicks off,, the online gateway to the network’s up-to-the-minute political coverage, has garnered more than one billion page views since its launch less than a year ago. In the meantime, the CNN Political Ticker – the No. 1 political news blog according to Nielsen Online – reported its highest trafficked day ever on Friday, Aug. 22, with more than 2.7 million page views as users turned to the Ticker for the highly anticipated announcement of Sen. Barack Obama’s running mate. (Source: OmnitureSiteCatalyst, Global)

“The Internet has become an increasingly significant source of political news for consumers, especially during this latest battle for the White House,” said Manuel Perez, senior supervising producer for “Just as is where people go to find out what’s happening in their world, their communities and their lives, is where people go online to find out what’s happening in politics.” combines the newsgathering strength and analytical expertise of the Emmy Award-winning Best Political Team on Television with the vast resources of to create the Internet’s premier destination for political news and information. The highly trafficked political news gateway serves as the online destination for the latest news and information happening inside the Beltway and beyond, particularly along the campaign trail. Additionally, it features access to streaming live video from political events, interviews with top newsmakers, CNN’s comprehensive political video library, exclusive online reporting, user-generated content and feedback from the audience.

“The ratings success CNN is enjoying on television this election cycle is bolstered by the incredible traffic generated through,” said Alex Wellen, CNN’s deputy political director, digital content. “We’re proud to be the news organization people turn to for the latest political news, whether it’s on television, laptops or mobile phones.”

The Political Ticker, available via and at, has established a strong lead as the No. 1 political news blog on the Internet, generating more traffic than political blogs from MSNBC, The New York Times, ABC News and The Washington Post. (Source: Nielsen Online Custom Report Current Events and Global News Subcategory Blogs, June 2008 U.S. Home/Work Panel.) The Ticker provides users with a constant stream of political news – as it happens – from hundreds of CNN journalists, keeping users informed of the latest political news with dispatches 24 hours a day every day.

Also available via is the Election Center, which enables users to dig deeply into details about the candidates, their campaigns and their positions on the issues most important to voters and includes detailed coverage of debates, fund-raising and state-by-state analysis. The Election Center includes interactive political maps, poll graphics, and constant updates to CNN’s Electoral College Map. is the world's No. 1 destination for online and wireless news, garnering the greatest audience share among current events and global news sites. Launched in 1995, draws from the resources of CNN Worldwide and its many partners to provide consumers with the most enriching, immediate interaction with news anywhere, seamlessly combining articles, videos, images, interactive features and user-generated content.’s news video offering – both live and on-demand – is unparalleled on the Web.’s recent awards include an Edward R. Murrow award, a National Headliner award and three EPpy awards.

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and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Some Light Reading

John King CNN August 22, 2008

The Providence Journal has an article on John King. Below are a few highlights:

He’ll be CNN’s King of convention coverage By Bryan Rourke

King cut his political news teeth in Rhode Island.“I didn’t know much about the state when I got there, but I loved it,” said King by phone last week. “It was a great experience.”

King, 44, is now working his sixth presidential election, and he predicts that interest among the public this time around is high.

Achieving party unity will be the story of both conventions, says King, whose own story is one of hard work and good timing. It began in the fall of 1981. King, a native of Boston, matriculated into the University of Rhode Island. An older brother went to Boston College, an older sister to Boston University. King wanted to blaze a new trail.

“My rebellion brought me all the way to Rhode Island. It wasn’t much of a rebellion.”

Among other topics, King covered the Rhode Island State House, amidst a pack of Providence reporters.

John King CNN May 13, 2008

“I joke about this all the time that I worked in the shadow of a guy wearing suspenders, Charlie Bakst. Now I have Larry King in suspenders, so I feel very comfortable.”

One advantage a television broadcast of the conventions offers over a newspaper article about them, King said, is the ability to not just learn about the candidates, but to learn by listening to them.

“When you’re trying to get to know someone better, whether it’s a date or a business relation, it’s better to sit across a table than to exchange letters. It’s easier to get to know them by watching them.”

But print has its place, according to King, who hopes that people who watch CNN convention coverage will seek supplemental information from the network’s Web site.

In the midst of this past year’s political campaign coverage, King, who has two children from a previous marriage, married again, May 25 on Cape Cod to Dana Bash, a CNN reporter.

“We managed to get married in a presidential election year. I give us both points. And I give credit to our boss to help work things out.”

