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Monday, August 31, 2009

Odds & Ends Monday

Photo Credit: David Joles, Star Tribune

Cyn has the night off, so I'm afraid that you're stuck with an odds and ends post from me. There always seem to be things that I come across that just don't make it into my latest post and eventually the opportunity arises to put together a mixed bag post of articles and videos.

First, is an article from the Star Tribune that mentions Minnesota native, Poppy Harlow.

The TV reporters covering Wall Street's meltdown are generating their own heat.

Three years ago, Rebecca Jarvis was best known as a finalist on "The Apprentice." Poppy Harlow could be found interviewing celebrities at movie premieres. Today, the two Minnesotans operate from the front lines of the biggest story in the world. They're financial reporters caught up in one of TV's most compelling dramas, with ratings climbing at double-digit rates, and young, relatively green journalists becoming the equivalent of the Gulf War's "scud studs."

"It's the biggest story of my life," said CNN's Harlow. "I'm aware of it every day and every night."

Check out the Star Tribune for the full article: The TV reporters covering Wall Street's meltdown are generating their own heat.

Harlow recently spoke with BeetTV about online reporting: Online Video Gives News Reporters More Flexiblity and Time


CNN International's Kristie Lu Stout did a story about Shark Soup as part of the Going Green series.

First off, yes -- I've eaten the fin. Being half-Chinese, I grew up eating shark fin soup at special family functions. At the time, I didn't know about the brutal practice of "shark finning" or the impact it had on the environment.

Today, I stay away from the dish. But I'm also aware of the cultural stigma of saying "no" when it's served at a Chinese wedding. Thankfully, there's a compromise out there -- imitation shark fin soup. I go to Hong Kong's Kin's Kitchen to try it out.

The rest of the article is available on

The first video clip is a report on the issues surrounding the soup.

The second video clip is her Reporter's Notebook on the shark fin free version of the soup.

Tom Foreman CNN = Politics Metro

Here are the latest columns written by Tom Foreman that have appeared in the Philadelphia Metro:

The president is expecting

The first time I ever went out on a real date it was marvelous. She was lovely and nice, with long brown hair, and a beautiful smile. We held hands and laughed, and briefly made out in her driveway until I inadvertently let the clutch go and the Biscayne lurched backward into the street scaring the life out of both of us.

Like I said, it was a great experience. And it was also a huge mistake. Because Jera (that was her name ... no kidding) had wanted to go out with me for weeks, an anomaly of dating that I’d never experienced before and that I would meet precious few times in the future. She thought I was the nazz. The bee’s knees. Cool with a capital Q. When in truth, I was a skinny guy with glasses, an acne-constellation of Orion across my face, a forehead that excreted oil like a canola processing plant, and the fashion sense of a color-blind octogenarian.

In short, her expectations were far too high.

... for the rest of the article: The president is expecting

Fundamentally not fun in office

Less than a year ago, John McCain uttered seven words that proved disastrous to his presidential dreams: “The fundamentals of our economy are sound.” September 2008. Wall Street was in freefall. The housing market was reeling. Massive companies were trembling card houses in the teeth of a gale. Unemployment was climbing like a cat on the curtains. McCain looked out of touch and Barack Obama pounced.

For too many voters, McCain’s gaffe was a political infield fly. “We can see that things are collapsing. Don’t try to tell us they are not.” The first George Bush lost to Bill Clinton the same way: trying to tell voters that the economy was fine when they knew otherwise.

... for the rest of the article: Fundamentally not fun in office

Message in a bottle

Listen to one of the most impassioned speeches for health care reform: “We must not surrender to the relentless medical inflation that can bankrupt almost anyone and that may soon break the budgets of government at every level. Let us insist on real controls over what doctors and hospital can charge, and let us resolve that the state of a family’s health shall never depend on the size of a family’s wealth.”

The speaker goes on to say, as we’ve all heard by now, that the president, vice president and members of Congress already have a generous public health care plan, and regular Americans deserve the same. It was a great speech for President Obama. Only he did not deliver it. It wasn’t even made this year. Those words were part of Ted Kennedy’s address to the Democratic Convention, in his failed presidential bid, almost 30 years ago.

... for the rest of the article: Message in a bottle

And finally, Jeanne Moos recently reported on, a site that allows TV News Anchors and journalists to sell clothes that they no longer want, need, or have been told not to wear again. She visited Kiran Chetry's closet for examples of items that could end up at a site like this.

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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

State of the Union August 30, 2009

John King was back in DC this morning for State of the Union. The first guests on the program were Senator Orrin Hatch (R) and Senator Christopher Dodd (D). They shared their reflections on friend and Senate colleague Senator Edward M. Kennedy. They also discussed the health care legislation that is trying to work its way through Congress.

