Morning Reading List, 06.18.08

The above graphic comes from commemorative t-shirts made in Tim Russert’s honor. More here.

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Good morning Washington.

We’ve got your morning mix of media Muesli after the jump…

Yesterday’s buildings were on the cover of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, what The Hill’s Michael O’Brien calls “maybe one of the finest albums of the past decade.” Among those who guessed correctly — Jon Meyers, Carrie Foster, Moira Bagley, Associate Press Secretary, Republican National Committee, Scott Galupo, former Romney spokesperson Kevin Madden, Elizabeth Cronen, Sarah Bayer, Adam Rawnsley, Washington Post’s Alexander Baldinger, Shawn Westfall, CQ’s Joe Warminsky and Andrew Satter, Dan Katz, Chief of Staff, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, Matthew J. Focht, Esq., Gleason, Flynn, Emig & Fogleman Chartered, John C. Midyette, Matthew Miller, Communications Director, DSCC, Beth Renaldi, Editor, LoyolaPress, Darrien Jackson, Jack Zimmerman, Clear Channel Worldwide, Matthew Kirst, John Taylor, Washington Times, Pete Welsch, Washington Examiner’s Jeff Dufour, American’s Jon Hussey, Bert Caradine, CDW and Edelman’s Craig Brownstein.

It’s the birthday of Jeremy Bronson, Paul McCartney, Roger Ebert, Mike Johanns and Jay Rockefeller.

Thanks to everyone (all 3,000 emails…no kidding) who wrote in with suggestions for the next “Meet” host.

Meet The Press’s website features a tribute: “Remembering Tim Russert”

TVNewser has “Remembering Russert: Factor Tribute” and “Remembering Russert: Rick Sanchez’s Tribute

Annie Wagner at The Slog writes, “I’m not betting a cent on it, but it should really be Gwen Ifill. David Gregory would be all right, but Ifill has both an inquisitional style and a likeable, distinctive personality. And she’s really smart. She’d be perfect. If it’s Chris Matthews or Katie Couric, I’m never watching Meet the Press again. (Yes, I know Washington Week sucks, but that’s mostly because of the stupid convention in which reporters are expected to quiz each other. It’s stilted, but it’s not Ifill’s fault.)”

AP’s David Bauder writes, “Still reeling from Tim Russert’s death, NBC News must now contemplate replacing the man who not only dominated the Sunday morning talk shows, but served as chief political commentator and ran the Washington bureau. … NBC has potential successors to Russert on ‘Meet the Press’ already within the company. The decision has big financial implications, since the show reportedly earns more than $60 million a year in profits with relatively few expenses and often has a waiting list of potential advertisers. A wrong move can provide an opportunity to ABC News’ ‘This Week’ and George Stephanopoulos, which has averaged 2.8 million viewers this year. That’s second to NBC’s 4.17 million, with both networks up from last year during a period of heavy political attention.”

TVNewser Columnist Gail Shister writes, “Remembering Russert: From Buffalo to Big Time”

The Huffington Post reports, “James Carville, Mary Matalin Break Down On Set Over Tim Russert’s Death”

Debra J. Saunders writes, “If folks in the news business wonder why the public hates us, they should look to the orgy of coverage over the untimely death of NBC TV’s Tim Russert.”

Referring to Russert, Huffington Post’s Rachel Sklar writes, “Last week, I’d meant to expand on it for a top five or ten happiest people, running down the players who always seemed to be relishing their part in this historic campaign season. As always, the non-news-hook post got pushed down the list, and I figured I’d get to it next week. It would wait. As it turned out, it would not.”

TVBarn’s Aaron Barnhart writes, “Tim Russert’s passing was unwanted and unfortunate, but in at least one respect its timing was impeccable. Russert had his fatal heart attack on a Friday, at the end of a slow political news week, on the second least-watched day of television and the day before the least-watched day of the week. Furthermore, his passing occurred in the middle of June, after the primary season had ended and after the television season had ended. In short, it was a perfect time to observe his life and record his death on TV, because there was nothing much of importance to pre-empt.”

David Ledford writes to colleagues, “Our colleagues in Iowa need help from the tornados and devastating floods that have savaged the prairie. … More than 38,000 have been forced to evacuate, including journalists at The Gazette, KCRG-TV and other news organizations who nonetheless have continued publishing on all platforms. As president of the Associated Press Managing Editors, I would encourage you to make a tax-deductible contribution to these journalists in need. … Newspaper employees in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Vinton, Iowa City and
other towns in the flood zone face personal losses. Some employees have had their homes and personal belongings destroyed or severely damaged. You may send tax-deductible checks to Iowa Newspaper Employees Disaster Relief Fund at the Iowa Newspaper Foundation, 319 E. Fifth St., Des Moines, IA 50309, or go to to make a credit card donation.”