Managing their demanding jobs with their married lives, King said “adds complication. We know what we do. No one makes us do this. We both love our work.”

The brunt of this year’s work will subside after the first week of November. After that, King said, “I think there is a beach somewhere on our horizon.”

divider ribbon

Tom Foreman CNN Election Center August 11, 2008 from the Election Express Bus

Last week, Editor & Publisher posted an article announcing that the free Metro papers in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia would be running articles by various CNN correspondents for the next 12 weeks.

"Emmy award-winning correspondent Tom Foreman will be chief columnist and key political reporters such as Bill Schneider, John King, and Candy Crowley are anticipated to serve as guest contributors," a Metro release stated. "Metro and CNN International have an already established relationship in which 70 Metro editions on 4 continents have exclusive access to content produced by CNN for Metro. The deal today signifies Metro’s growth on the domestic front and strengthens Metro U.S.’s editorial coverage."

Adds Metro New York publisher Georg Tsaros: "Metro is delighted to be able to offer our readers CNN's unique insight into the election campaigns. As the country's leading provider of political news, analysis and comment, CNN is a perfect partner for Metro."

CNN’s senior vice president and Washington bureau chief David Bohrman added: “This is an election like no other and CNN continually looks for new ways to connect with its audience here in the United States and across the world. This partnership allows CNN to provide Metro’s extensive readership with our unrivaled coverage of U.S. politics and the 2008 presidential election.”

The first article, Foreman: Welcome to the surprise party, appeared in Friday's Metro:

Have you ever been at a party when unex­pected guests show up? Maybe it is an odd couple that the host does not even remember inviting, or out-of-town friends of some­one who is on the list. Worse: The ex-spouse of a current friend arrives on the arm of some new fling. No matter how it happens, the whole affair can suddenly get uncomfortably electric (like a poolside karaoke machine) because no one can fully predict what will become of the interlopers.

So if you notice a certain edginess to Democratic Party leaders as their convention roars to life in Denver, you might want to consider whether it is a case of “unexpected guest jitters.”

For months the media have been making noise about the success the Democrats are enjoying in registering new voters and drawing new faces to the polls. Barack Obama, arguably, would stand little or no chance of mounting the party’s medal platform right now without all those folks turning out over the past few months to validate his message of change. But the thing is, Washington does not like change much. Neither do the major political parties.

Sure, they approve of progress: steady, methodical, reliable and predictable. That kind of change can be measured, budgeted and eased onto the scene in a way that assures everyone gets a piece of the pie. But explosive change, like say the arrival of millions of people in the voting booths who are playing the game of politics for the first time, can make politicians jumpy.

The problem for Old Line Democrats is figuring out just who these people are. Everyone knows the Obama army tends to be young. We know many of them are frustrated with political failings in Washington. Many don’t like the Republican party, or at least not at the moment. But are they really Democrats? Are they really interested in the Party’s values, or just his?

That is the crux of it. Obama is now the standard-bearer for the Democrats. If he wins the White House, by default his party will be beholden to the voters who put him there. And while those voters may share some touchstones with traditional Democrats, they may also pull the party in a much more centrist, moderate direction, and that could make traditional Democrats squirm. Remember, the older Democrats voted for Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats want these newcomers playing on their team. But even some top Democratic strategists have told me for months they do not know quite what to make of them. And in whispered conversations in the convention hallways, the old guard is wondering if these unexpected guests might change the whole party. | Catch Tom Foreman on CNN every Saturday at 6 p.m. on This Week in Politics for a look back at the presidential campaign trail.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Georgia Update, International Style

This has been another crazy-busy week, so I thought I'd keep things simple and give a look at how the International coverage of the crisis in Georgia has been progressing all week.

On Sunday, the latest cease-fire/pullout announcement said that Russian troops would start leaving Georgia the next day. Michael Ware reported from Tbilisi:

By Tuesday, it was clear that yet another deadline had come and gone with no sign of actual troop movement:

Yesterday, though, things actually did seem to be happening. In three clips throughout Your World Today, Michael documented where troops were pulling back, where they weren't, the disputed "buffer zones" that Russia intends to put in place inside sovereign Georgian territory (and who's gonna stop them?), and finally some further details about rumored ethnic cleansing and internment camps:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Where in the World...?