Kennedy 'expected more of us' on health care, Dodd says

After the commercial break, Senator Maria Cantwell replaced Senator Dodd on the panel. The discussion about Senator Kennedy and health care reform continued.

Public option not likely to pass in the Senate, Hatch says

The discussion then moved to the CIA investigation that the Attorney General's office has started.

Dem on CIA probe: 'No one is above the law'

King spoke with Justice Stephen Breyer at Kennedy's Memorial service in Boston.

While in Boston this week, King also spoke with Thomas P. O'Neill III (son of the former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill).

In the American Dispatch, King spoke with Larry Lucchino, Pres & CEO of the Boston Red Sox about Senator Kennedy's love of the baseball team. King even got to take batting practice while he was at Fenway.

Reliable Sources started at 10AM with Howard Kurtz. The first segment was on the coverage of Senator Kennedy's passing and whether the press' coverage was fair. Joe Klein, Emily Rooney, David Broder, and Tom Oliphant talked about their experiences both personal and covering the Senator.

Reliable Sources: Journos reflect on Kennedy and the press

Kurtz interviewed NPR's Kurt Andersen about his new book, Reset: How This Crisis Can Restore Our Values and Renew America, that looks at the media's coverage of the economy, state of journalism, and the American culture. Random House has an excerpt of the book on their website.

Next, Kurtz interviewed Steve Brill about online news sites charging for their content. Brill's latest business venture is to allow multiple news sources to offer the pay for access content through a common user account.

During the handoff between Kurtz and King, King congratulated Kurtz on the birth of his daughter.

The 11AM hour: bring on the pundits and the Sounds of Sunday.

James Carville and Mary Matalin joined King in the DC studio. They talked about the investigation of CIA interrogation tactics, the possibility of Vicki Kennedy filling her late husband's Senate seat on an interim basis, and New Orleans four years after Katrina.

I'm 'slightly miffed' at Obama, Carville says

Earlier this week, King was in Oklahoma City and stopped in to Earl's Rib Palace to tape the CNN Diner segment. He spoke with Tony Miller, Chris Kennedy, and Wendi Determann.

The next panel discussion included Gloria Borger, Dana Bash, and Dan Lothian (from Martha's Vineyard). The topics included the Attorney General's investigation of the CIA, health care debate, and Senator Kennedy's funeral.

The noon hour brought the repeat of the first hour of the program. 32 minutes into the hour, King showed an touching interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

The Last Word this week went to Senator Mary Landrieu (D). King asked her about whether she could support health care legislation that contained a public option. King also asked her about the state of Louisiana four years after Katrina.

'I would tend not to' support the public option, says Landrieu

Here are the links to this week's podcasts:

A few extras this week...

David Zurawik who writes for the Baltimore Sun and is a frequent guest on Reliable Sources has a column about the coverage of Senator Kennedy's funeral mass praising John King's reporting.

Another interesting article that mentions CNN was by Politico's Michael Calderone. He talks about the news media's practice of keeping a collection of preprepared obituaries on hand for well known individuals. A few years ago, CNN was caught testing a few of these on their website. The full article is available on Politico: NYT has 1,200 obits ready.

And one last item... I came across a profile of Howard Kurtz by Garrett M. Graff. The article is titled Fast Howie.

In an age when just about anyone can be a media critic, one fish is still the biggest in the pond. It’s why Howard Kurtz got a voice mail on May 26, 2003, saying, “This is Rick Bragg. I’m ready to talk.”

Bragg, a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times writer, had been watching his star career unravel amid charges that he’d violated the Times reporting standards. Now he’d been suspended for two weeks. He’d called around and asked one media heavyweight after another: “Who should I talk to?” The answer: Howie Kurtz.

The message came just as Kurtz and his new bride—his second—were flying home from California the day after their wedding. He’d already spent a day before the wedding on a pay-by-the-hour computer at Kinko’s writing not one but two articles while his soon-to-be-wife finished last-minute preparations. Then he reported on the Jayson Blair scandal from the wedding reception. Bride Sheri Annis might have been the new love of Kurtz’s life, but he’d been wed to reporting for much longer.

... the entire article is available: Fast Howie.

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

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday's Scoop

David Gergen is writing a new book about presidential transitions and what happens when a new administration is elected into office. Click here for the full article from the New York Observer.

Publishers Weekly posted an interview they did with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. In it they discuss his book , the healthcare system, his decision to withdraw his name from the Surgeon General position and which was better People Magazine listing you as one of the sexiest men alive or getting the journalist of the year award. Click here for the interview.

American Morning Producer Stephen Samaniego was written about in TVNewser this week for his efforts in saving a fellow surfer off of Rockaway Beach in Queens, NY. Here is the article.

