UPDATE, 9:40 AM: New York Rep. Michael Grimm told a gaggle of reporters outside his office this morning he expects his mother to remind him he was not raised to threaten to throw reporters off of balconies. and that he’s scheduled a lunch with the NY1 reporter to whom he made the offer, Meanwhile, NY1 reporter Michael Scotto tweeted he’s accepted Grimm’s apology.
PREVIOUS, 7:53 AM:Time Warner Cable landed one of the biggest scoops of the State of the Union address last night, when a congressman offered to throw one of its reporters off the balcony in the hall, and/or break him in two, during a post-address interview (see video below). It’s believed to be a State of the Union Address first and understandably is the subject of some talk on the morning news show circuit today. “He did seem angry, he seemed angrier than I have ever seen a politician talk to a reporter about a question that he or she didn’t like,” NY1 reporter Michael Scotto reminisced this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“He” is New York Rep. Michael Grimm, whose campaign finance issues have been of interest to some news outlets of late — the FBI arrested his fundraiser Diana Durand earlier this month, according to published reports. Scotto told various TV news outlets this morning that Grimm has been dodging the media but, after President Obama’s speech last night, he agreed to give Scotto an interview — at the end of which Scotto tried to ask him about allegations about his campaign finances. Grimm can be seen telling Scotto he won’t discuss anything but the POTUS speech and the stalking off. Scotto may have pitched it a little too strong to his viewers when he wrapped up with: “Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances, we wanted to get him on camera on that, but he, as you saw, refused to talk about that. Back to you.” Read More »
News about the move comes from anonymous sources who spoke to The New York Times‘ Brian Stelter, who’s writing a book about the morning newscasts. He says Willie Geist will serve as a backup to Matt Lauer on Today. But he’ll primarily be there to join Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie for the third hour of the broadcast. As a result, Geist will give up his 5:30 AM ET MSNBC show Way Too Early With Willie Geist. And he’ll also have less time for Morning Joe, where the NYT says Geist has served as the show’s “straight man.” Geist’s contract was due to expire at the end of September. He’s the son of CBS News correspondent Bill Geist and is repped by WME.
UPDATE: Don’t look for Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin to appear on another news show right away now that he’s been suspended by MSNBC. We’re told that the suspension does not let him out of his contract which precludes him from appearing on another news network during its duration. MSNBC President Phil Griffin called Halperin on his cell phone shortly after the end of Morning Joe this morning to inform him of the decision to suspend him. Griffin told Halperin what MSNBC intended to say in a statement. Halperin immediately agreed and said that he wanted to make a statement as well.
Time Magazine has just issued a statement upbrading its Editor at Large. The magazine says his “comments on air this morning were inappropriate and in no way reflective of Time’s views. We have issued a warning to him that such behavior is unacceptable. Mark has appropriately apologized on air, via Twitter and on The Page.” Halperin added that his remark “was not funny. I deeply regret it.”
PREVIOUS, 9:07 AM: MSNBC has suspended political analyst and contributor Mark Halperin indefinitely for a slur he made today on Morning Joe describing President Obama. During a discussion of the president’s Wednesday press conference, Halperin, also an editor at large for Time magazine and co-author of Game Change, was asked by host Joe Scarborough what he thought of the president’s performance during the press conference. “Are we on a seven-second delay today?” Halperin asked. “I want to characterize how I thought the president behaved.” After assurances that there was a delay, he said: “I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday.” Read More »
Chris Licht, co-creator and an original executive producer of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, has been hired by CBS News as VP Programming, the network announced today. Licht will oversee programming and development for CBS News broadcasts when he begins his new gig June 6. “Chris is one of the most talented producers in this business, and it is great for CBS News that he is joining us,” CBS News chairman Jeff Fager said. “He will be a significant partner in improving our existing broadcasts and developing new ones.” Before Morning Joe, Licht was a senior producer on another MSNBC show hosted by Joe Scarborough, Scarborough Country, and later was elevated to executive producer.
George Clooney’s PR informs that the actor/director “is completely over the Malaria he contracted while in the Sudan during the first week in January. This was his second bout with it.” According to Clooney, “This illustrates how with proper medication, the most lethal condition in Africa, can be reduced to a bad ten days instead of a death sentence.” Clooney taped CNN’s Piers Morgan talk show on January 13th. George & Joe Scarborough did some dead-on impressions of Oceans 11-13 producer Jerry Weintraub on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show Wednesday.
Exactly two weeks after MSNBC briefly suspended Keith Olbermann over undisclosed campaign donations, the news cable channel is doing the same with Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough. Politicoreports that Scarborough will be sidelined for two days without pay after he acknowledged giving eight previously unknown $500 contributions to friends and family members running for state and local offices while working at MSNBC. That is a violation of NBC’s policy of banning political contributions by employees without first obtaining a permission from the network president. That policy came under scrutiny following the Olbermann suspension, which was originally indefinite but was quickly cut to 2 days, matching Scarborough’s. “I recognize that I have a responsibility to honor the guidelines and conditions of my employment, and I regret that I failed to do so in this matter,” Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, said in a statement. “I apologize to MSNBC and to anyone who has … Read More »