SUNDAY: Candy Crowley was on Late Edition from Los Angeles, while John King was on the DC set; Jill Dougherty hosted GPS.

MONDAY: Zain Verjee was in Brussels, Belgium with the NSA; Morgan Neill (above) is back in Havana, and covered Hurricane Fay; Tom Foreman was on Marco Island, Florida covering Fay; Reza Sayah reported from Pakistan about the Musharraf resignation; Candy Crowley was in The Situation RoomRob Marciano co-hosted American Morning; Heidi Collins and Kyra Philips were both solo on their editions of Newsroom; Ali Velshi was off all week; Campbell Brown hosted AC360.

TUESDAY: John King was in The Situation Room and on AC360 to discuss the "Revealed" special; Campbell Brown hosted AC360.

WEDNESDAY: Suzanne Malveaux was on the set for American Morning to discuss the Veep guesses and "Revealed"; Zain Verjee was in Warsaw, Poland; John King hosted Ac360.

THURSDAY: Cal Perry was in Madrid to cover the plane crash; Candy Crowley was in Chicago; John King hosted Election Center and AC360.

FRIDAY: Carol Costello co-hosted American MorningJohn King, now in Denver for the convention coverage, hosted Election Center and AC360, which turned into a marathon assignment as news of Obama's VP choice leaked out.

Enjoy the weekend, and the closing ceremonies for the Olympics. See you Monday!

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Oil Oil Everywhere

Would you put bacteria excrement or fruit juice in the fuel tank of your car? With the spike of oil prices this year, we're starting to see more and more reports on alternative fuels. CNN recently aired a report from Miles O'Brien about E. coli bacteria that can produce diesel fuel.

Money doesn't grow on trees, but can oil? Susan Candiotti reported on jatropha which is a tree that grows pure diesel fuel.

It is exciting seeing alternatives to drilling or mining, but these new sources are years from making a significant difference in our dependence on traditional fuel sources.

And now, a few lighter clips from American Morning. First, is a story about a snake. John Roberts ends up having a hard time not being amused with the situation that one weatherman finds himself in.

Next, is a clip with Ali Velshi and John Roberts talking about an invisibility cloak.

CNN Election Express Yourself Bus August & September 2008

You never know who you might find on the CNN Election Express and it is going to be busy from now until the General Election in November. Here are a few of the scheduled locations where you can find the bus over the next couple of weeks.

Convention Locations


August 26, 2008 Time: 11am-5pm
University of Colorado-Boulder, UMC Fountain, Boulder, CO 80302

August 27 - 28, 2008 Time: 11am - 9pm
Downtown Denver, Corner of 15th St and Welton St, (in parking lot, between Hyatt and 16th Street Mall) Denver, CO 80202


September 1, 2008 Time: 10am - 9pm
Minnesota State Fair, 1265 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55108

September 2, 2008 Time: 11am - 5pm
University of Minnesota, On the lawn in between Coffman Memorial Union and Northrop Memorial Auditorium (Campus Quad) Minneapolis, MN 55455

September 3 - 4, 2008 Time: 10am - 9:30pm
Mall of America, 5000 Center Ct, (Sears Court), Bloomington, MN 55425

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Are You Ready For A (Democratic) Convention???

CNN has pulled out all the stops in preparation for the conventions and the November elections. Chris Daughtry has rerecorded "Feels Like the First Time" as the theme song for CNN's The League of First Time Voters initiative. The single will appear on Daughtry Deluxe, the band's upcoming deluxe version of its debut album, due out Tuesday, Sept. 9. Here's the video:

Can you believe we have actually made it to the first of the two presidential conventions? It has been a long 19 months but CNN has been covering the story from all the angles since the beginning.

CNN is getting ready for the Democratic National Convention next week from Denver, Colorado.