Congratulations to Howie Lutt, Senior Director for The Situation Room, and Lydia Garlikov, Producer who were married last Saturday. Wolf Blitzer and other members of the Situation Room team were in attendance at the wedding. Here's the article from Mediabistro.

Home and Design published an article on Candy Crowley's home in Bethesda, MD. The article talks about some of the mementos she keeps in the house and all the remodeling that's been done. Click here for the article. Thanks to Phebe for the find!

Twitter Pictures

@KyraCNN in a morning meeting posted by @CarrieCNN

@sanjayguptaCNN preparing for his live shot from Ireland posted by @Danielle CNN

@sanjaygupta CNN interviewing Nike CEO Mark Parker in Dublin posted by @DanielleCNN

@sanjayguptaCNN speaking with @lancearmstrong at the Global Cancer Summit. This was also posted by @DanielleCNN

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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Educating the Future

Cal Perry had a piece on this morning about a mentoring program for young girls who have been displaced due to the fighting in the Swat Valley region of Pakistan. A group of college-age women of Pakistani descent have spent the summer in a makeshift school for some of these girls:

Also this morning, Atia Abawi gave the latest update on the results from the Afghan election:

Here's something to make your blood boil... an update on the PR firm that recommends to the Pentagon whether reporters should get an embed with American troops based on how many "good news" stories they have produced in the past. Jeeze, I thought that mindset went out the door with the previous administration. Kyra Phillips made it her "What the...?" report:

Matthew Chance reported Tuesday on the serious alcoholism problem in Russia. Really startling stuff, even if you think you already knew about it:

Finally, Richard Quest from the Brooklyn promenade. He senses a scintilla of hope returning to our economic mindset:

That's it for me this week. Next week I will be coming to you from sunny Los Angeles, moving back 'home' after a four-year absence! Must get back to packing boxes -- the movers will be here in the morning!!

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Out of the Box--Tedi B style!

Hi everyone! This is Tedi B. You normally see me over at All Things Anderson on occasion but I've been 'hired' to take over for the departing Sapphire. I'll be keeping you up to date on what CNNers are doing outside of CNN. This week we've got a couple of interesting things going on....

TJ Holmes Becoming An Actor??

Well, not exactly, but he is lending his voice to a character in new animated film for BET. According to the blog, Favorite Media, he will play Lusafo, a leader of a village of bullies. Sounds like a far cry from TJ himself! Here's a small clip from YouTube...

Auction Off Christiane Amanpour? But CNN Needs Her.

You could win a chance to meet Ms. Amanpour and also benefit the National Press Club's scholarship program! For more info check our the video.

Ali Velshi & the Mouth of the South (James Carville) Together at Last!

Both will speak at the Mississippi State University Leadership Summit Sept. 29/30. Mr. Carville's wife, Mary Matalin will also be speaking. More info check out the MSU site.

David Gergen Advices More Than Just Presidents, You Know

Mr. Gergen will be the keynote speaker for the Catholic Charities annual convention in Oregon. Held from Sept. 23-26, will focus on "The Journey to Reduce Poverty". For more information please check out the complete article about the event HERE.

Well, that's it for me today! Have a great week and I'll see you back here next Wednesday.

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ratings for the Week of August 17, 2009

Ratings for the week August 17, 2009 - August 21, 2009

Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54

Last week's ratings in the Adults 25 - 54 demographic didn't have a lot of surprises. FOX dominated all prime time slots for all five days.

At 8PM, MSNBC came in second, HLN took third, and CNN followed behind in fourth. All three networks were consistent in their rankings for all five nights.

At 9PM, MSNBC comes in second place for the week after four nights in second place. CNN comes in third place after coming in third four nights out five. HLN was consistently fourth in the ratings.

The 10PM hour is almost an exact repeat of the 9PM hour. MSNBC comes in second place after coming in second four nights out of five. CNN finds themselves in third place after three nights in third place and two nights in second place. HLN came in fourth place after coming in fourth four times and third place once. Now, if you're paying attention, you may be wondering how MSNBC came in second place four nights out of five and CNN came in second place two nights out of five- you're probably thinking that I can't count. No, the reason is that on Friday night, both networks had the same Adults 25 - 54 demographic numbers for the hour.

^ 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 24, 2009


Phil Black is in Greece to report on the wildfires that have been burning around Athens:

A second report from Phil on the aftermath of the fires:

Friday Arwa Damon reported from the scene of the massive truck bomb that was detonated outside the Finance Ministry headquarters two days earlier:

Saturday marked the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and Arwa reported on the significance of the observations:

Cal Perry had a report Sunday about the explosive vests found by the Pakistani security forces, which included an interview with the Interior Minister:

Monday morning Cal reported on further arrests of terror cell suspects in Karachi:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Where in the World...?

