Insider Round-Ups: How To Fix Fox, Stephanopoulos Stays At This Week and D.C. Loves Zero Dark Thirty

It’s hard to figure out what’s worth your time with all the first reads, politico blasts and tweets that race by before your third coffee of the morning. So let us provide some curation to your otherwise blur of a morning before your second conference call.

  • Ana Marie Cox thinks less work for Rove at Fox is more of a “promotion” than a network reorganization.
  • TV Newser has George Stephanopoulos at ABC’s This Week through 2013.
  • The D.C. Metro area film critics love Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty (and The Master!)
  • Buzzfeed speaks to a Cory Booker backer betting big–to hell with alliteration–for a 2016 run.
  • Politico reports:South Carolina demands the good Dr. Stephen T. Colbert.
  • NPR lays out the differences in President Obama‘s second inauguration.
  • That should get you through at least your first lunch-that-gets-turned-into-a-coffee-break.

    WHCA Dinner Red Carpet Duo

    Move over Ryan Seacrest, ABC News’ Rick Klein and GQ’s Ana Marie Cox had the red carpet covered at the Washington Hilton for the 2010 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Check out the dynamic duo on as they talked to folks from WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to Senator Scott Brown to Academy Award winning director Kathryn Bigelow.

    Grove Attacks WH Press Corps: The View from Michael’s

    Former Washingtonian and Washington Post reporter Lloyd Grove has picked up the attack against White House correspondents launched by Ana Marie Cox last year.  Ana Marie, did you spend anytime with Lloyd at Michael’s when you visited your new GQ editors in NYC? Grove’s Daily Beast blog recently harrumphed against the hardworking, hard tweeting members of the most exclusive club in Washington journalism – the ones who report to work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    While I enjoy Michael’s like the next media maven, what’s so wrong with covering the leader of the free world 30 feet from his office and home? Grove’s complaint about Robert Gibbs tweeting reminds of when we began putting Ross Perot and President Bush and a former governor by the name of Bill Clinton on Larry King Live in 1992.  Our newsroom colleagues lamented the end of journalism, but social media didn’t just start on the Internet; interactivity has always been an important part of journalism.

    Ask Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s communications director, how much his press shop likes responding to the five reporters who call with follows on each White House reporters’ tweet.  Take a quick look at the stories and interviews done by NBC’s Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie as well as ABC’s Jake Tapper; you want them to pull back and tweet from Café Milano?

    Tell WHC Insider what you think after reading Lloyd Grove’s column.

    RTCA Evening Picked up the Pace at MSNBC's Neon After-Party

    By Neil Grace and Catherine Hill

    MSNBC threw a memorable Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner after-party that stood apart from parties past.  Held directly across the street from the main event at the Washington Convention Center, MSNBC turned the traditionally staid Historical Society of Washington, D.C. into a brightly-lit fete of themed cocktails, glowing neon necklaces and comfort food.

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    As guests walked down the blue carpet entrance, we asked them the question of the night: are you a nerd or a jock? Politico’s Mike Allen said he was “all of the above!” and Patrick Gavin thought he was a hybrid of the two.  NBC’s Andrea Mitchell exclaimed she was a “total jock.” John “I’m a PC” Hodgman discussed the modern cultural divide at length during the dinner.

    Inside the party, the scene downstairs included a Starbucks-sponsored coffee bar where guests ate ice cream sundaes and desserts.  From the main bar, guests walked outside to a large outdoor patio, where dance music had the party-goers on their feet for “Don’t Stop Believing.”  Faces and heads glowed in the light of neon necklaces and headbands.

    Upstairs, special guest bartender Rachel Maddow was mixing up cocktails at her heavily-branded “Rachel Maddow’s Bar”– complete with MSNBC napkins and “Rachel’s Bar” menus.  Maddow’s signature cocktail was listed as a Hearst: a mix of gin, sweet vermouth and bitters (though she told us she actually served more of her cava drink, “Airmail” which mixed rum, fresh lime juice, honey and the bubbly cava on top).  Afterwards, Maddow relinquished her bar duties to catch up with Ana Marie Cox and John Hodgman.

    Later in the night passed treats included mini-pancakes and mini-ham, bacon and cheese croissants.  As the bars began to close, guests went out back. Among the last to leave at 3:00 a.m. were MSNBC Morning Joe’s Willie Geist, Luke Russert and many of the cable network’s junior staffers.

    Media heavy-hitters spotted at the party: Steve Capus, Tamron Hall, Norah O’Donnell, Contessa Brewer with Matt Ackland, Joe Scarborough with Mika Brzezinski, David Shuster, Carlos Watson, Chris Matthews, Lynn Sweet, Margaret Carlson, and Eugene Robinson.

    Politicos rounded out the guest list, including Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Obama economic adviser Larry Summers, as well as Hilary Rosen, Alex Castellanos, Brad Dayspring, and Kevin Madden.

    Basic Black and a Cool Eye for the WHC After-Parties

    cox-on-top-thumbThe original Wonkette Ana Marie Cox, now of the TheDailyBeast and Air America and author of a provocative piece about the White House press corps, talks with ABCNews’ Web anchor and noted author Rick Klein about what to wear for Saturday night’s WHCD and handicaps chances of getting into different after parties.

    Access: Obama White House v. Bush — No Diff

    In Part 2 of our interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper and The Examiner’s Julie Mason, the White House correspondents tell WHCInsider that the Obama administration’s Briefing Room is not much different than when President Bush was in office.

    It’s a “different vibe,” said Mason, “but in terms of the access we get and the information, it’s very much the same.” Tapper said the Obama White House is an improvement over the Obama campaign – staffers can’t “dodge” reporters so easily: “[They’re] much more accessible here, because they’re right here as opposed to on the phone.”

    Does that mean Ana Marie Cox got it wrong, when she said White House correspondents are not necessary?

    “Has Ana Marie Cox ever covered the White House,” asked Mason. “I’m not sure what her credentials are … she was there for the dog story.”

    “Having a vigilant press corps in that room is definitely necessary,” Tapper added diplomatically. “I didn’t find her piece particularly persuasive.”

    A-List Journos Back WH Press Corps

    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.

    New White House Correspondent Chuck Todd Says Ana Marie Cox is Wrong About Getting Rid of White House Correspondents

    NBC WH Correspondent Chuck Todd

    NBC WH Correspondent Chuck Todd

    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.

    Chuck Todd

    Chuck Todd

    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…]