Some more readers weigh in on Russert’s death:

    Lise Robertson of Maryland writes, “Heartbroken. A void that can never be filled. A great man, loving husband, son and father. He made politics interesting and understandable for all of us. What I’ll miss the most, I think, are the wonderful smile and gleam in the eye whenever he spoke of his family, his work. his Buffalo. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family and many friends.”
    “I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope that you find all of the praise, love and support of comfort — I’ve been in tears since Friday. I so admired Mr. Russert — his brilliance, equanimity, fairness and exuberance for his work. I never missed a Sunday and I feel like I’ve lost an uncle (even though we are the same age and faith) — a bookend to my questioning about politics and history. My thoughts and prayers are with the Russert family. And Luke, there is so much of your father in you. You were so impressive on The Today Show and your father is beaming.”
    “I was absolutely devastated when I heard the news of Tim’s passing. I have been crying all weekend. I watched all of his election year coverage and my Sunday’s will never be the same. Words cannot describe the emptiness I feel. I lost a friend. My heart goes out to his son and wife as well as the rest of his family and friends. May God bless each of you as I am sure he is holding Tim in his hands.”
    “I wish to express my deepest sympathy to the family of Tim Russert. I watched him whenever I could. My day wasn’t complete news wise, unless I heard a commentary from Tim. I knew he would get it right.!!! I was so saddened and shocked when I heard the news.. His wife, son and friends. and all of us (was his family) will miss him terribly. I pray for their strength to get through this tough time. We all have to trave this road.. some sooner, and shockingly, unannounced departure. May God keep you in his care.. He ask the necessary questions, that at times got a straight answer and some couldn’t or didn’t want to give a straight answer, he was great.. I am a young black women who loves the truth and can tell when someone is for real, and who is not. Tim Russert was for real.. what a wonderul person to be added to the heavens.”
    “I think it’s worth remembering that ‘Meet the Press’ has been on since 1947 (on radio before that), for most of that time with a completely different format from the one Tim Russert had. Over most of its run, the program’s ‘moderator’ did just that — moderate a discussion between a guest and a panel of reporters — the ‘Press’ the guest was actually ‘Meeting.’ I think NBC would be wise to return to that format now, with a panel of rotating journalistic all-stars to question the guests each week. Will it have Tim’s warmth? No. Will it appear to be a murder board? Maybe. But it will be good television, and presumably, good journalism. MTP doesn’t need one host. Let it again be ‘America’s press conference of the air.'”

Your next pick for the next “Meet” host is a dead heat between Chuck Todd, Gwen Ifill and Tom Brokaw.

A reader writes, “How pissed was The Atlantic’s Ross Douthat that his review of ‘Sex and the City’ in National Review’s June 30 issue appeared across from an ad for a self-wiping toilet for 500-lb people? The headline read ‘Having Trouble Wiping?’ Check it- page 53”

Today’s “Angry Journalist” rant of the day: “i’m angry because anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection thinks they can call themself a journalist.”

Check out today’s White House Photo of the Day from Time.

Quickly navigate Morning Reading List:



  • Mara Gassman, Senior Publicist, CNN Washington is leaving CNN to attend law school at Georgetown this fall. Her last day is July 3.

  • The AP announced, “Hal Ritter, a founding editor of USA Today who helped launch the newspaper’s Money section, has been named business editor of The Associated Press, responsible for global coverage of financial news.”

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  • Bloomberg reports, “McClatchy Co., owner of the Miami Herald and 29 other daily newspapers, will cut about 1,400 jobs, or 10 percent of its workforce, to save $70 million annually after a record drop in industrywide advertising sales. The reductions are part of a plan to cut costs as much as $100 million in the next four quarters.”

  • Bloomberg reports, “Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune controlling investor Sam Zell may be unable to stop the loss of advertising revenue leading him and other U.S. newspaper publishers closer to default on billions of dollars in debt.”

  • Romenesko has “The latest from Tribune chief innovation officer Lee Abrams”

  • Etaoin Shrdlu presents “an especially thoughtful criticism from Jim Richardson, a longtime colleague who left The Sacramento Bee and the business some years ago”

  • Reflections of a Newsosaur reports, “The savings McClatchy hopes to achieve by trimming 10% of its work force will not save enough money to offset even a quarter of the likely drop in the company’s advertising revenues this year, suggesting that more cuts may lie ahead.”

