Bush Video a Victory for AP
Known primarily as a print news service, AP has more recently been beefing up its video coverage and content, spreading into new platforms just like every other news media source. Working with MSN video, the AP service debuted Wednesday with comprehensive coverage of Mardi Gras and the post-Katrina recovery effort.
But it was the exclusive, striking video of Bush's Aug. 28 teleconference with disaster relief personnel and hurricane experts which proved the ultimate advertisement for AP's new service -- which plastered the newsmaking video all over member web sites and gave news outlets such as CNN access to the controversial footage.
In the video, Katrina scapegoat and former FEMA head Michael Brown is shown worrying whether the Superdome's roof could handle hurricane force winds and experts such as Max Mayfield from the Hurricane Center are warning New Orleans' levees could overtop. That wasn't excatly what happened -- the levees actually crumbled -- but the footage also shows an overconfident President Bush overestimating their ability to handle the emergency. The footage also put the lie to Bush's assertions in Katrina's awful aftermath that no one anticipated the disaster.
So where did this video come from? I'm betting "Brownie," who has been selling himself lately as a scapegoat for Bush and Homeland Security head Michael Cherthoff's missteps during Katrina, had a hand in getting this footage, along with transcripts from seven days of briefings, to the public -- particularly since it shows him asking the right questions, while Bush asks none.
Though some conservatives have been saying the video was released publicly in September, The New York Times reported that this video was not among the meeting transcripts released; federal officials only found this tape a few weeks ago.
AP isn't saying how it got the tape. Spokesman Jack Stokes sent me this email: "The White House statement is misleading. It suggests the video and the transcripts were made available at the time. They were not -- the White House issued a statement on Aug. 28, 2005, merely saying that the President had been briefed. A few cameras were allowed at the top of the briefing but then escorted out, as the video shows. The AP stands by its story."
Conservatives are already complaining about how this makes Bush look. Looks like a good scoop to me...
Bubba Returns to Terrestrial Radio -- For a Day
Bubba the Love Sponge is expected to return to commercial terrestrial radio in a week; his first appearance on a Tampa radio station since he was fired by Clear Channel two years ago after incurring the largest single FCC indecency fine in history.
Bubba hits the air on WSUN-FM's morning drive show The Morning X with Fisher and Boy on March 9, stopping by 97X about 10 days after the expiration of his Clear Channel contract, which prevented him from appearing on any other radio station in the Tampa market. Up until that contract expired on Tuesday, Bubba -- who now hosts a drive-time show for Sirius satellite radio on shock jock Howard Stern's econd channel -- was getting TWO paychecks: Sirius and Clear Channel.
Since he debuted on Sirius in January, Bubba has promised to dish dirt on the Clear Channel execs who he feels have done him wrong, once his contract expired -- which I'm assuming had a no-badmouthing Clear Channel stipulation to go with his severance package. Maybe we'll get an early peek at that dish here.
New Black Newspaper Expected Friday
The folks at Tama Broadcasting -- owners of black heritage radio station WTMP-AM and several other radio stations and back newspapers -- say their planned statewide black newspaper the Florida Courier will debut on Friday. They had originally hoped to present the newspaper back in January during Martin Luther King Jr's birthday celebrations, but assembling the newspaper along with running their other businesses proved too much, according to editor Charles Cherry II.
Pulled together with the help of freelancers across the state, the Florida Courier would be the first statewide black newspaper, and one of only a few nationwide.
I'll be appearing again on Ed Gordon's News and Notes show today, joined by Bob Meadows, writer, People Magazine and Julianne Malveaux, Economist and author. You can hear it live at 9:15 a.m. or so, or catch it here later.