Bill Schneider and Reid Cherlin are our guests this week.
With guest host: Matt Bennett, co-founder of Third Way
Show produced by Katherine Caperton. Original Air Date: December 7, 2013 on SiriusXM “POTUS” Channel 124. PoliOptics airs regularly on POTUS on Saturdays at 6 am, 12 noon and 6 pm. Follow us on Twitter @Polioptics Listen to the show by clicking on the bar above. Show also available for download on Apple iTunes by clicking here
This week we are joined by the man the Boston Globe once dubbed “The Aristotle of American Politics,” Bill Schneider. Bill is now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Third Way and a Professor at George Mason, but he’s best-known of course for his 19 years of service on CNN as a political analyst. Bill sports an Emmy, a Peabody, and an encyclopedic knowledge of politics. He talks about Red and Blue America, the future of the Tea Party, the prospects for immigration reform, and his picks for the 2016 nominees. (It is NEVER too early.)
Then we turn to Reid Cherlin, a man who has played at a high level on both sides of the Steno pad. Reid started his career as a political flak, working in the Senate and the House as a press aid, on a House race and the Clark Campaign. Then he joined the big time as Obama’s New Hampshire Press Secretary and later as an Assistant Press Secretary in the White House. He handled health care reform, among other things, but it’s not his fault.
Reid left the White House a few years ago and switched sides, joining the press jackals as a writer for GQ, The New Republic, and New York Magazine, among others. His perspective involves sympathy both for the White House press operation and the press that covers it, which could be unique in world history. And his smart and funny. Here he is on Marine One, obviously entertaining the President.
Eri Hotta and John Skipper are our guests this week.
Show produced by Katherine Caperton. Original Air Date: November 30, 2013 on SiriusXM “POTUS” Channel 124. PoliOptics airs on POTUS on Saturdays at 8 am, 4 pm and midnight and on Sundays at noon and midnight. Follow us on Twitter @Polioptics Listen to the show by clicking on the bar above. Show also available for download on Apple iTunes by clicking here
Later in the broadcast, recognizing that many listeners will be spending this Thanksgiving weekend watching college and professional football, we are presenting an encore of our conversation with John Skipper, president of ESPN Inc. and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks. Our conversation with John first aired on July 13, 2013.
Josh Sapan, Gordon England and Susan Glasser are our guests this week.
With guest co-host Steve Silverman alongside Josh King
Show produced by Katherine Caperton. Original Air Date: November 23, 2013 on SiriusXM “POTUS” Channel 124. PoliOptics airs on POTUS on Saturdays at 8 am, 4 pm and midnight and on Sundays at noon and midnight. Follow us on Twitter @Polioptics Listen to the show by clicking on the bar above. Show also available for download on Apple iTunes by clicking here
Whenever I was assigned to produce a big site for Governor — then President — Bill Clinton, I always went first to the back of the stadium, field, big city intersection, or wherever we were to hold the event, and imagined it filled with people, with flags, with bunting. I knew, of course, that rare was the occasion when the New York Times would use “the wide shot” on Page 1, but I always thought there was something prideful for the hometown newspaper or local television station to capture “the big picture” in their backyard, a moment of American panorama that would be frozen in time.
As a kid, and even today, I love a flea market. I try to get to Brimfield once a year (if you go, wear comfortable shoes). I’m drawn particularly to the vendors with tables chock-a-block with old black and white photos, usually of large groups: the medical staff of a hospital or an troop of cadets, perhaps oilmen working a derrick. As my wife will tell you, I’m drawn to them a bit too much. We now have a basement full of framed photos over 50 years old and too little wall space that she’s willing to devote to long-faced frontiersmen and long lines of white lab-coated medical students making their mothers proud.
Rest assured, Josh and I cover a wide array of topics, from how AMC’s business is doing (it earned $58 million in net income on $368 million in revenue in Q3 2013) to where his slate of superior drama is headed after Don Draper hangs up his portfolio and Walter White cooks his last batch of Blue Sky (back to the Revolutionary War era, it seems, with a spy drama called Turn, due out in 2015).
Every viewer has their eye out for something. In AMC’s dramas I love the political ecosystems at play, from how The Governor (David Morrissey) metes out justice in Woodbury to how Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley) keeps Mayor John Lindsay from getting tainted by the “brainwashing” brush that doomed George Romney’s presidential aspirations (a topic we explored with Ben Wallace-Wells last year).
Josh Sapan’s story spans that of the cable industry, from the early days to the current Golden Age of television. At AMC, the Golden Age keeps hitting a new vein. One Sapan movie venture that’s not a financial blockbuster, but a treasure nonetheless, is Greenport Theater in Greenport, New York, one of the last of the old movie houses where you can still spend a day enjoying an affordable weekend matinee. When Amy and I take the kids to see Jake Siewert and Christine Anderson in Shelter Island and the weather turns nasty, we make a quick bee-line for the North Ferry to get us to the Greenport Theater. If you’re in the neighborhood, you should drop in too!
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This has been quite a week for Polioptics. The new POLITICO Magazine published my 6,000-word History Dept. piece, “Dukakis and the Tank”, which is required reading for you all, complete with its own mini-documentary (POLITICO’s first) starring Matt Bennett, Sig Rogich and me. The documentary, produced by Matt Sobocinski, was shot partially on location at the King Museum of Presidential Arcana & Ephemera in the Woodbury-like Catskills town of Windham, New York. Huge thanks to POLITICO Magazine’s senior editor, Denise Wills, who made me sound quasi literate and had the excellent sense to cleave a 12,000 word first draft in half (the rest of the stuff, all fascinating, I assure you, will have to wait for the book — or the AMC series!).
In this episode of Polioptics, though, we dig our tank tracks a little deeper into the muddy proving ground of General Dynamics Land Systems and the (for me) endlessly fascinating story of a presidential campaign event gone very, very bad. I’m joined by my collaborator on the tank story project, Steve Silverman, a fellow advance man from 1988 and longtime colleague in the Clinton White House, as we talk to former Secretary of the Navy Gordon England, who few knew until now was the other man riding topside in the M1A1 when Governor Dukakis took his famous and fateful ride 25 years ago.
After we talk with Gordon, a special kicker: Susan Glasser, editor of POLITICO Magazine, joins us as we learn just what it takes to launch a new glossy title in the digital age. Her baby is hitting us every day with the kind of journalism you never saw on POLITICO before, a stunning debut from an all-star cast of writers, editors and multi-media producers, present company excluded. While Susan runs the shop, she also serves up great content, including an exclusive interview this week with the Secretary of State: “John Kerry vs. the ‘Babble.’”