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  • On Gwen Ifill says, “Goodbye to a Standup Brother”

  • TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer reports, “Prime Time Audience for Gore Endorsement”

  • In conjunction with The Washington Times, ABC conducted an investigation revealing “Mentally distressed veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are being recruited for government tests on pharmaceutical drugs linked to suicide and other violent side effects.” The report aired on “Good Morning America” Tuesday morning and also appeared in The Washington Times on Tuesday.

  • Washington Post’s Lisa de Mores writes, “Tributes to Russert: Critics Cluck ‘Drawn-Out,’ but Viewers Were Drawn In”

  • Romenesko readers explore the possibility of an NBC butler.

  • TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer presents, “Remembering Russert: Notes From the Blogosphere”

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  • Congratulations to’s Pierre Kattar who earned a local Emmy as producer/video journalist for “Contamination and a Crusade” in the Public/Current/Community Affairs — Feature Segment at Saturday night’s 50th annual Emmy awards dinner for the National Capital Chesapeake Bay chapter. The tells us “The piece focused on the story of Sheila Holt-Orsted, a woman battling breast cancer allegedly caused by contaminated well water on her family’s Tennessee farm. It was also reported in the Post Style section with a story by Lynne Duke. In addition Nancy Donaldson and Ben de la Cruz were also nominated for ‘Living With PTSD’ in the Public/Current/Community Affairs- Program/Special against six other pieces in their category.”

  • Online Media Daily reports, “Drudge Retort Considers Lawsuit Against AP”

  • BBC reports, “Blogger arrests hit record high”

  • The Washington Blogger June Meeting is today at Regional Food and Drink at 7:00 p.m. To RSVP, click here.

  • “After a decade, the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication has suspended publication of OJR.”

  • New York Daily News reports, “For once, pundit Arianna Huffington is a woman of few words. As politicians and journalists of every stripe mourn Tim Russert, the NBC newsman’s longtime antagonist has yet to express condolences or any belated admiration. From the moment his death was announced Friday, The Huffington Post has posted dozens of appreciations from other bloggers. But it wasn’t until Sunday that the site’s founder briefly mentioned Russert.”

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  • Howard Kurtz reports, “Laura Ingraham, the most popular woman on political talk radio, has been off the air for two weeks, and not by choice. Ingraham’s syndicator, Talk Radio Network, barred her from her Washington studio after talks about a new contract hit a snag, and some of her fans are mounting a campaign to get her back.”

  • A release announced, “Air America Radio recently launched ‘Today on Air America,’ a new web ‘show’ that is a daily update of their programming, guests and topics as well as what is happening on the website. Posted by 10pm Monday through Friday with information for the following day’s schedule, the show can be viewed at An RSS feed is also available at”

  • The Los Angeles Times reports, “Sirius-XM merger approval not assured”

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  • A release announced, “Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the United States’ largest and leading boutique hotel company, took home the top honor in its category at the Washington Business Journal’s ‘2008 Best Places to Work’ Awards Ceremony, held on June 13, 2008. More than 500 people attended the event to see how the top 50 finalists ranked in four categories as great places to work in the Greater Washington Region. Kimpton was the winner in the category of ‘Large Company with Non-Local Headquarters.'”

  • reports, “Readership is down, the economy stinks and key advertising sectors are imploding. But there’s good news, sort of: U.S. advertising spending across media such as newspapers, magazines and TV was essentially flat for the first quarter of this year, up 0.5 percent over the same period last year to approximately $30 billion, according to figures released Monday by Nielsen Monitor-Plus.”

  • Lucie Morillon, Washington Representative for Reporters Without Borders will testify before the USCC on June 18th-Hearings on “Access to Information and Media Control in the People’s Republic of China”. The hearings will take place in Room 418, Russell Senate Office Building at 9 a.m.

  • Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert writes, “Obama, McCain, and Gershon agree: The press needs to get off the stage”

  • Suspicious Package, the band with Tim Burger, Bryan Greene, Josh Meyer, Christina Sevilla and Tom Toles, plays at The Grog and Tankard Thursday night at 8:30 p.m.

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  • Hanley Wood, LLC is looking for a Senior Online e-Commerce Manager.

  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy is looking for an Editorial Assistant.

  • AARP is looking for a Content Producer, AARP Bulletin Today.

  • Restore Media, LLC is looking for a Advertising Salesperson (Print and Online).

  • Gallup is looking for a Proposal Analyst.

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    Hat Tips: DCRTV, TVNewser, IWantMedia, Romenesko, MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, JournalismNext, Mic Check Radio, New York Times’ On This Day