MONDAY: Cal Perry is still in Islamabad; Ed Henry was in Phoenix; Rob Marciano and Kyra Phillips were both in New York City. Betty Nguyen was in for Heidi Collins.

TUESDAY: Peter Bergen was in Washington. Rick Sanchez was in for Heidi; Drew Griffin was in for Tony Harris.

WEDNESDAY: Ivan Watson was in the Bamiyan region of Afghanistan (above). Don Lemon was in for Heidi; Drew was in for Tony; Suzanne Malveaux was in for Wolf Blitzer.

THURSDAY: Don was in for Heidi; Drew was in for Tony.

FRIDAY: Rob was in Bowling Green, Ohio. Betty was in for Heidi; Kitty Pilgrim was in for Lou Dobbs.

SATURDAY: Drew was in for Fredricka Whitfield.

SUNDAY: Sanjay Gupta arrived in Dublin.

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

Sunday, August 23, 2009

State of the Union August 23, 2009

State of the Union with John King started off this morning with a discussion with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen and The US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry (Ret.). The discussion focused on the recent election in Afghanistan (results from the election have not been determined); US troop levels in Afghanistan; whether or not the public understands the mission in Afghanistan; fighting drug production and replacing it with food crops; troop levels in Iraq (can the decrease in troops continue?); and the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

Next, King spoke live with three Senators: Sen. Richard Lugar (R), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), and Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D) in the DC Studio. The Senators were asked about the impact the release of the Lockerbie bomber will have on the US relations with Libya (which had been on the path of improvement); and the war in Afghanistan: what are the objectives? what are the appropriate troop levels? how long will we be there?

King then asked the panel about health care reform.

And finally, King asked Lieberman about a quote from Alec Baldwin that was in the July/August issue of Playboy magazine.

King stayed focus on the military with his America Dispatch this week. He visited Fort Riley to talk to the families that have members serving overseas.

At 10AM, it was time for Howard Kurtz and Reliable Sources. Kurtz spoke with Steve Kroft and Jeff Fager about the passing of Don Hewitt.

Next, Kurtz spoke with Jeff Jarvis. If you're a frequent reader of Buzz Machine then you're already familiar with Jarvis' announcement earlier this month that he has prostate cancer. Kurtz questioned him about his decision to be very public about his diagnosis and treatment options.

Kurtz' next panel included Anne Kornblut, David Frum, and Clarence Page. They talked about the White House blaming the press' coverage as well as O'Reilly versus Stewart in comments made about the town hall meeting protesters.

George Gombossy, a former reporter for the Hartford Courant, who says that he was fired because he did a negative story about an advertiser talked wtih Kurtz.

The final two segments focused on the career of Robert Novak, who passed away earlier this week and Jayson Blair's new career as a life coach.

Back to John King for the Sound of Sunday and bring in the pundits...

The first panel of the hour included Donna Brazile and Bill Bennett to discuss the release of the Lockerbie bomber; the war in Afghanistan; health care reform; and Bob Novak.

The CNN Diner segment was from Junction City, Kansas. King talked with Denise Ott, Buz Bruzina, and Bill Speer at Stacy's Restaurant.

Ed Henry, Jessica Yellin, and Dana Bash joined King in the studio for the final panel discussion of the hour. The topics that they covered this morning included: the Lockerbie bomber release, the war in Afghanistan, and health care legislation. The Lightening Round was all about wee-wee and Playboy...

That brings us to the 12PM hour and a repeat of a large portion of the first hour of the program. 44 minutes later, live programming resumed with The Last Word. This week, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D) was the last guest of the morning and the interview focused on health care reform.

Here's John King's behind the scenes video for this week:

And finally, here are your links to this week's podcasts:

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

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday Scoop

Jeffrey Toobin has an article in The New Yorker this week titled "The Wrong Guys". Click here for the article.

KC Confidential has an article on Ali Velshi and his road trip with the CNN Express. Click here for the article.

Howard Kurtz has an article in The Washington Post about Robert Novak called "The Heart of the 'Prince of Darkness'".

Dana Bash was mentioned in's Blogger Beat: Capital Hill Style article. Here's a link to the full article.
"Top style mavens on the Hill: 'Dana Bash always looks great. And Congresswoman Jane Harman is an inspiration. I would love to raid her closet.'"

TVNewser has an article on Michael Ware on what it's like being a war correspondent and how it feels to be in Brooklyn.

VanityFair has an article on Larry King titled "Mourning with Larry" and talks about how during the month of June Larry became "America's grief counselor." Click here for the article.

Twitter Pictures:

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