NBC News' chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell took to the airwaves today to announce on MSNBC that she's been diagnosed with breast cancer. But doctors caught it early, she said, and she has "a terrific prognosis." She'd like you to get screened for breast cancer, which seems like a reasonable request, if you are a lady.
She got married last weekend, but Ivanka Trump will be getting another big stack of presents today. It's her 28th birthday. Also celebrating: Simon Doonan, Barneys' inimitable creative director, is turning 57 today. Mega-agent Binky Urban is 63. Fashion photographer Mario Testino is 55. Gavin Rossdale is turning 42. NBC News' Andrea Mitchell is 64. Private equity bigwig Wes Edens is turning 48. Former Page Sixer Paula Froelich is 36. Henry Winkler turns 64. Actress Nia Long is turning 39. Kevin Pollak is turning 52. Harry Hamlin is 58. Cash Cab host Ben Bailey is turning 39. And Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin is 20. A few weekend birthdays after the jump.
Michelle Obama was the main attraction at Time magazine's sixth annual 100 "most influential" ceremony at Lincoln Center last night. She was joined by a predictably massive group of A-listers, including Oprah, Harvey Weinstein, Mort Zuckerman, Steve Schwarzman, Jeff Bewkes, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Carine Roitfeld, Gayle King, Stella McCartney, Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy, Kate Hudson, Liv Tyler, Jay Leno, Lorne Michaels, Jimmy Fallon and Nancy Juvonen, Charlie Rose, David Lauren and Lauren Bush, Ann Coulter, Suze Orman, Arianna Huffington, Kate Betts, Andy Serwer, Paul Krugman, Vivi Nevo and Ziyi Zhang, Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews ...
The Huffington Post reported David Gregory will take over for Tim Russert as permanent moderator of Meet The Press after beating out finalists Andrea Mitchell, Gwen Ifill and Chuck Todd. NBC told Politico, "I don't know where they are getting this," and Gregory's agent would neither confirm nor deny to the Observer. Dark-horse candidate Katie Couric is reportedly not interested. Odd that NBC News would leak to HuffPo, given the network division's apparent long-running feud with publisher Arianna Huffington, but then there have been signs that the bad feelings have perhaps been dropped.
♦ CBS is expected to win November sweeps for the eighth straight year. [AP]
♦ Another victim of the recession: publishing industry lunches. [NYO]
♦ The Super Bowl isn't looking up for NBC. Sales of 30-second ads have slowed and there are rumors some companies are now asking for discounts. [AP]
♦ In an attempt to ride Barack Obama's coattails to relevancy, MTV is planning a "Rock 'N Roll Inaugural Ball" for January 20. [AdAge]
♦ Life & Style is on life support and is laying off staff. [NYP]
♦ Contenders to take over Meet the Press include David Gregory, Gwen Ifill, Andrea Mitchell, and NBC political director Chuck Todd. The news may be announced December 7th. [LAT]
It's a big day for birthdays: Ivanka Trump turns 27 today. (Hope Jared got you something nice!) Page Six's Paula Froelich is 35. Barneys creative director Simon Doonan is 56. The most powerful literary agent in the biz, Binky Urban, is celebrating her 62nd. Fashion photographer Mario Testino is 54. NBC News' Andrea Mitchell turns 63. Billionaire financier Wesley Edens is 47 today. Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin is 19. Henry Winkler turns 63. Gavin Rossdale is 41. Actress Nia Long turns 38. Actor Kevin Pollak is 51. And Cash Cab host Ben Bailey is 38.
NBC political correspondent Andrea Mitchell is one of the network's news stars, so it's only natural that we've been seeing a lot of her lately. Even when the topic turns to the government's and the candidates' responses to the current financial crisis. But you will not see her, supposedly, when the discussion turns to "past economic decisions" that led up to the crisis. Because Mitchell is married to Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chairman who many say is basically responsible for the housing bubble. And that is their conflict of interest compromise: Mitchell will report as usual until the reasons we got to this point are discussed, at which point she'll quietly disappear from your television without explanation. Unethical! Or, you know, the standard way of doing business in political journalism. DC is an incestuous town and everyone knows and is basically friends with everyone else. The media-political complex has lots and lots of intermarried "journalists" and "operatives" and everyone has politely agreed to assume that everyone else is totally professional about it. So they get a bit tetchy when the Columbia Journalism Review is all "disclose your relationships or just be more independent or something" because what do those kids know? If Tom Brokaw wants to play golf with John McCain that is his business (note: we don't know if John McCain can play golf but the two are still definitely probably friends). The standard argument is that one has to find concrete evidence of "bias" before one can claim these chummy relationships are no good, but honestly the "bias" is so ingrained in the process that it's a useless task and one is best served by appyling a gimlet-eyed suspicion to everyone one sees on the TV and then voting for Ron Paul.
♦ Financial news outlets are performing well, not surprisingly. CNBC's Closing Bell saw ratings increase 70% last week. [AdAge]
♦ HBO has optioned the Tom Wolfe novel I Am Charlotte Simmons with Tina Brown producing. [Variety via NYO]
♦ Furniture mogul Eric Villency is teaming up with Cotton (yes, the industry trade group) on a web-based reality TV show. [AdAge]
♦ Sarah Palin got cozy with Rupert Murdoch last night. [Politico]
♦ Thanks to hefty tax breaks, a record 19 primetime series will be filmed in NYC in 2008-9, compared to 12 last year. [NYT]
♦ David Letterman ripped into John McCain last night after the senator cancelled his scheduled appearance. [Gawker]
♦ Should Andrea Mitchell really be covering the financial crisis given her husband is former Fed chair Alan Greenspan? [CJR]
Barack Obama's advance staff confused everyone when they told journalists not to wear green during their trip to the Middle East. Obama's staff claimed green is the color of Hamas, which is actually isn't really. Though it is the color of Islam in general. So Obama is distancing himself from all the Muslims in the world, which should help dispel those rumors about him being a fist-bumping terrorist by seeming like he's trying way, way too hard, almost like a man with something to hide. Or maybe some staffer just did a shit job of research and thought that was a helpful and clever suggestion. Journos are also prohibited from wearing nail polish and tank tops and from actually asking the candidate any questions, as Andrea Mitchell bitches about in this attached Hardball clip. Chris Matthews is so thrilled that Barack Obama can shoot a basket (he is also shocked that there are so many black people in the military!), but Mitchell seems to think pretend interviews organized by the military are maybe a bad thing? She's not wearing green, though. Don't you hate how biased everyone is?