Convention kickoff on CNN Domestic – Saturday and Sunday at 8:00PM EST

Democratic National Convention programming for the week of Aug. 25:
* A special convention edition of American Morning with John Roberts and Kiran Chetry will air Monday, Aug. 25 through Friday, Aug. 29 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
* A special edition of CNN Newsroom from 9 a.m. to noon will feature anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien and extended segments and frequent live shots from the convention site.
* For the noon hour, CNN will feature Soledad O’Brien and anchors Gerri Willis and Ali Velshi live from New York’s Election Center with guests and panel discussions live from CNN’s Grill. The hour will have a convention-focused theme with the role of the economy and other pocketbook issues in the election.
* CNN Newsroom will return from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with Soledad O’Brien leading CNN’s special convention coverage.
* Beginning at 4 p.m., lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer will anchor The Situation Room from the convention floor. Each day, the convention will gavel to order while The Situation Room is in progress and offering the first look at that day’s activities.
* CNN will move into its primetime convention coverage beginning at approximately 6 p.m. Anchor Anderson Cooper, senior political analyst Gloria Borger, and chief national correspondent John King, along with the “magic wall,” will join Blitzer on CNN’s floor set in the Pepsi Center. The coverage will extend late into the night and lead into a special midnight edition of Larry King Live.
* On the final evening, CNN will relocate its political team and resources to Invesco Field at Mile High, where Sen. Obama is expected to accept his party’s nomination.
* Throughout the day and evening, CNN’s political team will offer the latest news and thoughtful analysis. Correspondents include Dana Bash, Candy Crowley, Joe Johns, Suzanne Malveaux, Bill Schneider and Jessica Yellin.

CNN Grills
CNN Worldwide returns to the convention scene in 2008 with the “CNN Grill,” providing both Democrats and Republicans with a distinct venue to mix good food and lively political debate. The CNN Grills take a cue from the immensely successful “CNN Diner” at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City.

The CNN Grill will be open for the duration of both the Democratic National Convention in Denver from Monday, Aug. 25, through Thursday, Aug. 28, In Denver, the CNN Grill will take over Brooklyn’s restaurant located adjacent to the Pepsi Center; Situated immediately adjacent to the delegate entrances at both conventions, the CNN Grills will serve as additional broadcast centers that bring newsmakers and the media together to participate in CNN live broadcasts both on-air and online at and mingle with CNN guests. The Grills will be open each convention day for CNN hospitality and invited guests starting at 3 p.m. (MT) in Denver.

“All across the country, places where people gather for good food and lively conversation are top destinations for campaigners, so we wanted to bring that experience directly to both conventions,” said Scot Safon, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for CNN Worldwide. “Between the live CNN political team coverage and the great food, we expect the CNN Grills – as the CNN Diner was four years ago in New York City – to be must-visit destinations for convention-goers.”

The brick exterior of the CNN Grill in Denver will display an array of painted quotes about politics. Editors at asked users to submit – in 10 words or less – what “politics” means to them. The political expressions that will appear on the Grill wall were selected from hundreds of submissions from across the country.

CNN pioneered the concept behind the CNN Grills in 2004 with the CNN Diner, which was located at the Tick Tock Diner. The campaign was honored in 2005 with PROMO magazine’s PRO Award in the “Best Use of Event Marketing” category

So if you are in the Denver area and get the opportunity to attend any of the events, let us know your firsthand accounts. Oh and if you see Bill Schneider, tell him Ms. Sapphire loves his hat!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rob, BIA, iReports and some Bday news

Back in June Book Asylum posted a snippet of the interview that Rob Marciano did with VMan Magazine. It's really not a magazine that most of us were familiar with, but the article was great and the pictures of Rob very GQ.

The ladies of American Morning could not resist a bit of good natured teasing while Rob was filing in for John Roberts last week. Enjoy!

If you want to read Rob's q & a with VMan just follow the link.

Amazon is taking preorders for CNN's Black in America DVD, due for release on August 26.

And from the CNN Pressroom:
CNN Celebrates Second Anniversary of iReport, More than 175,000 Contributions

Two years after inviting CNN’s global audience to contribute pictures and video of the news of the day, the network’s hugely successful iReport initiative has brought in more than 175,000 videos and photos in its history, nearly 125,000 coming within the second year alone.
“With iReport, CNN wanted to engage viewers who have a desire to follow and participate in the news, and our iReporters have exceeded our expectations in both the quality and quantity of their submissions over the last two years,” said Susan Grant, executive vice president of CNN News Services. “Sometimes the iReports we receive are first images of breaking news and often exhibit powerful points of view on issues or news events. But every day our iReporters show an enthusiasm for and pride in the community they have created.”

Congratulations to the team on the success of iReport!

And I leave you for this week with belated birthday wishes to two members of the CNN family.

Happy Belated Birthday (Tuesday) to one of ATC's hottest CNN anchors, TJ Homes.

Happy Belated Birthday (Wednesday) to CNNi's Robin Oakley.

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