Morning Media Newsfeed: Anchors Slam Obama Snub | Assad Interview Airs | Crossfire Debuts

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Univision, Al Jazeera Anchors Slam Obama After Being Left Out of Media Blitz (The Wrap)
Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and Al Jazeera English senior political analyst Marwan Bishara lashed out after their networks were left out of President Obama’s media blitz, writing that the president was leaving Hispanics and Arabs out of the Syria crisis debate. TVNewser “Pres. Obama gives 6 interviews [Monday]. None of those to Univision. Why? Hispanics also care about Syria. Same mistake as presidential debates” Ramos tweeted. “150,000+ Latinos are serving in the U.S. military. But none of the 6 interviews given [Monday] by Obama include Univision” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Jose Zamora, a spokesperson for Univision, told us the network “did everything possible” to get an interview when the opportunity was announced, but was unsuccessful. “We think it’s a very important story for us and most importantly for our audience,” he said. Al Jazeera America Marwan Bishara: “Considering Washington’s decisions in the past decade have had an arguably deeper impact in Iraq and Afghanistan than in Iowa and Montana, President Obama must answer to Arabs as he does to the American people, regarding future wars in Syria or elsewhere in their region. And there’s only one major network that reaches the majority of Arabs and Muslims and others in the greater Middle East.”

U.S. Govt. Learned of Charlie Rose’s Assad Interview The Same Time Everyone Else Did (TVNewser)
That CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose got the Bashar al-Assad interview should not come as a surprise. He’d interviewed Assad before, and has been working for months to secure this interview as the Syrian civil war intensified. “He’s had a track record on this story for a long time,” says CBS News president David Rhodes. Rose and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager spent Saturday night in Damascus, before heading to the presidential palace Sunday morning. Hours later Rose was in Lebanon phoning into CBS’ Bob Schieffer breaking the news of his interview. That’s also around the time the White House first learned about it. HuffPost Assad appeared defiant in a much-anticipated interview with Rose that aired Monday evening. Assad argued it was “stupid” to suggest that Syrian forces bombed the suburbs outside of Damascus where the chemical weapons attack occurred in an effort to cover up evidence. “This is stupid, to be frank. This is very stupid,” Assad said.

CNN’s Crossfire Starts… Awkwardly (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
CNN’s Crossfire relaunched on Monday night and the debut was, to put it mildly, awkward. Stephanie Cutter and Newt Gingrich, both of whom are very comfortable debating issues as guests on other CNN programs, proved to be remarkably uncomfortable in the co-host chairs. Their questions were too scripted, their repartee too forced, their interactions tempered by uncharacteristic stage-fright. But that doesn’t mean they can’t improve, and fast. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer Part of the problem was the seating arrangement. Gingrich and Cutter sat close together on one side of the table so the camera could capture them in the same shot, but that meant that when they addressed one another they had to twist to the side awkwardly. There was also an incredible amount of pressure as CNN has been promoting this show pretty heavily. Variety In the small-victory department, the premiere of Crossfire didn’t produce the kind of cross-talk squabbling apt to give The Daily Show fodder to tee off on the CNN revival — yet, anyway. TVNewser CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist says the absence of a studio audience and the focus on only one topic per show will prevent “Crossfire 2.0″ from regressing into a steel-cage match. Hosts won’t play to the crowd, and discussing one issue “will bring some depth to the conversation,” he says. Deadline Hollywood Feist also promised a “cease fire” at the end of every telecast — a kumbaya moment, in which the show hosts representing the left and the right “actually look for common ground.”